Design Month Graz 2022 was looking for an outdoor piece of furniture that meets the complex requirements of the modern networked world, a piece of furniture that satisfies the “digital natives” and the “analog decelerators” in equal measure. A hybrid piece of furniture made of wood – for relaxing with intention and working with a view. A workplace that inspires. With passion and calming charm.
Every year, as part of Design Month Graz, a cooperation between Holzcluster Steiermark and Creative Industries Styria takes place. The WorkLets are designed for the rural space, as mobile and easily transportable seating made of wood, which should find a place in publicly accessible places, parks, in front of hotels, in communities and serve as a retreat for those seeking peace or mobile working people as a workspace.
The material wood had to prevail and also the sustainability aspect had to be considered. The material sponsor is JAF ZENGERER GmbH – the company focuses strongly on tradition and regionality.
The design teams
- AVA – Andrea Vattovani Architecture and MTDesign Tischlerei
- KUESS Architektur and Tischlerei Steirer-Holz
- PERZ+GARTLER and Hutter Acustix GmbH
- SelfSightSeeing Company and BRAUCHST
- Simone Kovac Interior Design and B. Kumpusch Tischlerei
- The material wood must predominate
- Local wood and sustainability are essential aspects
- Furniture should fit in a van and be able to be carried by two people
- Easy to assemble, no foundation, etc.
The role of Creative Industries Styria
With its Design Transfer Program, CIS is dedicated to mediating services and building bridges between companies, institutions and design studios. It mediates, accompanies, moderates and networks along the value chain of creation, production and distribution as a neutral service partner between design and business. This was also the case with the “WorkLets” project. CIS accompanies the entire product development process.
AVA – Andrea Vattovani Architecture and MTDesign joinery
The heart is gladly sought in the landscape, in the form of stones or roads. The seating of this team presents itself as functional, foldable and thus easily transportable – and recognizable as a heart from above. In this way, it fulfills one of the specifications, according to which the seating furniture should be representative of Styria, because, as is well known, that is where the green heart beats. The design by AVA – Andrea Vattovani Architecture was implemented by the Zeltweg-based joinery MT Design by Markus Tragner.
KUESS Architektur and carpentry Steirer-Holz
Making wood and craftsmanship visible are the two connecting elements for architect Nina Kuess (KUESS Architektur) and Daniel Mair of the Steirer-Holz joinery. In the design duo’s WorkLets, the table and seating were cut out of a wooden cube and the wooden joints were visibly inserted. With this type of design, the two want to recall old Styrian woodworking traditions and make wood visible as a craft technique.
THE ACOUSTIC FURNITURE
PERZ+GARTLER and Hutter Acustix GmbH
To hear nature – or not: This is the headline of the trio Petrus Gartler & Thomas Perz (Perz+Gartler) and Elisabeth Hutter of Hutter Acustix. In their WorkLets, the industrial designers and the acoustics expert wanted to either bundle the sounds of nature – thus deliberately bringing in the rushing mountain stream nearby – or switch them off to enable quiet working. The Worklets by Perz+Gartler and Hutter Acustix were made of fir wood.
THE WOOD BOX
SelfSightSeeing Company and BRAUCHST
Moving the home office outdoors into a box was the plan of design duo Io Tondolo and Itshe Petz (SelfSightSeeing Company). Borrowing from the fruit and vegetable crates at markets, the WorkLet is a large-scale and upscaled wooden box. Gernot Pichler from the design workshop Brauchst was responsible for the implementation. In the WorkLets, the working and living environment is compactly and comfortably “boxed in”, a shelter, a place to retreat, a “shell to look out of”.
THE BEACH BASKET
Simone Kovac Interior Design and B. Kumpusch joinery
Interior designer Simone Kovac rethought the beach chair – an airy and enclosed wooden construct that protects against sun, wind and glances from outside like a net. For the implementation Simone Kovac got Birgit Kumpusch with her carpentry business B. Kumpusch in Gleinstätten to the side. The furniture should fit harmoniously into the landscape and offer a protected possibility to work there in peace, in a group, sitting, standing, in any case flexibly. The WorkLets were realized with hardwood.