Annual Briefing:
a plural approach to emerging
behaviours

AB: Introduction

How can we better resonate with the behaviours of our time? The Annual Briefings gather people, as one collective brain, honing single acts—exploring new typologies—as ongoing responses to our evolving public environment.

An introduction to Annual Briefing by Design Strategist, Lia Forslund

At +Halle, we work with architects, urban planners, behavioural scientists, and cultural entrepreneurs to better understand our public space. This approach, is an integral part of who we are as a business, which is why we have developed a plural design methodology resonating with the shifting times we live in. We call it the Annual Briefing. 

Once a year we invite designers and experts to investigate one behavioural theme. During the briefing day, we articulate a given purpose as a narrative, presented along with opinions from diverse sets of experts. The architects and designers then have come up with one collection each, directly responding to emerging behaviours. Throughout the year, the teams meet to share thoughts and give feedback. In this peer exercise, critical questions are raised.  As a result, multiple, often radically different, collections of furniture are developed, all individually speaking to a particular purpose yet fostered by a collective mind.

Gallery20

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

AB: Dwelling with MSDS, Nick Ross and Form Us With Love

AB: Sharing with Snøhetta and Form Us With Love

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

AB: Sharing with Snøhetta and Form Us With Love

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

AB: Dwelling with MSDS, Nick Ross and Form Us With Love

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

AB: Dwelling with MSDS, Nick Ross and Form Us With Love

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

AB: Sharing with Snøhetta and Form Us With Love

AB: Dwelling with MSDS, Nick Ross and Form Us With Love

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

AB: Dwelling with MSDS, Nick Ross and Form Us With Love

AB: Sharing with Snøhetta and Form Us With Love

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

AB: Dwelling with MSDS, Nick Ross and Form Us With Love

AB: Sharing with Snøhetta and Form Us With Love

AB: Sharing with Snøhetta and Form Us With Love

AB: Producing with BIG, Raw Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love

‘During the annual Briefings, we break the rules of mine and yours. We’re not starting with, “this is my idea, and therefore … ,” instead, the process ensures that people can come together and say, “Hey, can we do this instead?’

AB: Dwelling

The Annual Briefing on Dwelling, saw MSDS, Nick Ross and Form Us with Love deep dive into the theme of short rests, daily contemplations, and deep reflections. The outcome: three collections resonating with different durations of dwelling, all pointing to the same distinct purpose. ‘The brief gave us some boundaries, but in the end, everyone’s interpretations were different. With a philosophical framing, as opposed to a technical or market-driven approach, we were allowed to think about dwelling from all angles before we began our design,’ says MSDS Studio co-founder Jessica Nakanishi.

AB: Sharing

The Annual Briefing on Sharing saw Snøhetta and Form Us with Love collaboratively investigating the theme of social gathering and exchange. The final collections: two distinct takes on intimacy, one open and one closed. ‘It’s the form in which we gather that makes the brief fascinating: inspired by the idea of furniture acting as a facilitator for exchange, we can see how Summit speaks to new ways of coming together. Traces of landscape architecture feed into the design—introducing a soft, mount-like, structure at play—which remains a reference point for the design to this day,’ says Martin Halle, Creative Director at +Halle.

AB: Producing

The Annual Briefing on Producing saw BIG, Raw-Edges Design Studio and Form Us With Love explore the dynamic nature of productivity in the public realm. The result: Three hybrid collections combining productivity with both movement and privacy. ‘Our third briefing proposed a series of interesting relationships: between productivity and wellbeing, productivity and distraction and between shifts of production throughout the day. It is in weaving these multiple behaviours that we see the collections representing a new take on individual space, where you are encouraged to switch pace intellectually,’ says Martin Halle, creative director at +Halle.

Different types of risks

‘The producer usually wants a certain outcome but doesn’t know where to begin the conversation, and as a designer, you are left to it: here there was a vivid discussion in the beginning, not about objects but behaviours, which allowed me to take different types of risks—I would never have designed Proto if it was not for a brief like that,” designer Nick Ross admits,’ Our conversation brought me to shapes that communicate with us on a primal level, and these slowly became sofas and chairs.’