Framery offers a range of furniture and accessory options for the Framery Q pod. So, why and what should you look to add when configuring your own pod? And what is it exactly that goes into designing furniture for an acoustic pod?
We wanted to provide a glimpse on how all the different variants of the Q pod came to life from the very beginning. In doing so, we spoke with the three of our inspirational product designers at Framery who made it all possible.
These brilliant designers include Janne Haveri, our multi-talented industrial designer, Mikko Tamminen, the in-house mechanical expert, and Pekka Toivola, the gifted furniture designer, who brings with him more than 30 years of experience from the field.
It all started three years ago when Framery CEO Samu Hällfors saw the need for a larger pod – the Framery Q. Shortly after, all three of our designers were newly-hired product designers for Framery.
“When we arrived at the factory, we saw the shape of the Q pod that Samu had crafted and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s impressive’,” recalls Pekka when coming to Framery headquarters for the very first time.
“Samu had said at the time that Framery was looking to showcase the pod in just three months in Stockholm and that we needed to furnish the pod in short time.”
Designing for a unique user experience
So why is there more than one option of furniture available for the Q pod?
“That’s a good question,” says Mikko, as he describes how designing begins with listing all the possible ways one could use the pod. “We could have kept it as just a single option for the furniture in the Framery Q pod, but we wanted it to be as flexible and as modifiable as possible,” he says.
“Yes, the bigger pod brings with it more opportunities and we wanted to tackle all the possible needs and challenges that different kinds of offices come with,” Janne adds.
“We began to recognize different but similar needs like a place for private meetings, video conferencing, private working space, and a space for recharging.”
Mikko recently found an old list where he, Janne and Pekka had written down and documented all the various ways that they saw in using the larger pod.
“We were at a café having lunch and we decided to list all the possible ways of using the pod that we could think of, starting from quick meetings all the way to nursery pods and movie pods.” Mikko explains with a laugh.
“Exactly,” Janne continues. “We began to recognize different but similar needs like a place for private meetings, video conferencing, private working space, and a space for recharging.”
Interior options that transform the look and feel
While the structure of the pods remains consistent, it’s the interior design aspects that can bring a uniqueness and make all the difference. “The pod itself can be transformed completely into something very different with the variety of furniture options.” Pekka adds.
The designers wanted to utilize the space of the Framery Q pod to its fullest, which meant they also needed to consider the different vertical levels and positions one can work in.
“From the positions of sitting down, half-seated and half-standing, we considered all the configurations where people can work so that everybody could choose exactly what suits them.” Janne explains.
“We considered all the configurations where people can work so that everybody could choose exactly what suits them.”
He also points out how the design process consisted of considering even some very intricate details from the perspective of the users.
“We’ve kept in mind all the different directions of eyes of the users, the ways that users interact with one another inside the pod, the movements of the users inside the pod as well as the distances between different components inside the pod.”
Some of these details may seem trivial, but each was considered to ensure the best possible experience inside the Framery pod.
Challenges during the design journey
Designing new products isn’t always all fun and sunshine, either, and there were some challenges along the way, especially considering the tight schedule of the project.
“One major challenge was the deadline that we had,” Janne points out.
“We were designing a type of product that wasn’t even on the market yet, so we had to pave the way and foresee how the product could be used in various situations.”
The challenges didn’t end with the limited timeline, either.
“Another challenge for us was the form factor of the Framery Q pod itself,” adds Mikko. “This wasn’t something that we could modify too much because we wanted to ensure the continuity of the Framery product family. The Framery O pod’s design was already iconic and something that we wanted to preserve.”
Designing memories to cherish
Each of the designers happily brings up fun memories of designing the furniture.
“At that time, Framery was just at its beginning, with everything having happened so fast as everyone was sitting around the same table in the office,” says Mikko.
“Yes, and not only did it happen so fast, but things could be completely different when we came back to work the next morning,” Pekka adds.
Like his design-minded colleagues, Janne also recalls a busy, but enjoyable time throughout.
“It was so much fun designing the furniture,” he recalls. “We were constantly making different sketches and trying out multiple solutions with anything we could find from the factory. At one point we were all sitting down on top of plastic boxes acting out as sofas in the prototype pod.”
“We made the impossible possible because even designing one chair could take up to a whole year and we made different sets of furniture in just a few weeks.”
Pekka points out that while it was clearly a fast-paced time during the design, it all was worth it in the end.
“We really felt like winners when we showcased all of the four variants of the Framery Q pod at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. We made the impossible possible because even designing one chair could take up to a whole year and we made different sets of furniture in just a few weeks.”
The story continues
Pekka describes the design process as ever-continuing when it comes to furniture.
“It’s different from the usual design process of products where you have to make a new model of the product to add new and improved features to it. With furniture, it’s typical that the design continues even after launching the product as we look to make improvements in the design, based on user needs. Product development is part of the furniture as long as the product is alive.”
“Product development is part of the furniture as long as the product is alive.”
We’ll continue with a sneak peek of all the different variants of the Framery Q, which came to life from this design process three years ago. Stay tuned!