Ordinary vs. extraordinary
Our tools for togetherness also have that extra something. That’s because we look at things differently. Form follows function: we solve practical problems or improve existing situations by ‘rethinking the box’. This is why, from an aesthetic point of view, Extremis products aren’t afraid to be edgy, to contain a certain twist. ‘Strange looking but well-functioning’ is probably the most common feedback we get from colleagues in the course of a new design project. It’s that je ne sais quoi that makes our products cross the threshold between the ‘ordinary’ and the ‘extraordinary’.
In this way, we also find an equilibrium between the familiar and the forward-thinking. We design for the future, but keep our users’ worldviews firmly in mind. We position ourselves right on the brink between the conflicting forces of safety and excitement. The end result is always something familiar, yet surprising. Something undeniably innovative, yet acceptable. As a result of this balance, Extremis’ furniture is always ahead of its time. A new product is aimed at early adopters, but in time, finds its way to a broader audience.
Work vs. play
Another boundary we’ve constantly ignored through our 20-year history is the one between work and play. Office spaces with a homey feel are en vogue right now, as are ‘breakout spaces’. These designated areas offer employees a space for collaboration, informal meetings, or just a refreshing alternative to their familiar workplace. It’s important that breakout spaces are different from the heads-down workspace. Choosing the right furniture can play an important role in this.
This workplace evolution has been enthusiastically embraced by frontrunners like Google and Apple – both Extremis fans. Google even converted the idea into concrete workplace guidelines, and turned workplace design into a science in itself. It’s a way to ‘optimise people’, both in terms of happiness and performance. There are even instructions for the lunch tables: if you want employees to meet each other, the tables should be long. This will expose them to more people who they can get to know. They also found that diner booths boost creativity more than conference rooms. The goal is to facilitate ‘casual collisions’ through interior design. After all, as Google’s Vice President of Real Estate and Workplace Service David Radcliffe says: “You can’t schedule innovation or idea generation.”