Productivity in a “Work From Home” model has been one of the most contested conversations in recent months. With some companies requiring their employees to return to the physical office, others offering a hybrid approach, and others doing completely away with their physical spaces altogether, it has been a challenge for companies to decide on how best to approach this conundrum without alienating their employees.
In the early days of the pandemic, research showed that 62% of Americans worked from home. In another report from McKinsey on working from home, “80% of people reported they enjoyed working from home, 41% said that they are more productive than ever, and 28% answered that they are equally as productive.”
Luxy, an Italian luxury furniture company has taken the data as a call to action in disrupting the concept of the work space and challenging the mindset of office furnishings, its surrounding aesthetic space, and their effects on productivity.
Understanding that the majority of people who enjoy working from home own furnishings that aesthetically clash with the rest of their environment, Luxy set out to create pieces of furnishing that would not only serve as a functional piece, but also to amuse so as to create an atmosphere of receptivity and creativity.
One CEO of a healthcare tech company, upon deciding to be rid of their physical offices during the pandemic, realized that she would be spending a lot of time in her home office, which was woefully neglected compared to the rest of her home. She acknowledged that she would have to upgrade the room, aesthetically, to be on par with the other furnishings, which allowed her to be more productive.
“Suddenly, the forgotten room took on an equally important role to the rest of the house, as I was going to be spending all of my work hours there and I couldn’t look around and see a space that was once an afterthought,” she said.
Luxy’s new President and owner, Giuseppe Cornetto Bourlot, purchased the 45-year old company with the intention of focusing design ideas garnered from data on human behavioral studies, consumer retail reports, and logistics. He set the intention to redesign Luxy’s positioning and their approach: to tap into the human potential of elevating creativity and original thought.
In speaking with Fabrizio Vagliasindi, Senior Communications Strategist for Luxy and an alumnus of Apple, he explains Luxy’s new ethos in a comparison of the laptop to the office chair, in that both are tools for productivity, but the laptop can be taken anywhere and its location creates the work space, not so with the an office chair. Having previously worked in Silicon Valley where offices and groupthink rooms were designed to look closer to a play room than the conventional conference rooms, Luxy identified a niche that needed to be addressed.
Luxy’s forward facing ideology is detailed in a published report titled Manifesto 20, a nod to the era of the roaring ’20s, a period of disruption and a resurgence of life in a post WWI world, where Luxy sees trending similarities in a post pandemic world.
Using the three key pillars of the Manifesto 20 as their compass to guide their creative designs, Luxy’s ultimate goal is to conceive chairs for a person’s life, integrating it into their aesthetic, and not only to serve as a functional item in their physical spaces, but as a tool for creative productivity.
The first pillar is art and its application of its manifesto is the collaboration with artist Andrea Bianconi. His “Sit down to have an Idea” Chair is a whimsical tongue-in-cheek mandate to be seated in a chariot-like chair used to stimulate inspiration and imagination. Applied to two silhouettes from Luxy’s collection, the Biga and the Italia, the chair serves as a functional art piece transforming the space into a gallery. The limited edition pieces count only 100 pieces and are numbered with digital certificates of authenticity.
“The journey of my idea chair centers around the notion of the human experience as it relates to being a thinker. The chair becomes a metaphorical object and is representative of the birthplace of ideas; it is where one returns to imagine, think, create,” says Andrea Bianconi.
Shown and represented by the Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston, Texas, the chair is on display until September 1st, 2022 and can be purchased directly from the gallery.
“The chairs go beyond their superficial function, becoming sculptures and a powerful metaphor that captures the spirit of an artist. Reading “Sit Down to Have an Idea” immediately primes the viewer/sitter to open their mind and feel welcomed—both into a physical and emotional space,” says gallerist, Barbara Davis.
One of her clients, a former CEO of a global trading firm, recognized its appeal and purchased one for his home.
“The idea of art being a functional part of your life and not simply something hanging on your wall appealed to me. This chair is a familiar object transformed into something that grabs your attention, puts a smile on your face and encourages you to open to new possibilities. It will sit front and center in my office and perform its magic, inspiring me and my guests as needed, ” says Bruce Eames.
The second pillar is the use of technology and its application is the design of the “Silente” Chair. The chair, the first of its kind, is an anti-noise surround sound chair, which blocks the sounds emanating from the workstation so as to not disturb the surrounding environment and people. Conceived as a wellness concept, the bluetooth enabled chair isolates all incoming and outgoing sounds, allowing privacy in the space without the aid of headphones, which can be uncomfortable during long periods of wear. The chair offers noise reduction in the “open air.” The “Silente” Chair will be available in Q1 2023.
The third pillar is design and Luxy is working on a new concept chair focused on informal seating called the “Clop.” Working with the high-profile Milanese design studio, Il Prisma, they will present the collaboration in Q1 2023.
In presenting three new concepts of chairs, it is Luxy’s continued ambition to shift the customers’ thinking about functional furnishings and to open their minds to a imaginative spatial relationship where their work and home aesthetics synthesize.
“We hope that our customers will embrace a different way of thinking, and that will soon start considering the “working chair” as a tool of freedom and self-expression, and not just as a utilitarian object,” says Vagliasindi.