Antenna Workspaces is a new approach to workplace design that supports the freedom and mobility people seek in the office. Desks, tables, screens and storage combine and recombine in a seemingly infinite number of ways for open plan environments, private offices and meeting spaces. Antenna Workspaces offers a straightforward, yet diverse, approach for today’s changing office landscape. Antenna Workspaces balances the needs between the individual and the group with a no-nonsense simplicity that supports a new way to shape space. When Sigi Moeslinger and Masamichi Udagawa, the two founders of Antenna Design, first looked at designing a new line of office furniture for Knoll, they saw what most of us do: a sea of desks, chairs and dividing panels. Antenna is a system that “Touches the Ground Lightly“Austrian-born Moeslinger and Japanese native Udagawa had previously worked at IDEO and Apple. They they had no furniture experience – instead, they’re best known for hardcore industrial engineering and interactive design.
Antenna Design’s projects range from public to commercial, realized to exploratory, for an international clientele, including Bloomberg LP, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Fujitsu, and Microsoft. It designed three new fleets of subway cars and the MetroCard ticket vending machines for New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority; and the hardware and screen interface for JetBlue’s check-in kiosks nationally. Antenna Design has also created installations for Artists Space, Creative Time, Häagen-Dazs, and the Walker Art Center; and contributed Cherry Blossom, a site-specific, interactive installation, to Cooper-Hewitt’s 2003 National Design Triennial. According to Benjamin Pardo ( Knoll’s senior vice president of design) … “I didn’t want to work with someone who was already entrenched [in the industry], because they come with a set in criteria that I’m not interested in, or quite frankly someone who had done an office system before - It’s almost like asking a child to figure something out because they always come at it with a fresh understanding. The system has been designed around a central Rails concept which allows users to add or subtract easily (via clamping) the neccessary structural elements for the workplace needs eg below desk storage , cable trays, above desk shelving, screens etc . Antenna Workspaces is a very flexible and versatile system using a small kit of parts – which are very easily reconfigurrable by the client themselves. Four panel-free Antenna Workspaces planning types create intuitive furniture solutions for simpler transitions between individual and group work: the Antenna Workspaces Desk; the Antenna Workspaces Big Table; Antenna Workspaces with Knoll Fence (spine-based planning); and Antenna Workspaces with Knoll Template (storage-based planning).
Antenna Workspaces is manufactured using clean technologies with recycled and readily recyclable materials and has been designed for easy disassembly. Components are PVC-free and fiberglass free and are also available with FSC-certified components at no up charge. Antenna Workspaces is seeking GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification® and Level 3 certification, the highest rating of the new BIFMA sustainability standard. Antenna Workspaces can contribute to achieving LEED® credits. Antenna was founded in 1997 by Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger. Antenna’s mission is to make the ex-perience of objects and environments more meaningful and exciting. Antenna Design combines technological complexity with a sense of humanity. The firm’s work often blurs the line between installation and product, incorporating new media and an interactive, thought-provoking aspect to engage the user. Masamichi Udagawa Masamichi graduated from Chiba University in Japan, then joined the Yamaha Product Design Laboratory in 1987. There he designed electronic musical instruments, including the award winning YS200 synthesizer. After receiving his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1991, he worked at Emilio Ambasz Design Group in New York. From 1992 to 1995 Masamichi was a senior designer at Apple Computer Industrial Design Group in Cupertino, CA, where he designed a number of products such as the PowerBook 5300/3400 series. He was also working closely with Ap-ple’s research laboratory, Advanced Technology Group, on research projects addressing novel user experiences. From 1995 to 1997, he ran a New York satellite studio of Ideo Product Development. In 1997 he co-founded An-tenna Design with Sigi Moeslinger. Masamichi is the recipient of numerous design awards including IDEA Gold Awards, ID Magazine’s Best-of-Category and First Prize of Japan’s Good Design Award. Most recently, Masamichi has been awarded the 2006 Muriel Cooper Award for outstanding achievements in advancing design, technology and communication. His de-signs have been widely published in design magazines internationally. Masamichi has an extensive experience in the field of product development with focus on a user-centered design approach. He has consistently been exploring the relationship between new technology and its meaning in mass-society, where new technology alters our environment and our perception. He has also been involved in design education since 1993. Most recently he has been teaching user-centered design process at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Sigi Moeslinger Sigi studied industrial design in Europe and the US. She graduated from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, then joined Ideo Product Development in San Francisco in 1991. There, she worked on projects for clients such as NEC, Matsushita and GM/Hughes. The work included development of new corporate product design languages, user-centered design for consumer products and equipment, as well as future scenarios for new technology products. After receiving a Masters from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in 1996, Sigi worked as an Interval Research Fellow at NYU and at Interval in Palo Alto. Her research work centered around the creation of “hybrid” objects, encompassing both the physical and the virtual realm. In particular she explored the tactile and narrative qualities physical interactivity can provide in order to evoke compelling user experiences. In 1997 she co-founded Antenna Design with Masamichi Udagawa. Sigi has received many design awards including IDEA Gold & Silver Awards, ID Magazine Awards and a German IF Award. Her experimental projects have been featured at various venues like the Digitale in Cologne, Germany, the CHI conference in Atlanta, and the Thread Waxing Space in New York City. Further, Sigi has been teaching design at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program since 1997. Review June 7, 2010 MMQB declares Knoll Antenna Workspaces “One of the Best, Most Beautiful and Highly Functional Products to Come from Knoll in Years.” MMQB writer Rob Kirkbride offers a comprehensive overview of Antenna Workspaces, the Knoll 2010 NeoCon open plan furniture and private office introduction, stating that Antenna Workspaces is a “must see” at the NeoCon show. NeoCon is the contract furniture industry’s annual trade exposition, which takes place June 14 – 16 in Chicago. Commenting on the industry environment Kirkbride states, “While some companies in the office furniture industry are obsessed with creating products full of superfluous bells and whistles, it is refreshing to see Knoll take a step in the opposite direction.” He adds, “It only stands to reason that it be Knoll and its designers that came up with a new product that looks classic and new at the same time. Antenna Workspaces is simply one of the best, most beautiful and highly functional products to come from Knoll in years.” Kirkbride’s illustrated feature interviews Lynn Utter, Knoll North America President and COO, and Knoll design director Benjamin Pardo about the development of Antenna Workspaces. Utter explains the research behind the product line and its goal to allow workers to move easily from one type of work to another; Pardo discusses the Antenna design process. “Work modes are shifting from more focused task work to group work and team work,” notes Utter. “Most products in the marketplace have natural dividers and make moving from one work place to another more difficult. With Antenna, we are making a boundary-less workplace. This is really designed fundamentally for transitions.”
With all the excitement for Knoll happening at both their significant return to the Salone Fairgrounds, combined with the presence of Rem Koolhaas to launch the “Knoll Tools for Life” collection at the Prada Space – it was little wonder that this year, Knoll’s permanent Mlan showroom at Piazza Bertarelli received virtually no press coverage.