The Office Uncubed
New products at NeoCon promise to make the daily grind easier.
All images courtesy the manufacturers
The Tyde series allows you to sit or stand at double workstations or conference tables. A nifty electric height-adjustment motor is especially quiet and is hidden under the table, inside a sound-absorbing cover.
Aside from the common complaint of noise, flexibility remains a persistent challenge in today’s diverse workplaces—to accommodate different generations all working together under one roof, and the changing nature of tasks that need to be done.
At this year’s NeoCon fair in Chicago, manufacturers like Herman Miller, Vitra, Keilhauer, and Steelcase are offering compelling options to better meet users’ needs. With 730 exhibitors and more than 40,000 expected visitors, the fair is positioned to be one of the best in years.
Not only has the Merchandise Mart reorganized the exhibit show floors, it is also launching Onsite, a new NeoCon app. The program keynote will be delivered by Metropolis’s publisher and editor in chief, Susan S. Szenasy, who will talk with Studio O+A about workplace design for a tech-rich world.
Here is a selection of products on display at the Mart, all exhibiting the kind of creative problem solving necessary for our flexible work environments to better meet the needs of users and the planet.
A retrofit that allows users to move seamlessly between sitting and standing positions at work, Rise can be clamped onto any work surface. The height of the monitor and keyboard can be easily adjusted thanks to Humanscale’s constant-force technology.
Designers Sam Hecht and Kim Colin treat the open-plan office like a tightly knit neighborhood. A system of modules—including desks, seats, and tools—creates an environment where many kinds of work and postures can occur during the course of the day.
Inspired by tightrope walkers, this table has a top that balances on a narrow beam supported by cast-iron legs. The more weighted it becomes, the more stable it gets. The position of the table legs can be easily changed depending on the requirements of the situation.
Designed to accommodate informal meetings, this elegant table series comes with a power option and can be specified in three heights. Tops are available in three shapes and 12 sizes, and can be finished with wood veneer, laminate, or painted glass.
Platform Table Series
This series allows designers to choose the shape of the base (disc, square, or rectangle), column (round, square, or conference tube), and top (round, square, or rectangle). Customers can also choose between power and data options, and standard or standing table heights.
Designed specifically with restaurants in mind, Todd Bracher’s Vessel pendants and sconces have solid quartz bodies that carefully control the distribution of light from a single LED. Vessel comes in three lengths, six color options, and two color temperatures.
Lustre LED Desktop Light
This lamp can be easily rotated for various desktop configurations. Users can charge their iPads and notebooks with it and need not worry about wasting energy because it automatically turns off when they are away for 15 minutes.
This latest addition to the Green collection, designed by Javier Mariscal, is 100-percent recyclable and constructed for both indoor and outdoor use. Created to add a fun, playful pop to any space, this side chair is available in white, green, or orange.
Featuring a classic, sculpted wood seat shell atop a slender metal frame, this stool by Qdesign balances form and function. Offered with or without an upholstered cushion, the collection is available with a wide selection of colors for the frame.
Massaud Conference Collection
Designed as an antidote to the corporate office, this comfortable luxury chair comes with a weight-sensing mechanism and a flex back. Contrasting upholstery is offered as an option, as are polished aluminum arms, three back heights, and a four- or five-star base.
Office Wish Chair
These option-rich seats promise everything you wish for in any kind of work space, with variations available for arms, lumbar support, seat sliders, bases, wishbones, uprights, and controls. Designers can also choose from nine colors for the mesh back and seat.
Focal Point Line
The angled high back and asymmetrical seat positioning of this seating collection allows the user to lounge, while the size and placement of the side panels create a privacy alcove. The passive utility arm can be accessed for tablets, making it easier to get work done.
This laminate takes an abstract, graphic approach to its namesake textile weave, washing out portions of the pattern in color. The new design is available in seven shades, including three neutrals and four ultra-brights (shown here).
Human Nature Carpet Tile Collection
Designed by David Oakey, these skinny tiles combine the hard look of planks with the benefits of soft carpet. Taking its cues from Mother Nature, the line has five patterns inspired by forest floors, grassy fields, and pebbled garden paths.
These four new HPL design laminates all emphasize texture and a distressed look—a weathered cement wall, textured gray oak, Nordic white oak, and a high-gloss desert oak. They come in a four-by-eight-foot size, and are GreenGuard certified.
Simply Tailored Woven Collection
Designer Lauren Rottet created this clean and modern line inspired by well-tailored, one-of-a-kind business attire. The collection is made with DuraColor Premium Nylon fiber, which offers inherent permanent stain resistance.
This collection celebrates a free-spirited, nomadic lifestyle. The three designs—Vagabond, Wanderlust, and Troubadour (shown here)—feature layered and abstracted patterns that suggest a beautiful patina acquired over time.