Airbnb’s new modular furniture Neighborhood offers a millennial solution for dynamic work spaces

May 25th, 2017 Written by: Devanshi Shah for AD

Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and Jerry Helling, president of Bernhardt Design, launch ‘Neighborhood,’ an inspired modular collection that aims to facilitate more ergonomic workspaces.

Joe Gebbia designs ‘Neighborhood’, a flexible seating solution for Bernhardt Design

During its formative years, the Airbnb office was nomadic and moved several times. According to co-founder Joe Gebbia, the trickiest aspect of the frequent moves was trying to accommodate the furniture from one space into another, while trying to preserve a sense of community. With the growing number of co-working spaces, Gebbia’s ‘Neighborhood’ is a timely product.

Joe Gebbia designs ‘Neighborhood’, a flexible seating solution for Bernhardt Design

Most people forget that Gebbia is an industrial design graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design. This shift is Gebbia going back to his roots while using Airbnb as a framework. Gebbia summarised the connection thus: “At Airbnb, we celebrate the connections people make every day through our platform—connections with new places, new people and new cultures. Neighborhood celebrates the beauty of these connections while providing comfortable, flexible solutions for the evolving workplace.” The design itself is a simple play on the idea of geometric building blocks. Consisting of three basic modules; a high back element, a bench and a low-back seating unit. Constructed with sound absorbing material and ports to accommodate gadgets.

Joe Gebbia designs ‘Neighborhood’, a flexible seating solution for Bernhardt Design.

Supported by the 128-year-old Bernhardt Design, president Jerry Helling said, “Joe’s idea of using two simple building blocks to create an entire community of flexible products was ingenious. The beauty of the line is that it can be easily and instantly adaptable by the people using it, rather than relying on an installation team to reconfigure a workspace. I appreciate the utility of the product and its unassuming form, but for me, the unique zig-zag stitching on each piece makes it incredibly special and elevates the entire offering.”

The complete set consists of 38 unique modules, and is the largest collection ever launched by Bernhardt Design. Because of the dynamic and flexible nature of the line, it is a utilitarian product that can be used at multiple different locations, including public areas such as airports. restaurants and commercial spaces.

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