Born in full lockdown, the Foldable Office's idea is a spontaneous response to a small but growing need. Those who live in a small house have to move continuously from one room to another, taking all their tools and equipments with them. “I was nervous because I had to move around a lot. I said to myself: why don’t we invent something?” explains Giulio Masotti, CEO and co-founder of Wood-Skin in 2013. “If you work at the computer on the dining table, you have to move everything to eat. And then there are the children, who play or do remote schooling: moving around often with all my work equipment had become frustrating,” he continues.
On the strength of what they call “small design grammar,” made up of hinges, folding, and origami, the Wood-Skin team designed an equipped tray, which can take on two configurations: computer stand and functional separation panel. From their side, a patented digital manufacturing technology, which allows a two-dimensional sheet to fold in three dimensions. Again, a composite material: two sheets of rigid material with a textile core (in this case, MDF coloured in 5 mm Alpi paste and a layer of felt that helps create an acoustic microclimate). “It just had to be small enough to be transportable between the different rooms of the house, but also inside the office, where desks are increasingly not fixed,” continues Masotti. This is how Foldable Office was born, which in the flat version measures 60 x 40 cm, weighs 2 kg, and is packed in a canvas bag with handles.
We ask Masotti who he thinks will like it, who will buy it. "I ask myself this all the time. We started by making it how we like it. We are testing and gathering feedbacks. Even on the other side of the ocean, many large corporations, although not suffering the economic blow of the crisis, will leave their employees at home. Just think of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, companies with hundreds of thousands of employees are transforming office workstations into remote workstations. People have to reinvent their work environment: a market has been created that didn't exist the week before.
Foldable Office is currently a “side project,” compared to the company’s main activities, specialising in three-dimensional parametric surfaces for architecture and design, such as the recent ceiling of the UN planetary assembly hall in Geneva, the largest free-forming ceiling in the world; a tiny (and very complicated) console for Radio Deejay; and 3D walls for Volkswagen Financial in Milan. If it works, however, it could give life to a whole brand of folding office objects. Foldable Office production will take place in Sulbiate, Brianza, in the new Wood-Skin Materea pole, opened eight months ago in a former spinning mill converted by the local administration to host innovative projects. “We have advanced manufacturing machinery, robotic technology, and know-how, making the prototype was not a problem, starting up production either. Now we rely on the Kickstarter community.”
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- Foldable Office
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