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Design Talks: The New PoppinPod Om

Design Talks: The New PoppinPod Om

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This month, we're sitting down with Jeff Miller, Poppin’s Head of Design, to discuss the design of our new PoppinPod Om phone booth. Read the interview to learn about the Om’s breakthrough Rolling Install technology, the new importance of solitude, and why office pods are more essential than ever.

Q: Where did you begin when designing the Om, Poppin's newest PoppinPod? 

A: As a product designer, I have always felt that the existing pods in the marketplace were lost between the architectural space and the product space. This was an opportunity to make a PoppinPod feel like a product you can own and move around your office rather than a pod that’s trying to be part of the architecture of the office. 

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Q: What design elements did you introduce to the PoppinPod?

A: We made the Om slim and smooth and flush on the outside, highlighting the simple forms and radii of the product itself. The vent holes, which are presented as a grid, bring a graphic treatment to the outside of the Om.  

On the interior, we were very cognizant of incorporating an integrated desktop surface that you can interact with. The desktop surface is purposeful; you can mount papers with magnets, you can mount some of our Wall Organization with magnets, but moreover it’s a counterpoint to where you’re sitting. We also incorporated the AC, USB, and Ethernet ports in a prescribed circular design that’s flush with the surface. 

For the overall size of the pod, we kept it a size that fits under doorways so it can be affordably rolled into installations. The size makes it feels like a more “bite-sized,” desirable product than some of the pods on the market that start to encroach on the architecture of the space itself.

Q: How does the "Rolling Install” feature work, and why did you include it?

A: Over months of samples and testing, we developed a single non-swiveling caster—a roller—which would be strong enough to roll in and out of installs, out of trucks, over transoms...It’s a very substantial, well-wearing, slick nylon wheel that can can swivel and glide on any surface. The caster has a very low profile so you can place it easily into your office with leveling glides. 

You can always undo those glides in the future if you need to move the phone booth within your office—or even move it to a new space—which is in keeping with Poppin’s overall ease of assembly and flexibility.  

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Q: What kind of office is the Om meant for? 

A: Before COVID, we knew that the Om’s Rolling Install would be a great benefit, but we weren’t taking into account how much people would want to be separate within the open office. The PoppinPod is now one of the most affordable ways to really separate yourself from others—you can make an array of pods next to each other and make safe places for people to work alone for the time being. There’s even an opportunity for PoppinPod Oms to be used as offices at home. If you need quiet while WFH, all of the reasons that people thought pods were good for having solitude and quiet and focus before COVID are that much more amplified—whether people are WFH or need to come into the office, they can use the Om to have solitude from one another. 

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