Warmth, movement, simplicity, community—welcome to the progressive office of today. The open concept is no longer a trend but a mainstay, and as the cloud and cordless technologies free us from desks, designers are shifting to support the new social spaces. For the latest, we look to the NeoCon trade show. Each June, some 50,000 designers descend on Chicago for this event to take in the latest commercial design and business trends. In 2016, the cubicle is out and customization is in. See what else is on point.
IN THE ZONE
Teknion Zones took both Gold and Best of Competition at NeoCon 2016, and it’s no surprise why. Building upon the concepts of community, fluidity, and well-being, Zones emerges as a series that challenges convention and adapts to today’s new way of work. Comprised of seating, tables, screens, easels, accessories, and semi-private hubs, the forward-looking line creates an environment where people can freely network, meet, retreat, or gather.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
While Michael Young’s LessThanFive chair from Coalesse isn’t new, its new feature is one to write home about. That’s because you become the designer! Colors, gradients, a company logo, a picture of your dog—the new Customizer web app let’s you personalize the chair, which, aptly named, weighs less than 5 pounds.
ALL THE BUZZ
Sit, swivel, stand—the BuzziBalance is designed to shake things up. Fight the mid-afternoon slump by standing on the BuzziBalance Board for muscle activation. And while sitting on the rocking pouf, you can stretch away. The non-traditional rocking board adds movement and play to an otherwise desk-bound day. BuzziSpace gets bonus points for this one with the added acoustical benefits. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.
BACK AT IT
As offices become more open, furniture has become more reclusive. With its high back and upholstered seat and backrest, the Alya Chair reaffirms that home and work are blurring lines. Born from a lounge chair archetype, Andreu World developed this chair with a modern twist—and ergonomics in mind. Make it your own with options galore from backrests and bases to a bent plywood ottoman.
It’s digitally inspired and digitally printed—meet Pixel by Designtex. Based on the original artwork of Jenny McGee Dougherty, this pattern was just one of 50 fabric introductions Designtex unveiled at NeoCon. The company designs and manufactures textiles ranging from upholstery to wall coverings, offering a whopping catalog of over 8,000 materials.
Konstantin Grcic has taken the workstation and stripped it down to the basics. Hack, for Vitra, counters traditional desks with innovative functionality: Adjust the desk to sit, stand, or lounge in just seconds. With its mechanical operation, Hack is easy to dismantle, transport, and store plus it’s ecologically sustainable.
Inspired by landscape architecture, Mohawk’s new collection, Topography, creates unique floorscapes, which harmonize natural forms with geometric design. The carpet tiles feature five styles with varying surfaces of relief and dimension. Designed in collaboration with 13&9 Design, make it your own with a choice of 14 colors.
FOR US BY US
Working in conjunction with the Art Center College of Design, Bernhardt Design has sponsored a design studio for more than a decade—projects from which are introduced into the commercial market. This year, the students were to focus on designing a product they would use, and with that, Studio: twenty-something was born. “Together but separate” provided inspiration for the project, which consists of flexible seating, tables, and privacy screens.
TABLES IN TUNE
Available in any size, shape or surface, the new Bassline Tables from Turnstone took home the Innovation Award at this year’s NeoCon. Signaling a level of personalization, the near limitless Bassline collection lets you reflect your office’s personality, brand, and values. Turnstone is the modern, startup-focused division of Steelcase.
Say goodbye to sound panels of the past. Arper has carved a new path with its Parentesit wall panel featuring an integrated light and sound system. Designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, Parentesit allows you to adjust light and sound from your smartphone for increased concentration. Also available: freestanding models, so you can create new workspaces—suited to your ideal environment, of course.
ROCK AND ROLL
Designed to promote movement and healthy body motion, Müm (pronounced moom), is a collection of perch seating with modular components. Sit high or low—in place or in motion—and like most NeoCon highlights, it’s all about customization. Take personalization one step further with a variety of fabrics and bases.