Monday, September 21, 2020
Home House Design Pair Creates Miniature Versions of Their Latest Workplace Furniture System

Pair Creates Miniature Versions of Their Latest Workplace Furniture System

Pair Creates Miniature Versions of Their Latest Workplace Furniture System

Remember back a few weeks ago when we featured San Francisco-based Pair and their new Olli workplace furniture system? Well, the brand had been scheduled to launch Olli at this year’s NeoCon, but as you know, all trade shows were cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. They were disappointed to say the least, as this was Olli’s big debut, but the team rallied and came up with a creative way to showcase their latest workplace collection. While quarantining at home, four team members got to work on making mini environments that showed creative ways of how the Olli system can be used. Utilizing 3D printed components, cardboard, fabric and paint swatches, nail polish, and a whole lot more, their finished designs are below, where they’ve also answered some questions about the future of the office environment, as well as their mini Olli journey. Take a look!

Hillary Kalamaha, Senior Application Design at Pair
Hillary designed her miniature Olli for a creative or collaborative team that also needed to tackle solo work with focus.

How did you feel when you realized this project you had been working on, Olli, was not going to launch at NeoCon? That you might not get to launch it at all?

Disappointed and unsure what to expect next. After all the months of work leading up to NeoCon and even creating the concept for the display we were really excited to showcase our new product, but also debut the Pair brand at NeoCon. Once the dust settled, we looked at the change of plans as a new opportunity to express our creativity and push the boundaries of what a product launch could look like, which was very refreshing as a designer and team.

What is your favorite Olli element? What do you think will be the most useful in an office space?

Favorite Sidekick is the Stackable Storage. The versatility of applications and functional enhancement to an individual or group setting. It’s not only storage, but a play on visual barriers and definition of space.

What was the most challenging moment in creating your mini Olli?

Perfection is a curse and blessing for all designers I’m sure, so the tedious detailing and applying of materials on such a small scale was challenging.

Why did making an Olli at home feel like the right response to this moment in time?

Living and working from home is something, maybe for the first time, that so many people can truly relate to. I thought it was a fun celebration of this moment in time where all of us are sharing this common experience.

Do you think the office is making a comeback?

The office will certainly not go away, but the intent and reasoning for its need will definitely change. Companies are still navigating what the future office will look like for them, and it may be different for each, but I’m confident the office will still hold a place in our future.

What is your Olli made from?

A mixture of different materials:
Felt, textured fabric, card stock, veneer / laminate, solid wood, wire (tube and flat bar), construction paper, nail polish, colored pencils, 3D printed components

What kind of team can work at your Olli?

Any team can work at Olli. We designed Olli to be a platform for versatility so that teams could move, shape, and shift the Elements and Sidekicks to create unique spaces. For my application in particular, I was thinking of a creative or more collaborative team that toed the line of needing heads down and collaborative space throughout the day.

In process images from Hillary’s mini Olli:

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Alyse Kobus, Applications Designer at Pair
Housed within her kitchen cabinet above her coffee maker, Alyse’s mini Olli is colorful and features shelves that hold miniature pieces of art.

How did you feel when you realized this project you had been working on, Olli, was not going got launch at NeoCon? That you might not get to launch it at all?

Disappointed, this was going to be the first product launch I was a part of at Pair and I was excited to see the buzz that it got at NeoCon. Also working closely with the team to design the booth was exciting. I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to turn out, we were getting really innovative with space division and butterfly screens.

What is your favorite Olli element? What do you think will be the most useful in on office space?

Sidekick stacking storage. I love the way you can change the horizon of the space and create extra storage which can either be individual storage or shared as a bookcase. They also double as a useful space divider if you want to separate a collaboration zone from the workstations.

What was the most challenging moment in creating your mini Olli?

The Sidekick Stacking Storage ironically, my favorite piece turned out to be the most difficult to create. I built them to the specifications that they are manufactured in metal, but out of cardstock. The exactness of my measurements turned out to be the problem, they were always looking a little crooked to me. They also took a surprising amount of paint. Each one has at least 3 coats of paint to get the right shade and coverage. My fingers were Abyss, Rouge, and Sunny for about a week.

Why did making an Olli at home feel like the right response to this moment in time?

It ended up being a good way to get my mind off of the Shelter in place and the quarantine.

Do you think the office is making a comeback?

I think there will be a new mix between the open office and the private office with more screening and larger space between coworkers. I do think that the private offices will continue to dwindle though. We will begin to see more spaced out versions of the Open office that we have all been working in the last few years and then when things have settled down and people are feeling comfortable to go back we will see an infill of workstations that will either be added or if they were just not occupied, they will be now. Some companies though might choose to stay with the larger footprint open office solution and instead try to change how their workforce functions. Keeping with the working from home on a part time basis and having employees come in as-needed or for critical times.

What is your Olli made from?

Cardstock, wrapped Laminate, Camira Synergy fabric, cardboard, wooden dowels, aluminum wire, nail polish

Tell us about the setting you put your Olli in.

My Olli is in my kitchen cabinet right above my coffee maker where my coffee cups typically reside. We have a small kitchen and I love my colorful vintage plates, which seem to go well with the finishes of my colorful Olli application. I used small pieces of wood I had left over from creating the Olli to make shelves, and picture frames. The small photos are magnets photos from my travels and the plant in the stacking planter is taken from my patio.

What kind of team can work at your Olli?

The application was designed for a Marketing team. There is a lot of room for collaboration as well as storage for swag or other marketing materials. I left the sightlines open between users on either side of the Olli so they can communicate and easily swivel a screen or hand something to each other.

In process images from Alyse’s mini Olli:

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Sam Petrovich, Design Engineer at Pair
Sam’s mini Olli fits within a shelving unit designed to hold vinyl, creating a miniature office space complete with 3D printed parts that were painted with nail polish and handmade pieces.

What is your favorite Olli element? What do you think will be the most useful in an office space?

I really like the stacking storage units because of the range they have. Because they are accessories, I know that people will be a little more bold and daring with colors which will be fun to see. My two favorite options are the planter box and the perforated options because it makes the space more playful and lively with the light and shadows that will be cast and it invites greenery to be more than an ancillary component.

What was the most challenging moment in creating your mini Olli?

I think only having an inside workspace was the most challenging. Shopping for art supplies at my local drug store was challenging but a fun one.

Why did making an Olli at home feel like the right response to this moment in time?

I feel like making an Olli at home was fitting and a fun juxtaposition. I have a lot of nice memories of my team getting excited when a prototype arrived and wanting to test it out and us just hanging out around the Olli in our office and it’s fun to have a little keepsake, so to speak of that in my home office.

Do you think the office is making a comeback?

One of my favorite quotes is “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” (Sir Winston Churchill) and I think that our return to the office is just that. We’ve all made adjustments to working at home because it was safer to distance ourselves physically at that time and there was nothing “wrong” with that change, and when we start working from our office again, we won’t be returning to the same space, but a new one that is improved to reflect the mental and physical needs at that time.

What is your Olli made from?

(Olli Only) My Olli base was 3D printed and painted with a hand mixed nail varnish color to match Storm. I wanted to have both the Belay and Olli tops to be hickory which I replicated by scoring the cathedrals in the basswood and enhanced with some markers and Danish oil. I originally made the stacking storage units out of aluminum cans but they were a little too frail. The final storage units were made as one unit out of basswood and added parting lines to separate each unit. The plants were made by pressing hot glue and metal wire between two sheets of kraft paper, which were painted with nail varnish, that later were cut into various leaf shapes. The Butterfly Screens were made from some nails that had the heads ground off, a cereal box, and some industrial felt that was colored with watercolor concentration.

(Everything Else) The Crostinis were made with industrial felt and belt nails. The Tucks were made with aluminum cans and a jig. The Lido Pill and Squircles were made from foam core and fabric swatches. The EOR was made out of Camira swatches, foam core, and nails. The Naere.co pillow was made with muslin and utility cloth and was stuffed with wood shavings and cotton swabs. The laptops were made out of foam core, chipboard from a cereal box, and cable from an old pair of headphones. The front masonry was made from foam core, the packaging that my modem came in, hot glue, and watercolor concentrate. The pendant vaulted roof was 3D printed and painted with nail varnish and then backlit with LEDs and a frost gel. The back window was 3D printed and placed over a plastic shopping bag and photograph. The pendant lights were made of ping pong balls, small LEDS, and speaker wire. The Akaba chairs were 3D printed and covered with hosiery and nail varnish.

Tell us about the setting you put your Olli in.

I thought it would be fitting to have the IT Team scenario set amongst my vinyl records. My bookcase is against a brick wall which ended up being the main driver for the IA in my Olli’s tableau.

I wanted the space to feel bigger than the just over square foot that it is so I set up two mirrors on either wall to expand the space and to be able to see more of Olli at once. After that I really wanted to tie in my apartment’s architecture with the confines of the bookcase which lead me to make the masonry in the front and the pendant vaulted roof (to hide and soften the LEDs above). I got the idea for the roof from some art/prints on my *now* office wall (Tissot, Boullee, Paxton) and my neighborhood coffee shop (which is one of the few places I’ve been during the SIP) which is located in an old Ford Motor Showroom in Alameda. Because we don’t have too many old buildings like this on the west coast, I thought that this space I created could be somewhere in Pittsburgh, PA like in an old factory and that had been converted into an office space. The view from the window is actually looking out on the Strip District in Pittsburgh that used to have a number of factories and mills.

What kind of team can work at your Olli?

My Olli layout was designed for an IT Team. Fortunately, before I got started on this project, I was able to interview our office’s IT rep and ask her about what her office and general workspace is now, what she (and her coworkers) use, what they like, what they don’t like, and what they wish they had. It gave me some good ideas for what EDC and work accessories that Olli would/could need to hold and what kind of meeting and work space that Olli (specifically the Butterfly screens) could help facilitate.

In process images from Sam’s mini Olli:

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Elliot Whalen, Design Engineering Manager at Pair
Elliot’s mini Olli found its home in two settings – against front steps made of stone and on a bookshelf with art books and a framed photo to dress the space up.

How did you feel when you realized this project you had been working on, Olli, was not going to launch at NeoCon? That you might not get to launch it at all?

Pretty bummed to say the least. Not only was it going to be the first major product launch for Pair, it was going to be at NeoCon for thousands to see. Up until this point Pair product has just been rolled out on specific projects or to a small group in our San Francisco office. NeoCon was going to be an opportunity for Pair (not just Olli) to be introduced to the industry. Hillary had designed a really awesome booth that showed Pair’s creative, playful, and outside the box approach to office design, and I was looking forward to installing it and bringing it to life in our NeoCon space. Riding the wave of success we just had with the New York Pop-up, this was an even bigger opportunity to show off. Not to mention, personally, it was going to be the first time I was going to NeoCon as both a spectator and Vendor. We were really excited to show off all our hard work.

What is your favorite Olli element? What do you think will be the most useful in an office space?

Tough question. I think the success of Olli is the versatility of all the elements and how well they all play off each other no matter what pairing they are configured in. The most unique element I’d have to say is the Butterfly Screen. The flexibility in space division/privacy and the adjustability on the fly is unlike any other product I’ve seen in this application. This will be the most useful in the office space, especially with the movement back towards more privacy between users. Ultimately I’d have to choose the stackable storage. We had designed a similar product before that was unsuccessful. It looked like every other mix and match millwork stacking cube/box storage out there. We were also coming up short on a sleek way to lock the units together while also allowing for quick and easy user adjustability. Where that product failed, the Olli (and Swing) Stackable Storage excelled. Using sheet metal (vs. millwork), we could form a slightly tapered shape and incorporate a shallow lip, allowing each unit to neatly nest on top of each other and the Olli surface while locking in place. Sheet metal also allows us to add unique perforation details and fun pops of color (through powder coating).

What was the most challenging moment in creating your mini Olli?

Originally I was worried about finding time to even work on this outside my actual day to day, but it ended up being a really fun creative outlet to do in my spare time. Model making has always been my favorite part of the industrial design process. I’d say the hardest part was accepting that my paint job wasn’t perfect and working on such a small scale with delicate little parts makes it hard to nail the details (my fingers are too big, jk, but not).

Why did making an Olli at home feel like the right response to this moment in time?

It oddly felt very appropriate. With all of us stuck in our own homes everyone was turning to new projects and crafts. Whether it was baking banana bread, trying out watercolors, or making an Olli miniature it was a time to slow down and sink your teeth into a new project.

Do you think the office is making a come back?

I think the office is taking a hard look at itself and asking what should it really be, what purpose does it serve. Office in the sense of the community of people you work with has moved online through Zoom, and it allows people to work remote and all over. Office as the physical space will hopefully move away from large rows of desks and benching to something new and more relaxed. I think Olli is a great product to fulfill this changing time, allowing a highly configurable space not necessarily focused on the desk itself, but the neighborhood it can create.

What is your Olli made from?

The Olli core is made from a PLA 3D printed plastic. I used 1/8” brass tubing for the frames and butterfly post + aluminum from a beer can. All the “wood” is from our actual wrapped laminate samples and fabric from our Camira samples. The coffee table (not an actual Pair product) is a Pair metal sample with a wood skewer as its base. All the paint is from a collection of nail polishes to mimic powder coat. The plants you see are fresh from the garden.

Tell us about the setting you put your Olli in.

I wanted to try a few settings with my Olli that played on scale a little bit. My front steps have this great stone work that I thought was different and would provide an interesting background texture. On the porch is a large slatted wooden chair that added some warmth to the scene as well as “large wood pillar” that might be found in an old warehouse/industrial style office.

My other setting is a bookcase where you can really see the scale of the miniature. I thought this did a nice job of putting Olli into a familiar context while framing the scene. I also thought it was fun to use some design books or “basket weaving” books as the walls. The back of the bookcase was too white and bare, so instead of printing a small photo out or making a fake window, I thought it was fun to use an actual framed painting and art book opened to an interesting abstract design.

What kind of team can work at your Olli?

Anyone and everyone can work at my Olli 😉

In process images from Elliot’s mini Olli:

Published at Wed, 05 Aug 2020 14:00:59 +0000

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