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Creating innovative modular furniture for flexible spaces

Sustainable mobility


closure date

ENGIE is looking for innovative design proposals for modular pieces of furniture: custom-made objects that combine flexibility, connectivity and innovation. The furniture will be used in the "Chronotope" project, a location that will be used 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The space will be completely modular, capable of being transformed throughout the day to serve different purposes – from working, creating, and relaxing to living accommodations, services, cooperation and innovation.

Deadline for applications: October 30th 2015

Purpose of the call for projects:

As part of the the "Reinventing Paris" project, ENGIE is looking for innovative design proposals for a set of modular furniture that can be used to help create flexible, changeable spaces that can be adapted to various uses, whether working, creating, relaxing or living.

The units’ design should include details about how they can be produced quickly, given a short timeframe.

  • Illustrations of all units in both 2D and 3D
  • Production plan and details
  • Precise technical specifications (materials, connectivity, production timeline, etc.)

Who is this call for projects for?

This call for projects is intended for startups, architects, independent designers and students in their final year or recent graduates of design and fine arts schools.

You are welcome to participate individually or in teams.

Rewards and benefits:

The winner will join the “Chronotope” project team during its final phase. The prototype will be displayed at the "Reinventing Paris" APUI (a call for innovative urban projects) and judged by the international committee. If "Chronotope" wins the APUI, the modular furniture units will be financed and manufactured by ENGIE and used to furnish the project space.

Detailed description:

ENGIE is participating in the call for innovative urban projects (APUI) known as "Reinventing Paris" with the "Chronotope", located on the site of the former Maurice Ravel Conservatory in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.

The "Chronotope" will occupy an eight-story building with 3000 m² of modular spaces, open 24/7/365 and transformable throughout the course of the day to serve various purposes - working, creating, and relaxing; living accommodations, services, cooperation and innovation, among others.

Space in the Chronotope will evolve, change, and adapt to meet the needs of its users. The Chronotope will be highly flexible, both in its layout and in how it functions. With this in mind, ENGIE is seeking innovative design proposals for a set of modular furniture that can help shape the spaces to suit their various intended uses.

The furniture unit should be easy to move and adaptable enough to meet a wide range of needs for many users. Their size and proportions must be such that individual units can be moved between storage space in the basement and the floors above via the freight elevator.

The building’s users – including startups, coworking companies, nonprofits and ENGIE staff – should be able to configure and manage their areas by combining several units (office furniture, storage, beds, kitchenettes and bathrooms) that allow them both to work and to live in the space if they wish to do so. They should only have to "plug" their units into the networks (ex. electrical, plumbing) on each floor for them to be usable.

The units will inventoried and will be able to be reserved via the Chronotope application, whether by the hour or per day, week, or month, and even year-round. Everyone can choose what suits them best!

Each unit should meet the following specifications:

- Dimensions: 0.8 x 1.8 x 2.00 m, so that they can be moved between storage space in the basement and the floors above via the freight elevator

- Mobility: the modules must be on wheels and have pull handles. They should be equipped with a system that allows them to move on their own.

- Materials: Ideally they should be made of recycled materials, which can vary in terms of texture, features, perforations and opacity, etc. They must be able to withstand shocks.

- Security: the modules should be able to lock, whether with a code or fingerprint recognition.

- Identification: a visual identification system must be incorporated so that users can quickly identify their modules. This system should be easily modifiable to accommodate multiple successive users.

Depending upon the unit, the design may also need to include “rough-ins” to connect to the networks available in each floor:

- Electrical points (lighting, sockets, hobs, etc.)

- Plumbing: points for water entry and exit.

List of modules and features that your proposal must include:

- Working

- 1 unit = 1 workstation + storage

- 1 unit = 2 workstations

- Storage

- 1 unit = general storage space

- 1 unit = shelves

- Relaxation

- 1 unit = 1 bed + storage

- 1 unit = seat(s) + storage

- Washing up

- 1 unit = bathroom (water entry and drainage points will be located in the building’s walls and/or floors)

- Eating

- 1 unit = Kitchen (1 sink + 1 hot plate + cupboards

Below is an illustration of what such “modular furniture” could look like. Candidates are free to imagine the design however they like so long as it complies with the requested specifications and features. You are also welcome to include additional features or types of units if you explain how they will meet the needs of future users.


• Respect the subject;

• Compliance with all of the feature and function requirements;

• Inclusion of all required modules;

• Originality and degree of design innovation;

• Use of innovative materials and technologies;

• Ease of transportation and product assembly/ disassembly;

• Inclusion and thoroughness of production details;

• Possibility of being produced immediately;

• Quality of visual rendering and presentation.

Selection Procedure:

Candidates are asked to upload their file including:

The selection process will have two phases:

• First round of finalists chosen (October 30th)

• Shortlisted projects to be presented to the selection committee and announcement of the winner (between October 30th and November 6th)

Provisional timetable:

• October 30th: Deadline for submissions

• October 30th: Finalists selected

• First week of November: shortlisted projects presented to the selection committee

• November 6th: announcement of the winner

For further inquiries, please send an email before October 23rd to: