Benjamin Hubert of experience design agency Layer has designed Vitra’s first powered tech product Ampi, a super-compact desk accessory that dramatically increases access to power for charging various devices. It provides induction charging on the top surface, and when opened it offers USB-A and USB-C connectivity and two mains outlets. Ampi is the first collaboration between Layer and Vitra, and has been in development for two years. It is the first powered tech product from the iconic furniture brand and the first charging station of its type in the world.
Vitra Ampi derives its name from ‘amps’ – a unit that denotes the amount of electricity used by a device. The discreet charging station responds to the fluidity of the modern workplace, transforming your home or office desk into an electrified workstation that grants access to power for up to six devices without complicated, messy cabling.
When closed, Vitra Ampi is a simple, softly radiused rectangle with an inviting dish on the top surface that provides induction charging for your phone. A fabric tab at the front of the station can be used to slightly open the concealed drawer to reveal a USB-C and two USB-A ports, which can be used to fast-charge devices such as headphones, tablets, and cameras. When the drawer is fully open, two mains ports that can be used to power a monitor or charge a laptop are revealed. Vitra Ampi is currently available with UK, EU, and US outlets.
Vitra Ampi is thoughtfully designed to challenge conventional notions of tech charging products. The intentionally discreet form allows it to be used in volume across large office spaces to minimise cables and remove visual clutter, or in the home office where space is at a premium.
The main body is made from recyclable plastic with a softly tactile texture and the pull tab on the magnetic drawer is crafted from Kvadrat textile in a nod to Vitra’s furniture heritage. The textile cable at the rear meets the plastic body with a fluid, rubberised cable flex that creates harmony between the soft and hard elements, and the non-slip base keeps the charging station firmly in place on the desk. Vitra Ampi is currently available in two colours – Basic Dark and Soft Grey – with plans to release a collection of five new colours in the coming months.
“This is our first collaboration with Vitra and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to combine our expertise in tech with our understanding of the way people live and work,” says Benjamin Hubert, founder of Layer. “Our unique approach to furniture and technology design together with Vitra’s position as a market and thought leader in interior objects has resulted in a powerful office companion that packs enhanced evocative functionality into a discreet and refined package.”
Vitra Ampi launches in October 2022 and will retail for £185.