In Review: Orangebox’s Campers&Dens

Places should evolve with people and time. The Campers&Dens pod system by Orangebox affirms this ideology by helping create micro environments within a larger space. Join Love that Design as we explore more about the product alongside Amber Peters from Bluehaus and Julie Thom from Roar.

Why build walls, when you can partition spaces with more flexibility? In 2003, Orangebox, a sister company of Steelcase, set out with this question to build Campers&Dens, which is a dynamic pod system that allows people to personalise their spatial settings. Campers&Dens are modular adaptable pods, cabins, and awnings that can be repositioned and reused to suit the changing needs of people.

The pod-like structures provide privacy in free-flowing open-plan spaces. They are resilient well built structures that are best-suited for segregating workplaces, but can be used across other commercial settings such as airports, universities, lounges, and hotels.

Campers&Dens was designed by Mark Partridge, design manager at Orangebox. The pod design is inspired by a camper van that provides various layers of privacy for various functions. Mark picked up on the idea while camping in the United Kingdom and understanding how various kinds of interactions could take place on the camp site with differing layers of privacy.

The Review Crew

From left to right: Julie Thom, Studio Director, Roar; Amber Peters, Associate – Creative Design, Bluehaus

A Modern, Aesthetic, and Customisable Workspace Solution

The pod systems have a minimalistic appearance and are highly customisable according to the requirements of its occupants. The configurable structures are primarily made of a metal and plywood frame with the introduction of fabric as and where needed. The systems offer multiple variations for accommodating people in various group sizes. 

Amber: “It’s minimalistic and I really like the details. It’s really well thought through. So there’s many different configurations and components that make the overall product really useful and functional.”

Julie: “The brand has created something similar to villages with the different types of spaces that they offer. So I think aesthetically that can find its way into any project which is quite smart. The pod is designed quite minimally so the brand hasn’t put components for the sake of conformance. Everything serves its purpose.”

Compliance to International Standards

Campers&Dens is not yet another pretty pod; it is equally functional and high performing. The pod system is made of fire-resistant sustainable materials with technologically advanced tools for managing its operations alongside other accessories. Its roof has a self-opening and closing mechanism that aids in regulating the temperature within.

Jack Lewis, the regional sales manager at Orangebox states, “We’ve got a pod system here that is now globally compliant and truly unique with the patented opening roof. And that I think really started to catch the attention of our clients and also competitors”.

Julie: “Orangebox is trying to hit compliance across various countries, and that’s something that no one else is doing. So that’s quite impressive and well done on that.”

Leveraging Technology

Campers&Dens has an integrated PIR that identifies the movement of people. So, as they walk out of the office, the lights within the pod automatically turn off and the roof opens up. Likewise, when people walk into the office the next morning, the systems sense them and reactivate from their dormant state. Holistically, the pods are designed with tech-relevant tools to ensure their operability from smart devices. They have bluetooth connectivity for giving manual control in the hands of the user.

“We are really proud of it.” exclaims Jack. He adds, “We have had the patented opening roof for almost ten years now and nobody has come up with a system to match it. The pod has an inbuilt heat & smoke sensor. Should there be a fire within the building and the power supply cuts off, the pod detects this and in turn opens the roof automatically. This ensures that water from the sprinklers can reach all areas of the pod thus making it fire compliant in all buildings.”

Amber: “I think what it has is just enough, it’s not overboard. It’s designed to be optimised. So in terms of TV, we could probably install any screen as long as there’s a PowerPoint Internet connection, and we’re good to go. More so, the Bluetooth feature is great where you can connect and control the pods with your mobile device or your desktop.”

Julie: “If you could put signages on it like meeting rooms and huddle spaces, that would be great. I think that would be really smart use of the handle.”

A Worthwhile Investment

Campers&Dens is a product that belongs to the premium range. Having said that, the amount of comfort, autonomy, and collaborative spirit it brings to the workspace makes it a promising buy. Its aesthetic quality makes it a must-have for new-age workspaces, especially the ones working in the hybrid module to encourage collaboration among teams. Organisations must rather think of these pods as an investment that will get them returns in the form of enhanced employee productivity. 

Amber: “If we want to sell this product to the client or include it in our projects, we’ll have to draw comparisons. We’ll have to make sure that whatever we’ve proposed is feasible in terms of the project budget. It is then we can pitch that although these pods are a little bit pricey, they are feasible and a worthwhile investment.”

Julie: “I think Campers&Dens are reasonably priced for their features and that would make it much easier for us to sell to a client because they would then have the flexibility. I think it would

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Date added:

11 March, 2024

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