The most natural materials and forms are those that respond directly to how people use a given space. From a seating collection built for the fickle outdoors to glass that goes from transparent to opaque at the flick of a switch, these seven products possess the versatility that our dynamic work and personal lives demand.
Tools for Life, OMA and Knoll
This collection explores the idea that furniture should be created to accommodate users’ needs, rather than only for the sake of design. Designed by Rem Koolhaas in a collaboration with his firm OMA and Knoll, Tools for Life is designed for workspaces, but also seeks to encourage sociability. For example, the 04 Counter features three horizontal bars, the top two of which can rotate into different configurations to create either a spatial partition or a communal gathering place. knoll.com, oma.eu
Wood Collection by Jamie Beckwith, Architectural Systems Inc.
Interior designer Jaime Beckwith specializes in wood surfacing treatments, and she has brought that expertise to the Wood Collection for Architectural Systems Inc. The tile comes in three patterns: Enigma tiles encompass both classic and ornamental shapes; Mosaic (shown) comprises five species of end-grain square tiles; and Projection is a solid end-grain suited for vertical applications. archsystems.com
Lungo Mare, Escofet
Originally designed for beachside public seating, Lungo Mare from Escofet mimics the form of rolling ocean waves and sand dunes while cleverly enabling relaxation in a variety of postures. Lungo Mare comes in two sizes: 158” long by 79” wide, and 79” square in plan. Made from soft, acid-treated cast stone, it is available in beige, black, gray, and white. www.escofet.com
Connected Collection, Mannington Commercial
Mannington Commercial’s Connected Collection offers two backing options: certified NSF/ANSI-140 Gold Infinite Modular backing with pre-consumer recycled; and NSF/ANSI-140 Platinum-certified rEvolve, a closed-loop, recyclable thermoplastic polyolefin backing that contains at least 40% recycled content, 10% of which is post-consumer recycled content. Available in six patterns, including Social (shown). mannington.com
Tangent Rail Seating, Forms+Surfaces
Uneven, curvy paths and less-than-ideal site conditions can delay the installation of outdoor seating. Tangent Rail Seating from Forms+Surfaces can help. It accommodates nonlinear paths with an articulating rail that can adapt to an inward angle of up to 20 degrees and an outward angle of up to 45 degrees. A flexible connection enables a zigzag, curved, or linear layout. Choose between either powdercoated aluminum slats and FSC-certified Ipe or stainless-steel, perforated seat pans for seating options. forms-surfaces.com
Guardian Reveal, Guardian Industries
Guardian Reveal offers the benefits associated with a transparent partition, such as daylighting and connection, with the option to provide privacy when needed. Suitable for healthcare, office, hospitality, and retail applications, the glass transitions from transparent to opaque when triggered by a switch, motion detector, or daylight sensor. Guardian Reveal is laminated with a liquid crystal film and a PVB (polyvinyl butyral) interlayer that remain opaque until an electric current renders the glass transparent. guardianinglass.com
Eco-Clicks Linoleum Floating Floor, Carpri Cork
Linoleum has often been associated with dated design, but Eco-Clicks gives the material a modern twist. This linoleum from Capri Cork is made up of a top layer of linoleum adhered to a cork underlayment. It can be installed over several existing floors and comes in 14 colors. The floating floor comes in 12"-by-36" planks. capricork.com