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Play&Work sofas: form has followed function

We have plenty of arguments at hand to try to convince you that Play&Work sofas are ideally suited for your office. Instead, however, we are going to tell you a story.

It is a lively morning, with everyone bustling about the office, as usual in this company: casual meetings, people quickly setting the agenda for the day and engaging in spontaneous talks. A few minutes before his appointment, which is scheduled for 9 am, a visitor appears at the reception. The smartly dressed man is there for a job interview.

“Hello, we will have to wait a moment because our meeting room is still busy” says the recruiter, greeting the visitor and leading him deeper into the office and inviting him to sit on one of the sofas near an open space. “I’ll be back shortly and we’ll proceed into the room,” she says.

The man takes a seat on one of two sofas facing each other. It is an unusual, yet universal piece of furniture. It has a linear shape and a functional form, which both look somehow familiar. “Quite a designer piece” he thinks, brushing his hand against the soft upholstery. In addition to the natural comfort, he immediately notes that the high walls surrounding the sofa keep a significant portion of the noise out.  The sofa is like an oasis of peace amid a busy city, a micro world where one feels comfortable and relaxed. The visitor imagines that, if he were to work in this office, he would gladly come here to gather his thoughts or take a moment to relax. Thinking about this naturally unloads most of the stress associated with the upcoming interview.

bauchaus - system sof Play&work

“I’m very sorry, but the conference in the meeting room where we were to have the interview is taking longer than expected, and it’s a very important meeting with our international partners” says the recruiter, as she returns. “Would you mind starting the interview here?”

“Not at all, this place is really nice and less formal,” he smiles.

“Definitely! We often have meetings on these sofas, internal or with visitors. To make it even less formal, we would normally also take off our jackets. Can we start?” says the recruiter, taking a seat on the opposite sofa.

“Of course, but can I ask you something before we start?” the candidate feels more and more at ease.

“Go ahead!”

“The shape of this sofa looks familiar...”
“It’s because it refers to the Bauhaus. 2019 is the centenary of the Bauhaus, so there’s been a lot of talk about the style, its history and aesthetics.”

“I love the Bauhaus, particularly its message: ‘form follows function’. It’s very noticeable in this sofa.”

“It’s called Play&Work. It has been designed by two young designers: Jan Wertel and Gernot Oberfell. They have a studio in Germany and have been fascinated by the Bauhaus since the beginning of their careers. In fact, the sofa is part of a complete furniture system. Take a look around our office: we also have desks and cabinets from this line here. References to the Bauhaus are best seen when you look at the desk panels, which are modelled after the handrails of balconies in the Dessau school complex. The shape of the legs of the furniture, on the other hand, resembles the famous Bauhaus armchairs. Wertel and Oberfell have even said that Play&Work is their personal tribute to the Bauhaus, a trend that has largely shaped them.”

The man nods with appreciation and asks: “Perhaps we could have the whole interview here?”


Situations like this one take place in offices around the world every day, and the advantages, functionalities and history of Play&Work sofas described in this story are absolutely true, and have been repeatedly praised by our customers. Also true are the Red Dot Award, the Oscar of Design, for the Play&Work system (2016) and the German Design Awards 2020 statuette for sofas from this product line.

Meet Play&Work

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