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Indesign’s Mandi Keighran and Marie Jakubowicz take on ORGATEC 2010 in Cologne.



November 1st, 2010

Day 2: 27 October 2010

It was an early start this morning at ORGATEC, and with several enormous halls still to go the yoga at Topstar looked like it might be a good idea!

Wagner’s stand, constructed of stacked timber chairs, certainly stood out. And inside was on trend, with lime green task and occasional seating and accessories.




Howe was another eye-catching stand, with products that were just as impressive. Around the ‘igloo’ were a range of new and re-developed chairs and, my favourite, a table with a fibre cement top.




Joining the likes of Wilkhahn and Klober, Kusch + Co. was another company taking design cues from the auto industry at ORGATEC this year. They took the idea even further, with their new public seating, ‘8000’, designed by Porsche Design Studio.



Over at Walter Knoll we checked out the latest products and workplace technology. It all felt a little bit James Bond – with desks that lock with the swipe of a card, integrated technology and plenty of dark timbers and supple leathers.


Other picks of today included the stackable (and rather covetable) timber stools at Lapalma (which I also had my eye on at Interieur) and cute products at Vange.



After the fair we headed to Golden Im Zims for the Indesign ORGATEC 2010 party. It was a great event with plenty of beer and the opportunity for Australians visiting the fair to catch up in a traditional German venue. Check out the photos in the parties section.

Day 1: 26 October 2010

It was a short 90-minute train trip from Brussels to Cologne (no matter how many times I come to Europe, I’m never going to get over how close everything is!).

In Cologne, I met Indesign’s lovely Marie, and together we’re taking on the labyrinthine halls of ORGATEC 2010 to bring you the latest trends, products and news for the workplace.

It might be a large fair but, of course, being ORGATEC, there’s plenty of places to sit – a favourite being the Zuco ‘rest area’ in the central boulevard. Even on the first day, we saw plenty of visitors taking a break on the colourful carpets. With integrated seating elements, the carpets can either be fashioned into seats or backrests. A few weary travellers (we’ll blame jetlag!) had even settled in for a nap.


Alongside quirky products such as the Zuco carpet seating and a chair that looked like a giant tennis ball, there was also the latest developments in task seating, including many products that were prototypes at ORGATEC 2008.

Stand outs for me today (and it is only the first day!) were the ‘Sayl’ chair by Herman Miller, and Interstuhl’s ‘Volume 8’ and ‘AirPad’ chairs. The Interstuhl stand also had a collection of their customised furniture – including a solid 24 karat gold task chair upholstered in silk, which as you can imagine, isn’t easy on the budget.








Marie from Indesign





This year’s fair was awash with a sea of lime green and purple. It’s a trend that’s been around for a little while, and judging from what we saw at ORGATEC, it looks set to stick around.

Another dominant trend we noticed on the first day (and a big change from two years ago) was the move toward commercial furniture with a residential aesthetic. This is hardly surprising, given the direction the workplace has been heading over the past few years. It was interesting to see many of the brands at ORGATEC catching up with this trend.

Both these trends were clearly showcased at the Dauphin stand. The recently launched Dauphin Home collection (shown on the stand in all shades of mauve and purple) takes cues from their contract brands, and includes a completely customised frame system with clip in panels.







Designer Martin Ballendat, of Studio Ballendat, chatted about the power of the line in his work. His ‘Perillo’ chair for Zuco, with its continuous elegant lines, has been re-launched in timber.

Simplicity was the other key trend we picked up on today. Gone are the complex workstations of the past, with the focus shifting toward user-friendly task seating, task lighting, monitor arms and other accessories.

At Humanscale, it was the new LED task lighting that really caught my attention. ‘Horizon’ is their latest addition to their lighting range, and would work easily in either a commercial or residential context.




Wilkhahn (who brought over a hundred people to ORGATEC!) and Klober took their cues from the auto industry. Wilkhahn’s ‘chaise’ seat and Klober’s new task chair are both manufactured using techniques developed for the manufacture of cars – and in being in Germany (the land of engineering) it makes perfect sense!






A large sculpture at the Kinnarps exhibition looked suspiciously like the work of Arne Quinze. I was, however, assured that it was by a young German artist and that Quinze had no hand in it – replica art perhaps?

Not to worry though, as with over 700 exhibitors, there’s more than enough original design and development to keep us busy for the next few days!

(One last tip: if you head to the sauna after a tiring day at ORGATEC, be prepared to be in close proximity to naked German men.)



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