The P.O.C. project

Jürgen Merschmann, MABEG, Germany

The German company MABEG, with a headoffice in Soest since 1999 based in a building designed by English architect Nicholas Grimshaw, specializes in furniture for public spaces (such as waiting shelters, covered areas, bicycle parks and seating systems). But the problem is that local authorities are the sole customers in this sector. Foreseeing that this outlet would saturate at some point in the future, MABEG started to specialize in other sectors in order to guarantee a growing market for its products. Now the firm also develops furniture and structuring elements for the public spaces of companies and organisations. With these furniture systems MABEG builds elements of architecture. Some of the standard products are `Stand by': a seating system designed by James Irving; `Sessa Two': a seating system originally designed for airports; `Pult': a table for `new work' such as working with a lab top in the home office or in an open office space; `Soest stool': a stool made of bent aluminium, which has been upgraded to a design classic now even featured in the collection of the Design Museum in Munich; `Concept One': an aluminium shelf system which can be easily installed; and `Profile One': a reception desk based on the modular system of an architectural construction kit.

Design as we see it
This contribution discusses the details of the P.O.C. system, right from the initial stages dating back to 1999. This system is a presentation system, devised in collaboration with German designer Werner Baumhakl. The P.O.C. system illustrates how MABEG co-operates with designers and how design is approached within the company.
MABEG develops innovative solutions for elements of architecture. Functionality and clarity are an absolute prerequisite. Definitive products and projects are created in collaboration with internationally reputed designers and architects. The quest for new ways forward, materials and production ways goes side by side with the search for new tasks and future applications. In this way new themes are developed, first `on the drawing board' and subsequently in the MABEG design offices.

The P.O.C. project
The idea behind the P.O.C. system was setting up a conference and presentation system (presentation table, cabinet, high desk, monitor) for medium-sized companies which have no need of a fixed and fully equipped conference space but decide on a flexible, movable system with modern and built-in technology.

Design team
The P.O.C. project starts with the choice of a design team. One of MABEG's major contacts is with Designafairs, a design agency in Munich. At time time, Werner Baumhakl is a design manager in the company. Today he is working on his own. Designafairs was founded in 1997 and evolved out of the design department at Siemens. Technological know-how within Designafairs is important because the development of a technical product like the P.O.C. presentation system requires an insight into the technological evolutions of the next few years.


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