A 2016 workplace survey conducted by Gensler posits that a lack of private space in modern office interiors is constraining the creativity and productivity of workers. While there are certain benefits that accompany the modern open plan office, the ringing phones, pinging emails and constant conversation of co-workers can create a hotbed of stress for some. Now, a new mode of office furniture called Soft Targets is enabling employees to step away from the frenzy of their workday for a moment of private reflection.
Created by Berlin-based designer Yasmine Benhadj-Djilali – the founder of German design studio YBDD – Soft Targets is a range of specially designed, wall-mounted booths that offer a hollow interior for people to climb inside of when the need for some alone time arises. An opening at the sculpture's base allows people to easily clamber in and out, while a shell of mirrored paneling shields them from the prying eyes of colleagues, offering a feeling of invisibility and safety.
"Soft Targets are a series of hollow, man-sized objects – more sculptures than furniture – that offer an immediate escape from the surroundings," Benhadj-Djilali explained to Dezeen. “These inhabitable sculptures provide a form of protection and offer a temporary hideaway.” The unique booths were featured in the recent Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk as part of an exhibition on experimental German design called The Wall.
At first glance, the functional sculpture's conspicuous exterior doesn’t seem conducive to privacy. However, their angled, mirrored facets are designed to merge with their environments, actually directing attention away from the person inside by reflecting other areas of the room. “Abstract, geometrical and with a mirrored surface, they are meant to blend into their surroundings, enhancing the feeling of invisibility and safety,” Benhadj-Djilali added.