Crestline Furniture Systems PLN Group 2 Kowhai Wrap Screen
Creative DirectorTroy Darrow
Team MembersBlair McKolskey, Kynan Robinson
ContributorsRyan Renton, Jon Renton
ClientCrestline Furniture Systems
There is a growing body of evidence showing that workplaces that embrace neurodesign and incorporate biophilic principles through natural elements, such as plants, light, colours, and shapes, have noticeable and measurable benefits for both companies and their employees.
A very prominent item in many workspaces is the desk divider/privacy screen. Typically, these are basic linear forms, designed for functionality rather than aesthetics. Could we apply the principles of neuroaesthetics and biophilia to create a distinct yet cost effective design, that could contribute to the psychological safety, creativity and wellbeing of office inhabitants in this pandemic era?
Biophilia is a primal and genetically determined affinity with the natural world. It helps explain why crashing waves captivate us; why a garden view can enhance our creativity; and why strolling through a park can have restorative, healing effects. If our contact with nature daily can have such a direct impact on our health and wellbeing, biophilia should therefore be an integral consideration within the design process.
The first stage was a biophilia driven design exploration to embrace the patterns of nature and blur the line between nature and the built environment.
Taking inspiration from NZ native flora, 5 concept aesthetics were created, from which the Kowhai concept was selected for further exploration
The curves mirror the overlapping petals of the kowhai flower. The stitching detail carries the curve up to take the overlapping segments theme further.
The second stage was developing a technical solution to address the challenges of market viability & shipping. A concept was developed that enabled flat pack shipping through design of a bespoke panel connecting system.
The manufacturing & assembly considerations were:
- 3 piece construction to nest for efficient shipping
- Innovative hidden fixing-free joining method designed for Kowhai allows for a tidy install on site without visible joining structure or fixings.
- Panel restricted to 600h for material and fabric efficiencies
- ‘floating’ pin mount desk fixings to emphasise the lightness of the design
- The sandwich construction minimises material use and adds an aesthetic option of contrasting piping detail.
This is, to our knowledge, the first time biophilic design considerations have been integrated into a workstation screen design to improve health and wellbeing within the workplace.
The design is a novel and differentiated take on curved workstation screens which adds design value to the curved screen concept without adding significant cost and adds value to the end user in terms of wellbeing, productivity, and privacy. Additionally, it breaks up the linear look & feel of bench desking while keeping the office looking tidier due to obscuring the clutter on desks.
The brief of a distinctive aesthetic was achieved through biophilic design considerations, providing benefits in workplace wellness, in a design that incorporates innovative new construction methods and ships efficiently.