Architecture & Design  14.04.2014

Colour fields – A trip to India with nanimarquina

The British design firm PearsonLloyd took the inspiration for their Greenwich fabric and carpet collection from Greenwich Park and especially from the pathways through one of London’s iconic green spaces. The exclusive Greenwich carpet collection is produced by nanimarquina, a Barcelona based company that has been producing carpets since the 1980s. We follow the nanimarquina team to India, where the Greenwich rugs are manufactured with a great love for detail, design and tradition. Enjoy an inspiring photostory. 

Architecture & Design  09.04.2014

Designing Stories: an interview with Nani Marquina

The story of nanimarquina is based on a simple idea: the desire to design and produce contemporary rugs. This is its clear intention, which is implemented using values such as innovation, observation, communication, emotion and a knowledge of traditional craftsmanship.

The Spanish company has been designing carpets and textile products since 1987. It pays particular attention to its source materials and production process. These factors enhance the products’ aesthetic aspect, contributing to brand awareness and its success.

Bene just launched the Greenwich rug collection, a collaboration with nanimarquina, Bene and the British design studio PearsonLloyd. In our interview, Nani Marquina talks about her passion for design and tells us, how colors and knots can become stories.

You started out as an interior designer – why did you start designing rugs? When did you discover your love for textiles?
Design was always a big part of our home life, from when I was a little girl. My father was one of the first industrial designers in Spain. Every day he would come home with new designs that he had created. I was totally captivated, so he passed his great passion for designing on to me. Designing carpets wasn’t a decision that I made overnight. I started out as an interior decor print designer and through that I discovered that there was a gap between creating rugs and contemporary design.

What distinguishes a nanimarquina rug from others? How would you characterize your designs and products in a few words?
We research and design rugs with an emphasis on raw materials and traditional manufacturing processes. This enhances the beauty of the products - converting the textures, colors and knots of the rug into art, to tell a story. This is our key value, so you are not just buying a rug, you are buying a story. I believe that my passion for art and admiration of nature define the essence of my work.

Playlist  28.03.2014

Office.Playlist #47 by Liechtenecker

Liechtenecker is a young agency with lots of passion for everything digital. Its creative and professional team located in Vienna provides support for people who are looking for the right digital strategy. A table football match helps employees clear their mind when they need a break. If the table is occupied, they can turn to the power of music: This Office.Playlist includes some of the agency’s favourite tracks.

Trends  28.03.2014

Workplace Accessoires – the little helpers on the job

Just as in life, the little things play a role in the office which should not be underestimated. Ultimately it is often the details that shape a workplace in such a way that we feel comfortable, with all our needs being met. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important workplace accessories.

The right light is crucial

Light is one of the decisive factors for workplace well-being: there is hardly anything more disturbing than light which is too bright or dazzling. Poor or inadequate lighting leads to fatigue, eye problems and headaches. Good visual conditions on the other hand not only promote concentration, they also increase well-being.

Functionality is the top priority at the workplace - lighting in the office must ensure optimal illumination and the best working conditions. Areas for concentrated work require a mixture of daylight and artificial light. Direct glare-free light suits permanent workplaces. On the other hand, soft indirect light should be used for communication zones and project areas.



4,967 HTML pages, 2,485 e-mails, 15,806 photos, 1,485 cups of coffee - these are just a few figures to go with the new website. But the result of our efforts is worth seeing: the new Bene website makes office life fun!

If you want to find out more about the before and after, and are also interested in the results of table football matches, we highly recommend our infographics.

If you want to know everything about technical details and usability, and get all excited about the new features that the Liechtenecker Agency has developed so cleverly, switch straight to the microsite.

What about everybody else? The best thing to do is start straightaway with a visit to the new site itself.


Christian Horner, Vienna – Waidhofen/Ybbs

Work and lifestyle on the cutting edge. In discussions with contemporaries we review the assertions, clichés and ideals which circulate around work environments. This time we talked with designer Christian Horner. In an interview with Désirée Schellerer and Angelika Molk he spoke of the office as a public space, the importance of communication and the spatial depth of open space.

Designs by Christian Horner are characterised by elegant lines and a love of detail. He is able to reinterpret classic shapes. Born in Starnberg near Munich in 1968, the designer grew up in Italy and studied in Ron Arad’s master class at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He has worked with renowned design agencies in Paris and Milan. In addition to his work for Bene since 2000, together with Nada Nasrallah he has designed objects for companies such as MDF Italia, Rapsel, Ligne Roset and Wittmann Möbelwerkstätten.

Christian Horner, you design products both for residential as well as office areas. Do you always have the same approach, even when you are working on entirely different categories of product, or does the design process change depending on the task at hand?
The process can actually be very different. The systematic and repetitive character of office furniture requires convergence above all in terms of the overall consideration of the area. The start of the process involves working out possible floor plans and furniture and material combinations, with the details developed at the end. However, these finer points then become hugely significant. Don’t forget that once defined, a surface or shadow gap can then be repeated hundreds of times throughout the area.


Innovation guaranteed

If you want to squeeze yourself into a market niche you have to remain lean and agile. And once in there you should fill it out as much as you can. This appears to be the recipe for success of those small and medium-sized companies that are seeing record successes as so-called hidden champions, and yet still remain largely unknown among the public.

There are around 1,500 of these industry success stories in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. 190 companies in Austria alone fulfil the criteria drawn up by Georg Jungwirth from FH Campus 02: they are among the top three in their market segment or at least market leaders in Europe; their annual turnover is no more than EUR 200 million, and they have their company headquarters “at home”.

Recognising what is needed

The diverse range of products offered by these companies to reach their leading positions is astounding: traditional Viennese company Thomastik-Infeld for instance is a global market leader in the production of strings used in string instruments. Prior to the start of World War I the founders of the company began to investigate the materials that they would require for developing new string technologies. Today, strings for string instruments are truly hi-tech products based on materials like plastics from space technology and bio-compatible substances such as titanium. Fundamental research, their own development laboratory and a team of highly specialised engineers have all been necessary elements in producing these unique and special products that receive praise literally in the highest tones from musicians all over the world.


Stockholm Furniture Fair - beautiful things for everyday

The Stockholm Furniture Fair is small, but exquisite. In addition to the best known Scandinavian producers, a number of international greats also present their new living, lighting and office design products here. Bene was there for the second time. Of course, we brought along  our products  for today’s modern working environment.

"Vackrare Vardagsvara"

In 1919 the chairman of the Swedish Design Council tried to explain the uniqueness of Scandinavian design with the words “Vackrare Vardagsvara”:  “More beautiful things for everyday use.” The light and pureness of Scandinavian shaping and design has since set precedents all around the world, and the Nordic design language is now spoken just about everywhere.


Big bang theory for start-ups

The starting point is clear: you have an amazing idea and hopefully a unique product, too. Think about it – ideas and concepts may well be sensational, but customers want a real product that they can touch, use and apply. Not just the idea of something.

Things are much easier if you develop your vision together with a partner or with a passionate team who are not at all shy of hard work and burning the midnight oil.

Don’t shut yourself away in an ivory tower or become too obsessed with your idea. Spending more time working on an idea does not automatically mean better results. Get out of your studio, office, cellar or garage – head out into the world and be open for all types of perspectives and points of view that can be found in your surroundings.

Be determined – but also be honest with yourself when it comes to assessments of your innovation.


Johannes Knoll, Runtastic, Pasching and San Francisco

Work and lifestyle on the cutting edge. In discussions with contemporary figures we review the assertions, clichés and ideals which circulate around work environments. This time we spoke with Johannes Knoll about his work as Head of Marketing at the extremely successful Austrian start-up Runtastic. He told Angelika Molk what’s important in the start-up business – and what it’s like to work with really good friends.

Runtastic was founded in 2009 and, with over 60 million downloads and more than 25 million users on, is considered today to be the world leader in mobile fitness apps. The company headquarters is in Pasching, in Upper Austria, as well as in the US, where they opened an office in San Francisco.

With the help of Runtastic, you can track athletic activities like your morning run, a hike or a classic workout, then analyse them and share the information with friends on social media platforms. Also available: mobile nutritional advice, an app to exercise your abdominals and "Story Running" audio books that tell stories specifically tuned to jogging. Johannes Knoll was part of Runtastic’s rise to the top from the beginning. In the meantime, the economist coordinates the international marketing for the successful start-up.

Mr Knoll, Runtastic was founded in 2009 as a small start-up and has since become an internationally recognised and successful company. Can you tell us how Runtastic was started? Where did the idea come from?
Runtastic originated from a student project at the Hagenberg University of Applied Sciences. At the time, the task was to track rally cars and sailboats. After the project was completed, René Giretzlehner decided the idea had potential for an independent company. With Christian Kaar, Alfred Luger and Florian Gschwandtner he soon had three co-founders. That was back when the first iPhone with a built-in GPS module had just hit the market – and this is exactly where the four young entrepreneurs saw their chance. As you can see today, barely four years later, we really jumped on the right train.

What was the first Runtastic office like? Did Runtastic even have an office?
After working day and night in the founders own homes, there was finally a very comfortable Runtastic office for a team of 6-8 people. That first office definitely fit the typical "start-up style": we were coding and programming for all we were worth.