Foster + Partners designed a family of desktop accessories for Helit. The resulting objects are like architecture in miniature, assembled to form a cityscape for the desk.
The German manufacturer Helit specialises in the production of office accessories and has a tradition of working with designers of the highest calibre. Each piece has the form of a box of high-quality extruded aluminium sealed with a black plastic lid. This gives the range a coherent identity, while adding an element of mystery - it is initially unclear what each contains. When the lids are removed and attached to the base of the boxes, they reveal one box to be a clock and another to be a pen holder. Other components include a paper clip holder, as well as storage boxes for computer disks and business cards. The element of surprise is heightened in the note paper container by a simple mechanism that raises the paper above the top level of the box when the lid is attached to its base. The contrasting materials - the smooth matt aluminium and 'soft-touch' plastic add a tactile quality to these functional objects. To accompany the range, a waste paper basket, a filing tray, a writing mat and a mouse pad were also designed by Foster + Partners for Helit.