Contract - January/February 2011 - (Page 22)
Highlights from the biennial oﬃce furniture trade show in Cologne, Germany
By Danine Alati
Although no one knew what kind of attendance to expect at this year’s Orgatec, October 26-30, 2010, given the state of the economy, the bustling of traﬃc in the six halls of the Koelnmesse 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 so seating for breakout areas that include privacy options, and the need for height-adjustable furniture continues to push innovation. 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. Vitra made a splash with several product introductions and a striking showroom design. “The Vitra pavilion was amazing…so reﬂective of who they are, a stunning and useful design,” notes Polucci. “It was approachable and welcoming as well as useful.” Santa-Cruz adds, “It was creative, one big idea/environment; it could have been a headquarters.” Polucci cited Vitra’s new Suita Club, designed by Antonio Citterio, as once of his favorites. “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 seat back and arm options. The designers also agree on Wilkhahn’s impact at the show. Santa-Cruz favored the German manufacturer’s booth “for its classic, timeless, clean design that matches the brand,” while Polucci echoes that is was “open and well branded.” Both were impressed with Wilkhahn’s Stefan Diez-designed Chassis chair, inspired by the manufacturing of sports cars and constructed of sheet metal and polypropylene using space-frame technology. “Chassis is ve lightweight, yet organic and ve technically precise,” Santa-Cruz notes. Santa-Cruz also was 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 inspired by park benches, and Santa-Cruz liked that it “abstracts the inside/ outside aspect of the park-bench idea.” With the need for furniture to accommodate the open landscape and collaboration comes the need for privacy within workspaces. 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.
For the full article and extended coverage of Orgatec, visit www.contractdesign.com/orgatec2010.
Right from top to bottom: Vitra, ID. Reader Service No. 200. Vitra, Suita Club. Reader Service No. 201. Wilkhahn, Chassis. Reader Service No. 202. Giulio Marelli, Stripes. Reader Service No. 203. Bene, PARC phone booth. Reader Service No. 204.
contract january/february 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - January/February 2011
Contract - January/February 2011
The 32nd Annual Interiors Awards
Designers of the Year
Contract - January/February 2011