New Year, New Office – Vestre Expands to Los Angeles
2020 put a strain on us all. For many, public spaces, parks, and local neighborhoods became a second home. Once taken for granted, these spaces showed their importance for everyday wellbeing.
Coupled with increased interest in the “15-minute-city” concept, it seems clear that investment in public spaces featuring inclusive meeting places will keep growing in 2021. And despite the uncertainty up ahead, we continue to focus on the long-term with a Norwegian, solutions-oriented optimism.
So, with our motto, “there’s always a way,” we proudly open our very first West Coast office to meet a seemingly insatiable demand in the US for sustainable urban furniture.
“Allemannsretten” takes America
After furnishing Times Square, we established our New York office in 2019. Since then, interest in our products has grown far beyond our expectations. For our second year, we set what we then considered an ambitious budget. The final result for 2020 exceeded our target by 140%.
The principle of Nordic urban development, which underpins our designs, seems to be one the US appreciates. In Norway, for example, the general public has – within certain limits – a legal right to roam. And so urban spaces are increasingly being opened up for public use. It is a mindset that seems to be taking hold internationally, including in the USA.
We would like to thank everyone involved in the projects that chose a refreshing Norwegian alternative on the basis of our award-winning inclusive design, sustainable production, and superior material longevity. Here are three highlights from the many US projects we have supplied in recent years:
Arenas for everyday democracy
The pandemic and the ongoing struggle to combat social polarization and antagonism have emphasized highlighted the need for meaningful jobs, and healthy relationships, and as well as safe and friendly neighborhoods.
Part of the solution is what we call “caring meeting places.” These are attractive arenas in the public domain that encourage people to meet, irrespective of culture, gender or age. Because, when people sit down and talk, share life experiences, and get to know each other, we suddenly discover that there is no “us” and “them”, only “we”. We believe this is the best way to prevent a polarized society. And we have seen it work – time and time again.
We believe the future holds great things, which is why we have invested in our second US office despite the tough times the world is currently facing. We believe everyone can do their part. One way we can contribute is to create meaningful jobs. And in turn, the new office will help people and projects discover Vestre and spread the word about inclusive design and sustainable production to urban developers, one bench at a time.
Meet Chip, your contact in LA
We are proud to introduce our first Vestre employee in Playa Vista, Los Angeles. Chip Beyt is already on-site as your highly qualified guide to creating caring meeting places.
With his degree from Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, Chip is a native speaker of the colorful language of landscape architecture. Recognized as a top landscape architecture program in the US, his vast knowledge from Louisiana State University, and years of practicing landscape architecture is available for your next project.
“The types of outdoor spaces I want to create are those that promote social dynamics – spaces for friends to socialize, spaces for strangers to meet, spaces for protest, spaces for unity, spaces for the arts, spaces for living.
“These types of spaces all require a key element – furniture.
“Working at Vestre, my dream comes true every time I help designers figure out and solve furnishing for their projects. How could this dream get better? By being part of a company that aims to make the planet better for generations to come and be the sustainability North Star for the built environment.”
Showroom project in Playa Vista
When we planned our Los Angeles office, we wanted a showroom. But we could never make one better than a real-life project. Conveniently, nearby the office lies the newly reimagined Runway Playa Vista, a DJM Property.
Come for a visit to experience how Vestre furniture activates public spaces and sparks social dynamics. Chip is available to show you around the Runway “showroom” and to assist with your next project.