Last time I flew on an airplane, I had the unfortunate luck of landing in the center seat. This means, of course, that I was bound to fight for the armrests. Airlines could learn a thing or two from Cumberland Furniture’s Thick and Thin sectional system, which offers lounge seating with roomy arms: “The wide arms define personal space in an environment where boundaries are often lacking.” Someone send that in a memo to Richard Branson!
Thick and Thin Sectional System. Designed by Charlie Kane. Manufactured by Cumberland.
Commutative Contract Provides a Palette of Heights, Thicknesses, and Materials
The Thick and Thin collection is made up of so many pieces that I cannot list them in this short space. Needless to say, between benches and bolsters, pie corners and square corners, curved sections and straight sections, the pieces should please almost everyone in almost any contract venue. All upholstered seating is the same depth, and each unit sits on a one-inch wood platform; this uniformity gives Thick and Thin “structural and visual coherence.” Modules can be put together to form straight lines or snaking shapes, angular groupings or sinuous circles.
It is the walls that encase Thick and Thin’s lounge seating, however, that add “privacy and visual interest…without building architectural walls.” Only one inch thick, the bounding walls of the system divide space for “privacy and interaction”; they create intimate conversation or work areas, as well as private niches for individuals. Thick and Thin walls also double as a work surface: the seven-inch-thick walls provide the perfect surface depth for laptops. Whether thin or thick, the walls are available in transaction or arm height.
Designed by Charlie Kane of XLG, Thick and Thin meets a variety of needs. For waiting areas, the seating modules are available without walls—great for open reception areas. Combine the walls with power outlets and work surfaces and people can work while they wait. Provide freestanding tables for added workspace and open benches for versatility—people can use them as seating or as additional surfaces (they can spread out papers, magazines, even blueprints). And, getting back to the question of arms, Thick and Thin arms can be powered for laptops or recharging telephones: not only are they roomy, they’re tech-savvy.
Thick and Thin comes standard in maple veneer, though the collection can be customized with exotic woods or laminates. For even more configurability, the seating system is designed with a flat back, allowing sections to be arranged back-to-back. Thick and Thin turns contract seating into contact seating—get in touch with your neighbor or with your inner self.
About the Manufacturer: Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan—home to some of the best contract furniture—Cumberland actually originated in the 1950s in New York. At its inception, the company designed and produced tables, desks, benches, and office and lobby seating. They continue offering such products today, including interesting and elegant collections of guest and lounge seating known for their quality and transitional style: “Among those working in residential and contract settings alike, the Cumberland name was known, its products coveted, especially for fine homes and executive offices.”