In today’s fast-paced digital world, Standard is pioneering a new approach to bring people closer together with the launch of the Connect Family. Kai Stania, the visionary behind this collection, recently shed light on the importance of human interaction in contemporary workplaces at the Tallinn Design Festival.
Stania reminisced about the origins of this collaboration, which began shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I approached Standard with a strong belief that the future of office design would revolve around fostering communication,” explained Stania. “The collection’s name, „Connect“, has gained tremendous significance during and post-pandemic, as remote work highlighted the need for maintaining meaningful connections.”
Stania highlighted the challenge of encouraging individuals to return to physical office spaces. “The primary incentive for people to come back is the opportunity for communication and collaboration. Effective work requires a balance between focused tasks and open communication,” he emphasized.
Reflecting on the paradox of our hyper-connected digital age, Kai remarked, “While we accumulate thousands of online friends on social media, our closest circles may remain limited. Sometimes, to truly enrich our lives, we need physical closeness. Given that the average person spends 50% of their day in the office, promoting collaboration becomes pivotal.”
Stania further elaborated on the theme of connecting people, citing recent research findings. “Genuine face-to-face communication holds immeasurable value. Social media platforms, despite their vast networks, can leave us feeling isolated. Authentic interactions, whether in sports or office spaces, constitute real-life experiences that deserve our attention.”
Kai also shared a captivating insight from research on the world’s “blue zones,” where people live the longest and happiest lives. “Four key factors emerged: healthy eating, regular physical activity, having a sense of purpose, and connecting with others. Social media alone cannot fulfill these needs; we must prioritize authentic human connections.”
Turning to the Connect Family’s products, Stania highlighted the expansion of the family and its emphasis on communication. Kai singled out two chairs as prime examples of their vision—furniture that seamlessly transitions between focused work and collaborative discussions. “This direction underscores our commitment to striking a balance between focused work and communication, ultimately leading to enhanced productivity, purpose, and happiness.”
When discussing the evolving post-pandemic office landscape, Kai Stania rejected the notion of “big trends” and advocated for adaptable, specialized furniture tailored to diverse communication needs. “Furniture should align with human behavior and be intuitive to use. For instance, standing tables should encourage extended conversations without causing fatigue.”
The conversation then shifted to the influence of home office aesthetics on workplace design, with an emphasis on soft materials and textiles. Stania pointed out that the trend of merging home and office aesthetics had been evolving even before the pandemic. “Furniture should always support professional work, whether it’s a brief five-minute task or a lengthy five-hour project. The longer you work, the more essential professionalism becomes.”
In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, Standard’s Connect Family stands as a testament to the enduring importance of genuine human connections in our workplaces. As Kai Stania aptly put it, “We must return to what truly matters—connecting people in the real world.”
At Standard we can’t wait to share more details and unveil the entire Connect Family soon. Stay tuned for updates, sneak peeks, and insights into the design journey with Kai Stania. Let’s make the post-COVID workspace an inspiring and connected place for all! Sales for Connect will kick off at the end of October.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to ask our Sales Manager Sten Põldoja (firstname.lastname@example.org; +3725232415).
Gallery from the event in Tallinn Design Festival