“Work becomes multi-local”:
an interview with Rudolf Pütz from Vitra

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„Work“ by Vitra and partners in hall 5.2 at ORGATEC 2016
© Vitra

In its “Work” presentation at ORGATEC 2016 Vitra attends to present-day and future working worlds. Together with partners from different industries, unusual office concepts are presented in Hall 5.2. A conversation with Rudolf Pütz, CEO of Vitra, on the presentation at the trade fair, Collage Offices and ORGATEC as innovation platform.

Mr Pütz, what concept stands behind the presentation by Vitra at ORGATEC 2016 and what is your main focus?

The “Work” project is conceived as inspiration for decision-makers, architects and those responsible for human resources. Unlike conventional trade fair formats with closed off stands and isolated presentations, “Work” offers visitors the possibility of an integrated perspective. In collaboration with selected partners, varied aspects of working environments are presented. Regarding its spatial structure, the hall is laid out as a “city”. It serves as an open marketplace of like-minded and yet different companies. In the centre of the hall, Vitra examines various office concepts of everyday work routines. The presentations of the partners are arranged along the main axis. A café and a public square with an installation by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec round off the concept.

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„Work“ by Vitra and partners in hall 5.2 at ORGATEC 2016
© Vitra

ORGATEC has evolved from its focus on office furniture into a leading international trade fair for contemporary working environments. How do you rate this development and what do you expect of this year’s edition of the trade fair?

ORGATEC is the most significant trade fair platform for innovative working environments worldwide. Here, groundbreaking trends are set and the development of the design of working environments is influenced. The products and concepts of innovative manufactures set the benchmark for international furnishing standards. This year’s ORGATEC will be strongly influenced by far-reaching social changes. Digitalisation and demographic change are the main driving forces turning our working world on its head and shaping them substantially: at home, on travel, in the hotel or in the office – today, the places for working are diverse, work becomes multi-local. The office of today ought to support these new forms of work such as project work, spontaneous collaboration or mobile working and be an open space for innovation and creativity. Additionally, it is about the central issue of how office environments strengthen the attractiveness of a company as well as the identification and allegiance of employees to the corporation. In a time of strong disruption and new forms of work, the working environment increasingly becomes a strategic asset for the companies!

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„Work“ by Vitra and partners in hall 5.2 at ORGATEC 2016
© Vitra

For more than 50 years, Vitra has developed furniture for offices, hotels and other types of buildings. How do you react to the changes in the working world and changing requirements – e.g. resulting from greater flexibility and mobility?

For Vitra, the focus of the “Work” presentation is on the theme of the Collage Office. We understand the Collage as an individual mixture of products, shapes, colours, and materials. The Collage Office concept makes it possible to represent the identity of a company in the real working environment. There are so many Collages as there are people and so many office collages as there are companies. Consequently, for Vitra not only a Collage Office is up for discussion, but various implementations which react to individual demands on the workplace and reflect the self-conception of companies in the room. In order to visualise this approach, Vitra uses “Work” to showcase different possibilities of a Collage Office, for example an office that is characterised by its very high level of flexibility, or a work environment for digital nomads, who are virtually networked and therefore able to work independent of the location. The presentation also includes a studio-like office, which is a place of return and contemplation and a constant in the working life which changes from day to day.

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„Work“ by Vitra and partners in hall 5.2 at ORGATEC 2016
© Vitra

How do you see the workplace of the future? What aspects will be of particular importance for the design of work environments?

The role of the classic office undergoes a considerable change in the digital, mobile world. Flexible structures for project-oriented work and social exchange as well as an emotional design characterise modern office concepts. The result is always a room where coordinated details such as materials, colours, shapes, and light result in a harmonious look & feel. A curated interior design with a long visual validity characterises solutions, which motivate, generate an identity and directly contribute to the appeal of the employer.

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Rudolf Pütz
© Michael Hudler © Vitra

Rudolf Pütz is CEO of Vitra GmbH.

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