idsa chicago, advanced design sketching, and so design are hosting a gathering of designers and entrepreneurs at chicago’s premier innovation lab—mhub chicago! this kickoff event will feature a talk with steelcase principal designer, joey zeledon, and idsa chicago’s very own, rotimi solola — who’ll be unveiling something special. join us on friday, 8 june — we’ll have music, food, a tour of mhub, and one big networking party! rsvp here!
using turnstone’s new bassline table as a platform for experimentation, twelve first year graduate students from rochester institute of technology’s id grad program explore culture, behavior and experience through the physical attributes of this mutable table. guided by the table’s designer mark mckenna, global design director, seating, turnstone, worktools at steelcase.
above> transcend by suzanne tick for skyline design
a neocon 2017 runs from 12 to 14 june at the mart in chicago. at-a-glance preview…
3form / 10 – 142
a collaboration between 3form and brooklyn-based designer louis lim of makingworks has resulted in the creation of mobius, exclusively on view at wanted design in new york city in may 2017. now check out the latest at neocon.
andreu world / 10 – 132
invites you to discover our new collections at neocon 2017. we look forward to welcoming you.
save the date: please join us for the andreu world fiesta. this year’s event will feature traditional spanish tapas and wine along with a very special live music performance.
arper / 339
arper presents their 2017 collections at neocon. stop by for a coffee and explore the new products at their chicago showroom.
buzzispace / 10 – 111
at neocon 2017 on both the first and the 10th floor of the merchandise mart, buzzispace will realize its comprehensive approach to design for happy, healthy living, incorporating a range of furniture options, and serious acoustic solutions.
carnegie / 10 – 112
life is colorful with the roy g biv collection! the energetic collection spans the full spectrum with high performance upholstery and digitally printed wide width sheers that celebrate color at its very best.
designtex / 1032A
in business, collaboration is everything—but creating the right balance between openness and privacy is a challenge. casper™ cloaking technology by designtex is an architectural film for glass walls that obscures digital screens to outside view. it acts as a smart shield to ensure data privacy, while providing the peace of mind to collaborate freely in any working environment. this is a breakthrough that will unleash space design in the networked modern world. casper is the only cloaking technology of its kind anywhere. you have to see it to believe it.
hbf / 387
thomas lykke/oeo has collaborated with hbf to create the studio table series.
haworth / 312
come see bluescape and global commercial furnishings leader haworth an innovative new collaboration space at neocon 2017.
humanscale / 351
humanscale and the living product challenge. talking about sustainability is easy. what’s more challenging is creating a net positive impact. especially when it’s being audited and validated by the international living future institute.
herman miller / 321
when bill stumpf and don chadwick designed the original aeron, they combined a deep knowledge of human-centered design with innovative, never-before-seen technology to deliver a chair unlike any other. just as iconic films and albums are updated for new mediums, standards, and audiences, aeron has now been remastered to meet the needs of today’s work, workers, and work environments. by coupling co-designer don chadwick’s vision with herman miller’s latest research around the science of sitting, the new aeron works better than ever before—so you can too.
ki / 1181
join the ruckus at neocon 2017! get a first-hand look at how ki‘s ruckus collection is disrupting the design paradigm. in addition, we’ll be showcasing innovative product solutions developed using the principles of human-centered design.
keilhauer / 373
luno is for reflecting. a visually striking lounge chair that allows you to move, sit and communicate in your own style. design by eoos.
maharam / 1188
maharam design studio decided to develop a substrate: apt introduces a new polymer that combines a silicone face with a polyurethane-and-silicone mid-layer to maharam’s offering of nonwoven upholstery textiles. using a proprietary formulation. apt is the result of five years of research and development.
okamura / 11 – 124
alt piazza is an office furniture of the future that turns office shared space into a place where you can work comfortably.
skyline design / 1060
transcend by suzanne tick
steelcase / 300
steelcase workplace advisor empowers organizations to measure the effectiveness of the workplace, and improve it based on easy-to-understand, actionable data accessible through an online dashboard.
teknion / 10 -48
around is fully featured, yet clever new new task chair. hidden innovations facilitate a simple chair design with a light, minimalist form. designed by justus kolberg, around is remarkably comfortable, versatile and easy to use.
vitra / 1192
vitra has been developing and producing office chairs for over 40 years. its first model, the vitramat, set new industry standards, and many of its successors have continued to revolutionize workplace seating. to accompany the market launch of the pacific chair, am chair and id chair update, we are introducing the task chair campaign: a new digital tool that provides existing and prospective customers with an inspiring presentation of these chairs.
wilkhahn / 7 – 7072
wilkhahn’s new metrik cantilever chair stands apart for its sculptural shape and contours which bring modern automotive design to mind. polygonal shapes and rounded edges are part of a distinctive body which is defined by form-fit assembly of the tubular steel frame and seat component. design by whiteID.
above> introducing montara650 collection by the coalesse design group and lievore altherr molina
coalesse® engages a&d as participants at neocon 2016 / #1032 – a&d community invited to take part in the design process
coalesse, recognized for forward-looking, design-driven products that foster social connection, creative collaboration, and focus and rejuvenation, is inviting the a&d community to participate in the design process through a range of new products and custom capabilities at neocon 2016.
its showroom #1032, will feature expressions of custom capabilities that can be applied through the newly launched potrero415™ tables, massaud conference seating, and the montara650™ collection, among other products, giving a&d professionals the opportunity to discover new ways of personalizing through color and pattern, materials and features, and shape and size to make it their own and enhance emotional engagement at the workplace.
showroom visitors are also invited to participate in the design process through coalesse’s new customizer web app, which demonstrates ways of applying custom color and pattern to the groundbreaking lessthanfive™ chair. the web app and degree of product offerings make customization highly-attainable, empowering clients to be curators of a more meaningful design experience.
below> vitra & artek / #1192 // north american introductions / vitra customized applications
at neocon, vitra will present a series of projects that demonstrate how it has optimized collaboration with client project teams. this provides clients a direct dialogue and unprecedented access to vitra’s top design talent, allowing for the custom-development of new product applications for large scale projects.
above> the vitra color and material library by hella jongerius – ten years ago, the dutch designer hella jongerius began a research project for vitra to study the properties and possibilities of colors, textures, finishes and materials. this long-term project has resulted in the vitra color & material library, devoted to the establishment and further development of an intelligent system of colors, materials and textiles. this concept facilitates a higher degree of specificity in interior design. in her book “i don’t have a favourite colour”, which was launched at vitra’s 2016 milan presentation, hella jongerius describes her method of research and the application of its results to the vitra product portfolio. courtesy © vitra photography labadie/van tour
below. the kaari collection by ronan and erwan bouroullec for artek courtesy © artek
below> mohawk group / moving floors collection / diagonal relief, fade relief, plane high, plane low, 656 green 24by24
designed to be dynamically moving base on the user’s point of view, moving floors was inspired by the multi-layered beauty of our cultural landscape. empowers designers to create kinetic floorscapes through limitless combinations.
haberdasher is an array of palettes and patterns, inspired by traditional sewing materials—and tailored for projects of various sizes and budgets. giving solids and patterns license to commingle or stand alone, haberdasher gives you license to play. mix. match. curate. collaborate. differentiate. and indulge.
above> there are 5 families each with their own identity.
pins and needles: a simple pattern of pins strewn about a canvas becomes iconic in a highly graphic way. / string plaid: the crosshatch pattern creates a colorful, dynamic, and graphic twist on traditional plaid. / well suited: allows vibrant and deep colors to collaborate in a small scale, two-color nailhead pattern. / fish net: the quilted hand offers dimension and explores a large line of intense, warm, and cool colors. / tailored: the tightly woven grid texture creates a subtle surface that reflects light and contours form.
below> hbf & hbf textiles / 387
hbf has returned to its roots, teaming with esteemed designer and longtime partner michael vanderbyl to create introduce conexus, a work/lounge chair designed to function across any contract setting — offices, lobbies, hospitality environments…
designer michael vanderbyl notes, “i strive for timelessness. conexus plays with the shape of a classic lounge chair and transforms it into a more organic form that showcases the exceptional craftsmanship in the woodwork and the upholstery. the wood merges with the upholstery in such a seamless way that the piece takes on a sculptural quality, an engineering feat that hbf executed masterfully.”
below> hbf textiles highlights color, texture, yarn, and hue in spring 2016 collection
known for their artful and authentic approach to design, hbf textiles is going back to the classics for its spring 2016 collection. hbf textiles vice president of design mary jo miller started with le corbusier’s infamous lc palette of colors from the 1920s, and used these fresh shades as a catalyst for the collection.
tek pier “is the first product of its kind to successfully merge wall-mounted monitors with height-adjustable worksurfaces,” said paul kruger, teknion’s director of design, architectural products. tek pier takes advantage of teknion’s altos demountable wall cable routing, structure and acoustic performance. the innovative origami mount allows for fluid positioning to share a large format monitor, maintain viewing privacy, or engage in touchscreen applications.
moquette is a textile mash-up that blends a classic velvet weaving technique with the creative possibilities offered by digital printing technology. the woven structure employs a “moquette” construction produced on a modern wire loom, allowing some areas to be woven as flat bands while elsewhere selected yarns are lifted and then cut to create a short, dense pile. beginning with a simple pattern of alternating horizontal stripes of varying widths, the moquette technique adds complexity by introducing a sense of dimensionality, which is enhanced by the luxurious combination of lustrous and matte yarns. finally, the raised, plush surfaces of the woven fabric are printed digitally with a non-repeating and random color pattern.
the result is an intricate layering of textures and colors that evokes natural landscapes, reflecting biologist e.o. wilson’s concept of biophilia—the theory that human beings are instinctively drawn to the natural world, and thus that design following this principle provides a heightened sensation of comfort and repose.
below> parentesit freestanding / by lievore altherr molina for arper / 339
arper extends the functionality of parentesit to include freestanding models for increased privacy and comfort. architectural in scale, these modules carve out a three-dimensional space for concentration or quiet conversation in shared workspaces or collaborative environments.
parentesit was created with a dual inspiration of minimalist art and classic japanese interiors. to shift this approach to an architectural scale, the screen is capable of dividing a room in half, or partitioning off a space for quiet, independent thought.
below> wolf-gordon / & 10 – 161
following dazzling installations of sculptures and interactive digital displays in past years of neocon, wolf-gordon has again transformed the market space in a new way. office_excavate re-envisions the cubicle-enclosed office by creating a colorful, open seating space that can be easily rearranged for meetings, coffee breaks, and recharging of phones and humans alike. the furniture, which can be used alternately as seating, desks, tables, or stools, will be upholstered in over 100 different wolf-gordon textiles. office_excavate is a collaboration of karlssonwilker inc., new motor, graham kelman and wolf-gordon creative direction.
below> humanscale / 351
they’re not only previewing a brand new line of diffrient occasional chairs they’re unveiling never-before-seen niels diffrient designs. take a journey through human-centered design innovation and chat with founder and ceo bob king, visionary designer todd bracher and the rest of the humanscale team.
reflectacoustic is a groundbreaking design that controls sound and delivers heat and glare reduction through yarn, weaving and metalized backing technology. the textile absorbs and reflects back a great deal of light; all validated through 3rd party testing.
steelcase health research reveals exam rooms not designed for the modern healthcare experience . findings uncover five ways exam space is failing physicians, patients and family members; informs new design framework and product, node® with sharesurface
node with sharesurface features a rotating sharesurface that provides dynamic access to information, a central part of the exam experience. physicians using mobile technology are able to chart while maintaining eye contact, pivot the surface to share their screen with the patient and family for education and shared decision making, all while having mobility in the room. the chair’s back and arms allow doctors to have more conversational postures during consultation and the rotating surface arm moves out of the way for examination activities.
below> northern parallel / cf stinson / 10-1150
[ collection summary ]
• 7 new textiles, 72 colorways.
• a collection of coordinating textiles that explores the connections between michigan (where stinson is headquartered) and maine (where stinson houses their design studio).
• shared michigan/maine discoveries:
• similar geographic latitudes
• rigorous climate with diverse seasons
• inhabitants with an appreciation for nature and willingness to embrace the seasons
• michigan/maine ideals include work hard, build with integrity and if you are going to be unique – be honest. shared mindset explored through textiles that are hard working, unique, honest and full of integrity.
• made in america, small carbon footprint.
below> the doni collection / designed by giancarlo piretti for ki / 1181
if you can dream it, doni can express it. create with a fresh palette of energizing brights and sophisticated neutrals. imagine the possibilities with two-tone colors and unlimited custom color possibilities. the collection offers guest, task, tandem and stackable configurations.
below> introducing rockwell unscripted™ / knoll / 1111
rooted in david rockwell’s innovative approach to hospitality environments and public space, and inspired by his award-winning design for theater and entertainment, rockwell unscripted is a comprehensive collection of furniture elements that adapt to the spontaneous choreography of the work day.
“our interest is in getting people to look at their work environments as a stage on which movable furniture can be arranged in endless configurations. you can craft the scene around what it is you’re doing that day,” said rockwell group founder and president david rockwell.
below> lievore altherr molina’s arcel for bernhardt design / 399
below> glass gradients by scholten & baijings / skyline design / 1060
glass gradients by scholten & baijings add dimensionality to a space by establishing a dialogue between the simplicity of the patterns with their signature color palette.
below> suri pouf / designed by sezgin aksu and silvia suardi for kolekiyon / 11 – 113a
inspired by headgear from the ottoman empire
below> elemental wall systems / 3form / 10 – 142
time + weather = beauty
inspired by the rustic look—created from clean materials
below> repiroue perching stool / okamura / 11 – 124
the perfect combination of sitting and standing – a new style of work posture
it is no secret that changing our posture throughout the day is essential to our well-being in the office. what’s more, adapting a posture that is appropriate for the task at hand helps relieve stress placed upon the body. okamura recommends five postures for increased office productivity and efficiency. among them is the perching posture, a perfect combination of standing and sitting.
below> chilewich contract launches speckle / 7 – 6030
speckle is a durable and easy to maintain textile ideal for any environment.
speckle comes in four color ways and in each the warp yarn subtly contrasts with the soft pearlescent silver speckles in the weft direction.
chilewich has experimented laying speckle tiles quarter turned and found that the natural color shift between warp and weft adds a richness and level of interest to this quiet weave. speckle is ideal for spaces in which the floor is a foundation for bolder interior design elements. a sustainable solution of bold and neutral patterns.
below> wilkhahn / 7-3082c
wilkhahn’s dynamic office seating utilizes patented 3d technology to encourage health, creativity, and productivity in the workplace.
by special request of the a&d community, will show for the first time at neocon, a white, through-dyed seat shell and backrest frame.
below> arborite high pressure laminates / 7-1018
recognizing the increasingly blurred aesthetic line between contract and residential design, arborite has curated a selection of residential products with crossover appeal to create commercial stones.
above left > cityscape loft’s modern, wet cement look is ideal for urbanites in search of a low-maintenance, industrial-inspired surface. right> industrial loft evokes the glazed look of oxidized metal, combining light and dark shades with a matte texture for a chic, modern effect.
below> amble / by stephan copeland for lightcorp / 7-8062
why is amble different? amble is a light with no moving joints or articulation – in fact, the only moving part is a gravity-powered “eye.” minimalist design meets elite performance in a battery operated dimmagle led task light. created by renowned lighting designer stephan copeland, amble is highly adjustable yet has no moving joints or articulation. amble’s lean, single-form construction enables excellent adjustability and mobility through the intelligence of its shape.
below> nima / by giancarlo piretti for american seating / 10-148
aimed for the higher education market and various contract environments, nima is an inspiring multipurpose collection of chairs, providing exceptional comfort through a sophisticated minimalist aesthetic.
below> stir kinetic desk m1 / 1067a
the new m1 is a height-adjustable desk driven by software that senses your presence, learns your preferences, enables you to set goals and actively reminds you to change positions throughout the day.
DesignApplause will continue to add to this post as well as social shout it during neocon.
above> vessel | todd bracher | 3M architectural markets
It’s very difficult to catch everything in this show whether in person or online. Our focus on 2014 new offerings surely limited discovery. What we did find in this year’s show provides a myriad of options for everyone’s needs as seen on our list below. We highlight several unique, innovative solutions.
[ vessel ] Designer Todd Bracher and 3M Architectural Markets engineering produce a solid quartz body that precisely controls light distribution from a single LED. Vessel comes in three lengths, six color options and two color temperatures.
zinta | lievore altherr molina | arper
[ zinta ] A bench makes it to prime time. Thanks to the exceptionally harmonious blend of wooden seat shell with softly rounded edges with partial upholstery on a light-looking frame, the bench is elegant and leisurely in appearance. It can serve as simple, single sofa or large-scale organizing principle in an open space. With a range of cushion options with diverse materials and fillings, it can serve a range of environments from residential to restaurant, lounge to office with equal ease.
avant collection | mark hiron | élan decca / photo courtesy decca
[ avant ] Designer Mark Hirons Avant’s concept of openness include the Lounge Chair, a simple, tailored Sofa and ultimately, to the inviting expanse of a 145-degree Sofa angled to support face-to-face conversation. Defined by a striking angularity, the pieces appear to expand and fan out. Avant seating is available fully upholstered or with wood veneer back that accentuates its crisp profile and sculptural presence.
lakendo | angelo pinaffo | diemmebi / photo courtesy diemmbi
[ lakendo ] LaKendo, designed by Angelo Pinaffo, is a family of chairs available with tip-up or fixed seat. Its multifunctional uses enable several easy configurations: with polypropylene, padded and upholstered seat and back or back in mesh. The metal frame has a peculiar section’s profile which makes the seat more resistant and supports others specific features such as a set for arms, tip-up seat, wheels and supports sled and bench versions. Among the accessories is available the tablet for both arms.
social chair | yves behar | herman miller / photo courtesy hm
[ social chair ] The Social Chair is the core component of the Public system, bringing new ergonomics, functionality and durability to soft seating while accommodating a range of people and postures. Public is the first office system to support casual work and provide comfort, at the desk, in circulation space, and in group areas—all within a consistent design vocabulary. Designed by Yves Behar and fuseproject.
ballo | don chadwick | humanscale
[ ballo ] Created by Don Chadwick, designer of the Aeron Chair, Ballo is a multipurpose stool that encourages users to engage in short-term, active sitting. The identical air-filled domes serve as the base and seat and pressure can be varied just like a Swiss exercise ball. Ballo helps to reduce the risks associated with sedentary behavior and improve metabolism, calorie burn and core strength. There’s also an adjustable height option.
lo and syz | eoos | keilhauer
[ lo and syz ] the syz table is one continuous table structure with a seamless flow between the cast legs and aluminum extrusions It comes in heights of 29 and 26 inches as well as a very cool and casual 15 inches. Lo is a charming seat cushion. Research has shown that sitting with the hips above the knees restores gravitational equilibrium and provides longer comfort.
berlage | richard hutten | ki
[ berlage ] The Berlage Chair was originally designed in 2004 by Richard Hutten tributing H.P. Berlage, the architect who designed the Municipal Museum of Modern Art in The Hague for the museum’s restaurant. KI reintroduces Berlage in 2014 via their Blu Sky Collection, an initiative of finding intuitive products with unique stories. The strung seat, which is done by hand means each chair by all accounts is unique.
bounce by knoll | knoll
[ bounce by knoll ] In an effort to reduce a level of uncertainty with planning an office space Knoll debuted software developed in partnership with Estimote, a tech start-up building a digital platform to bring content and context to people’s current location. Bounce by Knoll monitors, measures and analyzes space utilization and the work patterns of the office, and offers a digital user engagement platform. Using the Estimote iBeacon platform, Knoll planted seven iBeacons in their showroom that would give attendees a chance to look at occupancy levels at different stations.
antenna round big table | antenna | knoll
[ antenna round big table ] Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger of Antenna create a clever adaptation of their adjustable height Telescope Desk platform. We’d also like to see a Ballo-like chair pair up with it.
grip | randers + radius / troels grum-schwensen | nienkämper / photo courtesy nienkämper
[ grip ] GRIP is a universal table suitable for all purposes. A new design inspired by tightrope walkers, the top balances on a narrow beam supported by cast aluminum legs. Grip™ gets more stable the more weighted it becomes. Bases are die cast aluminum and are available in one size. Finish offered in glass bead blasted (textured) and a selection of powder coat finishes in black, white, red and silver. A variety of top shapes and sizes are offered in all standard Nienkämper veneers and plastic laminates, as well as black linoleum.
quiet spaces by susan cain | steelcase / photo courtesy steelcase
[ susan cain quiet spaces ] Susan Cain Quiet Spaces by Steelcase offer five diverse ways to empower introverts at work. Each space supports specific postures, work modes, and expectations for quiet and privacy supported by a carefully chosen range of architecture, furniture, materials and technology. Every quiet space is designed with V.I.A. which provides superior acoustic performance and offers an atmosphere where introverts can work their best.
lite wall | jeffrey bernett and nicholas dodziuk | teknion / photo courtesy teknion
[ lite wall ] Lite Wall is a series of lightweight screens that respond to varying needs of the open office. Using magnets, Lite Wall easily reconfigures without tools or any visible connections. Varying screen heights accommodate standing, sitting, lounge and other critical datum lines in the system/office landscape. Designed by Jeffrey Bernett and Nicholas Dodziuk.
millions of colors | grethe sørensen | wolf-gordon / photo courtesy wolf-gordon
[ millions of colors ] Earlier in the year for Wolf-Gordon, Danish textile designer and artist Grethe Sørensen introduced a ground-breaking technique of translating pixels to threads. Cooper-Hewitt plans to acquire her work once its new building opens in late 2014.
[ the list ]
> vessel | todd bracher(*) | 3M architectural markets
> mimeo | bruce fifield(*) | allsteel
> colina | lievore altherr(*) molina | arper
> zinta | lievore altherr(*) molina | arper
> unos | jasper morrison | andreu world
> mitt > claudia & harry washington| bernhardt
> buzzipicnic | alain gilles | buzzispace
> acoustical sheers | mary holt | carnegie fabrics
> lakendo | angelo pinaffo | diemmebi
> airblade v | dyson
> designtex + wallace sewell collection | wallace sewell | designtex
> avant collection | mark hiron | élan decca
> lex | studios architecture | halcon
> openest collection | patricia urquiola | haworth
> suite | steffen lipsky | haworth
> triscape | todd bracher(*) | hbf
> locale l-desk | sam hecht and kim colin | herman miller
> social chair | yves behar | herman miller
> ballo | don chadwick | humanscale
> quickstand | humanscale
> trea | todd bracher(*) | humanscale
> human nature | interface
> lo and syz | eoos(*) | keilhauer
> berlage – blue sky collection | richard hutten | ki
> antenna round big table | antenna | knoll
> architecture research office collection | filzfelt (knoll showroom)
> bounce by knoll | knoll
> remix | paul wilkinson(*) | knoll
> nexus collection | kari pei | knoll textiles
> scholten & baijings textiles | maharam
> grip | randers + radius / troels grum-schwensen | nienkämper
> grain + pigment | shaw contract group
> design journey | reesie duncan | shaw contract group
> quiet spaces by susan cain | steelcase
> form + structure textiles | teknion
> journal | christopher wright(*) | teknion
> lite wall | jeffrey bernett(*) and nicholas dodziuk | teknion
> millions of colors | grethe sørensen | wolf-gordon
> overlay/underlay | kevin walz(*) | wolf-gordon
[ 1968 > 2013 ]
Who’s watching ‘the sixties’ on CNN? Here’s a little ‘office’ perspective… HM’s Public Office Landscape – 45 years – light years away from HM’s Action Office, the original systems furniture designed in 1968 by Robert Propst that started the modern open plan revolution, etc., etc.
public | yves behar – fuseproject | herman miller 2013 / image courtesy hm
action | robert propst | herman miller 1968 / image courtesy hm
note: (*) we also interviewed 12 designers so stay tuned for more details on these and other great objects. [ best of neocon 2014 winners ]
Contract Magazine 25th annual Best of NeoCon awards for commercial interior products represent 39 categories. Over 40 jurors who are interior designers, architects and facilities management professionals, reviewed over 300 entries. Congratulations to the winners and to others to made 2014 a very good fair.
[ architectural & decorative glass ]
plank | joel berman glass studios (gold)
pattern+ | 3form (silver)
[ architectural products ]
softwall & softblock | molo (gold)
trivati | haworth (silver)
snowsound acoustic panels | atlantic (silver)
susan cain quiet spaces | steelcase (editor’s choice) ####
susan cain / Courtesy gs studios/steelcase
[ carpet: fiber ]
econyl | aquaful (gold)
[ carpet: broadloom ]
dissemblage | milliken (silver)
[ carpet: modular ]
mixed materials | patcraft (gold)
design journey | ressie duncan & shannon cochron | shaw contract group (silver)
breaking form collection | mohawk group (editor’s choice)
ressie duncan & shannon cochron
[ case goods ]
suite | steffen lipsky | haworth (gold) / image courtesy haworth (gold)
journal | christopher wright | teknion (silver)
steffen lipsky (standing) / image courtesy haworth
[ collaborative collections ]
openest collection | patricia uriquiola | haworth (best of competition & gold)
tesano | nucraft (silver)
go! | clarus glassboards (innovation)
buzzipicnic | buzzispace (editor’s choice)
patricia uriquiola / image courtesy haworth
[ conference room furniture ]
kai | nucraft (gold)
karo collection | tuohy (silver)
[ education solutions ]
go juice | palmer-hamilton (gold)
hive | palmer-hamilton (silver)
[ files & mobile storage systems ]
territory | inscape (gold)
straddle ped | jrb studio (silver)
[ flooring: hard surface ]
substrate | tandus centiva (gold)
stratum | usf contract (silver)
[ furniture systems ]
trellis | ki (gold)
lex | halcon (silver)
[ furniture systems: enhancements ]
interval+ | inscape (gold)
hi-lo | davies office (silver)
[ furniture: benching ]
inscape bench | inscape (gold)
antenna telescape | knoll (silver)
[ healthcare fabrics & textiles ]
spirit collection | knol textiles (gold)
valetudo collection | pallas textiles (silver)
envi nature based non-wovens | cf stinson (innovation)
[ healthcare flooring ]
collective time | shaw contract group (gold)
tapis collection | tandus centiva (silver)
mixed message | tandus centiva (innovation)
[ healthcare furniture ]
divo | okamura (silver)
[ healthcare: guest/lounge seating ]
palisade collection | nemschoff/herman miller (silver)
[ healthcare: patient seating ]
jordan active | krug (silver)
[ lighting: task/desktop ]
lustre | esi ergonomic solutions (gold)
[ office accessories ]
veil | inscape (gold)
soto II | steelcase (silver)
[ seating: conference ]
flex corporate | andreu world (gold)
graph | wilkhahn (silver)
[ seating: ergonomic desk/task ]
remix | paul wilkinson | knoll (gold)
mimeo | bruce fifield | allsteel (silver)
mvmt | biofit (innovation)
[ seating: guest ]
the washington collection | knoll (gold)
<5_my | michael young | coalesse (silver)
savor | gunlocke (editor's choice)
[ signage & wayfinding ]
moxie graphic panels | takeform (gold)
seeyond facing series | seeyond architectural solutions (silver)
[ software technologies ]
ofcdesk idc | ofcdesk (gold)
beyond designer for revit | allsteel (silver)
[ surfacing materials/finishes ]
3m di-noc | 3m architectural markets (gold)
varia ecoresin | 3form (silver)
[ tables: occasional ]
triscape occasional table | todd bracher | hbf (gold)
match | davis (silver)
[ tables: training & work ]
bold one collection | bold (gold)
goto worktables | peter pepper (silver)
[ technology support ]
edge-evolve | esi ergonomic solutions (gold)
tablik | innovative office products (silver)
[ technology-integrated solutions ]
stir kinetic desk | stir (gold)
elven sound driver | ofs brands (silver)
presentable | presentia (innovation)
[ textiles: upholstery ]
elodie blanchard collection | hbf (gold)
archival collection | knoll (silver)
the nettle collection | camira fabrics (innovation)
designtex wallace & sewell | catherine stowell | designtex (editor’s choice)
elodie blanchard collection
[ wall treatments ]
nappacraft | concertex (silver)
alexander girard collection | skyline design (silver)
alexander girard collection
[ walls: movable ]
lite wall | teknion (gold)
aria | inscape (silver)
[ window treatments ]
alphacoustic, betacoustic, gammacoustic | carnegie (gold)
shadeloc | mechosystem (silver)
[ workplace technologies ]
freeaxez power |freeaxez (gold)
logison target | logison acoustic network (silver)
above> john hamilton design director coalesse
We met with new Coalesse Design Director John Hamilton in Milan. We talked about the impact of recent management changes at Coalesse and their relationship with parent, Steelcase. We also were introduced to a new and amazing carbon fiber chair created by Michael Young.
[DESIGNAPPLAUSE] John, what’s different at Coalesse after the new restructuring?
[JOHN HAMILTON] I think a lot has changed and not much has changed. What’s changed would not be apparent to most people unless you knew us from the inside. Management has changed but our strategy and philosophy has not. Our problem solving has not changed. When you think what we’re trying to focus on, maybe the ways we’re going to tell the story or ways that we market you would say feels a little different. But if you go back, if you knew the original intent of what we’re trying to do, it’s still the same. We still think there’s a huge opportunity for the direction that was previously set and in that mindset, not that much has changed.
[DA] What is the strategy?
[JH] The world of work is changed in the way we’re all working. For a while we were trying to talk about that change, but now it’s so commonplace that if we mention it, people just nod their head and say ‘I do that’. That also means because of new technologies we all have, we’re now able to choose where we want to work and how we want to work. And now we have a greater variety of where to choose to work than in the past. Because of all multiple devices to choose from we have even more freedom to decide whether to work at the office or somewhere else. Today we’re seeing people choosing not to go to the workplace. And we are probing the reasons for that decision, why are they choosing alternative places. If we can understand why and leverage those insights we might bring people back to the workplace.
What maybe different is our partnership with Steelcase. We’re (Coalesse) part of a very large eco system or organization that’s looking at work, and workers and the workplace and things that are affecting you the whole day, and not just at one location. And we complement them really well and we’re going to find ways to demonstrate that differently or better than we did in the past.
I’ve talked to some people and they say, ‘you’re about home office or about retail, right?’ But we’re are really about the office and trying to bring a different sensibility to that space. And there’s a desire to get people back into the office to restore group synergy, that synergy that fosters greater creativity and collaboration. The office will be more comfortable, healthier, all the wellness things that we as individuals are concerned with.
[DA] John, you mention Steelcase. How do you interface with them?
[[JH] I’m a part of James Ludwig’s Global Design Group. We’re directly connected with them on a daily basis. In short, we’re partners with them. And because of Steelcase, our facilities in Michigan is amazing. I’m in San Francisco now and I’m a little sorry I left Michigan because after I left they implemented an entirely new space. It’s world class. We know it’s world class because we’re global. I’m a good example, I’ve spent time in Asia and that experience is felt in our design.
One of the things we talk about is ‘unfair advantage’ at Steelcase. Which means we at Coalesse leverage Steelcase’s resources. I have a researcher in San Francisco and get to partner with other researchers across the globe. My issues in San Francisco are slightly different because of nuances that we’re working on, but they’re the same issues globally because it’s about people. We’re always globally comparing traditional workspaces against alternative workspaces that we’re working on. If you talk to my direct competitors and ask them if they would like to have 30 researchers situated around the world working for you everyday that you get to leverage and 150 engineers and a model shop and a test lab, anyone would say, absolutely.
[DA] What is the Global Design Group?
[JH] We have several disciplines (design and engineering) at Steelcase which we think about as global. We have a design studio headquartered in Grand Rapids Michigan. There’s one in Salzburg France and Rosenheim Germany, in Hong Kong and San Francisco. And we work together to get an international perspective. It’s not surprising the challenges that I have in San Francisco are slightly different than those in Hong Kong. And when you study all our network locations you begin to see a pattern, where people might be struggling. We have the advantage of using our global perspective to respond. Our reach and scale gives us an unfair advantage.
[DA] Are your products tailored to different parts of the world?
[JH] I think sometimes products get applied differently. Or scaled regionally. We’re starting to find there’s a more international consistency than inconsistency. The opportunity to do something that can be globally executed, we’re seeing greater and greater possibilities of doing that. The nuances are more regional. In Hong Kong, space is a greater concern. So things are tighter, closer together there. But globally we are seeing that people are responding to pillows and lounging chairs where there are more options to sit, stretch, and they are more comfortable and also more productive. And that’s what Coalesse is about, looking at alternative aspects of the workplace, adding new settings, new postures and possibilities.
[DA] I talked to Toan Nguyen and Jean-Marie Massaud last year at Neocon and would like to know how their solutions are being received.
[JH] I was going to ask you the same thing. We are just shipping them and we have a lot of orders to fulfill at this time.
[DA] The designers and experts that I’ve talked to, everyone loves the concepts, the design and execution. The solutions are both unique.
[JH] That’s another example of who we are, we’re striving to be unique. We have a new chair that is very unique, our carbon fibre chair. We partnered with designer Michael Young.
[DA] It’s light as a feather.
[JH] Michael’s office is in Hong Kong. We were talking to him about carbon fiber and our interest in exploring the material and how you could push it and come up with a product that when you looked at it you knew it could only be done in that material. We wanted to do it in a way that really optimized the reason why you would use that material which is about lightness and strength. And it’s expensive for what it is. You want to only use as much as you need. So the Steelcase seating engineers worked with our carbon fiber manufacturer and Michael and FEA modeling to optimize exactly how much you need as you go through the visualization and the testing. We wanted it to stack four-high and weigh less than five pounds. The chair is 4.8 pounds /2.2 kilos. A box of four is under 25 pounds so shipping is inexpensive but this chair, it’s not the most expensive chair in the marketplace.
What’s interesting and the way I look at it, this is about a new product. We’ve always talked about craft and materiality as being very important to Coalesse. When you think about the time when they were exploring wood for example, they were pushing wood technology. They were steam-bending it. They were taking paper and twisting it into a rope, taking materials at that moment and seeing what they could do with it in new ways that literally push the boundaries of manufacturing at that time. Look at Eames, working with plywood and fibreglass. I believe if the Eames’s were around today they’d be playing with carbon fiber.
And there’s a real craft to shape it, join parts together, polish, paint it and then finish coat. Our manufacturing partner is an expert at finishing. If you ask Michael what he thought when he saw the possibilities, he was all eyes and ears. (DesignApplause will be talking to Michael at NeoCon 2014.) Look at the finishing, look at the transition of color, from a 2% to 8% grey. There’s a metallic one over there. We sent them a copper wire and the manufacturer matched it exactly. Another unique by-product on this chair, we’re going to enable the designer to specify what areas they want and which way. Just send a PMS chip or a sample. We can duplicate it. You get to participate. The only limitation with the process is seemingly ‘real-time’.
[DA] Is this powder coated process?
[JH] No, it’s a handpainted process. It’s a craft. Everyone is going to be slightly different, unique. And yet there is the consistency that you expect. And don’t they make carbon fiber bikes and boats and those things are outdoors all day long. This chair is both indoor and outdoor. And they’re so light I can stack four of these and carry them out with one arm.
Revolutions in office technology produce revolutions in office furniture design. The typing pool gave way to the cube farm which in turn gave way to open “team” table. The Aeron chair famously became the symbol of Silicon Valley in the dot com boom.
Now the rise of mobile phones and pads as dominant work tools has inspired Steelcase to reinvent the office chair. Based on what Steelcase design chief James Ludwig said were surveys of the habits of 2000 people in eleven countries around the world, the company will offer the Gesture chair beginning this fall. It will be shown at Neocon in June.
Steelcase looked at what Ludwig called the new environment of the office, where people work and sit more casually. The researchers talking to workers defined nine distinct new postures, such as the “swipe.” These postures conditioned the design of the new chair, with such innovations as arms that move up and down easily. The back and seat move more flexibly together; the chair, Steelcase says, encourages people to move around every so often.
[ steelcase ]
<a href="about phil patton
permission to dream | click > enlarge
[ Steelcase 100th anniversary ] To celebrate their anniversary they asked 100 children from around the world to dream of the future. [ Follow the future by following these kids ]
[ Neocon 2012 ] Steelcase unveils their vision of spaces and technology at NeoCon 2012 that will optimize video interactions at work. Their new concepts are in response to an emerging behavior Steelcase research identified: people living on video.
“Workers today are at the epicenter of a major shift in work styles — they are using video in their personal and business lives and are working virtually more than ever before,” notes Allan Smith, Vice President, Marketing at Steelcase.
Video traffic has increased significantly, with large companies experiencing an increase of 70 percent annually according to recent Cisco research. Sixty two percent of employees regularly collaborate with people in different time zones and geographies. “Work is more global today and we need to interact with colleagues located all over the world.
Meanwhile, video technology has grown rapidly and become more accessible — it’s portable, one-button simple and cheap. But we realized that the physical spaces for video conferencing haven’t kept pace with the technology. People would use video even more if the experience was more comfortable.”
Steelcase’s concept uses space to augment video technology. The company is showcasing spaces that are optimized for one-on-one interaction, but can also accommodate two people for impromptu meetings or calls. These units, which are visually reminiscent of a photo booth, feature a “Core Unit” display screen that contain everything needed for a high-quality video call: the monitor, microphone, speakers, processor and a camera are all embedded in a display that can be height-adjusted so it feels like you’re really making eye contact. The spaces offer controlled lighting, a flattering background and is acoustically enhanced – the outside surface reflects sound and the inside surface absorbs it.
For 100 years, Steelcase has been bringing human insight to business by studying how people work, wherever they work.
DesignApplause interviewed Kevin Butler, a Steelcase workplace consultant specializing in ergonomy—the science relating to humans and their work. Kevin tells us of his goal to make workers more healthy and happy when they leave their job than when they started their job. Be on the alert for Kevin’s mission.
Steelcase is globally accessible through a network of channels, including store.steelcase.com and over 650 dealers worldwide. Their workplace research is published through the Steelcase 360 Magazine, 360 iPad app and 360.steelcase.com.
frameone with media:scape
TagWizard is a personal space reservation system
The anniversary media kit was quite more than that. It was a gift too, thank you Steelcase. The little digital camcorder is pretty cool. [photo taken in DA office] Happy anniversary [ steelcase ]
Looking back. The Steelcase coordinated office approach. via The Midcentury modernist. [PR]