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The Cologne Convo: Australians take over Orgatec 2018

We came out in droves for Orgatec 2018 – the year that Australians dominated the German commercial furniture fair quite unlike ever before.

  • Screenliner by ThinkingWorks.

  • Stix by ThinkinWorks.

Some 15,000 kilometres separate the Australian design community from its German peers, but for Orgatec 2018 it was clear that this might just be all that separates them. In fact, the longstanding reputation of Germany’s commercial design sector as a world leader has ceded somewhat in our favour. Each iteration of the fair brings with it increasingly more Australian brands, design practitioners and enthusiasts, making a bold statement about our design community’s preeminence as a workplace leader on the international stage. Proving that you better run, you better take cover (yea-aa-hhh), four brands in particular demonstrated that the land downunder might just be at the tip-top of the workplace re-revolution. Here we take a look at their latest innovations showcased at Orgatec last week.




Following successful launches last year at ICFF in New York and Denfair in Melbourne, the Australian brand NAU exhibited for the very first time at Orgatec to mass critical acclaim. The embodiment of a fresh approach to Australian contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories by some of the country’s leading talent, NAU brings together the work of Adam Cornish, Adam Goodrum, Gavin Harris, Kate Stokes, Tom Fereday and Jack Flanagan – all under the powerful design legacy of Cult.

Chameleon table by Adam Goodrum for NAU.

Chameleon table by Adam Goodrum for NAU.

Launching the brand’s latest addition to the NAU collection – Chameleon by Goodrum –  visitors were treated to a stand designed by the Australian design firm DesignOffice (shortlisted for the 2018 IDEA Awards ‘Designer of the Year’) which also recently designed the NAU Gallery and Cult Showroom in Sydney. 

Named so for its ability to adapt to any commercial space with ease and an incredible degree of seamlessness, NAU’s Chameleon by Adam Goodrum pushes the scope of engineering in commercial furniture design. With a range of articulated features, Chameleon offers end users an apparently inexhaustible range of dimensional, typological and aesthetic table and workstation solutions – perfect for today’s commercial interiors with their shrinking floorplates, fluctuating team numbers and predilection for agile working behaviours. According to Goodrum himself, “Chameleon is refined in its engineering, functional in design and versatile in form, ready to adapt to the dynamic world for which it was designed.”




Earlier in the year, the design team at ThinkingWorks began to tease us all: “we’ve been busy developing new products to showcase at Orgatec. We aim to surprise you with our well-considered designs that we’re sure will continue to position ThinkingWorks as one o the world’s more innovative furniture manufacturers.” And ‘surprise’ they sure did!

Launching three new pieces to the international market at Orgatec, ThinkingWorks demonstrated that Australia’s design and manufacturing capabilities continue to grow from strength to strength. And, what’s more, the brand also demonstrated that perhaps this country boasts no strength greater than that of our coffee too! Serving Australian-quality coffee from its stand throughout the fair, ThinkingWorks presented its newest collections against the backdrop of all things ‘made in Australia’.

Screenliner by ThinkingWorks.

Screenliner by ThinkingWorks.

With Screenliner – a unique acoustic desk screen that creates a personal cabin space within the workstation setting – ThinkingWorks’ demonstrated its forward-thinking approach to designing entire workplace systems. A suite of accessories and integrated features (from storage to power and charging facilities, ambient lighting and hidden motors to adjust height), Screenliner eliminates the clutter of yesterday’s commercial environment.

Stix by ThinkinWorks.

Stix by ThinkingWorks.

ThinkingWorks’ Stix Workstation, meanwhile, embraces the allure of yesterdays gone by. Inspired by the ancient, honest and simplified construction method of bamboo scaffolding, Stix uses extrusions, die castings and tubular steel profiles to formulate its unique style. Available in both fixed and adjustable height configurations, Stix offers end users seamlessness in transitioning between working styles, postures and needs.



Celebrating a decade of innovations exhibited at Orgatec, Atdec returned to Cologne for the fifth time to make sure that everyone knows the brand truly is a “one-stop-shop for technology mounts.” Having been a leading manufacturer of professional AV mounting solutions for almost two decades, Atdec’s in-house research and development teams work tirelessly to bring to market the best mounting solutions for the contemporary office, public display, education or home environments. 

dwp fitted out with ergonomic Atdec monitor arms.

dwp fitted out with ergonomic Atdec monitor arms.

According to the braintrust behind the brand, “our R+D team focuses much of its energy researching emerging technologies and environmental trends to come up with supportive mounting solutions that help to enhance the productivity, ergonomics and adaptability in the ever-evolving workplace.”



For 2018, acoustics continues to whip the international design community into a tizz, and this was perhaps nowhere more relevant than on the Instyle stand during the fair. Founded in Australia way back in 1987, Instyle has grown to become a globally-recognised company leading the charge in technical finishes innovations across textiles, leathers, acoustic solutions and wall coverings. Showcasing its latest collections of acoustically-attenuated, high-performance finishes, Instyle’s ranges are developed in-house and manufactured by specialists in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Europe. Like NAU, Instyle also showcased recent work by Tom Fereday and Adam Cornish, alongside other pieces by leading Australian talent including Michael Young, Alexander Lotersztain and Ilias Fotopoulos

Having recently been awarded the Best of NeoCon, as well as the jaw-droppingly impressive highest accolades in sustainability from the United Nations – The Environmental Best Practice Program Award (2010) – Instyle’s industry stewardship was applauded by all passersby on their stand at Orgatec.


Want to learn more about Orgatec 2018? Continue reading about the biggest Orgatec in history, here.

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