Knowledge is not information, it’s transformation. — Rajneesh
ALL ABOUT METRO
WELCOME TO ONELOOK
DANIEL EPSTEIN INTERVIEW
GET TO KNOW WHAT’S INSIDE We know you’re going to love what you find inside. Let’s make it easy for you to learn more. Each product has been labeled by name and reference number (NAME / 1). Call us with the reference number and we’ll be better able to help you.
WELCO ME TO O NELO OK Four years ago, One Workplace was noticing a dramatic shift in the industry. Unique, ancillary items were finding a more prominent place in office environments. People were desiring a change, a transformation of what the office looked like and how it functioned. As a space that we all spend many hours in, we should demand for it to be comfortable, inspiring and unique. The question was posed: what does the industry want and what does it need? As someone who has designed furniture, I took a special interest in this shift. It compelled me to seek out what those items might be. The journey transformed my idea of what ancillary was. For my 70th birthday I decided to take a trip and attend the Stockholm Furniture Fair, followed by The Salone del Mobile in Italy, to seek out different points of view, different ideas. These initial adventures and the relationships I built along the way, were the beginning of our ONEder event, held in our space this past September and in 2015. At its core, ONEder is a platform for the honest sharing of ideas, where everyone is contributing and the end product is an elevated level of design and creativity. Through it we have forged family-like relationships with companies from around the globe. We have had the joy of connecting companies together and seeing collaborations out of it. We have also seen the joy of our clients as they get to experience something new, in a curated environment just for them. We are now left with this question: How can we do this on a more regular basis? To feed our creativity, it is human nature to seek out the new and unknown. As we continue to grow our extended family of creative thinkers, doers, makers and shakers, we are excited to have this new platform on ONELOOK to share with you. Also in this inspiration issue; we highlight participants from the ONEder 2017 round table discussions in Santa Clara and San Francisco, looking into the different ways they have and are currently transforming the furniture industry. And lastly, we have an in-depth interview with our inspiring key note speaker, Daniel Epstein of the Unreasonable Group, which is not to be missed. His goal to shift history towards a more positive trajectory is the perfect way to start a thoughtful year. We are so grateful to be able to share this publication with you and have much in store for 2018. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.
Mark Anderson Design Ambassador
Whatâ€™s it like to...
Where does creativity come from? How do we nurture it individually and how do we share it with our community? These questions inspired me in 2014 to set off on a European journey; to discover new products, new ways of thinking, and new friends. My first stop was the Stockholm Furniture Fair, a recommendation from Teresa Middleton of OFFECCT. Next, I was off to Milan and the Salone del Mobile Milano.
While in Milan, I was most intrigued by the events that were taking place outside of the fair in the adjacent districts and warehouses. The fair was so robust, and somewhat overwhelming. There was an approachability and honesty that came with the offsite spaces; it was something that I felt I could bring home and recreate at One Workplace.
VE N T U R A L A M B R AT E | M I L A N
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EXP LO R ATI ON IS R EA L LY THE ES S EN C E OF THE H U M A N SPI R I T. â€“ FR ANK B ORMA N
The upside down. Traveling, experiencing new ideas and different ways of life are great ways to be inspired. But the ultimate reward is the power for those experiences to shift how we perceive and experience that which already exists around us. It helps us expand what we think is possible and what can be.
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During my travels I was fortunate to become close with many individuals. Not only was I able to experience what was put on for show, but I was able to see their homes, how they lived and what held value for them. Building relationships at this intimate level is a core part of what ONEder is.
W Y N A N T S R E S I D E N C E ( E X T R E M I S ) | B E LGIU M
M O O O I S HO W R O O M | M I L A N
Immersive environments to small accessories; anything has the power to spark an idea or shift our perspective. Even the smaller shift in environment can affect how an idea or object is perceived and remembered.
T H E UN V EILIN G O F O NE D E R AS A N I D EA , TO O K P L AC E I N AR E A 1. The modified Airstream trailer sits outside of the One Workplace Santa Clara office and functions as a mobile showroom. It felt appropriate to present the idea of showing product in a different environment, in an unexpected space.
The first ONEder was centered around the importance and impact of storytelling. It took place mainly in our warehouse, which was a direct influence from my experience in Milan and allowed us great flexibility.
TA K E YO U R P LEA S U R E S E RI O U S LY. â€“ C HA R LES E AM E S
FEBRIK is the new player in the world of interior textiles. By putting knitted textiles on the designer map, FEBRIK aims to serve those who dream today and shape our tomorrow. Using a technology typically not used in the interiors market, FEBRIK challenges designers and architects to not merely â€œthink textilesâ€? as a last step in the design process, but instead use them as a springboard for their interior concepts and industrial designs alike.
The BAE Table by Orangebox is a collaboration between Orangebox and Pablo - a relationship that began after the two met at the first ONEder.
Participants of ONEder often become a part of the One Workplace family. Shown above, owners and siblings, Dave Ferrari, Julie Jarvis and Mark Ferrari.
At the first ONEder, we presented the first ONEDERER award to visionary and IDEO Founder David Kelly. When we approached David to be a part of ONEder he loved the simplicity and straightforwardness of what we were trying to do.
Big heart, little trailer. Happier Camper is an affordable, flexible trailer manufactured in sunny California. Outdoor manufacturer Extremis used theirs as a mobile beer cart to serve their own brew during ONEder 2017.
Natureâ€™s Four companies that are transforming how we work, how we discover and how our choices affect the world around us.
K RI V E NS
â€œWe have always worked with wood; for 113 years. It is in our veins and is the material we know best. We started working with a forester from the local forest council. His experience and expertise determines which trees need to be felled to maintain the health of the forest. He selects the most beautiful of these trees for the Arco Local Wood Collection.â€?
Arco Jorre van Ast is a creative director, designer and fourth generation to lead the family company. Arco designs, develops and produces tables, but also the products that go with them, like chairs, cabinets, small furniture and accessories.
Craftsmanship and innovation are at the heart of their
business. Jorre values the companyâ€™s heritage and uses his vision to ensure the strategy and collection are â€˜future-proofâ€™.
Under his guidance the furniture collection, which still includes many best-selling pieces of the past, is slowly but surely being expanded and acquiring an even more distinctive signature.
Innovation and sustainability are outlasting key principles for Arco as well as an uncompromising commitment to very high standards of quality and the art of furniture making.
T R E ST L E & C LO S E
“In 2010 Emeco and Coca-Cola collaborated to create the 111 Navy Chair made of recycled plastic bottles. Recycled PET (recycled plastic bottles) has traditionally been used to make soft items such as carpets, fabrics, shirts and bags. Emeco has turned it into strong, structural products, made to last a long time. Today our craftsmen in Hanover, Pennsylvania continue to handcraft chairs that are so strong they are passed down through generations – that’s how we define sustainability.”
Emeco Gregg Buchbinder was born and raised in Southern California
by two creative parents. Surfing every day, being near and in the
ocean gave him a strong appreciation for and a connection to the environment. Gregg’s life revolved around design, building
things, his love for the ocean and concern for the environment. In 1998 Buchbinder walked into Emeco, a down-at-the heels
military supplier in Hanover, PA. As Gregg tells it, “The company was about to go into bankruptcy. A small crew of dispirited craftsmen remained. But I saw good bones. I saw heart, history and everything I had grown up with; simple purposeful design, rock solid craftsmanship and the use of recycled materials made into something that was made to last. I saw all this in one chair - The Navy Chair.”
By developing partnerships with renowned people like Philippe
Starck and Frank Gehry, Buchbinder has turned Emeco into an innovative and timeless icon.
N AV Y
â€œFurniture should provide more refuge and more opportunities to connect. [At Krivens Partners] We deeply study the science behind how we connect to create human-driven design solutions. We see furniture as a body augmentation that make us greater, feel safer, better, do more.â€?
Krivens Partners Over the past 25 years, Daniel Krivens has worked with leading businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area to redefine their workplace and hospitality brand experiences. In 2015,
Krivens initiated his own practice to take a deeper dive into creating designs driven by our natural wiring. He was recently solicited by Quartz to share his new thinking about workplace
design in a widely cited article titled â€œThe case for designing offices more like barsâ€?. The idea is to lower barriers, helping to initiate conversations by creating bar-height table interfaces where people sitting are face to face with each other, and eye to eye with people walking by.
Krivens also uses his stash of parts, reclaimed off of the
Golden Gate and old Bay Bridge, in his furniture designs. He sees this not only as a vehicle to get people talking, but also a
means of connecting people through creative adaptation of a shared history.
B AY B R I D G E TA B L E
HY D R A N T: R E VE A L E D
STO P L I G HT S
Domingos Tótora is from a small mountain village in Brazil. He creates furniture pieces from a mixture of recycled cardboard, Brazilian earth and water that he developed after seeing a stack of boxes outside a store one night. When asked about his motivation and how sustainability factored into it, he replied “Sustainability was not a word we used. No one knew about it in our little village. I just saw boxes being wasted and it bothered me.”
Sossego Jonathan Durling is a founding partner of Sossego. He is an artist, photographer and entrepreneur.
Sossego is the Portuguese word for tranquility which is easily experienced when admiring one of their pieces. Sossego was formed after a serendipitous meeting in Ann
Arbor, Michigan of two native Brazilians: former engineering
executive, now award-winning furniture designer Aristeu Pires and Durling. The two connected over their mutual love of modern design and Brazilian culture.
A dual citizen of Brazil and the U.S., Durling was compelled to bring authentic Brazilian design, its warm and modern
aesthetic, and the way of life it represents to North America. Several partners caught the vision and joined his quest to introduce modern Brazilian design to the USA.
F R I S O S & S O LO
M E S A ÁQ UA
The Metro Effect How a company transformed office furniture over time.
W O R D S BY J U L I A PE PPA R D.
From left to right: Lew Epstein, Brian Graham, Brian Kane, Mark Kapka, Jess Sorel & Justin Champaign
“Craft can combine utility and beauty to become a distinct alternative to mass produced goods.”
“I believe that if a chair or a bench looks c omfortable, it will be sat on.” Brian Kane Founder, Kane Design Studio
Lew Epstein General Manager, Coalesse
“Everything is designed.” Brian Graham Partner, Graham Design
“I think good design should draw you in, and once you’ve been drawn in, you shouldn’t be disappointed by your experience.”
“Despite seeming simple, (just four legs and a top!), tables can often be deceptively difficult.” Mark Kapka Industrial Designer
Jess Sorel Founder, SorelStudio
“Design should create transformative experiences that people remember.” Justin Champaign Founder, Most Modest
While working at Gensler in the 1980â€™s, furniture designer Brian Graham was approached by Metropolitan Furniture (aka â€œMetroâ€?) to design product for them. Bob Arko was Director of Design at Metro, a company known for pushing the boundaries of design, as well as for implementing information gathered from research into how people worked. Today we take it for granted; research influences how we work. Then, no one was doing it, at least not like Metro. What impressed Brian most was how Metro helped their designers and design partners to develop products in a fast and fearless way; by engaging designers directly with factory engineers and craftsmen who intimately understood the processes and materiality and then developed techniques to bring their designs to life. A close-knit family evolved at Metro. Enduring friendships and associations grew over the years.
A L L I MAG E S F R O M M E T R O 1 0 0 Y E A R A N N I VE R SA R Y BOOK
To this day, Brian Graham, Brian Kane, Bob Arko and Jess Sorel, among many others, are still close and consult with each other in small and generous ways. Brian referred to his days at Metro was like being “part of an amazing furniture apprenticeship program”. It helped him to be more productive and more creative as a product designer. He said that the West Coast’s contribution to modern furniture design could be viewed similarly to how Detroit is viewed as the capital of modern auto design. At NeoCon, the Metro group - including designers present and past- used to hold one of the most sought out parties late on the first night of the show. They’d have a Bay Area band playing music. And bottles of Anchor Steam beer were always served in big tubs. They brought the best of the Bay Area to Chicago. At this year’s ONEder, Brian served as Emcee to prompt stories and loosen memories from fellow Metro designers - all of whom now have gone on to celebrated design careers: Brian Kane, Jess Sorel, Mark Kapka, Justin Champaign and Lew Epstein. During “the Metro Effect”, we served “Metro Steam” beer as an accompaniment to celebrate design thinking and the legacy of Metro.
I N TE RV I E W BY C HR I STO PHE R M . G O O D & KAT I C ESA R EO
A N I NTER VI E W WI TH TH E F OU N DE R & CE O OF U N REASONABLE
FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE WORLD OF STARTUPS AND VC’S, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF UNREASONABLE GROUP AND THE ROLE YOUR ORGANIZATION PLAYS IN HELPING NEW BUSINESSES? Entrepreneurs create businesses. All businesses, no matter what they do, sell a product or a service that solves a problem. We align with entrepreneurs who have chosen to work on problems that are seemingly intractable. They are just like any business, but if they are successful at solving the problem, they can help bend history in the right direction. It just so happens that the core product or service they provide, solves a seemingly intractable social or environmental problem. We see it as our mission, as an organization, to ensure that we can help them scale their effective solutions further, farther and faster. How we go about that, comes from our belief that business is business and there are fundamentals, without question. We’ve found that the most significant way that we can fortify these entrepreneurs, as they try and scale their company and broaden their impact, is through relationships. We pride ourselves on having a very tight global community oriented around driving resources, value, and insights into the entrepreneurs that we support.
For example, an entrepreneur may be looking for help on cross continental supply chain, because they are scaling their solar company from India to East Africa. We can connect them to (1) experts in that field, but also (2), other entrepreneurs who have done similar things. Or maybe an entrepreneur will say, we’re looking to place a board member and we want to ensure it’s somebody who was a former head of USAID. We’ll say “Great! We’ll connect you to our network and you can have those conversations”. Or an entrepreneur may be looking to raise money for financing and they are looking to be connected into a Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund who specializes in the type of work they want to get funded. We pride ourselves in branching those connections. The only other thing to mention, in terms of the types of companies we are working with; is that these are entrepreneurs who have what we call a paradoxical mix of confidence and ability. They have enough confidence to believe that they can go out and change the trajectory of history, solve a global issue. But they have enough humility to acknowledge that they can’t do it alone, that the current business model that they are leveraging might work now, but won’t work at full levels of scale.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOUR ACCELERATOR PROGRAMS ARE AND HOW THEY WORK? There is the expression that those who can’t do, teach. I don’t actually think that is true but it’s fun to play with these words. For us, it’s more like those who can’t do or teach, do what we do [laughter]. The reason I say we don’t do anything is because we only have two jobs. One is to become master conveners; how do we get unlikely people in a room together to help each other solve problems, [people] that would never ordinarily be in the same room. For example, you might have an entrepreneur from Liberia who’s working with former child soldiers in the same room with the head USAID and the director of the World Bank. They would never normally be in the same room. So, part of it is being master conveners. The other part of it, is creating conditions. We strive to create conditions where we see uncommon, productive collisions between people and ideas, that would never normally happen. In trying to create these conditions; we bring together a cohort of entrepreneurs, usually about a dozen, that typically come from all around the world. We put them in an immersive environment for two full weeks. And we bring in about fifty mentors and specialists. Specialists typically have an expertise in a specific trade or business, be that supply chain management, or accounting or branding and product design. Mentors are typically serial entrepreneurs or globally appreciated thought leaders. Though we do not refer to ourselves as an accelerator, we do see part of our job as being an accelerant for serendipity. All towards the end goal of scaling the work of the entreprenuers we back.
ONE WORKPLACE AND UNREASONABLE MET AS YOU WERE PREPARING TO LAUNCH ONE OF YOUR ACCELERATOR PROGRAMS, THE GIRL EFFECT ACCELERATOR. HOW DID THAT RELATIONSHIP COME TOGETHER? Our relationship came together very last minute in a beautifully serendipitous way. When we run these programs, space is really important. When we talk about creating certain conditions, it is not just the location that matters, but the design of the space needs to be incredibly well thought out. In the fall of 2014, we were launching The Girl Effect Accelerator, which focuses on entrepreneurs who benefit woman and girls in poverty. We had all the entrepreneurs confirmed and flying in from around the world. We had the venue, about 2 hours north of San Francisco at a family owned farm in Mendocino County. We had the mentors confirmed, everything. We had this incredible farm, but realized we had no furniture whatsoever. I reached out to one of our mentors who is the Global Director at the D School at Stanford and I said; “Do you know anyone who would be crazy enough to outfit this entire venue with furniture that would help create a creative environment?
And by the way, the program is in 10 days and we have no money” [laughter]. That was a hard ask. He helped make the connection to One Workplace. Immediately the connection we made felt kindred. One Workplace gave us an entire showroom of furniture, at last minute notice, which was not just wildly generous, but also took a fair amount of creative courage. What has been amazing about the relationship is, it’s not just the furniture. Yes, it is beautiful and it’s brilliant, but the amount of intention put into the designing of the space, and seeing furniture as not just something you sit on, but a creative asset, was one of the biggest value adds, beyond the ability to borrow. It was very natural the second time we were in California [for Project Literacy Lab] to reach out to One Workplace. We hope that we can continue to work together. As companies, we both want to do the right thing. And you all are as crazy as us [laughter] in terms of being able to do something that has never been done before, that is a little bit scary.
COULD YOU TALK MORE ABOUT THE WAY SPACE IMPACTS PEOPLE? If you really want to be intentional, you need to be intentional about everything. For example, we will often times do really fast ideation sessions where we will get a bunch of mentors and specialists and other entrepreneurs to circle around one entrepreneur and say, “Hey, what’s your biggest challenge, how can we help you solve it in real time?” In 90 minutes, we try to come up with as many breakthroughs as possible. When we are doing these ideation sessions, posture is really important. At different times during this ideation we might say, take 5 minutes by yourself and write down as many breakthrough ideas as you can. We’re going to have someone doing that, sitting in a chair, that ideally has them a little bit on the edge of their seat, and has a platform to write on. We’re then going to say, now we want you to pair up with somebody else, we want you to stand up and take 8 minutes to share all your ideas with each other and see what else you can come up with. So now we want them standing, maybe at a cocktail height table. Then we’ll say, now we want everyone to circle up and sit together and share all the breakthroughs you’ve come up with and have a conversation for 10 minutes around that. Now we want seating that has nothing blocking the front of it; no table, no writing surface. Ideally everything is on wheels so we can bring them all together quickly in a circle and we are all at the exact same level. That is an example of how in 20 minutes we have 3 different postures, that lead to different types of ideas and idea generation. The furniture itself actually plays a huge role in how you think as an individual and especially how you think collectively within a group. What we loved about the furniture we borrowed from you is that it’s so adaptable, so moveable. We can use it in the type of posture we want and it leads to the type of conversations we want. Read our full interview with Daniel: http://www.oneworkplace.com/blog/interview-daniel-epstein
Welcome to the fourth issue of One Workplace's ONELOOK magazine. In this issue, we learn about the inspiration and creation of our ONEder ev...