Work and lifestyle at the cutting edge: In our conversations with contemporaries, we examine the claims, clichés and ideals surrounding our workplaces. This time we spoke to Anders Byriel, CEO of the Danish textile company “Kvadrat“. Byriel, who spends most of the week on the road, told us via email about his nomadic work style and revealed what he appreciates most about his head office.
Anders Byriel is the CEO of the Danish company 'Kvadrat', holding a leading position in the European market of design textiles. "Kvadrat" is renowned for constantly pushing the aesthetic, technological and artistic boundaries of fabrics, using textile "in a way, you would not normally experience it." The company works closely with architects, artists and designers such as Olafur Eliasson, Alfredo Häberli, Peter Saville or Tord Boontje. Kvadrat fabrics have been used in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Gherkin (London), Yves-Saint Laurent Paris or the Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao). For Bene, "Kvadrat" is exclusively weaving the "Greenwich" fabric designed by PearsonLloyd.
Do you have a "primary workspace", and – if so – where is it?
One day per week I am in my Ebeltoft office with an amazing view of the bay of Ebeltoft. This view I share with most of our staff in Ebeltoft.
The office as a space: What significance and function do you assign to it?
Productivity and well-being.
What do you dislike about your office?
The ceiling could be nicer, for example with Kvadrat Soft Cells.
Where do you most like to work?
On the road four days a week.
Are there places where you would especially like to work?
Certain lounges are very nice, like SAS Copenhagen, or the sofa in our Copenhagen showroom.
Are there places where you have to work but would rather avoid to?
Sitting in a car or noisy places.
What type of office do you like - an open office or a cubicle?
I like the combination of open and private spaces when needed. For me it’s important that the office is a relatively quiet, tactile and aesthetic space where you feel good.
Do you find offices a place of inspiration, of creativity?
Yes, and we are planning to make them even more inspirational.
Are there certain rituals that you consider important in your everyday office routine?
Morning tea and creating an overview of the tasks of the day.
What far-reaching changes could you describe when you look back over the entire period of your "office life"?
To be truthful my office space started with a super small office and ended in a nice spacious creative space – but I am also more and more working on the move.
What object is most important for you in your office?
That would be the Olafur Eliasson snapshots from New York which I see from my desk.
What’s your most personal object?
I have quite a personal office where I keep unread books on management, design and art. There are objects that have special value and significance to me, for example a small lion sculpture made of clay by my daughter which controls the business cards I receive.
What is the most important tool for your work?
Unfortunately my smart phone where 80% of the work is handled.
What is your favorite activity in the context of work?
I love sitting round a nice meeting table with tea, coffee and cake discussing and brainstorming on issues we need to move ahead.
How many hours per day do you spend in your office?
When I am there, 10-12 hours.
Thank you for the interview.