Talk, designed by EOOS, is Keilhauer’s new seating system of benches with backs, chairs, and tables, created to accommodate and optimize face-to-face meetings.

This collaborative furniture line recently took the Best of NeoCon Silver award.

“We believe that technology has an important role to play in our methods of communicating,” says Mike Keilhauer, president, Keilhauer, “but we also believe that nothing can replace face-to-face interaction for effective communication. That was our starting point, and from that premise we began to create Talk, a seating system whose components have the perfect planes and angles for natural, comfortable, face-to-face meetings.”

Unlike traditional lounge chairs and sofas, Talk consists of single- and two-seat benches with backrests that are high enough to double as privacy screens and sound barriers. At the heart of the system is the two-seat bench with its slight V-shaped seat.

“When two people sit on a sofa to talk, they immediately position their bodies at angles to face each other,” explains Gernot Bohmann, principal, EOOS. “At those angles, however, on a traditional straight-line bench, they cannot use the backrest for comfort and support. With Talk, they can. The seats and backs angle slightly at the centre to create the perfect configuration for talking, without losing touch with the backrest.”

The product vocabulary of Talk is simple yet produces many different configurations:

  •     2 seat widths – single and double
  •     2 seat heights – work height and lounge height
  •     2 backrest heights – low back and high back
  •     4 lounge-height tables
  •     1 desk-height table
  •     1 small end table

“In open plan offices, there are few places where people can meet when closed-door privacy is not required, but some sound and visual privacy is important,” continues Mike Keilhauer. “With Talk benches and tables, a meeting place can be created in any space. The table’s hexagonal shape appears to be cut out of the space created when two benches are positioned opposite one another. This shape not only maximizes the use of the space between the seats, it creates a natural plane on which to present papers and other materials used in meetings.”

The aesthetics of Talk are strategic and, as with all EOOS creations, are both functional and beautiful. The large expanses of the backrests are punctuated with perfectly placed relief seams that define the contours of the pieces, while presenting a visual display not unlike drawings on a wall. Visual depth and structure are made tangible by these details. Additionally, the amount of foam used in the upholstery is ample for comfort and acoustical privacy, while maintaining a sleek, smooth look.

Attention to those details is what sets EOOS, and Keilhauer, apart from other furniture designers and manufacturers. The bases of the benches reflect this – they are deceptively simple steel tubes, but in that simplicity lie their strength and beauty. Bent to reflect the angle of the benches, Talk bases elegantly lift the seats off the floor to give space and light to the larger pieces. The design incorporates one visual statement and one ergonomic statement, across the entire product line, so that all the components integrate with each other.

“I am delighted that we can offer this unique solution to a very real issue in the workplace,” Mike Keilhauer continues. “Talk more, text less! That’s my new mantra!”

Jackie Maze, vice president, Sales & Marketing, Keilhauer, concurs. “Nothing can replace good old-fashioned, face-to-face communication,” she says. “Just look at how we try to compensate for missing essential cues such as body language, facial expressions, tone of voice – we insert emoticons into our texts and emails, we capitalize all the letters in words to create emphasis, we use too many exclamation points!!! We even have to tell someone we’re laughing by putting codes like ‘lol’ into typed messages.”

No matter how many technological advances we make, people haven’t changed. We still prefer to get information face-to-face. Talk is what we need to do more, and Talk is where we can do it.

Talk seating is available upholstered in any of Keilhauer’s textiles and leathers, as well as COM and COL, and is covered by Keilhauer’s standard ten-year warranty. Environmentally speaking, the product line is exemplary. Both seating and tables are certified level 2 under BIFMA’s level® program. The table tops are made of PaperStone®, which is 100% post-consumer recycled paper, stained with natural pigments.

About Keilhauer

Founded in 1981, Keilhauer is a private, family-owned company that designs, engineers, and manufactures office seating, including task and executive chairs, lounge seating and complementary tables, side chairs, and stacking chairs, as well as health care seating solutions. For pricing information, contact Arenson at 212.633.2400.

About EOOS

EOOS are Martin Bergmann, Harald Gründl and Gernot Bohmann who studied design together at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 1990, they started their first collaboration and founded EOOS in 1995. They live in Vienna and work in the fields of product, furniture and architectural design. EOOS is named after one of the four sun horses of Greek mythology and stands for their programmatic approach to the field of design.