Stories

Be your own architect: create and recreate spaces

- 4 min read

To accommodate the need for flexible, new ways of working, BuzziBracks found its way to the drawing board. Join us behind the scenes with designer Alain Gilles and the Team to see how they brought BuzziBracks from idea to reality.

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What is the story behind BuzziBracks?

Rarely design ideas arise out of the blue, and the idea for BuzziBracks didn’t either. Alain explains, "The original concept for BuzziBracks actually originated while we were working on another product for BuzziSpace, BuzziSpark. Back then, we discussed emerging trends for the workspace, looking into the dynamics of teams collaborating and what elements are needed in a space to accommodate new ways of working together. BuzziSpark launched, but we felt that we could do more, and following BuzziBracks was brought to life."

BuzziBracks means ‘in between brackets’. It was created to act as a shield surrounding you, as a protection while still remaining lightweight.

— Alain Gilles, Designer

"In fact, BuzziBracks means ‘in between brackets’. It was created to act as a shield surrounding you, as a protection while still remaining lightweight. It is a free-standing module that has curtains, providing the user with the flexibility to combine transparent with non-transparent curtains and open or close them as needed for privacy", says Alain.

He continues, "Thanks to the dynamic framework of BuzziBracks, it can be used as a stand-alone, empty room which you can furnish yourself, or as a plug-in system allowing people to use specially-designed accessories for BuzziBracks—from bigger items, such as tables, shelves and sofas, to smaller ones like coat hangers and pin-up boards to make it lively and more functional."

Please tell us about the development process, from idea to reality?

Alain begins, "Throughout the development process we went through several stages; experimenting, concept and feasibility testing, prototyping and evaluation. And these aren’t even all the stages. However, common for all of them was that we were in close conversation with the BuzziSpace team."

Stijn, Product Management Leader, elaborates: "We had several interesting sparring sessions concerning the desired functionality of BuzziBracks. For instance, would it be flexible walls in a room or would BuzziBracks be the room in itself? How are we solving a problem? How will users interact with it? We really aimed for going all the way and especially the range of accessories is evidence to this."

However, the accessories are not the only proof as the extensive options of curtains also show the ambitious scope of this new product. Eva, Product Manager, says, "Since the initial conversations with Alain, it was clear that curtains were the way to go due to their versatile nature. Using these as a means to close the zone and create distinct areas is a new way of dividing spaces."

An ambitious project like this doesn’t come without challenges—especially the prototyping phase was quite a test. "For the first time ever, we used a full metal and aluminum structure for a BuzziSpace product, and as if this weren’t enough, we had to create it custom. Consequently, this resulted in additional co-development for the rail and curtain systems with one of the suppliers," says Walter, Product Development Leader.

Walther continues, "Also, the plug-and-play aspect for the worktops, shelves, and all the other accessories were a challenge. Everything had to be flexible and easy to install. However, all the hard work paid off. We’re now looking at the finished product, and we’re very proud. Mission accomplished."

How is the balance between function and aesthetics?

Alain contemplates for a moment before he answers, "BuzziBracks is an extremely functional piece with a clear aesthetic vision. It’s a product which you have to experience in a space to grasp the full extent of it. From a functional perspective, BuzziBracks is a response to the way people engage and interact with one another in a space. Everyone can create their own area—either for meeting, calling, focusing or collaborating."

Stijn adds, "I have always wondered: Can we make something, allowing people to arrange their own office, move the walls, open them to interact with the outside world and close them again for creating a focused space? And now, BuzziBracks answers this question."

BuzziBracks is a response to the way people engage and interact with one another in a space.

— Alain Gilles, Designer

Yet, this new kid in town is not only destined for workspaces. "There is really no limit to the settings in which you can use the dynamic framework thanks to the range of structural and curtain options and accessories. Anyone specifying this new solution has enormous freedom of choice, which makes BuzziBracks the perfect fit in a world of No Boundaries," concludes Stijn with the rest of the team and Alain nodding agreeingly.

Meet Alain and learn more about his vision for BuzziBracks in Archiproducts' interview at Orgatec.

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