Following the rapid growth of the Airbnb brand, which forced them to move offices as many as 5 times over a timespan of just 9 years as they sought additional space to further expand their team, the founders began to express frustration at once again having to undergo the arduous task of shifting bulky furniture from one premises to another. Adding further fuel to this infuriating fire, the team were forced to splash out on new furniture for the space, or stick with old pieces that simply don’t fit within the new office, whether that be for practical or aesthetic reasons.

This provided co-founder Joe Gebbia with an opportunity to once again make use of his degree in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design, filling a sketchbook with concepts for a brand new line of office furniture designed to tackle the exact issues experienced by Airbnb.

After meeting with furniture manufacturers Bernhardt, who subsequently agreed to produce Gebbia’s innovative line of furniture, Gebbia saw his ideas realised and was able to unveil his collection at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York last week.

So, what exactly earns the collection the descriptor of ‘innovative’?

The primary virtue of the collection, named ‘Neighborhood’, is the way in which the various pieces connect to form a customisable, versatile, and lightweight alternative to the typically bulky office furniture offered by most. The collection uses a variety of upholstered ‘building blocks’ which snap together in a Lego-like fashion in just about any configuration you desire.

The 38-piece collection is no one-trick-pony however; it has also been designed to help combat common workplace complains such as a high level of noise and a lack of privacy.  This is achieved via the use of soft materials in all pieces which helps to absorb noise, lessening both distractions and eavesdropping. The use of high backs on much of the collection further helps to deflect noise and keep away prying eyes, which is stated to be a major concern for those in industries such as coding and web design.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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