Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Update your browser

Landscape Forms and Industrial Facility Introduce Plains & Pods

April 1, 2024 
Kalamazoo, MI

​​​​​​​​​Moira Gilligan
Landscape Forms

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Karen Brooking

Landscape Forms, North America’s leading designer and manufacturer of high-design site furniture, structure, LED lighting and accessories, is pleased to introduce the Plains & Pods™ system of seating, surfaces and planters created with renowned London-based design studio, Industrial Facility. As two sibling products, Plains & Pods are designed to work elegantly both together and independently, and are unified in the way they use minimalist, non-prescriptive design to prioritize flexibility, adaptability, and user autonomy.

“Much like a blank piece of paper or a very simple rectangular table, when you see Plains & Pods, what you’re seeing is its potential,” describes Sam Hecht, designer and co-founder of Industrial Facility. “And when you see something as potential, it means you can impart yourself on it. There’s no code to it—it’s a setting where life is played out.”

Rectilinear and architectural, Plains is comprised of large-format platforms and a trestle, varying in height and width to create customizable settings of layered seating and surfaces. “What makes me so passionate about solutions like Plains is that while they do read intuitively or subconsciously as benches, they also can come across as so much more,” says Landscape Forms Director of Design, Ryan Heiser. “Laying down, perching, sitting cross-legged, breaking down the division between ‘me space’ and ‘we space’—using Plains unlike a traditional bench feels much more natural because it’s not encoded with the same rules or expectations.” Constructed of naturally weathering wood, powdercoated metal, or a combination thereof, Plains are offered in three widths each with short and tall heights. Also incorporating optional metal backs and attaching side tables, this diversity of Plains modules creates installations with a level of detail only rivaled by custom solutions. Plains can branch, network, stair-step, overlap, crisscross, create runs and more to enable the full freedom of design in three dimensions.

Plains’ curvilinear counterpart, Pods, are seating and planters designed to be grouped together in multi-layered clusters of respite space and attractive greenery. Different groupings of Pods modules give users the opportunity to determine how they interact with space—from large and open communal zones, areas for privacy, single seating and quick individual touch-down points can scatter out to bring social and aesthetic depth to the landscape.

“This is one of those product systems that’s changing the narrative about how to use furniture in public space,” describes Landscape Forms Chief Innovation Officer, Kirt Martin. “We’re seeing a lot of demand for these interactive, multi-dimensional site furnishings in the custom sphere, but Pods is the first standard product in our portfolio that combines these ideas of layers and multiple use cases.” Rounded rectangles and squares ranging from individual to communal, Pods seating modules are crafted from bent and powdercoated sheet metal for their bases and naturally weathering wood caps for the seats. The Pods short planter modules mirror the shape and scale of the seats, while tall planter modules add height and a tiered effect to installations.

As fully-fledged product systems, both Plains & Pods individually bring depth, multi-functionality and user freedom to the landscape, but together their impact is magnified. Interplay between Plains’ crisp right angles and Pods’ friendly curves offer added aesthetic richness, and combination installations create a variety of opportunities for different social experiences. Different compositions of Plains & Pods go deeper into determining the social ambiance of space, seeing solo versus communal not as a binary, but as a continuum along which there can be many nodes for many different types of interaction—large groups, small groups, couples, solos wanting privacy, and solos wanting to interact with others sharing the space. "Together, these two products are all about layering space and experiences to create pockets of recognizable design DNA that are totally non-prescriptive,” says Ryan Heiser. "People can approach a Plains & Pods installation from 360-degrees and determine exactly how they want to use it."

In creating Plains & Pods, design studio Industrial Facility sought out Landscape Forms both for their precision in manufacturing and for their expertise in elegantly exercising restraint in design. "It takes a manufacturer like Landscape Forms that can do anything to be able to deliberately and confidently tell them not to,” says designer Sam Hecht. "To achieve what we want to achieve with very simple forms and curves is much more difficult because there’s no complication to hide behind.”

And at Landscape Forms, the feeling of admiration is mutual. Of the design partnership with Industrial Facility, Landscape Forms Chief Innovation Officer, Kirt Martin describes, "We hold Industrial Facility in very high regard here. Their aesthetic is just so beautiful, and their thinking and approach is so refined and relevant. It’s really exciting to work with this level of world-class talent."

Learn more about Plains & Pods. ​

About Landscape Forms 

Landscape Forms is the industry leader in integrated collections of high-design site furniture, structures, accessories, and advanced LED lighting. Since its founding in 1969 Landscape Forms has earned a reputation for excellent design, high quality products and exceptional service. The company is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and our family of brands includes Loll Designs in Duluth, Minnesota; Summit Furniture in Monterey, California; and Kornegay Design located in Phoenix, Arizona.  It has sales representatives throughout North America, South America, the United Kingdom, Monaco, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Asia. Landscape Forms collaborates with renowned industrial designers and consultancies, landscape architects, and architects to design and develop integrated collections of products that address emerging needs and help create a sense of place. Additionally, the company has formed global marketing partnerships with select companies that share its commitment to design. Landscape Forms has an installed base of products around the world. Clients include municipalities, hospitality, residential, transit centers, corporate, college and health care campuses; and familiar brand leaders such as Harvard University, Linked In, New York Central Park Conservancy, Bryant Park, Google, Coca Cola, Oculus, U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), Nike, National Museum of African American History (Washington, D.C.), Barclays Center, Adidas, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Microsoft, and Uber. We’ve been named one of the Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production for 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 by Fortune Magazine, Michigan Manufacturer of the Year for 2020 by the Michigan Manufacturers Association, and by 269 Magazine as one of Southwest Michigan’s Wonderful Workplaces.​​

About Industrial Facility 

London-based studio Industrial Facility was co-founded in 2002 by designers Sam Hecht and Kim Colin. Their approach reflects both a thoughtful consideration of form and a unique understanding of contemporary life, creating beauty out of utility in the products, furniture and exhibitions they design. Hecht, from London, trained as an industrial designer, while Colin, from Los Angeles, trained as an architect; together they have helped clients to produce projects that display an understanding of cultural relevance and commercial success. Hecht and Colin’s desire is to work for industry in a way that improves the things we live with. Not setting out to produce something different but rather something better, they aim to design things that will last, be effective and give satisfaction often beyond what is called for by the product and the client. Industrial Facility is considered as one of the most progressive studios in product, furniture and exhibition design. With a roster of pioneering clients, including Muji, Herman Miller, Emeco, Mattiazzi, Epson and Wästberg, they are regarded for both their philosophical and pragmatic approach. In 2016, they created a new department called Future Facility to deal expressly with the design of products connected to the internet (IoT). Both Hecht and Colin are Royal Designers and Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts. Works are held in permanent collections worldwide, including the Cooper Hewitt and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Victoria and Albert Museum and the Design Museum, both in London; and the Helsinki Design Museum. In 2022 they were selected as 'Designers of the Year' by Monocle magazine.