Neocon 2016: Is Your Workplace Ready for a Refresh?
There’s lots of excitement around applying a more residential feel to the commercial workplace. Furniture designers are creating collections that support a variety of postures and resemble the soft curves you might see at home. Not all creativity and productivity happens at a cubicle – some of our favorites in this “Resimerical” movement really support alternative ways of working.
Bernhardt’s Casino is a beautiful new sofa collection that was extremely popular at Necon 2016. Incorporating lounge furniture destinations within a workplace are just as important as the design of individual desks. It gives employees the opportunity to put their feet up in the middle of the day, much like you would at home. Pull-up side tables for a laptop, iPad or coffee cup while reading the paper were also featured in furniture arrangements.
Another favorite is the new Rockwell Collection by Knoll. The idea behind these new pieces is to create an environment that enables a variety of experiences, and empowers users to transform their space at a moment’s notice. Everything is mobile, easy to reconfigure and has a hospitality quality that captures the “Resimercial” feeling seen throughout the show. This type of collection could easily be incorporated into a higher education project where students need to work alone or in groups – such as TLCD’s Wine Business Institute project at Sonoma State.
One of the biggest challenges in workplace design is creating acoustically balanced spaces for optimal working conditions. Luckily for designers, decorative acoustic solutions are hitting the market and there are more resources than ever before. We have already been able to incorporate some of these solutions into our current work and the products are both beautiful and functional.
Felt has been making a huge come-back in recent years. These sound softening, modular products can be found on walls and ceilings providing acoustic absorption and dividing space with opportunities to incorporate graphics and pattern into the environment. One new felt introduction is Link from Filzfelt and it’s comprised of reconfigurable hexagonal modules that connect to create a private to semi-private screen depending on the negative space within the module. The overall effect has a delicate crochet type patterning.
For TLCD’s new office, we were able to use one of Filzfelt’s hanging panel products to introduce a playful, screening and sound absorbing element at the end of the workstations.
The need for acoustics does not transcend specialty spaces. Newest to the acoustic wood wall and ceiling product scene is Unika Vaev’s Ecoustic Veneer product. Perforated and non-perforated beautiful wood veneer is available in a linear shiplap installation method. The product is engineered to reduce install time and be installed over almost any substrate for our remodel clients with expedited schedules!
We hear this new buzzword in relation to workplace design from clients, social scientists and manufacturers in the design industry. Neocon 2016 was a great way to learn about the latest and greatest products available to address the need for privacy in today’s fast-paced and technology rich work environment. We found three products that we plan to add to our toolkit.
The Reflect chair by Allsteel is presented as a “new solo workspace” that creates a personal refuge in an open work environment. The large enveloping back reduces visual distractions. Generous armrests allow room for a laptop or paperwork. Mostly we like the oversized comfy seat with contrasting materials that welcomes folks who need a break. The new headquarter building TLCD designed for American AgCredit incorporates similar furniture solutions for privacy and comfort.
We learned about a new glass source for our projects – Carvart Contract, which was awarded Gold in the architectural & decorative glass category. Their super easy website boasts a soup-to-nuts collection of architectural glass products and hardware systems for just about any application. Their privacy solutions include full-height sliding glass panels with a range of gradient and pattern options.
Teknion received the Neocon Best of Competition award for it’s Zones Collection that provides flexible alternatives for small one and two-person getaway spots. People can stretch out or huddle in privacy yet still have a subtle visual connection with their surroundings.