Sigi Moeslinger and Masamichi Udagawa are not your ordinary furniture designers. They don’t design pieces that you’ll find knock-offs of at Ikea. However, If you have ever purchased a metro card from a NY transit vending machine then you’ve already seen their work—they designed all of those kiosks.
Now they’re working for Knoll. Udagawa explains that Knoll approached them because they were looking for someone who could create office furniture from a different perspective. “They didn’t want a collection that would be a continuation of what’s been done,” he explains.
Their first project for Knoll was to design an office system for commercial spaces. What they realized is that “these pieces were not something we would ever have in a home,” Udagawa says of conventional office furniture. The duo looked at their vintage Knoll dining room and wondered, “Why can’t office furniture be like this? Elegant, pure, with a feeling of lightness? Something we would want for ourselves as well.”
“There is a social component to coming into work,” says Moeslinger. “People can work from home, but why were they still choosing to come into the office. The answer is “for face to face encounters.” What the couple would need to do is create an office environment that would make people want to be in the office instead of working from home. Their designs—which are centered on how people behave—take into account the fact that the rise of the Internet means there’s less need to store paper. Since people can take their laptop from one desk to another, the workspaces should be flexible, and with all of the moving around in the office, the desks should be able to support various job functions. The final product was the Antenna Workspaces—desks with sleek sturdy legs (inspired by the highway) and storage space not necessarily for papers, but for peoples’ personal belongings, “like a helmet,” explains Udagawa.
The ingenious duo has also designed a LED desk light—inspired by spiral wire—for both at home and an office environment. They also have designed a chair with a flip table fit for an iPad or laptop and have Toboggan seating in the works. For the first time, their pieces can be purchased at Knoll’s retail store, which opened in May and their e-commerce shop.