Haldane Martin has designed a new office desking system called the Soft Office furniture range that is going into production under license by premium furniture manufacturers Ergoform.
Originally designed for the offices of skincare brand Environ in 2015, Haldane Martin identified that existing office furniture was notably masculine, hard and corporate. This presented the opportunity to create original furniture for Environ that could capture the essence of a brand that signifies femininity and softness, the traits of beautiful skin.
The high-quality Soft Office desking range custom designed by Haldane Martin for Environ combines design relevance with office functionality. The desking range was so successful for the client that Ergoform will be including it in their collection, turning it into a market-ready office furniture range that would be a viable offering to local and international buyers.
Office furniture has traditionally been quite structured and hard, with a limited range of raw materials to keep down the cost of manufacturing. The Soft Office range in contrast offers organic shapes with a soft feel.
Haldane Martin’s unique desking and meeting office system draws on soft, visually elegant forms: rounded rectangles that are spatially efficient, felt screens shaped in soft forms to add an element privacy, and legs with a conic curve, trumpet-shaped top adjoining the desk. From an engineering perspective this design also spreads the point load of the leg onto the surface of the table top, eliminating the need for a bracket and framework and creating a clean, sophisticated finish.
Natural woods were used, including molded birch plywood for the credenza storage system. These have a soft radiused corner, raised back and sides to prevent stationery rolling off, and a cabinet leg with adjustable height to avoid wobbling, without having an exposed adjustable foot. A clever cable management system makes use of a groove routed through the desk with felt cable access lid allowing all plugs to go into the credenza to avoid clutter and tangling of cords.
Some of the raw materials have a recycled content as high as 40%. Fabrics and finishes can be arranged according to client needs.
Ergoform owner Leon Roodt says the Soft Office furniture range, created in collaboration with designer Haldane Martin, can compete with any international brand.
Photos by Micky Hoyle