© 2019 by Margaux Reynolds

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amma

 

Spring 2016

Sponsored by ATU International, Ecuador, a leading producer of Contract Furniture in Latin America

This system was chosen for production and premiered in October 2017 at the ICFF Design Conference in Miami.

The name amma is a palindrome, which is the same forward and backwards.  This perfectly describes this furniture system as it is designed to be flexible, modular and can be used in a number of configurations.

This project explores the new needs of the home office, the changing landscape of work and how it integrates into the home environment. 

Can we create tools to be focused & efficient, wherever we work?

Configurations

 

The desk system can be configured in a variety of set ups to accommodate different working environments.

Modular Bookshelf System

 

The bookshelf system (composed of vertical frames, shelves and drawers) can be scaled up or down by repeating the vertical units.

System Assembly

 

Components connect to the system through the use of brackets that clip into vertical frames

Bookshelf

Bracket

Bracket

Desk

User Research

 

I conducted interviews with various users across different industries, geography and age groups.    I documented my findings onto colored Post-Its and placed related Post-Its together in clusters along the wall.  The groups were organized by specific behaviors and experiences.

Key Takeaways

Flexible Environments

 

Remote work needs to accommodate dual environments

Users don't stay in one place throughout the day.

Users like to control their environment.

Each home office is unique to its user and environment

Flexible Workflow

Users work from different work surfaces

Type of work can vary and require different environmental experiences.

Key Concepts

Ideation based on flexible systems and components.

Travel To Ecuador

 

Early in the term, the studio went on a one week trip to Ecuador to visit ATU’s factory, to present our concepts to the company and work with them throughout the week to develop those ideas. We presented our concepts to ATU’s marketing, sales, product development and management teams.  We worked throughout the trip to refine the concepts based on the feedback we were given and presented our updates at the end of the trip to management

Mock-ups & Refinement

Midway through the project, the company traveled to Los Angeles, where I presented my refinements, along with a quarter scale model and CMF choices.

 

I gave my concept a name, further build details and development of the system

Building & Manufacturing

In working with a steel fabricator and cabinet maker, I created orthographic shop drawings and talked them through my CAD files and closely oversaw and coordinated the build process with each facility to keep up with my timeline and make sure the physical prototype was not only built to my specs, but manufacturable through ATU's manufacturing process.

Prototypes

I worked with a steel fabricator to build the frame and desk accessories and a cabinet maker to build desk top and drawer units.

The final piece was presented to ATU in May 2016 at the studio class final.  ATU selected the piece for production in the summer of 2016 and began prototyping in their factory that December.

Factory production sample