Category: News

Connect East

Connect East

Design Firm: Spowers
Fit out contractor: Capabuild
Completed April 2019

ConnectEast Group is the owner and operator of EastLink, the largest tollway network in Victoria.

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TCW provided an ergonomic sit-to-stand workstation solution to replace their old fixed height snowflake style desks and increase the occupancy of the existing EastLink Operations Centre. EON Workstations were used to address acoustic concerns and re-invigorate the existing accommodation.

The sit-to-stand operation of the EON workstations will support the staff into the future and the colourful PET Screens helped address acoustic concerns and the animation of the space. Various EON workstation configurations were used including, individual workstations with plywood modesty panels for the offices and pentagon shaped workstation clusters with EFit chairs for the call centre area.


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RMIT GUSS

RMIT GUSS

Design Firm: Spowers
Fit out contractor: Capabuild
Completed June 2019

Located in the heart of Melbourne on RMIT’s City campus, the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS) has been designed to reflect the identity of its occupants. It has created a strong grounding for its identity, seen from the inside and outside world. 

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 TCW supplied EON sit-to stand workstations, Domino Task chairs and mobile storage units for this project. The EON workstations incorporated natural woodgrain finishes and PET Acoustic panel for the workstation screens and personal privacy dividers. Over 300 EON workstations in various configurations were supplied to accommodate the school’s occupants over two levels.

Utilising an urban design context as a design narrative was key to unlocking the spatial challenges of a vast and deep floor plan presented to the design. The project involved crafting an authentic space employing natural materials honestly whilst providing spaces of equity and agility delivering a future flexibility.


Products used in this project

UTS Central

UTS Central

Design Firm: FJMTFit out contractor: Richard Crookes ConstructionCompleted August 2019
Located next to the UTS Tower and opposite Central Park on Broadway, UTS Central is a striking, 17-storey, glass-encased building that adds to the architectural diversity of the UTS campus. The building holds a 5 Star Green Star Design and As-Built rating certified by the Green Building Council of Australia.

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As well as a vibrant student hub, study areas and Our Faculty of Law space, it will also be home to the new UTS Library and scholarly Reading Room. TCW was proud to supply a range of our agile products that support the cutting-edge facility for education and research, supporting active and collaborative learning.
Read more here. 

Products used in this project

Trades Union Office

Trades Union Offices

Design Firm: Danks DesignFit out contractor:CD ConstructionsCompleted September 2018
TCW was brought in by Danks Design to supply a range of furniture for this new Office, Training and Conference Facility for 62 staff in Pyrmont.

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The breakout areas are bright warm, having been designed to maximise space for when you are not hard at work. TCW supplied Butterfly Tables and Chilli+ Lime Tables from Luxmy with Urban chairs for these areas.
In the workspace area Markant MO-X and Scenarios, credenzas and storage were used to create focused back to back clusters. This included ergonomic support through the cable management systems. 
Meeting rooms needed to be agile so that the same space can be utilised for a conference, meeting, group work or training area. Thinking Works I.Am folding tables are ideal here with a linking device and simple folding mechanism.  

Products used in this project

Denfair 2019

09.03.2019

Success at Denfair

Over the course of three days in Melbourne was taken over by the best in the industry as Denfair and the National Architecture Conference collided in the best of ways.
As Denfair celebrated their 5th birthday for the first time the exhibition also housed a dedicated workspace sector. This new direction, LIFE WORK shone a light on designs that support the rapid integration of working and personal lives.

TCW takes pride by not being pigeonholed into specifying for any one sector, in recent years our projects have spanned over public spaces, retail & hospitality, workplaces, education and healthcare. Having said this our team of experts has a pooled knowledge about furniture design specifically for the workplace. Current design trends, shifts in office culture and building/ property influences all contributed to what we decided to show at Denfair.

Photography credit to Fiona Susanto

Photography credit to Denfair Media

Booths, pods, meeting rooms – call them what you will, we believe they are a fundamental element in current workplace designs. Creating an ecosystem of spaces that caters to a variety of tasks is essential in keeping employees satisfied and productive. How can we solve this with rental buildings, open plan spaces and technology ruling work? Flexibility.
“Our focus was on innovation in the way we manage spaces, with a view to support the agile and activity based workplace. Telephone booths are about addressing the human need for privacy, for those quiet moments or focus work and are an integral need amongst the buzz created by dynamic working. TCW are exclusive agents for the Silen Space and the Smartblock as well as having one of Europe’s leading, more established brands Dauphin with their Bosse human space cubes.” – Kasim Ali-Khan Director
At Denfair we were able to demonstrate the possibilities of creating spaces that are not just flexible but clever by catering to specific tasks. The LIFE WORK area was a great success for workplace furniture and shone a light on the intersection of technology and human centric design in the industry. TCW also collaborated with Markant and their Hybrid collection, which was installed at the Media Stand.

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NSW Rugby League Centre of Excellence

NSW Rugby League Centre for Excellence

Design Firm: PopulousFit out contractor: ADCO Construction Completed January 2019
The new Rugby League Centre of Excellence located in Olympic Park is a space that unites the NSWRL, CRL, NSWRL Referees Association and other affiliates, and a home base for the NSW VB Blues and all state representative teams. The site contains playing fields, hydrotherapy and sports science facilities, change rooms, an event space and administrative offices.

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ADCO preferred to go with a single supplier, to keep things as smooth and seamless as possible. TCW was specified by the Populous for our range of flexible meeting and education tables all of which are ideal for multi-use environments and suited the clients needs. We demonstrated the ability to provide competitive quality products to meet their budget and worked closely with ADCO and Populous for a successful result.
In the players’ breakout lounge and the main reception we supplied tub chairs, bar stools, sofas, I.AM tables, and Cheese on Toast side tables. In addition to this were bike racks and custom sliding door cabinets. The scenic meeting rooms views were fit out with the EONA boardroom table and Cron Sport high back chairs. The elegant Audit 10 seating with writing tablets were installed in the amphitheatre in that wonderful NSW shade of blue. Breakout and administrative areas were also looked after by TCW with Vital Plus workstations, Stay chairs and Spacio all from Actiu.

Products used in this project

Educated Spaces

05.06.2019

Educated Spaces

What is an educated space? Is it within the education sector, caters to learning environments, or designed with the intent for growth and development? All of the above.

There are many articles saying there is limited evidence to support the idea that making physical changes to classrooms boosts learning outcomes. They conclude that the outcome is found solely in the teaching model, and the impact of it is derived from the practices of its educators.
Despite this, there has been a boom in re-designing education spaces. Why? Well we can look at how technology and the appreciation of collaborative working has driven a need to be more flexible, and create more task-orientated designs.
In workplace design the creation of open, agile and collaborative spaces has been successful by creating ecosystems of zones depending on the nature of work. The mistake is applying this same approach to designing for education. Younger people need more structure in an environment as their brains grow, not just learning curriculums but also how they best learn.
The phrase ‘everyone learns in different ways’ remains true person to person. Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic styles are all known and students develop their best learning style naturally as they grow. Educators have in recent years embraced this diversity using more technology, group learning and visual aids in best teaching practices. In education spaces the different zones for types of learning needs to be strictly outlined. Individual desks for independent classwork, canteen tables for group work, in libraries and open areas for example.

“Everyone learns in different ways”

It remains that rows of desks work in most teaching spaces because the structure is needed. What we can look at is flexible furniture so that classrooms and breakout spaces can be changed for the different learning zones. Folding and moveable tables are ideal to change from individual task work to group clusters. Stacking chairs to optimize space, and create room for large discussions, mindfulness workshops or project space.
In open areas and libraries soft seating and laptop tables allow students to move around and create a space that works best for their need.
By combining the knowledge of current teaching practices, and what is physically needed to define spaces, we can create agile and efficient educated spaces.

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Human Beings: The species in the built environment

24.04.2019

Human Beings: The species in the built environment

Humans: species profile
Common Names: Human, sub-species Designer and Non-Designer Scientific: Humana, Excogitatoris; Humana, Non Excogitatoris Diet: Way, way too often Size: See response to diet, above Intelligence: Often questionable Habitat: Human’s place-based thoughts and behaviours have been systematically investigated by scientists. Applying insights derived from their findings increases the likelihood that single humans and herds of teammates in a particular habitat achieve species-valued goals. These objectives often include sustained market success and financial health.

Researchers, working in labs tucked into the darkest recesses of psychology department basements, and in spaces as publicly accessible as Grand Central Station, have learned that the responses of members of the sub-species Non-Designer to their habitat can differ from those of humans in the other sub-species, Designer. The most frequently identified reason for these differences is that design training influences how humans experience the world around themselves.
Both Designers and Non-Designers share the same cognitive structures, however. The rest   of this section will focus on the form of habitats in which both Designers and Non-De-signers exhibit their highest levels of professional performance, with sub-species differences noted, as relevant.
The ways that today’s humans are affected by the world around them can often be linked to collective experiences as a new species, many thousands of years ago. Being in the same sort of environments where early humans would have felt comfortable has a positive effect on the mood of today’s humans. That’s important because, achieving the goals detailed in design briefs depends on humans being in one particular mood or another.
Rigorous research studies have found that when humans are in a more positive mood, they think more broadly. As a result, they’re better at problem solving, coming up with creative ideas, and getting along with others, for example. When they’re thinking more broadly, humans are also healthier, because their immune system functions more effectively.
There are times when negative moods are best, however. When they’re in a negative mood, all humans are better at quickly and accurately running through emergency protocols, for instance. So, don’t eliminate the flashing lights and annoying sirens that come standard with each nuclear power plant control center, at least in the movies, just yet.
Humans, both individually and in teams, are in better moods and do a better job on cog-nitive tasks when they can make choices about the spaces where they’re working—that means they can adjust light levels and temperatures, for example. People, however, can become stressed when they need to make more than 4 or so decisions about their physical workplaces; so curated option sets should be provided. It is better to provide humans with lighting fixtures with a finite and carefully selected set of light color/light intensity options than rheostats with infinite numbers of light color and light intensity possibilities built in, for example. It is particularly desirable for humans to be able to choose where they will do solo work that requires concentration and, in so doing, avoid distractions whenever pos-sible. Distractions generate stress and destroy positive moods.
For humans doing cognitive work to feel comfortable in a space, and be in a positive mood, they must feel secure. Humans (of either sub-species) feel sheltered in the same sort of spaces that chipmunks (scientific name: Tamias) do. Chipmunks are regularly social creatures who rely on their wits to survive, just as the earliest humans did. Chip-munks are in relaxed positive moods when they sit on a shielded tree branch with a view out over the nearby meadow, just as people like to survey a restaurant from a high-backed booth with a view of the door. Neither humans nor chipmunks will do their best at work requiring focus when they’re sitting with their backs to passersby in an open area or when they’re being watched by hoards of others, for example. The “chipmunk test” reliably distinguishes spaces where humans are in relaxed positive moods from those where they’re in tense, negative ones.
Researchers have identified numerous pleasant experiences humans had in places where they prospered long, long ago that can be conceptually replicated in modern environments to create spaces where all humans perform well cognitively and are in positive moods. For example, gentle air currents can move things such as mobiles, just as mild spring breezes caused flower heads to bob slightly. Also, a range of sensory experiences at a variety of scales can be incorporated into spaces.  
Humans are pack animals and never ignore the relative status of those they’re with. Many of their social processes depend on having rank-related information. For example, the distances that humans stand or sit from each other depend on their social standing. Not knowing relative status makes humans tense.
Humans today judge their own rank and that of others just as courtiers did centuries ago, by determining what goodies are provided to them—a seat near the manager? A special task chair? Eliminating differences in options provided doesn’t reduce humans’ need to determine the relative standing of others. People use whatever tools they have to signal relative rank. In one case, when everyone was given an identical workspace and coat racks were randomly distributed across the office floor, after a little while, all of the coat racks mysteriously migrated to be beside the work areas of those of highest rank.
The sorts of places that make it more likely humans will be in a better mood make them feel appropriately respected. Non-Designers put a lot of effort into deciding if a place in-dicates that they’re valued (which Designers do as well but don’t like to talk about). Both human sub-species share a deep-seated interest in knowing what other people think about them—so they’ve become good at working with whatever clues they can find to do just that. Are bathrooms appropriately designed and maintained? Are finishes used unhealthy? Do spaces provided support the work that people need to do, really?
Spaces silently convey additional information that can influence human mood. Organizational and national cultures create the context in which messages are sent and interpreted by users. The only way to understand the symbolic language being spoken in a place is to spend time with the people who use it. Habitats that send unwelcome unspoken messages are extraordinarily stressful for humans—and stress diverts mental energy from the task at hand, degrading cognitive performance.

“when humans are in a more positive mood, they think more broadly”

Scientists have collected a great deal of information about how sensory experiences in an area affect how humans respond emotionally to a space. So much information, that only a sprinkling can be shared in this profile. Seeing colours that are not very saturated but relatively bright, such as a sage green with lots of white mixed into it, has been linked to the relaxed positive moods that are just right for knowledge work. Looking at colours that are saturated and not very bright, such as Kelly green, is helpful when humans need to be more energized. Being in warm light optimizes the likelihood that humans get along well with others. Around the planet, floral smells are likely to put humans in a good mood, while smelling cinnamon has been linked to more creative thinking; orange aroma is an anxiety-buster. Sniffing lemon puts people in a great mood to do knowledge work.
Human hearts start to beat in time to nearby sounds, a process called entrainment, and people keep careful track of how fast or slowly their hearts are beating. Unconsciously, humans use information about their own heartbeats to, in part, judge their own mood—with slower beats being interpreted as feeling calm, for example. Tactile experiences also affect humans’ moods, encouraging them to be more or less empathetic to others, or generous and trusting, or to negotiate more vigorously, for instance.
Peoples’ mood and performance are best in spaces with moderate visual complexity. A space with moderate visual complexity features carefully curated sets of colours and shapes. The interiors of homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright generally have moderate visual complexity, for example. Designers have much better experiences in spaces with low visual complexity than Non-Designers, who often feel quite stressed in these areas. Designers are generally attuned to variations in design details that are lost on Non- Designers; as a result, Non-Designers can be unpleasantly under-stimulated in a space where Designers are at ease. Non-Designers’ discomfort in spaces where Designers are pleased to be often puzzles Designers.
Information is continually being gathered by human sensory receptors and processed. Individual sensory inputs are combined with simultaneous other inputs to determine the overall effect of a space on mood. National and organizational cultures guide the process-ing, integration, and interpretation of information received. Many other factors, such as compensation structure and economic conditions also affect employee moods.
In technical terms, the physical situations in which humans find themselves drive their conceptual and tangible assessments of stimuli. When those assessments are integrated they determine humans’ fully processed emotional reaction to an experience. That fully processed emotional reaction in turn contributes not only to professional performance, etc., but also to place-based wellbeing.
A final cautionary note: Humans, whether members of either the Designer or Non-Design-er sub-species, can, on occasion ignore their own human-ness, and the forces that influence their emotional response to the world that surrounds them, noted above. This has dire consequences for personal and organizational outcomes. Humans are not automatons, however; they are complex animals, often driven by processes more primitive than they like to acknowledge.

Author: Sally Augustin, PhD, environmental psychologist and a principal at Design With Science, focusing on human-centered design. Via Teknion ETHONOMICS. 
Read more from TCW in Volume 3 of YELLOW here. 

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NSW Parliament House

NSW Parliament House Education Centre

Design Firm: NBRS Architecture Completed July 2018
The refurbishment of the auditorium at NSW Parliament House presented many design challenges due to certain structural engineering restrictions.  Unceasing collaboration between TCW/Actiu and NBRS Architecture resulted in the delivery of a high quality solution. In the auditorium there are 164 seats from the Actiu Audit collection spread over 11 rows.

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The project was not without its challenges. There were air-conditioning grilles on the concrete floor that had to be avoided, so Actiu came up with a 3-seat beam to supplement the single foot pedestal. The seat light fittings were sourced from Dunnart from Light Project, and the signage is an Actiu standard. The specified Instyle Vinyl is a simple and elegant tone that meets with the retardant standard in Australia. All in all this project required a lot of communication with the client, our suppliers and NBRS and we are highly satisfied with the outcome and our ability to manage challenging projects.

Products used in this project

Some Considerations When Purchasing Office Furniture

26.03.19

Some Considerations When Purchasing Office Furniture

Purchasing new office furniture can be a tough job, just because of what number of elements that you need to ponder upon. Regardless of whether you’re simply beginning, or you’re remodeling your present working area, any person would agree that it is some job to do. Numerous components, whether they are smaller or bigger, may influence a definitive choice of buying. Your priorities at the beginning will guarantee that you are able to save money and cut down on expenses. Here are a few fundamental contemplations to remember when purchasing collaborative workspace furniture. 

The Time factor: 
Similar to taking any decision on investment, purchasing incautiously could lead you lamenting your choice later. It would be significantly more helpful to save some valuable time to chalk out a strategy. This strategy can basically be an assessment of needs regarding your office furniture. It is likewise a smart idea to get some opinions from your workers as well. It is imperative to consider how much space you have available to you, and also any forthcoming plan to develop your organization and contract extra workforce. Soliciting the correct inquiries ahead from time adds a feeling of authenticity to your desires. 
Ergonomics: 
For example, ensure any desk in your office has satisfactory extra space to move around for the people sitting there for a long duration. It is fine if you are purchasing something that looks decent, however, if it’s not what your workers are comfortable with, it will be of no utilization to them. The furniture in your office is both a device for efficient production and a contributing factor to workspace health and solace. The fundamentals of ergonomics mix these two functions. 
Workers: 
Remember your workers when you purchase new quality furniture in Sydney for your office. Something that is agreeable for one individual may be awkward for another. The desk of an office that is perfect for somebody taller might be awkward for somebody who does not have that height or the other way around. A seat with armrests probably won’t be reasonable for a bigger representative. Moreover, a few representatives may require communitarian workstations while others may require a singular desk. 
Conclusion:
Try not to think that purchasing office furniture is going to be a staggering errand. Take a lot of time in your research, plan cautiously for what you need, and be smart with regards to the comparison of quality and pricing.

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Deakin University

Deakin University Greenwood Park

DEAKin University GREENWOOD PARK

Design Firm: WMK MelbourneFit out contractor: CapabuildCompleted December 2018
TCW has specified education furniture for a number of projects for the leading Victorian tertiary institution, Deakin University. For this project TCW worked with WMK Melbourne to deliver on a new workspace to accommodate three faculties relocating from the main Burwood campus located nearby to Greenwood Park.

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This was a highly collaborative design and construction project, successfully delivered within a tight timeframe and on budget.  The building architecture absorbed the nearby park and carved a series of pathways throughout the space, linking experiences along the way.  
We provided a series of furniture that were ideal for flexibility, communal areas that featured modular furniture and collaborative learning. From our ranges we supplied MOX Workstations, Multiway Sit Stand Workstations, Bend Ottomans, I AM Tables and TCW Disc Base Tables.

Products used in this project

Orgatec Wrap Up

29.10.2018

Orgatec Wrap Up

Last Friday wrapped up Orgatec 2018, and with manly of our suppliers on the ground exhibiting their new products and innovations so were we. Themes that TCW has explored since FRONT re-surfaced in Cologne. Flexible working, wellness and of course human-centric design were all at the forefront.
 

If Doctor Who, ever wanted a new Tardis then this was the show. There were small ones, large ones, good ones and some pretty ordinary efforts. TCW have the pick of the bunch with the Dauphin Human Space Cube having a large range of sizes as well as excellent air handling and very good acoustics. The other measures of cubes include, plug and play integration, comfort, installation time and mobility.
Smartblock won the mobility race easily with simplicity of movement and engineering that rates very highly on all scales. Flexible working was visible in so many of the stands – from soft seating to the highly considered booths and pods mentioned.

“Orgatec 2018 once again proved to be the most influential and ahead-of-the-curve global design trade show.”

On the first day I viewed the Framery booth, new LoOok industries products, Dauphin, Actiu, our new brand Smartblock. To close Wednesday we had the Dauphin 50 year celebration and the speeches with Mr Dauphin being acknowledged for his massive contributions. Dauphin was a highlight with the latest rendition of the Human Space cubes with black powder coated frames offering great aesthetics, some of the best engineering systems and modular abilities.
Actiu highlights included the new chair Karbon, a strong indication of the technical possibilities and trajectory of Actiu’s design development. Whass and Talent were the other big hits, where the integration of furniture and technology met again showing the industries response to the increased need for agile furniture. Actiu’s 50th bash was incredibly vibrant and showed their commitment to forward thinking with not just products but technology and mobile applications focused on wellbeing.
Orgatec once again has shown that growth and new ideas is insatiable in design industry, and we are so glad businesses and individuals continue to be curious and challenge the now, looking into the future.

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Taronga Institute of Science & Learning

Taronga Institute of Science & Learning

Design Firm: NBRS Architecture Building: Taylor Construction Completed: June 2018
The newly completed Taronga Institute of Science and Learning (TISL) project is part of the Zoo’s Centenary Revitalisation Plan and reinforces Taronga’s vision of leadership and zoo-based conservation science and learning.

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The innovation vision of the centre was brought to life by NBRS Architecture’s concept for the facility – the discovery of patterns in nature. The incorporated patterns of are best demonstrated in the large ‘hive’ designed the foyer, as well as the environmental graphics and room details. We supplied breakout furniture, outdoor seating and tables, industry tech stools, meeting and classroom tables, and task seating.
Considered natural materiality ensures minimal visual impact and creates a harmonious relationship between the built form and the Sydney sandstone environment. The building facade allows light to flood in through showing the wonderful landscape that surrounds the facility. Breakout furniture that was provided by TCW is extensive and crosses a wide range of uses. The facility is designed to cater for internal staff needs and workspaces, clever integration of animal friendly zones, as well as greater community and education spaces. It is a space designed to promote ‘cross-pollination’ of ideas between scientists, educationalists and animal carers.
The Albury and Bronte chairs are ideal as breakout furniture for casual study sessions, working and meeting rooms. Upholstered in earthy fabric colours and wooden bases made them slide into the Taronga aesthetic very well. TCW was brought into the project to offer a range of pieces that integrated with the ethos of the environment, and upheld the multi-disciplinary research and teaching spaces.
Even the Duke and Duchess are on board – http://bit.ly/Targonga-Duke-Duchess

Products used in this project

Friends at Orgatec

19.10.2018

Our friends at Orgatec

Next week kicks off Orgatec, the leading international trade fair for the modern working world hosted biannually in Cologne. This year will be pushed by “culture@work” as the central theme, exploring diverse and visionary concepts for work environments, and what the future of this design will look like.
TCW is in constant collaboration with designers, builders and creative thinkers that are influencing this culture of change in the workplace. With our friends and suppliers on the ground as exhibitors, we are keenly involved in how workplace furniture can be designed with a positive culture at the forefront.

Image © Koelnmesse 2018

Orgatec 2016 presented the theme “creativity works” and that was true to form for LoOok Industries, which are an exclusive brand of TCW. Their design approach breaks boundaries and old notions that workplace furniture has to be ‘corporate’ – what they create are fun, practical and applicable furniture for flexible working. This year they are back with new ideas and products that push this notion further and we can’t wait for the world to see. Find them in Hall 10.2 Stand K039.
Both Actiu and Dauphin Human Design Group celebrated 50 years this year, and what better way to celebrate with the continued development of innovative products. Actiu will be showcasing their smart furniture, and it’s firm commitment to people. Actiu has been creating comfortable and efficient cool working spaces around the philosophy that “organisations can align their challenges to transform with current needs”. Have a peek at Hall 09.1, stands C049 & B048, after 50 years you can still expect great things.
Technology and furniture integrate with The Human Space Cube designed by Bosse. The modular system allows for rooms to be created independently of a building, necessary in current workplace designs. Not only is it freestanding, but also fully aerated, temperature controlled, with specialty lights and technology ports. This unique private or collaborative space (depending on size) has a sound isolation of 38dB ideal in open plan environments. Make sure you try this out at Hall 8.1 aisle B/C, stands B028 – C031.

“After all, it is only through a culture that promotes diversity, collaborative partnerships, motivation and trust that we are inspired to work creatively and our ideas are allowed to flourish.” – Orgatec Media

Smartblock is the latest brand that TCW is enthusiastic about distributing exclusively in Australia. It is well know that the development of workplace furniture has been largely pushed by shifts in culture, but there are other factors prevalent also. In Australia the rising costs of property, building and employee expectation shifts have meant that how a company re-structures their workplace interior is as much economical as it is about culture and wellbeing. Smartblock allows for a flexible workplace without pouring money into permanent infrastructure, or creating spaces that are single purpose. This is something you need to see at Orgatec, find them in Hall 10.1, Stand C013.
Australian’s go abroad! ThinkingWorks have not only done a fabulous re-brand in recent months but has revamped existing products, and made way for new products in workplace furniture. They are being quite secretive about what exactly will be on show but have said they are releasing two completely new product ranges. Gathering by all the fantastic new things they have created of late, we will definitely be stopping by Hall 6.01 aisle C058 to see.
Let the show begin!

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10 Years On

24.09.2018

10 Years On

September 2008 was an auspicious month as it was the month that Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy which, 2 weeks later, triggered the 2008  Global Financial Crash (GFC). It was also the month that Tables Chairs & Workstations now known as TCW was formed out of a lounge room in Ashfield. The first office started off with a rather dodgy garage, which typically had around 10-20 sample chairs and no stock. The office doubled up as a lounge room and a coffee stop with a house-trained rabbit! Modest beginnings framed around the uncertainty in the market.

10 years later we have beautiful showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne a fantastic client base, some of the world’s best-known suppliers who have supported us through the growth pains and a developing team with a broad range of industry knowledge and skills. We aim to be the “supplier of choice” and I am extremely confident from the feedback and ongoing support we have, that we are doing most things extremely well, most of the time.
We have increased our stock levels for both workstations and task seating as well as a number of feature pieces. We have just moved into a 3,000m3 warehouse allowing us to stock more. deliver quicker and by turning over our stock quicker, control the pricing more effectively. TCW are also working with an external team to have ISO 9001 certification which we will have towards the end of this year.
So what is new and where are we heading over the next 10 years? Although we have a pretty good plan we are also open to opportunities as and when they arise. The quiet space, team space and agile environment are workplace areas where TCW feel we have great options and a lot of education around. We will have more products launched this year and we are looking forward to having a launch party in November which can double as a birthday!

“The office doubled up as a lounge room and a coffee stop with a house-trained rabbit!”

Next month Orgatec and no doubt new opportunities will come about. To all those clients, suppliers that we have been involved with over the past 10 years. THANK YOU. To my teams in Sydney and Melbourne you are the best and we could not move ahead without your continued support and strength.
Kasim Ali-Khan

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We are Only Human

21.08.2018

We are Only Human

At FRONT, TCW was one of many exhibitors showcasing innovative products and services that responded to needs in the architecture, design and building industries. There were a variety of concepts prevalent to our industries explored throughout the seminars, and driven in the types of products presented throughout the event.
Something that continued to reoccur was across the board, designs were being created and considered against a highly human-centric approach. My thoughts were further cemented listening to the speakers of ‘Tech Two and Call Me in the Morning’ spinning thoughts on designing for Circadian rhythms, integration of technology and emotional responsiveness, all the way to discussing AI and robotics with a sole purpose of bettering human welfare.

In an age of technological innovation, and moving forward with new workplace practices, some crucial needs can get lost. There are certain nuances in life that will always make a person happy, and those things that will always create roadblocks to ones wellbeing. The workplace today is as demanding as ever, and life is moving at a fast pace too. Most professionals don’t just go home and ‘switch off’ after 5pm. They are likely to be checking their emails and take work home outside of business hours, and likewise run a personal errand and check their social feeds at work.
When you walk into an office there should be places to live not just work. The architecture and design industry is booming with multi functional furniture and spatial design that allow for individual and collaborative working. This was the first step. Now we need to think deeper about the work-life aspects. Let’s exist in workplaces designed so that when entered, you know that there are zones for those personal tasks too.
The Human Space Cube designed by Bosse is one solution for an independent space, a means of creating a room with a free-floating frame – not impeding on a buildings structure. You can create a 10 person meeting room for high intensity work, or a solo cube for taking that personal phone call. The acoustic panels, temperature control and air-circulation are all feats of design and engineering that made the Human Space Cube such a success at FRONT. This product is an ideal solution to the privacy issues that arose out of the open office concept. People always need time in their own space, and considered design can provide it.

It was renowned industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa that said ‘the best designs are those that dissolve into behaviour’. Unsurprisingly, people often respond to environments emotionally first and rationally second. When a designed space is so simple and responsive to the need and audience that it is created for, it becomes intrinsic in its use.
We can improve the ‘liveability’ of our workplaces by designing them to target the way people feel in them, not just their functions. When you are surrounded by harsh edges and bland, unnatural materials – it’s just not a nice feeling. Zones designed by Pearson&Lloyd for Teknion, brings back the notion of circadian rhythms with a human centred design approach interlaced into every stage of their process. Each piece of the collection is considered by how someone would react in the space, how would they feel sitting in it, how they move around, how different elements interact. Using furniture should be intrinsic; as is the way you react to it. There is not one right angle in the collection, paired with soft textiles and timber, the mind can relax. Luke Pearson reflected on their outcome “it has to feel simple, at the end of the day you don’t want to have to tell people how to do things or how to use it. They have to just intuitively get on with it.”

“It has to feel simple, at the end of the day you don’t want to have to tell people how to do things or how to use it. They have to just intuitively get on with it.” – Luke Pearson

Designing for a healthy work-life balance and recognising that workplaces needs are inclusive of human needs, needs to be a factor for every healthy and productive workplace. Simply adding in a nice skylight or piece of furniture doesn’t automatically ensure positive human behaviour, but it does make a difference. Take time to inspect and understand how parts of a fit out effect people’s behaviour, it could be a chain reaction.

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From Russia With Love

18.07.18

From Russia with Love

By Kasim Ali-Khan
I have never thought of Russia as being a romantic place but after 3 weeks touring, there is definitely some passion and you can see why. They have written their own history with a strong belief that Stalin was a “Great leader” despite the fact that he butchered 9 million of his own people. Talk about a stiff upper lip they have taken several upper cuts and that was the demeanour I expected. Whether dictated to by the powers above or their love of football the Russians were fantastic people across the 5 cities I visited.

The vast metropolis that was Moscow had the world’s most beautiful (and deep) underground stations that would never fail to amaze in the details the artisans of the various states invested in the stations. From intricate mosaics, to beautiful artworks and even a station of stain glass windows it was a true gallery and with trains every 60-90 seconds we have a lot to learn about mass transportation. The Kremlin was majestic and St Basil’s cathedral with its quirky coloured domes and a maze of little praying and reflective spaces had fantastic acoustics. Hearing an A Cappella choir bellowing out the chants in their low base sounds resonated deep in the soul and made the hairs on your neck stand to attention. Magnificent!
On to Kazan, more cathedrals, and the influence of the mogul leader Genghis Khan (apparently, I am a descendant) within the architecture and the ethnicity. The long Bauman Street provided entertainment with pubs and cafes along with a lot of French supporters cheering their team. ‘Détente Cordial’ for sure, as this was the first test of how supporters of 2 nations greet, and emerge as a happy collection of passionate supporters enjoying the spirit of sportsmanship, such was reflected throughout my trip. Boys done well, but not well enough as they lost to the French 2-1, the eventual winners of the tournament.
Next – Samara, the space capital of Russia and where the first man on the moon was managed from. We stayed with the Danish team in a FIFA approved hotel and enjoyed the best hotel food on the trip. We managed to hold the Danes to 1-1 and most of us feel this was the game we should have pushed to win. Still no Timmy Cahill!! Samara is on the vast Volga River, over a kilometre wide in parts and apparently freezes over in winter. They even created a beach along one side with volleyball and plenty of entertaining. In addition Stalin’s very deep Bunker in the event that it all turned to Borsch!!

For the final game we ended up in Sochi on the Black Sea, with history going back to the Egyptian trading routes. In 2014 Sochi hosted the winter Olympics an hour north in the mountains of Krasnaya Polyana. You go from the hot and humid coastal city, one of the longest cities in the world at 142km, to the crisp air of the hills and the snow. Temperatures dropped by 10 degrees heading there along the highway and the general infrastructure that cost over US$50billion to build and host the games through mountains, it is indeed an engineering feet.
Sochi is also known as the seaside resort for the wealthy and connected Russians who escaped for their summer holidays. One famous Dacha we visited was built by Stalin in the hills and all with a paint called Stalin green to blend in with the trees in the surrounding hills. Quirky little things like having low treads on the stairs as he was a small man as well as small beds and a swimming pool that was half filled so the great dictator didn’t drown made me smile. The game against Peru was disappointing on the football front and surprising on the support front that Peru had sent 32000 supporters to cheer on their team and outnumber the Aussies 3-1!! 
No tour of Russia would be complete without a trip to St Petersburg and the Hermitage. A fantastic collection of art started by Catherine and Peter the great had a collection the Louvre would be proud of and a building the French would envy. St Petersburg is made up of 36 islands linked together with bridges that all have a timetable of opening up to splendid pomp and ceremony and Tchaikovsky blurting out at 2am with crowds jostling for position. Bizarre !!! When you are on your last legs of a 3 week vodka /football binge I was expecting a day too far but the splendour of St Petersburg and the Hermitage, St Isaacs and the bridges kept us up through the last hours of a magnificent tour. Well done the French on getting the trophy and well-done Russia on fantastic hosting.  

“The Kremlin was majestic and St Basil’s cathedral with its quirky coloured domes and a maze of little praying and reflective spaces had fantastic acoustics.”

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Red Energy Melbourne

RED ENERGY

Design firm: CarrCompleted 2017
The offices of Red Energy now reside in the historic Bryant and May factory, located in Cremorne, Melbourne. The interiors of the four-level dynamic space were designed by Carr and maintain a respect for the stunning heritage-listed framework of the building.

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The 10,000sqm area is divided with a considered use of furniture and fittings, which very much reflect the trending culture of an open office and collaborative workplace. This space had to accommodate over 1000 Red Energy staff that ranges from customer service to business and technologies. Tables Chairs and Workstations provided over 60 I AM Tables from Thinking Works and over 1500 Flo monitor arms from Colebrook Bosson Saunders.

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Sydney University

FASS & R.D. Watts – Sydney University

Design Firm: Architectus Building: FDC Building Completed August 2018
TCW worked alongside FDC Building bringing in an array of furniture required for this two building fit out. The new six storey University of Sydney, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) building is clad in bronzed glass skin and take on a slight V-shape as it juxtaposes against the 122 year old Heydon-Laurence building and 101 year old R.D. Watt building.

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The 10,046sqm project covered classrooms, staff offices, breakout, canteen zones and collaboration areas. Our operations team had to manage many of the desk configurations around quirks of the building façade, including cutting tops to float around columns. Inclusive in the height-adjustable workstations was cable management, above desk power and monitor arms which all contribute to the ergonomic quality of the zone.
Photography credit to Fretwell Photography.

Products used in this project

Real Bodies

25.06.18

Real Bodies

By Alexandra Kennedy.
There is a new and rather controversial exhibit in Sydney at the moment. It has been travelling the world to both much acclaim and heated debate since 2005. The exhibition entitled “Real Bodies” is as the title suggests an exhibition of the workings of the human body.
What makes it so controversial is that the exhibit comprises of 20 actual bodies which have been donated to the exhibit as permanent works of art, beacons of learning or abhorrent abominations depending on your view. These bodies have been dissected in various ways to expose the inner magic that is man.
 

Image Source: https://www.timeout.com/sydney/museums/real-bodies-the-exhibition Supplied: Edison Graff
 

The bodies are prevented from decay by means of plastination, which is a rubberisation process patented in the 1970’s by anatomist Gunther von Hagens. It essentially replaces water and fatty material in the cells first with acetone then plastics, such as silicone rubber, polyester or epoxy resin.
You would be hard pressed to find someone who when questioned would not have an immediate opinion on the value or need of this exhibit. The views held both by individuals and groups are strong and at times very polarising. At the end of the day your opinion will be shaped by your environment, upbringing and life experiences.
In the modern times death is no longer so much of a taboo and as such, is this exhibit really so much different or more confronting than that of Tutankhamun? As humans in the 21st century our thirst for knowledge, improvement and curiosity fuels an ever increasing interest in what may have in times gone by been more of a macabre fascination. The digging up of various graves and exhuming persons long gone along with their possessions is no longer termed “grave robbing” rather the new and preferred definition is archaeology.
My personal opinion is that if you are curious and intelligent enough to discern that these people donated their bodies to the “Real Bodies” exhibition for a reason – to teach others and as such who are you to begrudge them their last attempt at perpetuity? By all means go along and view the magic that is the human form – for once from the inside out. Which in these times of obsession with external appearance is almost a breath of fresh air.

“The digging up of various graves and exhuming persons long gone along with their possessions is no longer termed ‘grave robbing’ rather the new and preferred definition is archaeology.”

My 8-year-old daughter has been learning about the human body at school and is most excited by the prospect of going to see this exhibit. Having a few years of life experience to shape my opinion, I may be a little less excited but just as curious. I freely admit to being albeit a little anxious at the thought of coming face to face with my own mortality. At 8 years of age she can afford to be a little more cavalier about it.

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Sideshow Alley

29.05.18

Sideshow Alley

Dance for Life 2018 is rapidly approaching and last Wednesday we opened our Alexandria showroom to some of the madness. Along with our organisers Thinking Works and InStyle, seven of the teams that are participating in the June 15th competition created stalls where all proceeds went to their fundraising targets.

The night was filled with stalls of fairy floss, popcorn, and cocktails to mini golf, video games, face painting and fortune telling. TCW supplied delicious paella for the masses and the incredible team from ReachOut managed tickets. Youth ambassador Yaseen spoke passionately and with gratitude about his experience with ReachOut. He enthused about why it is so important that the generations of youth growing up today feel more open, and are compelled to have more conversations about mental health than before.
In the waves of technology, social media usage, and constant bombardment of news and events, having a quiet space to think and rest ones mind is difficult, especially if you don’t have a quiet one to begin with. ReachOut Australia is one of the most comprehensive and full spectrum organisations when it comes to addressing issues of mental health. Their services go above and beyond in providing a plethora of ways to understand and manage mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, anorexia and wide variety more.
TCW is so excited that we are involved this year and hopefully for more to come! Good luck teams and don’t forget that tickets are still on sale for those of you who haven’t got your hands on some yet.
http://bit.ly/DFL18-Tickets

Yes, Dance for Life is an incredible event for the architecture and design industry in Australia, but none of us would be here if it wasn’t supporting a worthwhile cause.

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National Media Provider

National Media Provider

Design Firm: Hot Black, Building: RORK Projects Completed April 2017
TCW was brought in by Hot Black to provide furniture for the lobby of an iconic National Australian media provider in Ultimo, Sydney. The area we needed to fit out had to fulfil casual meeting and café areas that would be accessed by their staff, visitors and related guests. We relied on two of our key suppliers Naughtone Furniture and Actiu to meet the needs of this multi-use space.
 

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Working alongside Hot Black we supplied a range of our beautiful Naughtone furniture products into the scene. The collection included Bounce Chairs that were placed in the café and alongside low meeting tables, Always Chairs and Always Loungers in bold yellow and blue, set up as small meeting configurations. The Construct Stools, and Trace Bar Tables were idea for the canteen and café areas specified in bright tones which picked up on the playful interiors reflecting the design. This selection of Naughtone furniture plays to one of their key strengths – upholstery. This responds well to the increased demand for domestic feeling products with commercial applications, ideal in these breakout areas.
Additionally the Longo Settings from Actiu was used as an alternative low soft seating arrangement. Our aim is always to address the customers’ needs with our high-quality and diverse product ranges. This project was just as important to have functional furniture that fulfilled the purpose, as it was to be visually pleasing. As the first point of contact into the building, a positive impression is vital.
Photography Credit: Tyrone Branigan

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Catapult

Catapult

Design and Project Management: Hot Black and Builder Renascent.
Completed 2017.

Leader in Sports Technology Data, supporting over 1500 teams worldwide. Moving office they tripled the size of space for premises at Prahran, Victoria.

Our furniture specified for the job included Polo and 4+Tables; Sit to Stand Desks plus MOX-4 Workstations; Sync2 Chairs; Custom Storage; as well as Tambour Door Cabinets and Lockers.

 

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The new facilities include a testing laboratory that is bigger than the company’s first two offices in size, combined. This space is fully equipped with ClearSky and is where every device that leaves headquarters is tested. All 80 Melbourne-based staff working on the same floor, with amenities and co-working spaces on the second floor.

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KAO

KAO

Design firm: Hot Black Project Manager: Client Based Solutions Completed 2017
KAO is a worldwide chemical and cosmetic company, produces environmentally sustainable personal and household cleaning products. Relocated to new premises with an approach to be all open plan with no enclosed offices, as well as the establishment of Academy in Camberwell, Victoria.

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Products included in this project were the I.AM Tables; MOX-O Workstations; Wing Chairs; Nassau Chairs; Mit Stools; Custom Storage; Tambour Door Cabinets and Planter Boxes.

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Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor

Design Firm: Unispace
Sydney CBD, Completed 2017

TCW worked with TripAdvisor and the Design Team at Unispace to carry out the design and construct of a new office fit out in Sydney. We had an understanding of the client requirements and we made sure we understood the brief fully when specifying furniture.

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The design brief asked for 100% sit to stand desks for all the staff having the same desking solution and promoting wellbeing in the workplace. We partnered with Teknion to develop a solution in keeping with the TripAdvisor San Francisco office but with some details more grounded in the region. After several weeks of pricing and tweaking we developed a one-size fits all solution, which we needed completed in 10 weeks from start to finish. The design team spent a lot of time providing an environment that was based around the needs of the staff with extensive breakout areas both inside and out.

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