Summit by Snøhetta is a modern-day modular amphitheatre
Built on the idea that one needs intimacy to share and connect with others, Summit is designed to create meaningful interactions.
2020 saw a huge shift in workplace culture highlighting the need for flexible spaces and seeing a greater focus placed on employee wellbeing and safety measures such as social distancing. As a result, modular office furniture has seen a resurgence as companies recognise the adaptability it provides, a benefit inspiring Snøhetta’s latest venture.
The Norwegian studio has designed a modular furniture system inviting users to interact with their environment in an informal and playful way. Taking shape as a cushioned indoor mountain range, ‘Summit’ comprises several building blocks that can be arranged at varying levels depending on the environment.
Simple in its form, Summit can be a small staircase, a curved rising or a wavy ridge. The series includes five unique modules that can be assembled as both small objects and larger installations, spanning a multitude of levels, curves and directions.
Summit attempts to emulate the inherent behavior of social amphitheatres or open Spanish steps. It functions as a spatial tool to enable intimacy and interaction inspired by the playfulness of natural escalation.
By encouraging users to build upon its form vertically, it has the ability to continuously redefine a space without increasing the footprint of the furniture.
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Exploring the idea of a tool to facilitate open and less-prescribed sharing, Snøhetta has designed a seating system that can be manipulated to tailor the dynamic to the space. For example, tiered seating could accommodate lecture halls, while scattered modules would be perfect for a momentary break between smaller groups.
“Its versatility and modularity enable not just flexibility in use, but also encourages users to play and explore,” explains Snohetta. “Whether sitting, standing, lying down or simply walking past, interacting with Summit is intended to create freedom of use and bring people together.”
By incorporating interactivity into their design, many designs are creating functional toys for adults, check out As a part of “Belgium is design”, Jimmy De Angelis presented “Nest” at Fuorisalone 2021.