Projects

Kimball Canopy

When Kimball Office asked Primo Orpilla to design a benching system last year, he had already been thinking about what an ideal workstation should be.  He had been thinking about it for 25 years. If a career in workplace design teaches you anything, it is that people work differently depending upon their moods, the project, the progress of the day. With a tight deadline determined by Kimball’s desire to preview the piece at NeoCon, Primo set to work with assistant Emi Katagiri distilling everything he knew about workplace design into a single—and singular—piece of office furniture.

When Kimball Office asked Primo Orpilla to design a benching system last year, he had already been thinking about what an ideal workstation should be.  He had been thinking about it for 25 years. If a career in workplace design teaches you anything, it is that people work differently depending upon their moods, the project, the progress of the day. With a tight deadline determined by Kimball’s desire to preview the piece at NeoCon, Primo set to work with assistant Emi Katagiri distilling everything he knew about workplace design into a single—and singular—piece of office furniture.

  • Year 2017

  • Team Primo Orpilla, Emi Katagiri

  • Co designed Kimball

  • Awards 2017 Good Design Award

  • Photographer Garrett Rowland

Many Uses in a Small Space

Because space planning is based on 30 x 60 workstations configured in 4-packs, 6-packs and 8-packs, Primo used those dimensions as the parameters of his experiment. As originally envisioned Canopy could be assembled in a variety of shapes for a variety of functions—private workstation, yes, but also miniature huddle space or small seating area or standing work table. The arched separation panel from which the piece took its name, offered different levels of acoustic and visual privacy, while allowing a user to remain in touch with what was happening in the office at large.

Shaped by Use

The fundamentals of this piece all grow from long years of observation of what works and doesn’t work in an office environment. Recognizing the way people typically gather around a work table, for example, Primo designed the floor supports to be recessed from the edge of the table leaving room for any combination of knees. A sit-to-stand mechanism made every configuration ergonomically adjustable. Another innovation: the electrical data trays under the work surface. In Open Plan workstations the spaghetti under the table is always unsightly. Canopy’s cable management system solved the aesthetic problem in a way that made orderly maintenance of workstation wiring easier and more efficient.

A Workstation that Enables Every Approach

If there is a single direction to the many currents of innovation that have flowed through workplace design in the last few years it is the search for a space that liberates people to work the way they want. With more and more offices adopting a work-anywhere approach to space planning, the ability to change your location, to sit or stand, to work alone or with a team is something every user expects.  Canopy put all of that—and more—in a single work unit.

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