Latch By Spec Furniture: Designed For Collaboration On The Go

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Elise Shapiro
Elise Shapiro
Elise Shapiro is a contributing editor. Little did she know that her first job, in the facilities department at Ralston Purina, while obtaining her M. Arch at Washington University, in St. Louis would foreshadow where her career would lead. She has always been a strong advocate for providing the best possible spaces for people to work – where aesthetics meet function and drive business success.

As we make our return to the workplace, finding spaces that can be reconfigured as needed are essential. This is where Latch by Spec Furniture comes in!

Spec furniture
Today’s flexible workplace demands flexible furniture solutions.

The pandemic has pushed us to work and play in the ways some of us have not envisioned for ourselves. The need to scale back on real estate due to budget, remote work, lower attendance, or the advancement of technologies have alienated us from each other in the shortest time possible. Today, many of us find ourselves lonely, lacking stimulus, and missing interactions with people outside of our families and friends.

While we may be at the tail end of the pandemic, there is a distinct chatter getting louder by day about people wanting to go back to the office. So how do we support the growth in collaborative workspaces that we have seen over the past several years with varying health vulnerability and risk tolerance levels?

In looking to design versatile and user-friendly furniture solutions, Spec Furniture came up with a collection of easily reconfigurable and adaptable pieces that keep any office less static and more flexible to today’s needs.

Toronto-based furniture manufacturer has introduced Latch, a modular office furniture collection that easily converts meeting rooms to training spaces, brainstorming corners to private stations, round table discussions to breakout groups, you name it. The collection includes tables, media walls, shelving units, whiteboards and hospitality carts, all on casters to make configuration and reconfiguration as smooth as possible. In addition to Latch being an extremely easy-to-use collection of well-built office furniture, the keen creative eye will find beauty in various shapes, sizes, and almost a hundred standard finishes.

The connecting mechanism makes Latch easy to connect and reconfigure.

We connected with Spec Furniture to find out more about this new and innovative product offering.

How do you think Latch can help designers plan for the emerging workplace as people return to the office?

Workplaces find themselves having to do the impossible by supporting the business in these trying times and accommodating a variety of new ways people work and play. Latch provides workplaces with a flexible solution that can be reconfigured in minutes, as needed, to create a variety of spaces, including collaboration, heads-down work, and meeting huddle spaces.

As a component of the agile/activity-based workspace, how does Latch support that design concept?

Latch is flexible and is designed to adapt to today’s workplaces. The connecting mechanism is a simple, well, latch. Anyone on your team can connect and disconnect products in the series. If meeting space is needed, workers can simply attach two or more tables together and pull over a whiteboard or media wall to support digital and analog meeting requirements.

Shelving units can create defined spaces by acting as temporary walls. Smaller tables can be grouped together to make an ample working space, or users can disconnect the tables and create a personal workspace for heads-down work.

Can you tell a story or give an example of how this product will help our readers design and implement great workplace solutions?

We see more offices with minimal meeting spaces that need to achieve multiple purposes throughout the day. Envision your typical meeting room – The day’s first meeting might be one-on-one between a manager and an employee. This manager may not like the boardroom set up as it feels too formal, so they unlatch the tables to create a smaller meeting area which feels more comfortable for a small party. Once that meeting wraps up, the subsequent users come in; it’s a group of 4 people who would like to use a monitor to review content together. With a quick unlatch and re-latch, they can bring the other tables in and create a D-shaped table configuration connected to a mobile media wall – the perfect design for collaborative setups. Next up is a welcome meeting for new employees. The HR manager doesn’t want to sit around the table, as this meeting will be in presentation format. They can disconnect all the tables quickly and move the media wall to the front of the room, and in minutes they are ready to present. Finally, an employee from out of town stops in for some heads-down work at the end of the day. They actually need a private office to get their job done, so they’ve booked the meeting room for themselves. They quickly pull two tables together to create an L-shaped desk so that they can comfortably spread their papers out and get to work!

Spec Furniture
Options for meeting and working together are easily supported by the components available.

What was the inspiration for the design of this product?

We wanted to create a product that made sense for today’s corporate and educational spaces. Flexible, adaptable and mobile are words we use to describe what Latch is. It is all about reconnecting—much like what these markets are doing in 2022. The world is adapting to new ways of living. With many companies offering hybrid work arrangements and students opting for more online learning, spaces where we actually physically come together are being used for collaborating more than ever before. But we also know that no two meetings are the same. Our customers are trying to work within the same footprint or smaller while offering more variety in workspace types. This is where Latch shines. Users can rearrange any space to suit their work that day or that hour – one collection of products that can be quickly arranged to meet their needs.

What innovations in materials or fabrication are utilized in the manufacture of this product?

Latch’s main materials are commonly used at Spec Furniture – metal frames and high-pressure laminate tops. These materials are tried and tested for us, providing confidence in the product’s durability. The unique aspect of the fabrication is the latching mechanism itself. Made as a solid injection molded part, this mechanism allows users to easily latch and unlatch the pieces together without using tools or even thumb screws. The smooth injection mold of the clip allows it to slide along the connecting bar easily to adjust connection points. The material is flexible enough to easily snap on and off and durable enough to connect products and move them together. Explore the options here.

Spec Furniture
Designers will find multiple options to specify Latch with a variety of models, finishes and materials.

Where do you think the installation of this product will be most effective?

Anywhere. Latch is designed to fit into various spaces, big or small. It is most popular in corporate and educational markets as that is where the aspect of flexibility is most prominent at the moment. Wherever a multi-purpose room is needed, Latch will be effective.

What is the availability of the Latch product line?

Latch is available to specify now, with more product introductions planned for NeoCon in June.

What do you think our readers will love about Latch?

The flexibility Latch provides to all types of workplaces. Adapting spaces on a per-need basis in virtually no time, by anyone, without any tools is fantastic.

Is pricing information available?

Yes, please refer to our price book here.

Are there any other unique features that would interest our readers?

A beautiful standard offering of finishes. It is satisfying to see how the collection can transform a space with its own visual identity. Spec Furniture offers a vast range of color choices for all products. Latch frames are available in 76 Spectone finishes, and laminate choices are virtually endless.

When and where do you plan to exhibit the product or service?

Latch was initially unveiled at NeoCon 2021, with more products launching at NeoCon 2022.

Connect with Spec Furniture:

Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

Find your local rep here.

Contact Spec Furniture here.

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