Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

Rhody design and manufacturing win national notice

July 17, 2014 by chris

focal deskTwo national magazines say a Portsmouth company is making some of the best office furniture in America.

Buildings magazine awarded Focal Upright Furniture’s Mobis seat the Product Innovations Grand Prize in the Seating category. The announcement came at NeoCon, North America’s largest design exposition and conference for commercial interior designers.

And Inc. magazine did Buildings one better, honoring two of Focal’s products in its annual Best in Class Design Awards. The Locus Sphere Workstation took top honors in the Office category while the Mobis seat was named a finalist. Both products are designed and built in Focal’s Portsmouth facility.

“Inc. knows a few things about innovative product design. That said, we are honored that the Inc. editors have recognized both Mobis, our new seat, and the Locus Sphere Workstation, our executive standing desk, as outstanding in the office design category,” says Focal founder and CEO Martin Keen.

Inc. looked for products that demonstrated exceptional functionality, a top quality design ethic, superior workmanship and an innovative approach to solving problems.

The Locus Sphere has everything that Focal’s original Locus Desk offers, with a 40 percent larger desktop so users can tackle multiple spreadsheets, reports or blueprints with ease.

This height- and incline-adjustable desk is the perfect stand-up workstation on its own, or it can be paired with the iconic Locus Seat, which allows users to lean in comfort as they work. From the curve of the expansive desktop to the buffed aluminum legs, Sphere’s sleek, streamlined design looks great and performs beautifully in any setting.

“Your most valuable, high-productive hours are spent at your desk. Our products offer far more comfort, function and utility than traditional office furniture,” Keen explains.

Mobis is the latest addition to Focal’s line of upright leaning seats. The seat is designed to work as a dynamic extension of your body, pivoting and flexing to respond to and support every move you make. The Mobis seat cushion turns 360 degrees always returning to center. Height adjustable from 25” to 35”, the Mobis leg flexes 6 degrees in all directions, which allows your body to find its perfect balance.

“It’s more of a perching seat, halfway between sitting and standing,” says Keen. “The idea is it’s keeping your pelvis rocked. A little bit closer to standing, but not all the way towards standing. So, you notice instantly that your back becomes straight.”

It is the lighter, grab-and-go version of Focal’s original “stand or lean” Locus Seat, which offers upright support for those at the office, medical facilities, retail, or anywhere it’s important to keep your energy up and your thoughts focused. Designed to be a perfect partner for any standing desk, the lean-into, adjustable-height, pivoting stool was designed for people who need to have as much energy at 4 p.m. as they did at the start of the day.

These weren’t the first times Focal has taken home the gold. Its flagship product, the Locus Workstation, won the 2012 Attendees Choice Award at the ErgoExpo and received the Grand Prize in Product Innovation from “Buildings” magazine last year.