Corner is the Key
Face-to-face sitting across each other may create a feeling of distance and formality that could get in the way of building rapport or connection. Sitting next to each other may create a more relaxing atmosphere and allow the information on screen or paper to be shared. Therefore, if we are trying to build a good work-social relationship with our colleagues, sitting across the corner of a table could be the most advantageous arrangement as it allows people to maintain eye contact without direct staring, or to view a shared screen/paper at ease, staying close to each other but still have the table’s corner as a boundary.
With Commune, we applied and expanded this concept of a social corner for 2 to a spatial condition of a square table that can accommodate 8 individuals. These 8 people can work alone or in pairs around the 4 corners or be brought together as a team with close proximity around the table, a scenario that cubicle or bench table configurations cannot provide.
Literally under the umbrella of Commune, individuals with shared interests or goals are brought together into a productive setting and immediacy of a local environment that supports communication, collaboration and spontaneous social networking. It is much more than a square working table but a meeting space, a refreshment area, or a discussion arena.
The thick and sloped table edges of Commune act as backrest for users when sitting facing outwards. Commune tables can be linked one with another diagonally to form a place of clusters, a design of “placemaking”. Employees can nimbly move within each cluster or migrate from one to another, enabling both inward and outward looking collaborations. The spaces enclosed or defined by the clusters are not left-over spaces but “genius loci” that reflects the spirit and culture of the place around Commune.