Contract - Orgatec 2010: Highlights from the biennial trade show in Cologne, Germany

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Orgatec 2010: Highlights from the biennial trade show in Cologne, Germany

28 February, 2011

-By Danine Alati


Although no one knew just what kind of attendance to expect at this year’s Orgatec, held in Cologne, Germany, October 26-30, 2010, given the state of the economy, the bustling of the traffic in the six halls of the Kolnmesse fairgrounds was encouraging. The number of registered visitors was recorded at almost 61,000, hailing from 110 countries, with more than 600 exhibitors from 41 different countries, the bulk of them being European companies, especially from Germany. New seating introductions were plentiful with trends in more variety of stacking chairs and soft seating for breakout areas that include privacy options, and the need for height-adjustable furniture continues to push innovative design.

The value of attending a foreign trade show—especially one with the scope of Orgatec—cannot be underestimated. U.S.-based designers Tom Polucci, group vice president, director, interior design, HOK Chicago, and Nestor Santa-Cruz, IIDA, a design director and senior associate at Gensler in Washington, D.C., weigh-in on their favorite products, showrooms, and aspects of the show.

Always with a large presence at Orgatec, Vitra made a splash with several product introductions, as well as a striking showroom design. “The Vitra pavilion was amazing; it’s architecture is so reflective of who they are as a manufacturer, stunning and useful design,” notes Tom Polucci. “It was approachable and welcoming, as well as useful.” Nestor Santa-Cruz agrees, adding, “It was creative, one big idea/environment. It could have been a headquarters space somewhere in the world.” Polucci cited Vitra’s new Suita Club, designed by Antonio Citterio, as once of his favorite introductions. “The wraparound high back is lovely, and the horizontal gap lightens the piece and allows a passerby the ability to see a user in the space,” he says, while Santa-Cruz appreciates the “chameleon” quality of the Antonio Citterio-designed ID chair, which offers 8,000 combinations of seatback and arm options.

The two designers also agree on Wilkhahn’s impact at the show. Santa-Cruz favored the German manufacturer’s booth design “for its classic, timeless, clean design that matches the brand,” while Polucci echos that is was “open and well branded.” And both were impressed with Wilkhahn’s Chassis chair, designed by Stefan Diez, which was inspired by the manufacturing process of sports cars and constructed using space-frame technology. “Chassis is very lightweight, yet organic and very technically precise,” Santa-Cruz notes, adding that this sheet metal and polyproplylene chair, which was almost four years in development, can be perfect for cafeterias, team rooms, as well as in the home.

Santa-Cruz also was particularly attracted to Giulio Marelli’s Stripes Lounge seating, which is composed of modules for two people, allowing for multiple configurations. Available in the United States through Giulio Marelli’s distribution partner one furniture group, this product was inspiration of park benches, and Santa-Cruz liked that it “abstracts the inside/outside aspect of the park-bench idea.” Overall, he also appreciated seeing more “open landscape design for office environment, very much as expected and required in European workplace,” he says.

With the need for furniture to accommodate the open landscape, group collaboration, and commingling breakout sessions, also comes the need for privacy within workspace. Bene offers the PARC phone booth, “bringing back a concept for today’s users, a place that creates acoustic privacy for mobile phone use,” notes Polucci.

Click on the gallery link above for images of the above mentioned highlights and for additional favorites of mine from the show, including products from Brunner, ICF, Kinnarps, Humanscale, Okamura,
and Haworth.


Orgatec 2010: Highlights from the biennial trade show in Cologne, Germany

28 February, 2011


Although no one knew just what kind of attendance to expect at this year’s Orgatec, held in Cologne, Germany, October 26-30, 2010, given the state of the economy, the bustling of the traffic in the six halls of the Kolnmesse fairgrounds was encouraging. The number of registered visitors was recorded at almost 61,000, hailing from 110 countries, with more than 600 exhibitors from 41 different countries, the bulk of them being European companies, especially from Germany. New seating introductions were plentiful with trends in more variety of stacking chairs and soft seating for breakout areas that include privacy options, and the need for height-adjustable furniture continues to push innovative design.

The value of attending a foreign trade show—especially one with the scope of Orgatec—cannot be underestimated. U.S.-based designers Tom Polucci, group vice president, director, interior design, HOK Chicago, and Nestor Santa-Cruz, IIDA, a design director and senior associate at Gensler in Washington, D.C., weigh-in on their favorite products, showrooms, and aspects of the show.

Always with a large presence at Orgatec, Vitra made a splash with several product introductions, as well as a striking showroom design. “The Vitra pavilion was amazing; it’s architecture is so reflective of who they are as a manufacturer, stunning and useful design,” notes Tom Polucci. “It was approachable and welcoming, as well as useful.” Nestor Santa-Cruz agrees, adding, “It was creative, one big idea/environment. It could have been a headquarters space somewhere in the world.” Polucci cited Vitra’s new Suita Club, designed by Antonio Citterio, as once of his favorite introductions. “The wraparound high back is lovely, and the horizontal gap lightens the piece and allows a passerby the ability to see a user in the space,” he says, while Santa-Cruz appreciates the “chameleon” quality of the Antonio Citterio-designed ID chair, which offers 8,000 combinations of seatback and arm options.

The two designers also agree on Wilkhahn’s impact at the show. Santa-Cruz favored the German manufacturer’s booth design “for its classic, timeless, clean design that matches the brand,” while Polucci echos that is was “open and well branded.” And both were impressed with Wilkhahn’s Chassis chair, designed by Stefan Diez, which was inspired by the manufacturing process of sports cars and constructed using space-frame technology. “Chassis is very lightweight, yet organic and very technically precise,” Santa-Cruz notes, adding that this sheet metal and polyproplylene chair, which was almost four years in development, can be perfect for cafeterias, team rooms, as well as in the home.

Santa-Cruz also was particularly attracted to Giulio Marelli’s Stripes Lounge seating, which is composed of modules for two people, allowing for multiple configurations. Available in the United States through Giulio Marelli’s distribution partner one furniture group, this product was inspiration of park benches, and Santa-Cruz liked that it “abstracts the inside/outside aspect of the park-bench idea.” Overall, he also appreciated seeing more “open landscape design for office environment, very much as expected and required in European workplace,” he says.

With the need for furniture to accommodate the open landscape, group collaboration, and commingling breakout sessions, also comes the need for privacy within workspace. Bene offers the PARC phone booth, “bringing back a concept for today’s users, a place that creates acoustic privacy for mobile phone use,” notes Polucci.

Click on the gallery link above for images of the above mentioned highlights and for additional favorites of mine from the show, including products from Brunner, ICF, Kinnarps, Humanscale, Okamura,
and Haworth.
 


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