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Coalesse Live/Work Furniture

by Ami Kealoha in Design on 18 September 2008

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Courtesy of Coalesse, I recently had the chance to visit their Chicago showroom to see their latest collection of furniture conceived for the modern workspace. The experience revealed a new brand (it's actually the merging of Metro, Brayton and Vecta under Steelcase's umbrella) that's totally in touch with — or perhaps even ahead of — clients looking for a reinvented approach to office furnishings. Taking into account factors affecting the ways people live and work today, such as longer hours, technology and collaboration, Coalesse's line marries smart design, an appreciation for aesthetics and durable construction. With their commitment to sustainability (of course), the company's approach is aptly termed "slow furniture."

Working with some first-rate designers and licenses, like Hans Wegner, Viccarbe and Otto & Jess, the collection's sense of color, craft and scale, as well as function, make it "not your dad's office furniture." Wegner's masterful designs, usually reserved for domestic spaces, are great examples. The legendary Wishbone chair's (pictured above right) gorgeously arcing line and its woven seat lends unexpected lines and materials to standard conference areas, while the funky Flag Halyard Chair (above left) encourages a supine position and what we can only suspect would be the wildest of daydreams.

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Other pieces, like the forthcoming Saarinen-inspired table with an integrated port for cables and the like, are more practical, seeking to adapt classic furniture to office use. Above images via Core77.

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In this category we also like a series of armoires, consoles and tables that have bells and whistles like self-closing drawers and magnetic, spring-loaded latches and are designed for needs most of us can relate to like hiding clutter and easy laptop docking. These items, meant to coordinate with couches and other more democratic furnishings, reflect a new approach to the executive office (image on right via Moco Loco) based on the idea that the workspace is 10% "I" and 90% collaboration. We'll take four, please.

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