Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby present Soft Work for Vitra


Barber & Osgerby present their latest seating system for Vitra at this year’s Orgatec, Soft Work. Not since the introduction of computers have office structures and work habits undergone such radical changes. With the proliferation of freelance careers and the introduction of “hot desking” people can now work almost anywhere however finding locations that work for the user is not always as easy.

After two-years of research and development Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have developed a system where the workstation is focused around a seating landscape, rather than an environment centered around desks. This development combines expertise from home, office and public sectors and offers a versatile platform for both individuals and teams.

The workstation is going the same way as the dining room – it’s disappearing as an archetype. The desk has had its day. With mobile technology you need a place to sit occasionally, or a comfortable place to hang out.’– Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

The sophisticated modular construction of Soft Work features many technical details that enable diverse seating and working positions including pivoting tables and power sockets located between the seat cushions that can be pivoted upwords for comfortable use.  Partition screens can be used to divide zones and create quiet work spaces.   Soft Work is an ergonomic sofa design featuring generously padded seat cushions with flexible back rests, creating comfortable conditions for working, even over long periods of time.

The Soft Work system features straight and curved elements in single or back to back versions, fixed and pivoting tables, panels, power and data connections, along with a choice of covers in a wide range of colours and fabrics.

Soft Work follows Barber & Osgerby’s research into new ways of working which started with the Tip Ton Chair in 2011.