It can be slightly amusing that during NeoCon, the massive commercial furniture fair where vendors push solutions for a more serene office environment, the bustling atmosphere is anything but relaxed. Amid the controlled chaos, crowds, and demos, it is possible to find a moment of calm, as well as new workspace solutions that do live up to their billing. We’ve already highlighted some of our favorite finds from this year’s convention, but we also discovered a number of new chairs, desks, and dividers that combine great design and practical improvements for the duly deskbound.
This barely there telescoping lamp illuminates without intruding, a razor-thin right angle underscoring the utility of LED lights. The base includes a USB port for added functionality.
Photo by Koncept
BOLD One Collection by Bold Furniture
The work of Michigan designer Joey Ruiter was all over the Merchandise Mart this year. One of our favorite examples was his BOLD One adjustable desks, part of an entire system of rectilinear furniture that cuts a clean, low profile.
The push for a healthier, more ergonomic workday means there are more upright desks waiting to stand up and be counted than ever. Humanscale’s new mountable workstation makes it easier to ditch the chair without being saddled with the cost of new office furniture. It’s one of the more simple and straightforward ways to turn your desk into more of a true action office.
Knoll’s showroom was overflowing this year, fully wired with the Bounce app and set up to showcase the brand's "r/evolution" workplace concept. Luckily, the floor was filled with the comfortable new Remix Chair, an upholstered evolution of the Generation chairs.
Halcon by Lex
When done poorly, open office space recalls the drab, dehumanizing, rip-and-run style rows of desk space found in Boiler Room, or dimly lit call centers. Lex’s refined design for collaborative workstations by STUDIOS Architecture adds a stately imprimatur to an open floor plan. If only the slate walnut and smoked glass surface could block your neighbor’s annoying phone calls.
Photo by Lex
BuzziVille by BuzziSpace
BuzziSpace products seem tailor-made for a more relaxed start-up environment. Their new conference picnic table features a ridge designed to hold iPads, and their workspace solution, BuzziVille, not only sounds like the next Zynga mobile game, but looks about as comfortable as an executive hoodie, a comfy cocoon of felt perfect for ducking away for a quick meeting. They also offer a wall panel with a small triangular nook, meant to encourage informal meeting throughout the day.
Photo by BuzziSpace
Mimeo Chair by Allsteel
Allsteel’s award-winning Mimeo stood out with a knit plastic grid that adds multiple dimensions of back support.
In retrospect, the inspiration for Locale—a bustling high street in London—is literally and figuratively perfect for the collaborative workspace system. Seeking to spark the kind of dynamic interactions that make cities so inspirational and integrated, designers Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of Industrial Facility molded the Locale system in that mold, bridging gaps with multiple points of interaction.
Photo by Herman Miller
MC Squares Dry Erase Boards
For tools that truly spur innovation, collaboration, and potentially doodling, the MC Squares system of mountable, modular, and portable dry erase boards made an impression. Perfect for sketching and more interactive white boarding exercises, the product appears destined to have a future beyond its Indiegogo campaign.