In Review

In Review… Boss Design’s ATOM


19 Feb , 2019  

Boss Design’s ATOM collection could very well push the status quo with its super modular, flexible range that allows a designer to create entire habitats. We invited Chris Barnes, owner and founder of Broadway Interiors, and Yullianna Porter, Associate Director at AAID, to join us for a review, with Simon Pengelly, designer of the ATOM, speaking about the collection’s inspiration and possibilities.

 


 

Ever wonder why we love lego so much?

Because the versatility of the lego brick is endless. When given a handful of lego pieces, some patience, and a bit of imagination, you can create your own masterpiece. The potential to build anything you conceive is incredibly empowering.

We cannot admit to seeing similar flexibility with furniture in the past. That is, not until we came across Boss Design’s latest collection, ATOM. Created by award-winning furniture designer Simon Pengelly, ATOM certainly does appear to be a revolutionary concept – a family of products that, in varying combinations, are capable of furnishing an entire workplace! The extensive system of modular furniture in the collection, could possibly make this the most versatile furniture collection available in the market today.

Above, from left: Yullianna Porter, Associate Director at AAID, Chris Barnes, Owner and Founder of Broadway Interiors, and Sarah Hall, Global Account Manager at Boss Design

Designed to Inspire

 

We sat cosily in the ATOM’s Top Down Circular Seating formation, absorbing a comprehensive presentation by Boss Design’s Global Account Manager, Sarah Hall, on the collection and its many possibilities. We then had the privilege of conversing long distance with designer Simon Pengelly, who spoke to us about the inspiration and concept behind the ATOM.

“The ATOM collection gives us the basic ingredients to create our own flavour of workspace, one that works for us. It’s not just discrete, modular pieces of furniture that are meant to be mixed and matched. ATOM offers the basic building blocks to create something beautiful, both aesthetically and functionally.”

Boss Design’s new range is a definitely a nod to the merging of workplace and residential lifestyles. Aesthetically, ATOM’s sleek form defines the collection. Boss Design’s push for a product range that reflects contemporary working styles is evident here, as more and more organisations seek to create agile, ‘home away from home’ work environments. When the brand proudly touted the ATOM’s incredible degree of flexibility, they were truly not exaggerating. From a simple lounge chair to a large seating enclosure (the likes of which we have never seen before), the possibilities of customisation are endless, and not limited to a single space. Furthermore, the brand offers an online tool to configure and simulate your designs however you like, which is a great way to get a peek at what the ATOM is capable. Of course, we were suitably impressed…

The brand categorises the workplace into six distinct ‘Habitats’ – Welcome, Home, Flow, Collaborate, Formal Meet, and Work Café. And each habitat’s needs can be fulfilled through ATOM’s intelligent and adaptable design.

On a fundamental level, ATOM gives power back to the user which, we are certain, will be one of the main reasons for its inevitable popularity. And that is what Simon Pengelly was hoping to offer when he designed the collection – to allow one to materialise their designs in a way not that had not been done before.

However, despite the minimal and sleek aesthetic, the seating could potentially be a hit or miss, depending on who’s using it. It is, nevertheless, a great piece of work and reflective of contemporary design trends. But it is the informality of the design that holds the appeal for us.

Chris:  It’s clean lines, simplicity and practical function make it an iconic and statement piece of furniture, appropriate for any corporate office. The ATOM collection incorporates all the best parts of modern day classics into one collection. Nobody’s done it before, and it’s an exciting prospect to be able to design with so much flexibility.

The Green Angle

 

Overall, the ATOM collection is designed to leave a small footprint, hence the ability to be arranged and rearranged to fit into any space. It also opens up more avenues to redecorate a space using the same products, rather than tossing out the old and investing in new. Plus, customisation options are available through a wide range of fabrics for upholstery, right down to the stitch level.

And the beauty of the production doesn’t stop at surface level. On the sustainability front, all of the seats can be recycled along with the majority of materials used throughout the process. The products can also be disassembled individually to assist with the recycling process, and nothing is bonded together, with only mesh screws used, which are proven to be environmentally friendlier.

The brand further unveils that the product is delivered flat packed, which is more economical and takes up less space in containers. This means less transport is involved, which in turn increases logistics and operational efficiency, resulting in a lower carbon footprint. Bravo.

Atom at Worspace 2018

Chris: A lot of furniture today just wastes space, which is a terrible thing considering the cost of real estate. So I love how the individual products in this collection are also designed to take up minimal space. It’s free form and use of modern design styling make it an easy product to use in today’s corporate design arena.

Yullianna: With this collection, furniture is no more an afterthought. Furniture now starts as the focal point around with which, we can design spaces. It’s not only visually appealing and sculpturally beautiful, but structurally sound as well, despite its minimal looks. I love how it’s not bulky, even when it is so large.

Giving Flexibility a New Meaning

 

The subtle informality of the collection is what makes it so versatile. And there’s the added benefit of the modularity. These two aspects, combined with a comprehensive range of elements that make up the collection – from seating to tables to screens – allow this collection to fit in almost any setting. Be it an office, hotel, cafe or airport.

And the cherry on top? You can combine anything from the ATOM range with your own choice of products outside of Boss Design, to achieve that design you want. Now that’s a win.

Chris:  I love how the collection seems to evolve with every new combination or design iteration. The flexibility offered here is really empowering. There are so many new opportunities that come with this. You can create either a completely isolated setting for privacy, or a nice relaxed lounge space. In today’s commercial market, where design trends are pressing for more social integration and interaction,  ATOM addresses this solution quite well, but can equally, and quite comfortably, be used for personal, quiet spaces.

Yullianna:  I see this collection being used more for relaxed work, not really focus settings. It’s perfect for lounges, but can’t really replace workstations. There’s a place and space for everything. It’s definitely flexible though, to an extent not possible before. The flexibility leads to an endless number of combinations, only limited by a designer’s imagination. I can even imagine it being used as a modern majlis, given the range of styles and sizes possible. And it would work really well in a contemporary setting.

Our Thoughts

 

Boss Design has offered a new approach to designing spaces that pushes the status quo. While the visual appeal of the collection does make it tempting, it remains to be seen how quickly this will be adopted. We love the ATOM collection’s defining style, and the thought of playing around with it to create different layouts truly excites us.

And while the price point touches the premium side, the range of utility and visual appeal tend to justify it. Boss Design has presented a futuristic vision of design with its ATOM collection, and though it may take a while for clients to catch on, we believe the results will be worth it.

Chris: The price won’t be considered too high if the product is understood correctly. Moreover, an item of this type is an asset, not simply an adornment for a few years until the new office arrives. “Contrast” and “Complement” are two facets of design theory, and both can work perfectly in a scheme, so it is the responsibility of the designer to see which works best in their project design philosophy. But with such a varied range within the ATOM, the opportunities for both are endless.

Yullianna: The ATOM collection is an investment that will most certainly pay off. The landscape of products available is huge, and it will prove to be worth it over time. And as designers who have to advocate for sustainability in a holistic way, the ATOM helps us put our point across. Not just with its aspect of long life and other sustainable features related to manufacturing, but also with regards to its reconfigurability.

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