The modular furniture collection allows for endless configurations.

By Rosa Bertoli and Wallpaper
June 19, 2017

Airbnb co-founder and CPO Joe Gebbia and Bernhardt Design have launched a new collection of flexible furniture for the office and public spaces, unveiled at New York’s ICFF.

The ‘Neighborhood’ collection is based on a simple building block, developed with a modular and mobile design solution that allows for endless configurations. Gebbia created a total of 38 unique modules, making it the largest collection released by Bernhardt Design to date.

Courtesy of Bernhardt Design

The modules include high-back designs for extra privacy during meetings, while a series of low-back seats encourage creative brainstorming; ottomans and tables punctuate the collection. All elements can combine to create large landscapes or more intimate settings, with integrated technology and sound-absorbing materials.

For the collection, Gebbia drew from his personal experience of frequently moving office in the early days of Airbnb, and the challenges he and his team faced to adapt existing furnishing to different spaces, while maintaining a sense of community and comfort. He was also able to put his product design training to good use—he studied at RISD before launching the company with fellow graduate Brian Chesky—and this collaboration was an opportunity to both reconnect with his design background and to develop a collection close to the Airbnb credo of openness and community.

Courtesy of Bernhardt Design

‘At Airbnb, we celebrate the connections people make every day through our platform; connections with new places, new people and new cultures,’ he says, ‘[The collection] celebrates the beauty of these connections while providing comfortable, flexible solutions for the evolving workplace.’

The idea behind ‘Neighborhood’ is for the collection to not only work in an office, but in any public space, from airports to restaurants. ‘Joe’s idea of using two simple building blocks to create an entire community of flexible products was ingenious,’ says Bernhardt Design president Jerry Helling.

Courtesy of Bernhardt Design

For Helling, Gebbia’s design prowess lies in the details behind the collection, such as the zig-zag stitching on each piece. ‘The beauty of the line is that it can be easily and instantly adaptable by the people using it,’ he adds, ‘rather than relying on an installation team to reconfigure a workspace.’

This article previously appeared on Wallpaper.com.

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