At the Chicago contract furniture fair, such heavyweight brands as Herman Miller, Humanscale and Interface presented their latest innovations. Here are a few products that caught our eye.
1 Sail by Andreu World America
Piergiorgio Cazzaniga’s Sail chair, which won a coveted Best of NeoCon award, was amongst several sleek introductions made by the eco-conscious contract furniture company. The ultra-lightweight and sturdy stackable seat is made of recycled thermopolymer and fibreglass and also comes in FSC-certified oak and upholstered in recycled leather. Other new products include the sculptural Tao table by Barcelona design trio Lievore Altherr Molina, and additions to Patricia Urquiola’s beech, spindle-backed Nub collection.
2 Hosu by Coalesse
Urquiola was spotted over at Coalesse inviting guests to experience Hosu, a lounge chair inspired by the idea of working in a relaxed environment (Hosu means “house” in Korean). Available in six vibrant shades of Hexa, a textured honeycomb-like fabric, or leather, the sink-into-me seats come in fixed, convertible and two-seater sofa versions.
3 Alexander Girard Textiles by Herman Miller
An installation dedicated to the works of Alexander Girard stole the show at the Herman Miller showroom. The miniature museum designed by Brooklyn’s Michael McGinn Design Office featured everything from toys to table linens by Girard, who was the Director of Design for the manufacturer’s textile division during for 20 years until 1972. Five new re-editions from Textiles by Alexander Girard were released, including a rainbow-checked pattern called Colorado Plaid (the upholstery on the Eames compact sofa).
4 Disc by Humanscale
Disc, a futuristic yet elegant energy-efficient task light is the company’s latest. LEDs surrounded by layers of polycarbonate and optical films offer seven levels of brightness and create an ultra-wide footprint of warm, glare-free light. Using only seven watts, Disc also detects infrared energy changes and automatically turns off or on when the user comes and goes.
5 Urban Retreat by Interface
Sustainability is – and always will be – the name of the game at this flooring showroom. Visitors were treated to eco-friendly boxed water as they perused the new Urban Retreat carpet tile collection. Containing natural and man-made materials, the stunning line comes in nine organic styles and eight earthy colourways inspired by flora and fauna, which has proven to improve workplace productivity and reduce stress.
6 Bavaria and The Long Passage Towards Night by Maharam
Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Studio Job and Paul Smith were among the titans in the textile company’s new lineup. Dutch firm Studio Job’s Bavaria, for instance, riffs on German folk art with amusing fabrics featuring farm animals. Maharam also presented the intricate kite-making work of New York designer Jacob Hashimoto in a stunning wallcovering, titled The Long Passage Towards Night, as part of its Digital Projects collection.
7 Metronome Benching and Tuxedo High Back by Nienkämper
Eight new furniture pieces popped up at Nienkämper, including Metronome Benching, a flexible addition to the existing Metronome table collection that allows users to work individually or as a team. Thanks to a shared desktop and desk legs, this slick workstation requires a smaller footprint and is ideal for offices where workers are on the move. Another showstopper was the Tuxedo High Back sofa, available as a two or three-seater. The high upholstered panels of this classy number boasts sound-absorbing qualities and instant privacy in open spaces.
See the full NeoCon 2012 report in the September issue of Azure.