Alain Gilles: My approach was to introduce a cozy, comfortable aspect to the workspace. “BuzziTable” could just as easily stand in a living room or a kitchen. You don’t immediately realize that it is actually an office item. Its design does not let you assign it to a specific task. Thanks to its oval shape the table promotes open communication – there are no hard corners that separate the sitters from each other, no aggressive tone. Simultaneously, although the frame is sturdy it does not come across as overly solid. And because of how the way the edge of the tabletop has been worked it feel much slender than it actually is, a bit as if the tabletop was floating above the structure. This lends the table a light, low-key appearance. Moreover, the material wood is traditionally associated with the design of a table. Those are the aspects that make me think of the archetype of the table.
Apart from the form what other topics played an important role in the design?
Alain Gilles: Mainly its flexibility. “BuzziTable” comes in two sizes. And for the surface customers can choose between linoleum and a marble-look ceramic. The character of the table alters immensely through the surface and the color of the wood, makes it adaptable for a wide range of settings from restaurant via retail through to work space. It’s also possible to have cable opening added. So as to achieve this discreetly I decided to have a small, round opening placed at both ends of the table, at what appears to be the center of the circle of the curved end of the tablet. This does not spoil the table’s appearance but looks like a graphic element. I was fortunate that BuzziSpace gave me carte blanche. We have already been collaborating for almost ten years and so there is the trust there to just let me try something out.
Why is coziness in the workspace important to you?
Alain Gilles: Before I studied industrial design, I studied political science and worked for some time in the world of finance. It was during this period that I saw a lot of offices whose standardized interior produced a cool almost inhospitable atmosphere. You should not underestimate the impact design has on people and their moods. Wood stands for stability, for quality. It is a natural material that is pleasant to the touch and has a visual warmth. There is a good balance between soft and hard. I would like to encourage creativity with the “BuzziTable”. Give the people that sit around it the liberty to dream a little. People should not be restricted by an unfavorable shape or an unpleasant, cold material. You might not be able to redesign the table, but you can always lend it an individual touch, your own vision thanks to the choice of finishes and materials available. And ultimately that is what makes a product like “BuzziTable” so special and so human.