Fiori

Suspended furniture
In collaboration with Herman Miller Inc.
Herman Miller first prize winner for best project
Montréal, 2006

This project was the beginning of an ongoing research on flexible workspaces for open plan offices and coworking spaces. The thinking behind it started during my third year studying industrial design. The project was about intelligent workspaces and bionics*—which is looking for solutions to modern-day design problems that nature took millions of years to solve, and see if guiding principles can be extracted and applied to those problems.

I decided to address two working environment problems. The first one concerns workers that can work anywhere as information technologies become increasingly ubiquitous. The second concerns static office configuration, where workers are often confined to the place they were assigned to. If they’re not sitting at their desk, their ‘place’ most likely will not be used for other purposes.

While the name of the project is Fiori (I was taking Italian classes at that time) means ‘flowers’, the bionics metaphor here is the growth of seeds. I designed suspended workstations that can ‘implant’ themselves wherever desired so that the users have the possibility to choose their work environment according to nearby sunlight, people or view.

The bionics reference goes further than only the growing movement: plants take there nutrients from the soil, the intelligent work station Fiori takes it’s energy from wires coming from the ceiling passing through the supporting cables.

*Which is also often referred to as biomimicry.

Academic project realized at the Université de Montréal, with guidance from Professor Tomás Dorta.

  • Fiori in full motion!
  • Fiori suspended furniture.
  • Water and nutrients needed for the plants to live and grow comes from the ground where they are seeded.
  • The deployment of the Fiori work station.
  • Details of the retractor system of the suspended work station.