Top Highlights from Orgatec 2018
International design show, Orgatec opened its doors once again and anyone who is passionate about the design world flocked to Cologne for one of the industry’s most anticipated trade shows. A fusion of interior design and the modern office environment, Orgatec 2018 focussed on the topic of “New Visions of Work”. Hundreds of brands brought the future of office design to the trade community of Cologne and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites. Mac also caught up with exhibitors to find out more about the trends from the fair.
Orgatec this year seemed to give the impression that we’re advancing from eccentric, showier opulence towards a more understated aesthetic that oozes sophistication - sultry tones and subtler textures. Sustainability continues to be the main focus and acoustic consideration featured in almost every collection.
A family run business with a passion for contemporary Scandinavian design, entrepreneurship and sustainability, Jonas Ihreborn is a third-generation upholstery expert and creative craftsman. Showcasing a plethora of bright, bold and practical furniture including the cloud-like modular Blob Sofa. Soft and airy with a nod to the Seventies, the Blob Sofa combines comfort with contemporary style and versatility.
Also on display at Orgatec was the Story Sofa, another modular sofa that takes inspiration from Lego blocks. The reason being, the Story sofa can be built endless ways! From sideways to upwards, the Story sofa can be used to create the effect of a private booth, or a more open style. Inspired by the nature of a honeycomb by fitting in to various environments, the Honey Sofa is designed to create different shapes and like the Story Sofa, can have a low or raised back depending on different needs.
One of the very big trends I'm seeing is accoustic solutions. I'm also a sound engineer with my own recording studios so this excites me! Colours are happier. It's about making the workspace more inviting so that staff feel valued, comfortable and more at home. Hotels want to look like offices and offices want to look like hotels!
Separated into five thematic islands, COR’s exhibition this year was centred around the theme of “flow” with different contexts being revealed from various angles around the stand. With a wide range of minimalist furniture pieces in soft colours, the exhibition created an inviting yet intimate and warm atmosphere. The multifunctional Affair soft seating collection was creatively combined with stylish tables, easy chairs and stools in order to demonstrate the sofa’s endless possible configurations. The COR Lab collaborative furniture range was also a prominent part of this year’s exhibition emphasising on the new agile and disruptive working world.
There's a real depth of colour at the show this year. Nothing too loud, understated. The shapes are easy on the eye too - items to be lived with and enjoyed. Comfort seems to be key. The environment is a hot topic. At COR we have a very strong focus on sustainability and materials are localy sourced, reducing environmental impact.
Nau is a newly established brand born out of the idea to promote Australian design and creativity to the world. Talented designers from all over the country have gathered to create furniture, lighting and accessories with a clean and simple design aesthetic. Named after an Australian bird that makes nest out of woven twigs, the Bower acoustic panel is open, organic and gentle with excellent sound dampening qualities. With a growing demand for a softer approach to office settings, Nau’s natural wood finishes fit perfectly in the contemporary workspace.
Everyone seems to be investing the creation of furnishings design for collaboration. One of the bi-products of collaborative activity and open workspaces is noise, so we are also seeing more acoustic products.
With more than 600m2 of design showcasing, this year’s Normann Copenhagen’s stand marks the brand’s largest exhibition to date comprising of an auditorium, a conference hall, meeting rooms, café areas and lounges. The Danish manufacturer introduced several new designs at Orgatec including the Studio Chair, the Silo Pouf, the Phantom Lamp and the Form Café Table. From soothing earth tone colours to bold and bright design elements, the exhibition had something to please everyone.
Velvets, brass and marbles seem to be trending at Orgatec this year. Collections are showing a higher level of sophistocation and opulence. We've experimented more with our stand this year so that we could showcase a forecast of upcoming trends. Warmer, muted tones look to feature highly in the coming season.
Another trend we observed at Orgatec this year is the focus on sustainability. While numerous brands have already made significant steps towards recycling and sustainable materials, Dutch manufacturer Vepa is certainly among the leaders in the field of sustainable innovation.
With an ambition to become a waste-free factory, the company has already launched an entire range of office furniture made from plastic bottles that have been fished out of Amsterdam’s canals. Inspired by the incredible shapes of whales, the new collection even uses the steel waste from the factory to manufacture the cast-iron base of the chairs. To close the life cycle loop, Vepa ensures that different parts of the products get recycled or reused in other furniture pieces.
Offering an extensive range of products, INCLASS are devoted to manufacturing modern furniture in collaboration with leading international designers. Driven by the desire to develop modern and inspirational spaces, INCLASS designs are instantly recognisable with their clean lines, versatility and overall elegant aesthetic.
INCLASS appeared at Orgatech 2018 with products that were contemporary, sophisticated and designed with the customer in mind. Showcasing a range of stylish seating from the DUNAS XS range, these chairs had all the characteristics of INCLASS design with sleek lines, expert upholstery and endless choice of fabrics and finishes. Offering regular chairs, armchairs and stools, the DUNAS XS range is highly versatile and all designs can be used in commercial or residential spaces.
Also displayed at the Cologne exhibition, was the ESSENS Collection. A stylish range of tables that combine style and design with beautifully balanced proportions. Designed by Jonathan Prestwhich, these sculptural tables are perfect for both indoors and out. Made from 100% recycled materials, the ESSENS collection comes in a range of sizes and materials including wood, marble and plastic and metal with finishes including oak veneer, solid HPL, and optional lacquer.
One of Germany’s leading manufacturers of modern office furniture, Ophelis is another family-run business providing clients with products and solutions to create a stylish workplace. Recognising how the modern workplace is changing and the challenges faced by many organisations, Ophelis showcased a range of dynamic design solutions to the visitors of Orgatech 2018. Presented at the exhibition amongst many other products, was the Ophelis Docks, a two-seater design with a high U-shaped partition with added storage space, shelving and a small swivel lap tale. The raised, curved back provides acoustic shielding and privacy, creating a stylish yet open retreat.
Producing contemporary Italian furniture for over sixty years, Pedrali showcased their “Poetry of Elements” exhibition at Orgatec this year inspired by how the simplicity of everyday objects, such as a blank sheet paper, can be transformed into a meaningful creation. Representing the birth of new ideas, the poetic significance of paper extended throughout the exhibition and Pedrali presented stunning designs with carefully considered architectural elements.
Pedrali’s inspirational “Poetry of Elements” exhibition featured products from their Buddy Collection. With a range of stylish chairs, sofas and ottomans, this stylish range of products had been redesigned with rich new elements to enhance not only functionality, but aesthetic appeal. Expertly upholstered, this modular seating arrangement reflects the essence of Pedrali – beauty, tradition and innovation.
Estonian furniture manufacturer, Softrend displayed an array of designs at Orgatec this year. Specialising in beds and sofas, Softrend’s designs are locally produced in Estonia and seek to shape the new, modern working environment with their expertly designed products. Making workspaces cosy, comfortable and convenient, Softend displayed several designs from their August Collection at Orgatec.
The August Workbay by Softrend was one of many products on show at the exhibition. A contemporary sofa set with partitioned walls and connecting roofs, the August Workbay provides a private space for meetings, conversations and creative brainstorming! With a sound-absorbing surface and high-rise sides, the August Workbay is available in a range of materials and sizes to suit any contemporary working space.
Participating for the first time at Orgatec, Alki deliver simple yet stylish furniture solutions with expert craftsmanship and an artisan approach to design. With sustainability at the core of Alki’s values, the company believes that sustainability is not an option, but the only way forward and this is reflected in many of the company’s products.
During Orgatec 2018, Alki revealed a prototype of their new office chair. Designed by Jean Louis Iratzoki the Heldu Collection involved the traditional technique of joining different wood elements together in a manner that allows them to interlock together. The use of different colours helps to highlight the interlocking areas of the product, from stool to armchair, the consistency and attention to detail in the Heldu collection has been carefully considered by the designer and as a result, has achieved a very unique aesthetic.