casegoods and Desks

Focus: Generation Next

In these economic times, manufacturers are challenged to provide the A&D community with furniture that fulfills users' needs at the best possible price point. In developing The Millennials Collection, Geiger took into account the distinct work style of the new generation entering the workforce and attempted to provide a viable solution that won't bust clients' ever leaner design budgets. Consisting of Geiger Levels, a casegoods piece designed by David Allan Pesso, founder and managing principal of New Studio in Boca Raton, Fla., and Peer, a communal table designed by Lucy Aiken-Johnson and Patrick Johnson of Atlanta-based ai3, the new collection emerged out of the way Gen Yers—or Millennials—work anytime/anywhere, linked via laptop, BlackBerry, iPhone, PDA, etc.

"The desire was to bring to the market a smarter, more intuitive way for today's technology-based workers to access power and data and organize their project-oriented workflow," Pesso says of the design brief behind Geiger Levels. "It was essential that the design provide effective solutions to the shifting work styles of the multitasking, digitally connected Millennial workforce." Levels divides the environment across multiple user tiers or work planes, allowing users to stack project files and secondary devices below the primary focal planes and in the periphery. Thus, a reduced proportion of primary worksurface volumes creates a visually lighter scale to the office landscape. Levels also incorporates power, data, and voice services, and includes a docking solution that can accommodate smartphones, iPods, laptops, and other digital devices. Legs have integrated wire management solutions built into the vertical columns and bases to minimize exposed wire.

Although they were developed in tandem and based on the same general design brief, Geiger Levels and Peer were not designed together. Aiken-Johnson says the concept for the communal table evolved from observations of emerging trends in the marketplace. "Clients had been wanting pieces that could serve different purposes, and we were designing custom products. Then we put out the idea of the communal table," she says. Available in seated and standing height, three widths, and two depths, Peer was developed based on the keywords "perch, engage, and retreat," which identify the collaborative nature of the product and the way in which workers will use it. "You could put this table in an open office environment, and you don't need walls to create a space within a space," Aiken-Johnson says.

The beauty of Peer lies in its simplicity. A unique ledge detail offers an element of surprise and affords a space to conceal technology (such as cell phone, BlackBerries, etc.), so the worksurface remains uncluttered. "The ledge emerged as a way to do away with distractions. The table was about ideas and collaboration, not technology, so we found a way to get the technology off the surface," Patrick Johnson says. "We know technology eventually will be infused in the table, and we built it with the ability to adapt and evolve."

The Millennials Collection is based on the "less is more" mentality, as Geiger as a company is a big believer in providing solutions to the challenges of the workplace with attractive furniture pieces that exude a specific design aesthetic without extraneous bells and whistles. "Instead of filling a space with furniture, we figure out what users need without being wasteful—in terms of budget and materials," says Geiger director of product development Mike Milligan. "It's not furniture by the pound. With office footprints getting smaller, it's a matter of strategically placing furniture tailored to use."

Visit Geiger at NeoCon® in the Herman Miller showroom #321 and at the Geiger showroom two blocks from the Mart at 300 West Hubbard Street, Suite 400. Readers Service No. 201

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