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Big themes tackled for the workplace at Orgatec 2018

From wellness to materiality and the changing requirements of an office space – no stone is being left unturned as a design reference at Orgatec 2018. We take a look at the discussion points arising at the biennale commercial tradeshow.

  • Wilkhahn

  • Vitra

  • Brunner

  • Muuto

  • Tacchini

  • Framery

  • BuzziSpace

Orgatec should not be mistaken as simply a commercially-focused version of Salone del Mobile Milan. Through it’s highly curated and razor-sharp focus, visitors are given the opportunity to contemplate some of the harder hitting themes happening in the design space and how they impact the workplace.

For the 2018 fair, big topics are coming up for debate – wellness, agile working, experimental materials and an ever-decentralised workforce being just a couple that stand out. 

Wellness revolution

Given that the average worker will spend two-thirds of their lives at work, it is not too much to ask for an environment that helps our health rather hindering it. Design is a key player in facilitating health and wellbeing. And it can also be implemented in a wide variety of ways ­– from sustainability and biophilia, down to simpler executions, such as chairs that encourage movement. 

All of these things are at the fingertips of designers. What new products are ensuring that office design can be a healthy space? How are closed loop and sustainable methods creating furniture that can have more than one life? 


Flexible is the new open plan

Open plan offices and the subsequent issues of noise and privacy have been hotly debated in the industry for some time. How exactly is design responding? Walking the halls of Koelnmesse shows that there has been an explosion of acoustic products, pod systems, breakout booths and sound-quieting lighting.


Along with that has been the rise of moveable and adaptable furniture ranges. This design movement is all about empowering workers and letting them choose how to make their space work for them. And it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. 


Material innovations

One area that is continuing to push the boundaries through innovation is the development of new materials. It is also through the thoughtful selection of materials that designers can bring in a touch of softness. The concept of blurred typologies is not new (ie. workplaces that feel more residential) but one area where that notion truly comes to life is through materiality. Whether finishes, fabrics or flooring – a combination of unique materials can elevate a project. How are materials being applied in new and inventive ways? Interestingly, some of the most interesting innovations circle back to a sustainable or wellness agenda. 


These areas of interest will be covered in more detail through the fair, so stay tuned for insights straight from Orgatec 2018, or follow us on Instagram via #IndesignOrgatec2018.

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