Haven by Watson

Haven is a collection of tables, benches, and accessories to bring us together intentionally and purposefully.

Best of NeoCon 2021 Gold!

Re-imagine Office Meeting Spaces & Interactions with Haven

As traditional offices shift toward a hybrid workspace where people divide their workweek between the office and remote work, a dedicated personal desk may become a rare office element. The COVID pandemic hasn’t created the trend for flexible workspaces. It simply accelerated it.  Thanks to the rise of software tools that allow remote teams to collaborate and share information in real-time, the workplace has evolved for over a decade to include more remote work. Yet so often, insight, breakthroughs, and solutions don’t come in planned ways but through impromptu conversations. So how are moments of organic and spontaneous interactions that readily happen in person replicated in a remote world? 

If we want to transform the workplace into a social haven for people and ideas to thrive, the Haven does just that.

Workers’ need for real-life interactions is driving the Hybrid return-to-the-workplace push, but it is also an opportunity to reimagine how to collaborate organically. The cubicle farm symbolizes the late 20th-century office and the open floor plan defines the workplace through 2020; what will the hybrid work era look like going forward? According to the husband-and-wife duo behind industrial design studio Mike & Maaike, the answer involves round edges – and flexible everything.  So, what could our offices look like soon? Hint: it centers around informal collaboration. “It’s not an individual workplace anymore,” says Maaike Evers,* who, with her husband, Mike Simonian, co-designed Haven in collaboration with Watson’s Furniture. Instead, work is evolving into a much more collaborative offering. So how do people engage and connect in a collaborative workspace? Start with a round table, or at the very least, rounded edges. Circular shapes encourage inclusion and group decision-making. When gathering around square shapes, people own a “side” and are very confrontational, but they become more collaborative when the furniture is curved. Additionally, a square table has four corners that restrict people from joining the conversation. A round table is “like an open door to come in and join the conversation,” Simonian says.

The Haven collection includes meeting tables, benches, high/low tables, and a variety of agile setups designed for gathering—with every single piece of furniture rounded. “It’s about an inclusive setting,” says Simonian. 

One well known example is the Round Table where King Arthur’s knights would meet to symbolize equality. Contemporary studies also bear it out: In a 2013 paper, researchers found that angular seating arrangements encouraged more individual decisions, while circular arrangements led to a greater sense of belonging.

Settings that bring us together

Watson’s idea is to adapt and transform the workplace into a social haven for people and ideas to thrive. The design of the Haven collection of tables and benches intentionally and purposefully brings people together. In addition, Haven’s design fits the needs of many users and purposes in multiple work modes and settings. As the workplace transforms into a destination, Haven enables people and ideas to flourish. 

Haven’s design of multiple work modes and settings fit the needs of many users and many purposes.

Haven is Inviting

Haven’s rounded tabletops encourage inclusion and group-oriented decision-making. Haven’s rounded corners and circular shapes are an invitation to collaborate, ensuring all ideas and people have a seat at the table. According to the 2013 research study by the University of Alberta, circular-shaped seating arrangements promote a need to belong, while angular seating arrangements support a need to be unique. In addition, circular seating encourages individuals to evaluate persuasive material that contains family-oriented cues or majority endorsement information more favorably. In essence, sitting at square shapes promotes the focus of “me,” and sitting at circular shapes promotes the focus to be on “us.”

When designing for collaboration and socialization, adaptability, simplicity, and inclusivity are all carefully considered. As a result, Haven’s design is for the collective “we” instead of “me”.

Haven’s furniture draws people in as naturally and casually as possible. One way that occurs is with tall tables that don’t require chairs. In addition to the standard-height table collection, Haven also features two standing height tables: one at counter height and one that’s at bar height. Naturally, both have footrests. Imagine the following scenario. You want to join in an informal meeting that starts in the breakout area of your office, but because everyone is already sitting, you’d have to find a chair, make room, and squeeze in. By removing the chair, we remove the friction and make it easier to feel included.

Haven’s rounded corners and circular shapes invite collaboration by ensuring a place at the table for all ideas and people.

Haven is adaptable

The unique design of each piece of the Haven line also allows adaptability. Haven can be moved easily and rearranged for agile spaces and evolving teams. In addition, the various accessories, including the Neighborhood Light, planters, media screens, and integrated power capabilities, enhance social and collaborative dynamics. With Haven’s multi-height settings, the adjustable media tables and mobile work tables inspire team collaboration by effortlessly creating multiple touchdown points in one meeting room.*

The unique design of each Haven piece, without tailor-made functions, allows each piece to be versatile in usage.

Haven is Simple

The beauty of Haven is in it’s intentionally graceful simplicity of design. With simple lines and adaptable functions, each table is efficient. There is harmony in the subtle details, such as the location of the Foot Rail, pivoting joint in the HighLow Table, dimmable Neighborhood Light, and integrated coat hooks. The distinctive flat front leg profile blends well with other architecture, while the rounded back softens the design. The foot appears to gently touch the floor, giving the collection a light and friendly character. The unique edge of the Haven top softens the profile as if the surface gently sweeps under the tabletop.

With simple lines and adaptable functions, each table serves its purpose quietly and intentionally.  

Re-imagine the Conference Room

Haven can transform predictable conference rooms into dynamic hubs for teams to work together. For example, Haven’s multi-height settings, agile media tables, and mobile work tables inspire teams to collaborate in active ways. In addition, a media panel mounts directly to a Haven table, turning the table into a video conferencing pod to easily share ideas or to include virtual team members in the conversation. 

Haven is For Periphery Spaces

Much of Haven’s design is for transition spaces. Haven reconfigures unused and under-utilized areas. For example, the Perch Table and Recharge Bench combine for an inviting touchdown setting in a compact footprint. Their agile and straightforward design adds a moment of comfort to recharge people in transition or on the go.  

Recharge Bench

At its core, Haven has a relaxed focus. The Haven Recharge Bench’s narrow and compact design adds functionality to transition spaces. The rounded, upholstered seating surfaces are islands that draw people in from both sides. Haven’s two-seater benches separate in the middle. The subtle separation between the two seats provides a feeling of personal space, often missing in bench seating. The goal is for two colleagues to sit while charging their phones, striking up a casual meeting.  The benches fit in meeting rooms and common areas like hallways or breakout rooms. Additionally, the bench can be moved easily and rearranged. While a bench seems less flexible and possibly less comfortable than a chair with a backrest, the point of these benches is to accommodate those brief impromptu moments. 

Recharge Bench Accessories

The Recharge Bench offers a series of center accessory options that create an atmosphere by integrating lighting, charging., display, and table surfaces. Accessories include a decorative tray, a swiveling table, or lighting with a set of charging ports that can be mounted in the separation space. In addition, there’s a footrest, a USB charger, and a place to hang a coat. Other pieces of furniture may include lockers, a place for recycling bins, or a spot for plants. 

Neighborhood Light Accessory

The Haven Neighborhood Light has a dimmable atmospheric light that includes an auto-off feature to save energy by turning the light off after six hours. In addition, the neighborhood light offers recharge options with both USB-a and USB-c outlets, up to 60 watts of charging.

Laptop Table

The Haven Laptop Table provides a comfortable work surface for any sofa, chair, or bench. The narrow base fits between chair legs, while the generous tabletop has room for a laptop and mouse or coffee. The Haven Laptop Table pairs perfectly with the Recharge Bench. The ergonomic angle of the support column creates a comfortable space for your legs while keeping the table surface close.

When paired with the Laptop Table, the Recharge Bench becomes the perfect workspace for hoteling or transitional spaces.

Haven Social Tables

Haven’s rounded tabletops encourage inclusivity and group-oriented decision-making. A standing height and multi-height table invite dynamic interactions, ideal for shared spaces, co-working offices, and common areas. Haven relies on the modular integrity frame from a minimal steel structure with surprising strength and visual lightness.  Haven’s tables are flexible with accessory pieces to add aesthetics and function. For example, adding planters, floating trays, and dimmable light create a pleasant and conducive work environment.   In addition, the fabric-covered privacy screen comes in a circle or square and looks great from any angle for freestanding or wall applications.

HighLow Float Table

The Haven HighLow Tables combine two heights allowing people to choose the setting to match the occasion: high for quick, casual interactions, low for seated work sessions. In addition, the high side is easily rotatable, allowing it to be configured on the fly to fit the moment’s needs best.  HighLow Tables invite serendipitous team interactions and impromptu touchpoints, including moveable table surfaces, neighborhood lighting, integrated charging, and an optional foot bar allowing all heights to rest comfortably.

Environmental Sustainability

Watson “… use(s) the cleanest ingredients we can get our hands on – stuff that’s recycled or recyclable; stuff that doesn’t off-gas toxins; stuff that lasts.” For example, the wood is 92% recycled, all steel is 100% recyclable, and privacy screens consist of 100% recycled polyester fabric made from reclaimed plastic bottles. “Each stage of our process is designed to maximize our ability to reduce, reuse and recycle…We reclaim and repurpose powder, sawdust and water,” * The NAF (no added formaldehyde) substrate used in the Haven desks and storage components is a 92% recycled industrial by-product from milling operations. The cold-rolled steel used in table bases and brackets comes from recycled auto parts, and all of the steel is 100% recyclable. The GREENGUARD-certified laminates are composed of phenolic resin and kraft paper and contain 22% recycled content. The reclaimed sawdust is compressed into briquettes and used for biofuel. Watson uses only non-toxic, water-based adhesives that emit low to no VOCs. Polypropylene is the foundation of all Watson edge banding, and Forbo furniture linoleum used on our surfaces originates from renewable linseed oil and recycled sawdust. Of course, Hybrid does not mean the end of personal space. “People want privacy,” says Simonian, “but where people do get together, that part is going to change.” Employees still need their “own” spaces. “If you go to the office and you don’t have a home base anymore, you need to have a place that feels like you can make it your home,” says Simonian.  Give us a call to see how Watson’s Haven Collection can make your transition space a favorite gathering point.

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