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benchwall + thinwall modular system

Last week, visitors to molo’s installation at ICFF in New York were treated to a first look of molo’s new benchwall + thinwall modular system. benchwall + thinwall function together, or independently, to add further versatility to molo’s existing soft collection of modular textile and paper partitions, paper furniture and chairs, and energy-efficient LED lighting designs by molo founders/designers Stephanie Forsythe + Todd MacAllen.

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molo’s new benchwall can form intimate conversation and seating areas. Beginning less than 12” in length, benchwall’s paper honeycomb expands up to 12’.

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Connectable by modular magnetic end panels, multiple benchwalls can be easily reconfigured.

benchwall begins with a flexible and expandable 18” tall seat that extends into a 6’ tall back. Made from continuous sheets of paper honeycombed together, benchwall presents a unique combination of durability, flexibility, and privacy. The backrest of the bench, the strength of which is belied by the chair’s humble paper material, is surprisingly comfortable. Springy paper pleats, which extend naturally from the interior honeycomb structure, run vertically along the backrest of benchwall and gently contour to the shape and size of those leaning against it. The height of the backrest also provides acoustic absorption, forming an aural partition that keeps conversation private. With a subtle nod to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s chair and other high backed seating from the early 20th century, benchwall creates comfort and focus through privacy and intimacy within surrounding space. Like molo’s other softseating designs, there is also a beautiful pattern of wear that develops on benchwall as it is used.

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paper thinwall dyed with a rich bamboo charcoal ink is now available. It is one of the most striking versions of the new partition.

thinwall is the other half of molo’s new modular system. A flexible, lightweight partition 6’ in height, thinwall is similar in form to softwall (based on an expandable honeycomb form), but with a thinner profile (measuring only 3.5” (8.75cm) in width) that can create nuanced ribbon-like shapes. From an initial compressed form only a few inches long, thinwall expands by means of flexible honeycomb to a length of 15’ (4.5m). thinwall differentiates itself from other partitions through its versatility. Versus typical partitions that are relatively static – and those that are mobile to some degree cannot be compressed or easily stored – thinwall is incredibly mobile and can be fluidly shaped to fit into any space. The combination of this mobility with a narrow profile gives thinwall additional functionality as custom wrapping for millwork, doors for closet shelving, window coverings, or an acoustic treatment for fixed walls and ceilings. The new thinwall design is a beautiful addition to the subtle visual language of molo’s soft collection.

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molo softseating fanning benches can be magnetically connected to the new benchwall.

thinwall has been designed to connect together perfectly with the back of benchwall via magnetic panels integrated into each end of the designs. The seat of benchwall has been further designed to connect to corresponding sizes of softseating fanning benches. Together, the three designs can be combined and recombined with one another to create continuous environments that offer flexibility, privacy, and acoustic solutions for not only those within the partitioned seating areas, but also those around the exterior of these spaces.

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A drawing showing the possible connections between softseating fanning bench, benchwall, and thinwall.

As the designs are just now being released, the possibilities and potential for the new system are still being discovered. Like the other soft collection designs by Forsythe + MacAllen, there is an abstract nature to benchwall + thinwall that allows the user to interpret and take control of how they are implemented and the exact purpose they fill. The flexible and mobile nature of the products further allows the designs to fulfil multiple, evolving purposes as new needs arise.

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For smaller urban spaces, like a narrow corridor or thin window display, sometimes softwall (although only 12”-18” wide) could not be implemented. Now thinwall presents a solution for these spaces that still has flexibility and acoustic benefits.

paper thinwall, made from 50% post-consumer pulp, is now available in natural brown and black. thinwall will also be available in a white textile made from 100% recyclable polyethylene. benchwall will be first released in August, 2014 in natural brown and bamboo charcoal black paper versions (other material options will follow). Pricing for the new paper benches will be available June 9th. Any further inquiries about the new designs can be sent to info@molodesign.com.