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“Designing a healthy environment for people is an important part of social sustainability”

The design concept for this new workspace for JetBrains in Munich, was developed by D/DOCK and is called “The City”. This concept includes aspects of urban design, such as the human scale, sight lines, natural elements, walkability and serendipity. The intensive collaboration between all parties involved has resulted in a special circular working environment.
It’s Design&Build by D/DOCK and Furnify

In this interview with our Circular Accelerator Sabrina van Dongen you read more about this project:

“In my opinion, social sustainability goes beyond adding greenery or creating a homey area in the corner. A piece of furniture or a material type can be reused and given a second life, but it also needs your intrinsic value and motivation. Do you really believe in this circular process? ” Sabrina emphasizes that it’s all about believing completely in closing the circle. Without this important base, the reuse of materials and items is just an empty shell. Furnify wants to inspire its customers and give more substance to this circular belief.

“If you design in a circular way, it is a completely different process. Your creativity is challenged because you have to work with existing products, not just new products. Our Furnify team normally starts with a huge inventory of the existing items and materials. JetBrains Munich already made this inventory ourselves. We were able to use this list and integrated the pieces of furniture as much as possible into the designs for the new JetBrains building. Sabrina also mentions the fact that working with the JetBrains crew was pretty pleasant, they are flexible and actually liked the idea that not every room would have the same look & feel.

How do you collaborate with the designers?
“In the furniture selection, the collaboration between the designers, us and our partner Workbrands is very intense. Because there are unpredictable aspects in the sourcing process, all parties have to be flexible. Sometimes a piece cannot be found in ‘second life’, or not in sufficient quantities. So we are constantly playing the game of matching materials and items. Every time something (even if it is small) has to change, it affects the entire space. It’s a really addictive game, I have to admit, all parties are doing their utmost until we think we created the most ideal space”, Sabrina says with a smile.

The next step is the detailing of the items. What finish (material or color) does the team give to the product? In this refurbishing process, the wide variety of choices is more than sufficient for the designers to work with and create something beautiful. Our Furnify team works with close partner WorkBrands on a daily basis, so together they reach a beautiful end result.

Some figures for JetBrains Munich:

* 20% of the furniture comes from the former JetBrains office in Munich and was reused ‘1 in 1’
* 45% originates from the Furnify network, such as warehouses with reclaimed items and also other offices
* 35% is purchased, but with high sustainable standards

A refurbished item is difficult to distinguish from a new item. How do the JetBrainers know that they are using a table with a history because it has been reused?

Sabrina: “To increase awareness for each JetBrainer, we attached a QR label to each refurbished item. Behind the QR code we create a website where you can read everything about the process of these items. The stories of some specific pieces, where they came from and what our team has done with them to give them this second life. This “campaign”, as we might call it, is very important in my opinion. We must tell the story so that the JetBrainers will be proud and connect with their work environment in a sustainable way. The more people enjoy reclaimed furniture and materials, the more standardized it becomes, the less we throw away.”


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These blue ones originated from the Dutch Bank (De Nederlandse Bank).

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These beauties once shined at the centre of a reception area in a London based office, but time for them to get a new light grey jacket. Comparing this discarded piece and the refurb one, do you also think it's worth they reclaimed these?

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These blue chairs have seen the most famous asses ;).Rockstars, actors and actresses, presentors, they all sat on these chairs during their meetings in the ITV Studios back in London.

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