Run-of-the-mill office furnishings are usually not known for their originality, "cool" factor or for being sustainably-sourced. But what about office furniture made from the debris of derelict buildings that have been torn down and hey - actually looks good?
Thankfully, that's the case with Hive workstations, a line of modular, customizable cubicles created by Cleveland-based Abeo Design. Hive's durable pieces are made by salvaging building materials from some of the 13,000 abandoned buildings in Ohio's secondmost populous city -- made unrepairable financially and logistically thanks to the hard-hitting recession.
Aiming to "literally create value from the rubble of economic collapse," department chair at the Cleveland Institute of Art and founder of Abeo Design Daniel Cuffaro's idea is to divert reusable materials from landfill. Much of Hive's structural pieces are old-growth quarter-sawn pine and fir -- which are durable and give the modules a much warmer and natural feel compared to those plasticky, veneered deathtraps masquerading as workstations.
Flexibility and ease of mobility is key to the Hive, which can be rolled into place through standard doorways without assembly, says Abeo:
Abeo products enable dynamic work environments. Contemporary work practices require team members to move from focused to collaborative activities, and to quickly transition from one project or process to another. Teams shuffle, expand and contract, and the nature of workplace interaction constantly shifts. Our products are hyper-mobile and enable the only certainty in the workplace - change.
Besides important details like low-VOC adhesives and a Re-Birth Certificate showing the salvaged wood's source and history, the Hive modules can be used as display walls, two can be combined to make a storage unit, and there's also an ‘Interaction Height’ work surface that's slightly higher than a typical desk for a team to stand around and chat about project documents. Either way, the permeable and flexible structuring of the units would help encourage collaboration rather than alienating people to their respective cubicles.
In creating a more sustainable office environment, there's many factors to tackle, with furniture being one of the most obvious. Sourcing them this way and getting local companies (Abeo is working with A Piece of Cleveland and Benchmark Craftsmen to create Hive) onboard is certainly an appealing solution. Specs and details over at Abeo Design, hat tip to FastcoDesign.