In Conversation with Architect Anders Nørgaard
Tell us about the design approach behind the FourLikes Furniture range
The Fourlikes modular zoning system is created from a holistic design approach. Considerations like ergonomics, acoustic and visual privacy are all part of the functionality of the furniture. It is also about aesthetics and design language.
The furniture must engage and invite the user. It’s an intangible feeling, hard to describe, but you know it when it is there. Soft seating furniture teamed with clever arch heights and seam finishes is instantly inviting. It softens the look. Even though the FourLikes modules are based on a square box principle, the design language is comfortable, user friendly and engaging.
“Flexible spaces and full utilisation of space promotes a more conscious use of energy, with the opportunity for minimising CO2emissions.”
– Anders Nørgaard
All the FourLikes modules have an ”active” seat height. This means you can replace an ordinary chair with a Fourlikes module and still have an ergonomically correct work position. Furthermore, this range is designed to coexist with Four Design’s other furniture families.
What can you tell us about the new additions and design features?
All the new additions; Wall Bench, FourMeet and angular Scooter modules, are all about creating versatile workspaces while at the same time solving some of our space problems at work.
The Wall Bench utilises space to the fullest while enabling seats for more people. Placed against a wall, you feel safe because you do not have your back exposed, and you have a clear overview of the room decreasing amygdala activation and fear-based defence mechanisms.
The FourMeet module allows for comfortable meetings, concentrated work or just time to reflect. Within this visual and acoustic enclosure, there is free movement which gives an interactive dynamic in a face-to-face meeting. Not only does this piece of furniture interact with people physically, it also interacts with the room in which it is placed. A significant design feature is the vertical backrest. Straight against a wall, it leaves no redundant space, which is precisely what I have been trying to achieve with this piece.
The new single back scooter module has a fun and completely different visual expression, which makes it stand out in the room. It is mobile, and you can interact with it in various ways. You can sit backwards or frontwards. As a lounge chair, office chair or just an extra seat.
How does this flexibility influence us as human beings?
Enabling flexibility in the workspace with multifunctional furniture yields a more dynamic and vivid use of your office space. Today the increasingly blurred line between work and home calls for soft seating options at work. It calls for human-centred design solutions. We need to be around furniture contrasting glass, steel and hardness of ordinary office furniture. Integrating tactility and upholstery to the interiors makes us feel more at home. Simultaneously when interacting with a piece of furniture with sound-absorption as a functional design feature, you increase work efficiency by 20-30%. Being able to work away from your desk, placing yourself in a more comfortable and relaxed setting when at work is fantastic and very productive.
How does multifunctional furniture impact our (work) environment?
When incorporating multifunctional furniture to a given room, fluid interiors emerge. The FourLikes’ fluid design can be twisted and tweaked to form new functions, altering the purpose of place and design. When designing a space, intermeshing different furniture designs allows full utilisation of the space, accommodating for more needs. And optimising square meters. A canteen, for example, is an empty space outside lunch hours. Adding soft seating options to the room, you’ll be able to use the space all working hours. Flexible spaces and full utilisation of space promotes a more conscious use of energy, with the opportunity for minimising CO2 emissions.
Additionally, you can enhance employee wellbeing because you allow choice and flexibility. And that is what design is all about. Function, flexibility and engaging design.