Acest post este scris de John Sacks, consultantul nostru in office design. Ca un vizitator redutabil al tuturor evenimentelor de profil, are competenta sa analizeze informatiile intr-un raport interesant. Desigur ca adauga si un strop de umor britanic.
Miine postez si impresiile mele ilustrate cu fotografii ale produselor preferate. Surprinsingly, or not, ele nu coincid cu preferatele lui John. De fapt el nu specifica ce prefera el ci doar atrage atentia asupra noutatilor.
Introduction and overview
There was rain in Köln, as usual and the temperature danced up and down. But there was also plenty of autumnal sunshine, and it was if the city was showing this group of visitors, who only see her for a few days every two years, just how she behaves through the year.
In a rapidly changing world where only the new and different seems to be appreciated, Cologne seems to remain untouched. The same views, the same cuisine, the same efficiency; the same unruffled atmosphere. Stability in a sea of relentless motion. As such, it’s perhaps an odd venue for a show which tries to portray the latest thinking in a technology driven industry.
The naysayers clearly lost out. There were just as many enormous halls – six – as in recent years, and as many exhibitors – over 600. And there were plenty of visitors to keep those exhibitors happily busy. As usual, visitor numbers built up during the week so that the busiest day was Thursday. Friday was a little less hectic and Saturday was quiet. The cafés and the ‘Boulevard’ that connects the halls were bustling and some of the most popular exhibits such as Vitra, Bene, Dauphin and Haworth were heaving most of the time.
It was encouraging to see that stands were generally as large and attractive as ever. Some like König + Neurath and Interstuhl were simply, dramatically, enormous and others, such as Colebrook Bosson and Saunders, Hay from Denmark and the joint DVO/Kastell spacewith a shared hospitality area made up for their smaller size with high design quality.
This was a serious Orgatec. There was less in the way of the frivolity than in previous years and, although there were probably not quite as many visitors as in 2010, those that were there seemed intent on fulfilling buying, specifying and information-gathering activities. Perhaps aware of the cost of their visits, it was as if they were trying to make the most of every minute of their time.
There was however one entertainment highlight with a “Six to Nine” party in the Boulevard on the first evening, where exhibitors and visitors could mingle and enjoy a few beers, wine, local cuisine and live music. This was a serious Orgatec. There was less in the way of the frivolity than in previous years and, although there were probably not quite as many visitors as in 2010, those that were there seemed intent on fulfilling buying, specifying and information-gathering activities. Perhaps aware of the cost of their visits, it was as if they were trying to make the most of every minute of their time.
There was however one entertainment highlight with a “Six to Nine” party in the Boulevard on the first evening, where exhibitors and visitors could mingle and enjoy a few beers, wine, local cuisine and live music.
Colours were sometimes earthy greys and browns; sometimes bright and garish primary colours. White will not go away – it was everywhere, as if it was the safe choice – but the colour of the moment was probably light blue. Real wood finishes seem to be making something of a comeback, possibly because they are seen as being both “homely” and environmentally sustainable.
The increasing use of electronic rather physical storage of data appears to have encouraged companies supplying bulk storage units to show that their products have additional uses. Bisley’s new Be range incorporated workstations and acoustic enclosures and Bruynzeel, who won “Best of Show” with their electrically operated mobile storage system, included a built-in coffee machine!
There was a strong focus on matters acoustic, with much of hall 10.1 being taken up with stands showing how sound could be controlled, deadened, absorbed, filtered and eliminated. The technology displayed was a mixture of electronic devices and conventional, physical, upholstered padded barriers of different shapes, sizes – and of course, colours. This theme linked to many of the furniture displays and the rest of the show, with dozens of exhibitors taking advantage of a fashionable product trend and fast, low cost design and development. Screens, enclosures, huts and hives were everywhere and in some cases, were promoted by stories about how they answered trending workstyles.
Nomadic working, where an area might be used by several different people in the same day, has encouraged some task seating companies, such as Dauphin with their X Code chair, to move towards self adjusting swivel chairs.
Some of the highlights
Interstuhl presented several new ranges including Kinetic occasional seats and tables, Every task and side chairs, Vintage executive and boardroom seating and an attractive mesh backed side chair, Formeo from designer Sven Von Boetticher. Few, however, of the new products will be available for several months yet.
Bene’s large and very busy stand was well thought out and featured Pearson Lloyd’s developments and extensions to Parcs and a new exclusive fabric from Kvadrat. Docklands is an alternative workplace product in several sizes which combines curved and straight screens and worksurfaces. Toguna Square is a squared off version of the original circular Parcs enclosure, and claims to be the world’s smallest conference room.
Haworth led the way in incorporating technology into furniture to facilitate their interpretation of modern working practices. The CalmSpace unit designed by Marie-Virginie Berbet was an answer to workplace stress allowing an employee to take a “power-nap” for a controlled period of 10 to 20 minutes in a sound and light controlled environment.
Workware is a group of products providing simple, self-configuring connectivity between users allowing free flowing exchanges of ideas.
Connection from the UK launched the Why task chair, delivered in a slim box, which can be quickly assembled without tools and has a list price of just 150 euros.
Mobica, one of the largest office furniture companies in Egypt, announced their new German-based manufacturing business with a full range of furniture, seating and accessories designed by the omni-present Martin Ballandat, who had also designed the stand and all the marketing materials.
Okamura, the very large Japanese office furniture company who launched the iconic Contessa chair in 2002, showed the latest offering from the Guigaro studio – Sabrina. This attractive and colourful mesh chair seemed to be generally well received, apart perhaps from it’s name.
Abstracta from Sweden had a very attractive stand – almost entirely white – and displayed a wide range of tables, workstations, screens and chairs which stood out from the crowd and attracted plenty of interest.
The Portuguese manufacturer, Famo, who are about to open for business in London, showed some finely crafted executive and meeting room furniture as well as height adjustable workstations.
Nowy Styl, now incorporating the German seating manufacturer, Grammer, had a large stand with a wide range of products. The newly launched E Range designed by Gernot Oberfell and Jan Wertel was attracting interest.
There was plenty of exhibitor representation from Turkey including Koleksiyon who showed an innovative simple tiled screen system, Nurus, Burotime and Ersa, with their new Claudio Bellini designed range of workstations called So.
The number of nations represented must have been greater than ever before with exhibitors from all the usual countries as well as from as far afield as Slovenia (Gonzaga were showing some stylish and inexpensive workstations), Malta (for the first time), Egypt, Latvia, Lithuania and Lebanon and the Ukraine.
Enea from Spain presented a cleverly engineered mobile table, the Folio, designed by Josep Lluscà, which quickly folds and unfolds using its own weight as a locking mechanism, and has wheels that lock and unlock automatically.
One particularly clever use of technology came from Dauphin who have incorporated a label with a QR Code into their new X Code task chairs. When the symbol is scanned by a smartphone app, you are taken directly to the webpage for the specific model of your chair which describes the position and function of each of the chair controls.
from Globeconcept of Sweden, the Tree, a design by Peter Opsvik, a most unusual and surprisingly comfortable all-in-one laptop workstation. The spherical backrests rotate as does the seat and the single footrest providing constant active and passive movement without distracting you from your work.