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Established & Sons explores how the office can be more comfortable with At Work furniture

British brand Established & Sons has launched four new furniture designs, which design director Sebastian Wrong describes as the "bread and butter" pieces for the future workplace.

Debuting at Clerkenwell Design Week in London this week, the range includes a modular seating system by French duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, two tables by German designer Konstantin Grcic and a lounge seat designed by Wrong.

All four pieces were developed around the idea that the line between home and office is blurring, with people seeking more comfort in the workplace, but also looking to create spaces for work within their homes.

"The working environment is becoming much more interesting," said Wrong, speaking to Dezeen at the launch.

"It's way more eclectic and more creative than it used to be, with co-working spaces popping up all over the place, becoming more and more like people's homes. They are demanding a level of quality and character, and this is a thing that Established & Sons can really fit into."

Wrong said that today's office furniture needs to be flexible, comfortable and informal, as well as functional.

"The working environment is no longer about meeting rooms, task chairs and desk systems," he said.

"I want to really move away from this compartmentalisation of products being for either residential or working."

The most striking piece in the range is the Bouroullecs' Grid, a modular seating system based around an L-shaped or U-shaped module, comprising a powder-coated steel frame and larch wood shelves.

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Grid can be customised with a wide range of elements, including small and large upholstered seats, desks for standing or sitting at, and shelves.

The sides are metal grids, but could be replaced with wooden privacy screens or fabric acoustic panels.

"Erwan wanted something that was very raw, very elemental, which is what it is," said Wrong.

"There's a number of different elements that are coming into play with this piece which I think makes it really interesting and also very versatile," he continued. "With this idea of the grid, you can have rooms within rooms."

The first piece by Grcic, KD, is a very simple table with demountable steel legs and a tabletop in either high-pressure laminate or a scratch-resistant surface material called Fenix.

It is the evolution of a design that Grcic developed for Wrong's own brand Wrong Shopin 2011. "It's extremely simple, super useful," said Wrong.

Grcic's second design, Beam Table, is a little more unusual. The table's most distinctive feature is its legs, which look like the steel I beams used in building construction.

The legs come in either a red or black powder-coated finish, and are raised up on round feet that create an eye-catching detail. The table comes in two heights, so can work for seated or standing positions, and castors can be added to make it easily mobile.

"When I tell you the materials we've used to construct it, you will think it sounds super brutal. But when you see it in real life, it's actually very subtle and very elegant," said Wrong.

Finally, Wrong's Lucio Lounge chair is a product that the designer said he developed with his own home in mind.

The chair has a fabric-covered foam body, supported on a tubular steel frame. Slashes across the fabric create a functional detail, allowing the fabric to be well fixed to the frame without any visible stitching.

"I think it has a nice character," said Wrong. "It's comfortable, is lightweight and it's perfect for these environments where people want to sit and work on laptops and have a conversation."

Wrong said that Established & Sons chose to launch the new collection in London rather than Milan because, with Brexit on the horizon, the brand wants to focus on the UK market.

"Milan is amazing, but it's almost not about furniture now," Wrong said.

"We're still in the business of making products and being totally passionate about products. So we felt like we needed to reach out more to the local community, to the local trade in London, which is huge."

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"With the Brexit thing, we're all in a state of paralysis, pending what is going to happen. But we've just got to get on with it," he added.

"Delivering a really great service to the customer at much more of a local level is what we're doing now, whether that's Brexit or just the reality of today's world."

At Work is on show at the Fora Clerkenwell co-working space for the duration of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, which runs from 21 to 23 May.

It is the second major release from Established & Sons since Wrong, who was one the brand's co-founders, returned as design director.

The first collection, unveiled in March last year, included a sofa that can be flat-packed and a bouncing light.

Photography is by James Champion.

Read moreDesignFurnitureOffice furnitureEstablished & SonsSebastian WrongClerkenwell Design Week

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