David Granger attends Orgatec 2014, spotting two distinct types of exhibitors.
November 3rd, 2014
There were two types of exhibitors at Orgatec this year. There were those — like Vitra and Haworth — who wanted to inspire a big conversation about activity-based working (ABW) and what’s possible in workplace design. And then there were the ones more focused on product and who took a more direct sales and marketing approach.
Highlights (from both camps) included Sedus, a series of charming new collections under the motto of “Freedom of Choice” that have been designed to give users/companies simple and effective options in where and how they work together or individually.
Above: Get Together by Sedus
Above: On Spot and Allright by Sedus
The UK-based family company Allermuir/Senator has also gone from strength-to-strength over the last 10 years and its Circo conference chair, designed by Justus Kolberg is both beautiful and comfortable. The Ad-Lib Work Lounge, designed by Pearson Lloyd, comes with a cool tablet accessory.
Above: Circo conference chair by Justus Kolberg for Allermuir/Senator
Above: Ad-Lib Work Lounge by Pearson Lloyd for Allermuir/Senator
Worth mentioning too is a charming new flooring line called “Silence” from Bolon, which has now for the first time been introduced with an acoustic backing/underlay for noise control.
There were memorable presentations of fresh ideas and styles from many, but most notably from the likes of BuzziSpace (now off the wall and on the floor with many new products), Koleksiyon (a raft of delightful product ideas), Walter Knoll (with several new cool editions by Ben van Berkel and Pearson-Lloyd), Ophelis (with more Docks) and Hay (the “New Order” shelving system by Stefan Diez is very cool calm and collected).
Above: Kyo Lounge by Pearson Llyod for Walter Knoll
Above: Healy Lounge by Pearson Llyod for Walter Knoll
Above: Seating Stones by Ben van Berkel for Walter Knoll
Other highlights included a lovely new conference/task chair called “Kinesit” designed by Lievore Altherr Molina; Humanscale’s clever retrofitable solution for the sit-to-stand desk called “Quickstand” by Humanscale’s design-team, delivers the latest ergonomics without throwing away your old desk. Again from Humanscale is The “Ballo” stool designed by Don Chadwick, “Different Smart” task chair, designed by Niels Diffrient, and the “Trea” guest chairs, designed by Todd Bracher.
Above: Quickstand by Humanscale
Above: Nendo’s “shelf + desk + chair = office” installation for Kokuyo.
I also loved Kokuyo’s minimalist stand designed by Nendo that presented their new “Inspine” task chair; Technigroup (part of the Singapore Furniture Industry Showcase); Unifor’s beautifully understated storage system “Cases” by design-legend Jean Nouvel and the magical upholstery for the new dining chair version in Dauphin’s ‘Little Perillo’ series.
Above: Little Perillo series by Dauphin
Vitra, who once again took the prize for the “coolest” exhibition (somehow they manage to do this each year) presented some truly unique “industrial chic” ‘workstyle’ installations by Konstantin Gricic as well as a special re-edition of G-Star Raw installations by Jean Prouvé. This was backed with great new products by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Citterio, and Jasper Morrison.
Highlights of the Haworth offering include Openest work lounges by Patricia Urquiola, the Cappellini collection and Intuity universal workstation (known as Infinity in the Australasian marketplace) and designed by Sydney studio bangdesign in collaboration with Haworth Asia Pacific.
David Granger is a director of Sydney-based design studio bangdesign.
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