Decades before the open office became the norm, one innovative company recognized the need to utilize every inch in the built environment, even the walls. Nearly 30 years ago, Kimball—founded as a family business in 1970—set out to create a revolutionary wall system that transforms unused vertical space into dynamic and functional square footage. Now there's an entirely new iteration of this system in the market, and it's more versatile than ever.
Earlier this week, Kimball launched Work|Able, which functions as its name suggests. The multi-faceted wall system, developed through a collaboration with San Francisco-based designer Brian Graham, redefines the notion of a workable surface by enabling designers to utilize wall space from floor-to-ceiling. "I used my new, smaller studio in San Francisco as a model when developing Work|Able," says Graham. "A small space needs to function in different ways throughout the course of the day, so I thought: How can I make that wall earn its place and do everything I need it to do?"
Work|Able succeeds in doing just that. With enhanced features and capabilities that easily integrate with technology, Work|Able reflects a broader array of visual expressions outfitting designers with the option to pair materials like pegboard, chalkboard, cork, and acoustical PET with unique work tools, accessories, and surfaces. The resulting aesthetic is simple, yet effective—a fully functional solution that integrates seamlessly into any space.
"A key component when designing Work|Able was to allow people to personalize their space using the framework I've given them," says Graham. With Work|Able, the configurability options are endless. Its design enables functional tiles, work surfaces, storage, and panels to be integrated into any space by effortlessly mounting a rail system directly to building walls.
Designers will take comfort in knowing they can integrate a variety of panel sizes and accessories into each Work|Able wall system, including shelving with planters and small baskets, phone/ear bud holders, TV mounts, as well as power and data modules. "What most distinguishes Work|Able is its mix of materials and range of expression," adds Graham. "It's applicable to a range of environments from an advertising agency to a tech start-up to a law firm since designers can change the way the tiles are organized and accessorized, while also changing the coloration."
One of Work|Able's most utilitarian elements centers around its shelving and work surfaces, which can sit at multiple heights along the anchoring rail installation system. With this feature, Work|Able allows for seated or standing work surfaces, outfitting employers with options to boost employee productivity and wellness. At the same time, the system also facilitates collaboration by leveraging wall space as a hub of interaction in offices large and small.
Importantly, Work|Able gives designers the flexibility to create the wall system that best suits the environment at hand, with every accessory or function imaginable. "With the increasing importance of open-plan environments, Work|Able provides the opportunity to take a wall or space that once wasn’t utilized and give it purpose," Graham notes. Designers looking to specify Work|Able can expect a lead time of four-to-five weeks.