Luciano Dell’Orefice explains how he designed and worked with True Design to produce the “Pincettes”, a set of open dividers.

Can you tell us about the beginning of the project? What was the idea?

“Break” areas in office spaces have often found their way into the remaining surfaces between working tables.

Once the office plan is ready and workstations set, they mostly fill the gaps of “empty” spaces by furniture, lamps or even a coffee machine. Moreover, product’s catalog in this area seems to be stocked in the development of acoustic panels, which often look like walls or covered fabric walls. The result is often translated or read as “working boxes” alienating and unproductive for the user in my opinion.

Pincettes wants to “question the typology of the wall and working landscape” by a new generation of dividers inspired by break rituals. The idea is to create movable accessories that help to organize the space, control the noise and provide many usage scenarios without wall effect.

Which materials did you use and why?

We have developed sheets of polyester that can be thermoformed, assembled by hand, connected to a wooden pole and stabilized by a concrete base. This is to create a new working landscape with noise-cancelling properties, adaptable to multiple scenarios, which can perhaps bright up a few office spaces. Working and resting islands made up of 100% recyclable material.

How was the collaboration with “True”?

Wonderful, I can say! I have a great feeling and a lot of respect for the Maniero family. In the last years, they invested a lot to develop the company in a period of time where everybody was afraid to move because of the crisis. They believed also in my first sofas collections and lately in this divider concept giving a lot of input to improve product quality. I’m very lucky, because it’s like working with brilliant friends.

Can you explain to us the research and production part? What were the difficulties?

The challenge was the CAP (umbrella). We started with paper and cardboard to set up the family. Finding the material for the “leaves” components was difficult. We finally borrowed the technology from the car industry with thermoformed polyester commonly used in components to suppress the noise of car engines, train or plane.

We skipped costly molding issues by focusing on hot pressed multi layer material and laser-cut “pinched” shapes.

This allowed us easy manufacture, flat-pack logistic and opportunities to customize the object with a multiple choice of fabric covering. After some tests, we found the perfect combination of layers, avoiding bending fall down and running for all the divider’s family elements.

Torsion was also a problem because CAP, once pinched in the wooden pole tends to move on sides, so we designed a metal cone, fixed below which also integrates the LED program on request. Another tricky part was the concrete base because of the cantilever effect of the upper part. When we solved the CAP, we also solved SHIELD and MASK. Specimen named TOP and SLIDE are currently on development.

Where can we find it?

Many multi-brand showrooms in Europe, Asia, USA, Emirates, South Africa, Switzerland Professional websites for architects and designers like architonic or archiexpo.

What’s next?

A smaller version of the SHIELD will be showcased during next Orgatec furniture fair in Cologne this September 2016 with also the extension of our WRAP sofa collection named WRAP Maxi. Fingers crossed!

Pictures & projects by Luciano Dell’Orefice and True Design.

Interview: Dennis Moya and Tiffany Bähler, 09.16