Architecture & Design, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Furniture makers unveil new products

Annual Chicago trade show gives manufacturers a chance to demonstrate innovations.

June 22, 2018
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NeoCon recap
Steelcase and its family of brands won six 2018 Best of NeoCon Awards at the annual trade show in Chicago. Courtesy Steelcase

As West Michigan furniture companies continue their pattern of acquisitions and partnerships, the array of product offerings on display at NeoCon keeps growing.

The 2018 edition of the trade fair for the built industry ran June 11-13 at Merchandise Mart in Chicago, with all of the major furniture makers and dealers in West Michigan displaying their innovations in showrooms.

Some of the products are available now, and some will go through a few more adjustments before hitting the market in a year or two.

Jim Keane, CEO of Steelcase, had much to celebrate, as his company garnered several accolades at the show.

Steelcase and its family of brands won six 2018 Best of NeoCon Awards for its SILQ, Mackinac, Embold, Surroundings by Designtex, Celliant Collection by Designtex, and Designtex + Coalesse Collection products. The awards were presented by Contract Magazine to honor the top new commercial interiors products introduced to the market.

Steelcase also was awarded Best in Competition in the IIDA/Contract Magazine Showroom and Booth Design Competition, and was named the Large Showroom category winner in the same contest.

Keane said the awards reflect his company’s commitment to adaptability and imagination.

“Leading organizations are focused on growth, which means they need to drive innovation and adapt their culture to be more agile and creative,” he said.

“All of the new products we’ve designed, our new collaborations and upcoming acquisition (of Plano, Texas-based Smith System Manufacturing Co.) are part of a strategy to help organizations create a great employee experience where people will thrive.”

On the technology front, Holland-based Trendway debuted a new augmented reality app, Trendway AR, at NeoCon designed in partnership with Grand Haven-based Th3rd Coast Media Solutions. It will be available exclusively for Trendway sales professionals.

Don Heeringa, CEO of Trendway, said the app is in line with how the industry is moving — showing products virtually before customers see them in person.

“We didn’t get into a lot of details (about the app in the showroom), but the salespeople were excited,” he said. “We just wanted to launch at NeoCon.”

Th3rd Coast Media Solutions founder Jeff Joanisse said the app is a “really powerful selling tool.”

“(It) allows Trendway representatives to bring their entire furniture portfolio with them when they visit a customer and allows them to share products within their client’s space, in real time,” he said.

Other products debuted at NeoCon:

Herman Miller - Geiger brand

Axon tables: Suite of conference room tables with connections along the table surface for power and data, voice and videoconferencing.

Leeway seating: Geiger’s most varied seating line, designed to allow freedom of movement within a minimal footprint, featuring a cantilevered backrest so users have a place to rest elbows and the space to shift in the chair.

Bespoke casegoods: Vignette of custom-crafted casegoods incorporating a medley of materials, functionality, technology support and custom-manufactured components.

Reframe lounge furniture: Chairs that come in three back heights: a high-back, mid-back designed to encourage conversation and wing-back designed for focus; and a suite of coordinating tables designed to support collaborative and individual work.

Herman Miller brand

Canvas Vista: Desking system that makes small workstations “feel big and inviting” and allows users to personalize.

Living Office Workplace Services: Vignette using Live OS — a smart system of furnishings, app, dashboard and Living Office Settings — to demonstrate how Herman Miller specialists can help shape a workplace to change culture, boost efficiency and scale technology.

Overlay: System of sub-architectural, movable walls designed to transform an open floor plan by creating freestanding rooms, dividing areas or giving shape to open spaces.

Cosm: Chair with an ergonomic design that responds to each person’s body, movement and posture to provide balance and support.

Lino: New ergonomic and affordable task chair with a wide range of aesthetic options.

Maars Living Walls: Enclosed settings portfolio from Netherlands-based Maars, a producer of standardized and customized partition walls that Herman Miller is acquiring.

Nemschoff and Herman Miller Healthcare collection

Palisade: Collection of health care products for public and waiting spaces that provide people of all ages and abilities choices for accommodation while giving interiors a cohesive look.

Mora: Customizable health care casework spaces with storage choices that keep some supplies concealed.

Steelcase

Mackinac: Range of furnishings in a compact footprint with height-adjustable cantilever work surface that allows people to shift between individual focused work and collaboration without leaving their workspace.

Clipper: Freestanding screen from Turnstone designed to provide on-demand privacy in open office environments, Clipper comes in a 72-inch or a 56-inch height, is covered in fabric with optional contrasting colors and has a magnetic closing system and handles.

Coalesse Color, Pattern and Material Capabilities programs: Web-based programs meant to empower Steelcase designers and customers to easily customize their workplace, add sensory richness and express their vision.

Convey: Modular casework solution from Steelcase Health to provide health care organizations flexible choices for exam, patient care and respite areas.

Embold: Collection of seating and tables from Steelcase Health that come in a variety of sizes and material options, to bring “residential styling” to health care.

Motif: Wall-mounted modular panel system from PolyVision, a Steelcase company, designed for simple installation and to help people personalize their collaborative spaces using color and composition.

Nooi: Versatile, multiuse stacking chair that can be used for café, front porch, touchdown and guest spaces.

Ology with Active Touch: Desk designed to promote user movement via two control options: Simple Touch, which moves the desk up or down, and Active Touch, which reminds workers to change posture via desk motions. It pairs with the new Rise app (available in winter 2018), that will allow workers to save preferred height settings, set reminders to move and track wellness activities.

Haworth

Soji: Adjustable task chair with an array of ergonomic options designed for a wide range of people, spaces and modes of work.

Maari: Active work chair and timeless wood-base side chair designed for workplace short-term seating applications — from conference and training rooms to touchdown and ancillary spaces.

Kvadrat: Floyd and Melange Nap textiles to be offered through a new North America partnership with Ebeltoft, Denmark-based Kvadrat — Floyd is an upholstery textile that combines man-made and natural materials; Melange Nap is a woolen upholstery textile that offers “depth of color.”

Cultivate: Multifunctional table for seated or standing collaboration at work.

Suite: A wood casegoods collection meant to create “inviting and efficient spaces” that suit a variety of workstyles among sales team leaders.

Enclose: A two-paned, frameless glass moveable walls solution designed to be easily adaptable and deliver acoustical privacy with visual openness.

Bandas Space by GAN: Modular system that blends soft seating with coordinating runner rugs and pillows that, when paired, give the impression the furniture flows right into the floor.

Trendway

Trendway AR app: Augmented reality space-planning mobile application for furniture sales dealers.

Plus tables and a Plus tablet arm chair: Surfaces added to Trendway’s Plus seating line launched at the 2017 NeoCon; specially designed for a traditional lounge, lobby, library, touchdown space or informal meeting area.

New Chicago showroom permanent features: Café and social hub featuring views of Chicago’s new Riverwalk renovation; Architectural Product Design Center showcasing Trendway’s full line of movable walls, including Clear Wall, Volo and TrendWall.

Leland

Slam Lounge: Chair with a low seat height and wide format — the wire base cradles the upholstered shell, providing a secure foundation for the chair; the shell is suspended above the pyramidal base on a die-cast under-seat support; a webbed seat center is designed to increase the comfort of the chair.

Back Bench: Modular seating molded of a single, long piece, then cut into wedge shapes with nine-seat segments that allow users to create linear compositions, including turns and angles.

Amadeus Wood Leg: A chair that offers a wood base beneath the seat, which joins the legs to the shell, allowing the chair to be customized to meet the demands of modern spaces.

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