Empathic Seating

By industrial Agent Christian Lodegaard from Scandinavian Business Seating and creative Agents Ralston & Bau

Scandinavian Business Seating is a Nordic furniture maker whose vision is to; make the world a better place to sit. Through this vision the company focuses on making a sustainable difference and products that offer the best working sitting positions. To make a difference SBSeating wishes to contribute to the shaping of the workplace of the future.

One workplace is and will be the home and other ad hoc spaces. The word “office” feels like an outdated word. What are the needs of a working person in informal work situations and how can the spaces quickly adapt to those needs. What is an empathic work environment?

Three user concepts were explored in a workshop with the sociolog Rainer Rosenegger, to create a foundation for further development:

1/ Identity building: the workplace becomes part of the workers identity. Flexible solutions gives the user the freedom to take control over its own space.
2/ Co-working: the co-working space is the third space, a place away from home and away from the office, where to meet for an informal exchange. It can be in a hotel, someones kitchen, a museum or a common atelier where a minimum of services can be found.
3/ Homework: in the home sphere the connection/de connexion between private and work is a major issue. Physical objects needed for a good work process at home should be multitasking, easily transformed from one mind set and usage to another.

Ralston & Bau placed these concepts in the perspective of the Empathic Village and Empathic Home context, to develop scenarios of how an office furniture producer could make a difference with its actions. The developed scenarios (see illustration to the right) were:
Social shift / Caring
Sustainable awareness / Less
Proxemic shift / Instant

SBSeating is taking the findings into a long term process where the company can develop concrete actions in the sense of being the good guy and cater to the proxemic shift in our society.