OMA “Tools for Life”

While in the digital era the boundaries between personal and working spaces are fading, Rem Koolhaas embraces a new paradigm in furniture design: this OMA for Knoll “Tools for Life” collection features kinetic, adjustable spaces, by exploring a retro-futuristic aesthetic.

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Coffee Table and Arm Chair

The coffee table and the arm chair (respectively 01 and 02) are major pieces in the “Tools for Life” collection. The table features three acrylic tiers, which similar to the 04 Counter top can be rotated to create a new layout in each layer. Two lounge arm chairs surround the table. They are covered by soft leather, framed by an acrylic exterior. While the 02 model presents a clear acrylic base, the 01 model has a height-adjustable column, operated by a mechanism with the classical red button, like the tables.

The furniture collection "Tools for Life" at the Prada fashion show, 2013.
The furniture collection “Tools for Life” at the Prada fashion show, 2013.

Image source:
https://img.edilportale.com/News/33047_07.jpg

A New Kinetic Space

“Tools for Life” is a furniture collection created by Rem Koolhaas and OMA for Knoll. It was previewed in January 2013 at the fall/winter Prada men’s fashion show. As stated by Koolhaas, the aim was to create a new kind of furniture “that performs in very precise but also in completely unpredictable ways, furniture that not only contributes to the interior but also the animation of the interior”. The collection perfectly synthesizes the past and the future, by searching the “deeply satisfying quality in doing small things”. These pieces are dynamic, sometimes motorized, and adaptable, in order to satisfy the different needs of social and work life. Thanks to the simple material palette the furniture is compatible with a range of residential and workplace interiors.

04 Counter

The 04 Counter features a stack of three horizontal wooden tiers. The three shelves have a double function: neatly arranged, they form a single counter top, used as a dividing panel; but they can define a new space, while being rotated around a central pivot. The counter is transformed into a 360° rotating team workspace, a “piazza”, as it was called by Benjamin Pardo, the Knoll’s design director.

The "04 Counter". The rotation can create a new team workspace.
The “04 Counter”. The rotation can create a new team workspace.

Image source:
https://www.thedesignwalker.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/d51755255f.jpeg

05 Round Table and 06 Table

These ‘60s inspired tables can be raised or lowered thanks to a large red button, bringing to mind the power of doomsday. The button activates a mechanical base, which can reach lounge, dining and standing height. The 06 Table was conceived as an executive desk and features a horizontal work surface and a storage surface, separated by four glass columns. The 05 round table has travertine or acrylic top and base, connected by the aluminum mechanical column.

Image source:
https://www.knoll.com/media/375/199/01armchair.06table.jpg
https://www.knoll.com/media/76/722/06table11floorseating.jpg

Info source:
https://www.metalocus.es/en/news/tools-life-oma-designed-furniture-knoll-unveiled-milan
https://www.knoll.com/discover-knoll/news/tools-for-life-by-oma
https://www.dezeen.com/2013/04/08/tools-for-life-furniture-by-oma-for-knoll-at-prada-milan/
https://oma.eu/projects/tools-for-life