Playfulness, practicality and performance: Pearson Lloyd’s launches Routes furniture family.

Pearson Lloyd’s versatile new collection of workplace furniture for Teknion, Routes, is the result of the esteemed design studio’s ongoing exploration of the changing way we work and, what they call, ‘intelligent space’.

Comprising desks, tables, task chairs, lounge seating, screens and accessories, all with their own individual character, the Routes family is designed to allow teams to create flexible, utility-driven and engaging workspaces quickly and efficiently – breaking with convention and introducing a sense of play into the world of work.

With Routes, companies small and large can provide their teams with a toolbox to make working environments that encourage movement, creativity and collaboration, and to rapidly and easily reshape the space as needs change. In other words, the collection creates an opportunity for teams to define their ideal ‘route’ to completion for any given task.

Whether it’s a small studio looking for a complete working environment that can transform to meet the needs of changing tasks and teams, or a large corporate seeking to develop pop-up work zones in a large office setting, Routes gives them the ability to swiftly make, unmake and adapt workspaces in response to the changing requirements of individuals, teams and tasks – an essential capability in the new, post-Covid working world. This process may reveal new modes of working that Routes users can fix in place.

From the multipurpose stool and high table to the mobile soft screen and adjustable side table, every item in the Routes collection is designed to be as simple and practical as possible, so that the user intuitively understands how to use it. Throughout the design process, the question that guided Luke Person and Tom Lloyd was ‘How simple can something be while still fulfilling the function we want it to?’ By fastidiously applying this economy of means to every product in the collection, Pearson Lloyd and Teknion have developed a graphic and bold design language that is driven by a refined utility, without compromising on comfort.

Each product has a distinctive character of its own, but family resemblance is maintained thanks to the accent colours of Blue Sage and Signal Red running through the collection, as well as the material commonality of bent tubular steel, which gives each piece an honest, direct design aesthetic, as well as contributing to its sustainability by being endlessly recyclable.

“People’s needs and moods change throughout the working day and the design of Routes reflects this. The form and structure of each element was driven by an individual functionality required by the user. The range is, as a result, an eclectic mix of clearly defined characters. This direct and honest approach to the family is highlighted by a strong and simple colour palette unifying the collection”, comments Luke Pearson.

This refined, utilitarian look befits the foundational idea that the Routes collection should serve as a toolbox for workspace creation, with each piece fulfilling one or more essential functions. Certain pieces nod to tool culture in explicit ways – the Multipurpose Stool, for example, was inspired by colourful builders’ buckets that are often used in impromptu seating arrangements before being stacked away in a corner; the handle of the Adjustable Side Table is a conscious reference to the adjustment mechanism of a bicycle seat, and the seat of a tractor was a distinct inspiration for the Three-Legged Stool.

With its versatility and modularity, Routes responds to trends in working culture that have been emerging over the past decade and which Covid-19’s work-from-home revolution has accelerated. Although conceived and developed before the pandemic, the collection is perfectly suited to the post-Covid working landscape, as it provides companies with the furniture they need to quickly and easily create adaptable zones where teams can come together to collaborate, share ideas, and work together to solve problems.

As well as facilitating collaboration, Routes empowers users to determine their optimum mode of work – standing, sitting, lounging, or whatever posture is most comfortable or appropriate to the task. Perch, cross-legged on the Arc Chair with your laptop; wheel over the Mobile Screen for an impromptu meeting; slide over the Multipurpose Stool for a chat with a colleague… With Routes, there’s space for spontaneity. The era of spending six hours a day hunched over a desk has come to an end.