'Tools for Life', the collection by OMA for Knoll

Some way between engineering research and simple lines

by Angelo Dell'Olio
8 Love 3238 Visits

At the last edition of Milan Design Week, which has just ended, Knoll, U.S. brand recognized worldwide as a leader in the design of  office and residential furniture, presented the celebratory collection 'Tools for Life', a  linear and performing - but also unpredictable – line of furniture designed by OMA, an office co-founded by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

Rem Koolhaas takes a place of honor alongside the big names of Knoll, like Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and Frank Gehry, and he has designed the collection that celebrates the company's 75 years in the business.

'Tools for Life' is based on the idea that furniture should be understood as a high-performance instrument rather than a design statement. OMA conceived the furniture to facilitate the contemporary flow between work and social life, while adjusting to the different needs of both.

Rem Koolhaas commented: “We wanted to create a range of furniture that performs in very precise but also in completely unpredictable ways, furniture that not only contributes to the interior but also to the animation of the interior.

'Tools for Life' by OMA offers a contemporary interface between furniture and people, supporting the ebb and flow of work and social life, while adjusting to the different needs of both.

Benjamin Pardo, Knoll’s design director, commented: “I wanted to talk about work and not the office – the distinction being that today people work everywhere. With that in mind, the OMA pieces are more kinetic than static: many are easily adjustable so that with changes in height, adjacency and degree of privacy, almost any space can be transformed to a place of work.”

'Tools for Life' includes the 04 Counter, intended as a new typology of furniture: starting as a stack of three horizontal bars, the user can rotate the top two bars into any configuration, transform the wall-like unit into a series of shelves, desks, and cantilevered benches at different heights – a metamorphosis from a spatial partition to a communal gathering place. The collection features tables that can be adjusted – also by electric motor – from coffee table to desk height, swivel chairs, a stool, an executive desk, and other items. Each piece is made from a simple material palette (transparent acrylic, leather, travertine, steel, wood, glass, concrete) making the furniture compatible with a range of residential and workplace interiors.

The collection was presented at the exhibition space of Prada Milan, already anticipated in preview during the last fashion show he ideal house for Prada’s Men's A / W 2013-14 collection.


Photography by cA.Osio. Courtesy of Knoll, Inc.