Update March 20: I seems that the Steelcase sales group got ahead of the official marketing release. They asked me to delay this post for a few days--sorry for the confusion.
Study carrels have not evolved much. Most libraries have focused on collaborative environments, modular furniture, technology integration, and soft flexible seating. But sometimes people want to hide. They come to the library to focus. Quiet Space: that rare precious commodity that’s increasingly harder to find on campus. Or anywhere!
This is a new Steelcase product that my library is going to demo in August. I’m excited because it fills a missing gap: high-quality personal space.
I’m sure Steelcase will push out a lot of information about this system. They always gather a ton of research during product development and I’m interested to see their findings. Here are a few highlights:
- Space for a laptop, books, notes, water bottle, and other supplies
- Power integration
- Tilt-enabled work surface (looks like the tablet folds under too)
- Panels (with color options)
- Foot stool
- Shelf for a backpack
These seem ideal for open areas; an oasis of calm in a crowded commons. I’m not sure how customizable they are and it doesn’t look like the chair can swivel. But these are early prototypes.
It also seems like they will take up some seating density, but the gain in terms of a quality personal work environment is a leap forward. Brody seems ideal for people who want to be alone with some degree of privacy, yet still be near others.
I’ll post student feedback once these are installed. My guess is that they will be extremely popular.
See also: Can Office Furniture Keep You Focused?