Italian architect, Claudio Bellini, heads up a multidisciplinary design studio under his own name in Milan. Its specialisation is furniture and products and, as Mr Bellini is quick to confirm – there is no I in his studio. It is all ‘we’.

His team, talented and wide in vision, is flexible to each and every national and international project it undertakes. “We really want to understand where we’re working. It could be a different cultural context, a different economic situation, a different market. Understanding our clients’ needs [requires that we] really absorb and really listen to what they need,” says Bellini.

Claudio Bellini.

In the case of Bellini’s latest collaboration with Pedrali, a task chair named Elinor Low Back, Bellini and his team have deeply considered the modern conundrum that is work and users’ shifting sensibilities toward work life.

“I never stop seeing changes and evolution in the office environment,” says Bellini. “That is a standard, of course. I think also, the office space [and] the working area is … a kind of a mirror [and a] testing field for humans’ new lifestyle changes.”

The workplace reacts faster to shifts in lifestyle values and behaviours, while the home front, steeped in “deep heritage” tends to evolve more slowly. The office, by contrast, always has something new to offer, and for the designer to contemplate.

Art Direction by Studio FM, photography by Andrea Garuti, styling by Studio Salaris.

Bellini believes, with the development of the hybrid office, that the physical boundaries between home, office and third spaces are disappearing. “Why?” he asks. “Because, from one side, technology: new technology is more sophisticated and allows us to do things in a different way and that, of course, affects our life.

“On the other side, I think we have to keep in consideration that really the newest generation [of workers] are starting to conceive their life in a different way. There’s no more ‘live to work’. What we have to be able to achieve is that better balance between working [and other activities]. Our personal time has to be balanced better and I think we believe there’s a way today to manage this trend, which has been of course [brought on] by the recent pandemic.”

Pedrali, too, feels very strongly that workspaces today are dynamic, multi-faceted; and with the right furniture solutions they can be modular, multi-functional and sustainable. Wellbeing is fast becoming a primary objective for office furniture, thanks to increased contact time in line with more time spent on technology and digital engagement.

Art Direction by Studio FM, photography by Andrea Garuti, styling by Studio Salaris.

With the unfolding of the pandemic, workspaces have quickly extended into the home office, calling on furniture and furnishings to integrate discreetly and offer multiple, configurable functions.

“So we have a more fluid space at home,” says Bellini. “We have furniture that has to match a different attitude when we are at home. [And we’re] not just coming in at six o’clock or eight o’clock when we finish work, but [spending] full days there, or some days there. And so that’s what I see,” he says.

Considering all these observations, Bellini has designed the Elinor Low Back for Pedrali. It is a new version on an original executive chair from 2018, and it distinctly speaks to this “new sensibility” of work. The Elinor Low Back addresses our changing attitudes and approaches to working life, distinctively styled with sinuous lines.

Its functionalities are not overt. Instead Bellini has chosen to inconspicuously integrate Elinor’s state-of-the-art components into the seat. Thus it looks quite simple compared to your more traditional task chair, and effortless – a piece that might fit into an office setting or a home setting.

The chair tilts according to the user’s body weight – a mechanism that is weight-activated, self-regulated and integrated into the upholstered seat. It is also notably body hugging, thanks to the polyurethane injected foam on the seat and back.

The relationship between Bellini and Pedrali has been fundamental to the success of this piece, says Bellini. With sensibilities aligned, they have together created a chair that is neither feminine nor masculine. Instead, its design language is appealing and welcoming. It could speak to anybody and fit into almost any situation. A modern proposition for a very modern way of work-life.

Claudio Bellini


Above: #pedraliworkspaces at Orgatec 2022, photography Frank Jankowski.

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The post “It’s a new sensibility”: Claudio Bellini on our modern work-life appeared first on Indesign Live: Interior Design and Architecture.