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Let’s work together:
COR designs furniture for working worlds

Photo: COR

Our working worlds are transforming. We no longer work from nine to five – or nine to seven. Flexitime is the new normal – whenever our personal performance is at its best. Co-working studios are constantly popping up, spaces that promote networking and encourage their users to constantly exchange ideas and knowledge with each other. Stationary workstations are expanding into digital platforms that you can log into anywhere. Work no longer only happens in the office. We work from home, in the cafe or in the park, too. But our workplaces are transforming as well and becoming more hybrid and more liveable. The desire for haptics, warmth and cosiness is a reaction to the increasingly digital office. What does this mean for workspace design? Future work architectures have to offer alternatives. They must allow workers to retreat into a thinking corner just as they allow colleagues to gather round a large team table to exchange ideas. But can digitalisation, trust-based working hours and flat hierarchies be translated into a coherent interior design?

To answer this question, COR has created a space for experiments – the COR LAB. This is where international design teams formed of Uwe Fischer, Aust & Amelung, RelvãoKellermann and Pauline Deltour create new work furniture and workspace concepts. “We aren’t the first to reflect on the new ways of working,” says Managing Partner Leo Lübke. “What’s new about the COR LAB is that several designers are working on something big together. We banked on everyone talking to each other as equals, with each person providing input and everyone reacting to each other. There’s something experimental about it. Hence the name: COR LAB. We set out to reflect on how collaboration will work in the future. And we wanted to develop the right tools for it.”

COR is in fact not an expert in work furniture and specialises instead in upholstered furniture for the residential sector. The designers needed to transfer this knowledge to a new field. The result is a multitude of small furniture designs that can be assembled in infinite combinations like nomads – mobile and adaptable.

Photo: COR

One system, four types, many variants: Chart by RelvãoKellermann (Ana Relvão and Gerhardt Kellermann) is a partition wall system that can be approached from both sides and consists of two rectangles which stabilise themselves by a fixed distance between the walls. Due to the walls that can be used as vertical and horizontal formats, Chart is extremely flexible. The built-in shelves and storage areas lend the room divider additional options as a meeting point, storage space and temporary workspace, coat rack with integrated LED lighting and shelf. With its fabric surfaces, Chart ensures good acoustics. Chart offers a variety of answers to ever new challenges.

Photo: COR

Hold a private meeting or just withdraw for some peace and quiet. The sofa system with high or low back, which can grow from a 1-seater to a 3-seater, becomes a haven in the office. With its freely selectable working and storage space modules made of ash or oak wood, Floater becomes a fully fledged workplace. The additional shelves provide space for notebooks and pads, for which there is a dedicated power connection. One can choose between four different shelf boxes for installation on the left or right or as a centre shelf. Additional shelves in the back of the high sofas are a meeting place and workplace in one. Floater is more than a sofa, it is a freely configurable tool for (cosy) working in the modern office.

Photo:COR

Drop by Pauline Deltour is the name of a whole family consisting of a mobile roller stool, a stackable stool and large pouf. What they all have in common is that they are laid-back. A round, fully visible steel frame enfolds each upholstered body. Tone in tone. Four legs with rollers turn the small stool into the office runabout. The right additive for a mobile working environment. One refined detail is the lacquered steel frame around the upholstered body, which can create exciting highlights with unusual colour combinations. Drop is naturally also available in single colours, and in bright or muted colours. According to taste.

Photo: COR

Bond is the name given to the table series created by the design duo Aust & Amelung, because it joins everything. It features mobile, rollable and height-adjustable laptop tables, trolleys, side tables, as well as a serving cart with a leather insert and various recesses for work utensils and a bottle plate. Bond is reduced to the minimum in its special combination of wooden boards and steel rods. Both materials flow into one another. One could almost believe that the minimalist nineties had joined forces with the filigree fifties. Yet they are quite contemporary. “Our goal was to create highly flexible furniture,” say Miriam Aust and Sebastian Amelung. “Each part of the family performs its own function and can be used like a tool. Flexibility is important. The furniture inspires dynamic work.”

Photo: COR

Level, designed by Uwe Fischer, is a family of height-adjustable worktables that are quite unpretentiously committed to the idea of a workbench. This gave rise to a tool with “trestle-like substructures”. A functional item that adheres fully to the tradition of modernism and brings its functions clearly to the fore. Working while standing is becoming more and more popular “because it most closely corresponds to the fleetingness and speed that work involves,” says Fischer. The change becomes the actual constant. Level combines steel and wood, and it connects people, but does not dictate how they should interact. And so the meeting table becomes a bistro table — and transforms itself back again.

Photo: COR

Bridge is more than an upholstered bench, it is a tool for the modern office. The simple bench’s stitched upholstery makes it comfortable. Its elongated shape, clear lines and simple materials — wood and fabric or leather — combine to create an object that conveys lightness and seating comfort, even without a backrest. It is not tailored to individual users, but to a multitude of collaborators. This makes Bridge a place of encounter and exchange. “Functionality without too much design attitude,” is what Uwe Fischer had in mind, meaning a language which is understood both in the living and working environment.

Further information about the COR Lab you can find here.