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Pair Creates Miniature Versions of Their Latest Workplace Furniture System

Remember back a few weeks ago when we featured San Francisco-based Pair and their new Olli workplace furniture system? Well, the brand had been scheduled to launch Olli at this year’s NeoCon, but as you know, all trade shows were cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. They were disappointed to say the least, as this was Olli’s big debut, but the team rallied and came up with a creative way to showcase their latest workplace collection. While quarantining at home, four team members got to work on making mini environments that showed creative ways of how the Olli system can be used. Utilizing 3D printed components, cardboard, fabric and paint swatches, nail polish, and a whole lot more, their finished designs are below, where they’ve also answered some questions about the future of the office environment, as well as their mini Olli journey. Take a look!

Hillary Kalamaha, Senior Application Design at Pair
Hillary designed her miniature Olli for a creative or collaborative team that also needed to tackle solo work with focus.

How did you feel when you realized this project you had been working on, Olli, was not going to launch at NeoCon? That you might not get to launch it at all?

Disappointed and unsure what to expect next. After all the months of work leading up to NeoCon and even creating the concept for the display we were really excited to showcase our new product, but also debut the Pair brand at NeoCon. Once the dust settled, we looked at the change of plans as a new opportunity to express our creativity and push the boundaries of what a product launch could look like, which was very refreshing as a designer and team.

What is your favorite Olli element? What do you think will be the most useful in an office space?

Favorite Sidekick is the Stackable Storage. The versatility of applications and functional enhancement to an individual or group setting. It’s not only storage, but a play on visual barriers and definition of space.

What was the most challenging moment in creating your mini Olli?

Perfection is a curse and blessing for all designers I’m sure, so the tedious detailing and applying of materials on such a small scale was challenging.

Why did making an Olli at home feel like the right response to this moment in time?

Living and working from home is something, maybe for the first time, that so many people can truly relate to. I thought it was a fun celebration of this moment in time where all of us are sharing this common experience.

Do you think the office is making a comeback?

The office will certainly not go away, but the intent and reasoning for its need will definitely change. Companies are still navigating what the future office will look like for them, and it may be different for each, but I’m confident the office will still hold a place in our future.

What is your Olli made from?

A mixture of different materials:
Felt, textured fabric, card stock, veneer / laminate, solid wood, wire (tube and flat bar), construction paper, nail polish, colored pencils, 3D printed components

What kind of team can work at your Olli?

Any team can work at Olli. We designed Olli to be a platform for versatility so that teams could move, shape, and shift the Elements and Sidekicks to create unique spaces. For my application in particular, I was thinking of a creative or more collaborative team that toed the line of needing heads down and collaborative space throughout the day.

In process images from Hillary’s mini Olli:

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Alyse Kobus, Applications Designer at Pair
Housed within her kitchen cabinet above her coffee maker, Alyse’s mini Olli is colorful and features shelves that hold miniature pieces of art.

How did you feel when you realized this project you had been working on, Olli, was not going got launch at NeoCon? That you might not get to launch it at all?

Disappointed, this was going to be the first product launch I was a part of at Pair and I was excited to see the buzz that it got at NeoCon. Also working closely with the team to design the booth was exciting. I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to turn out, we were getting really innovative with space division and butterfly screens.

What is your favorite Olli element? What do you think will be the most useful in on office space?

Sidekick stacking storage. I love the way you can change the horizon of the space and create extra storage which can either be individual storage or shared as a bookcase. They also double as a useful space divider if you want to separate a collaboration zone from the workstations.

What was the most challenging moment in creating your mini Olli?

The Sidekick Stacking Storage ironically, my favorite piece turned out to be the most difficult to create. I built them to the specifications that they are manufactured in metal, but out of cardstock. The exactness of my measurements turned out to be the problem, they were always looking a little crooked to me. They also took a surprising amount of paint. Each one has at least 3 coats of paint to get the right shade and coverage. My fingers were Abyss, Rouge, and Sunny for about a week.

Why did making an Olli at home feel like the right response to this moment in time?

It ended up being a good way to get my mind off of the Shelter in place and the quarantine.

Do you think the office is making a comeback?

I think there will be a new mix between the open office and the private office with more screening and larger space between coworkers. I do think that the private offices will continue to dwindle though. We will begin to see more spaced out versions of the Open office that we have all been working in the last few years and then when things have settled down and people are feeling comfortable to go back we will see an infill of workstations that will either be added or if they were just not occupied, they will be now. Some companies though might choose to stay with the larger footprint open office solution and instead try to change how their workforce functions. Keeping with the working from home on a part time basis and having employees come in as-needed or for critical times.

What is your Olli made from?

Cardstock, wrapped Laminate, Camira Synergy fabric, cardboard, wooden dowels, aluminum wire, nail polish

Tell us about the setting you put your Olli in.

My Olli is in my kitchen cabinet right above my coffee maker where my coffee cups typically reside. We have a small kitchen and I love my colorful vintage plates, which seem to go well with the finishes of my colorful Olli application. I used small pieces of wood I had left over from creating the Olli to make shelves, and picture frames. The small photos are magnets photos from my travels and the plant in the stacking planter is taken from my patio.

What kind of team can work at your Olli?

The application was designed for a Marketing team. There is a lot of room for collaboration as well as storage for swag or othe

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