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Fritz Hansen’s new seating makes open plan offices more bearable

Better than a phone booth

Blue sofas seated around coffee table Courtesy of Fritz Hansen

The back and forth on what constitutes good office design is enough to give a middle manager whiplash. Is open-plan in? Or is it a distraction-enabling mess? Are cubicles cages that keep us from our colleagues? Or are they maligned productivity boosters?

Though there’s some legitimate research around the impact open plan offices have on human interaction, the answer to the questions above really depends on who you ask. The Republic of Fritz Hansen, the Danish design studio known for its warm yet minimalist furniture, is looking to meet all parties in the middle with its new line of furniture called Plenum.

Pink chairs seated around table Fritz Hansen

The seats, which range from a single chair to a two and three-person sofa, aim to make an open plan layout a little less open with its cocoon-like design. Jaime Hayon designed the line with fabric partitions that curve around the seats to give a sense of privacy and trust. “In creating Plenum,” he says, “the overall objective was to challenge the concept of traditional office furniture and create a felling of home.”

You can expect rounded shapes, curves, and soft colors throughout the collection, but that doesn’t mean function is lacking. Each of the pieces is loaded with office friendly features like power plugs, USB ports, and mounted tables, which makes them the perfect hideout for when your desk mate’s mechanical keyboard gets to be too much.

Blue, cream, and pink couch Fritz Hansen
Man sitting in chair with coffee Fritz Hansen