Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, 2022
For decades now, Vitra has been exploring work trends and developing office concepts, creating comfortable and inviting home interiors and – since the production of the Eames Tandem Seating system for waiting areas – responding to the stringent requirements of public spaces. The boundaries between all of these areas of application are becoming increasingly blurred: the workplace is acquiring a more casual and comfortable feel, the home office is becoming widely established and more and more people are working while on the go. Vitra translates the consequences of these merging environments into functional products – such as Soft Wait, which Vitra created together with the designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. Waiting is never pleasant but unfortunately unavoidable. The goal of interior designers is therefore to make this time more agreeable and productive, as well as to give these often anonymous environments a more inviting appeal. Soft Wait is a practical solution: the sofa-style system combines casual comfort and ergonomic seating, while also being suited to heavy use and the exacting demands of public spaces. Soft Wait has a modular design and not only allows multiple configurations but can also later be modified or expanded. The individual system modules adhere to a space-efficient 60 cm-format. Each detail is designed to be durable, easy to clean and simple to maintain: dirt cannot lodge itself anywhere. This makes Soft Wait equally suitable for waiting areas in airports or train stations, for lobbies in public institutions or private companies, for waiting rooms in hospitals and medical practices, for busy common rooms in universities, schools, co-working spaces or offices – in the latter, it can be optimally combined with the office sofa system Soft Work. . Soft Wait can be assembled into linear and curved formations, making effective utilisation of even awkwardly shaped interiors or dead spaces, for example around pillars. The individual modules are equipped with power and data connections, and the metal parts – legs and armrests – come in a polished or black powder-coated finish. The tables, which can be positioned between seats or at the end of benches, are made of a robust solid-core material. Soft Wait is covered in Skai Pureto EN, a PVC-free artificial leather that is as robust as it is sustainable: it is water-based, solvent-free, lightfast and – as goes without saying for furniture in public spaces, but is particularly important in current times – easy to clean.