This week, let’s look at items at NeoCon that are designed for everyone in your company – conference room furniture. There are a lot of traditional-looking tables among the “Best of” entries, but there’s also a distinct trend toward less structured furnishings. Here are two collections of special interest for 2011.
Jofco – Collective Motion
These lounge style pieces coupled with new modular task tables from Jofco create a very different type of conference space. If you want employees to relax and kick around creative ideas or critique the company’s latest video marketing or training materials, this setup might be perfect. The side tables that offer a place to set a laptop or notepad turn this into a versatile collaborative workspace where everyone can bring their favorite tools. Just don’t hook up cable TV with ESPN and HBO or no one will get any work done!
Allsteel – Gather Collection
Some of the new conference room components from Allsteel would mesh well with the current trend of holding meetings standing up to ensure brevity. The various lounge style furniture items in the Gather line can be separated using free-standing panels to let you create a meeting setting in either an open or closed space.
Shifts in Design Focus
It was interesting to see that conference seating was a strong contender at NeoCon. This is an indication that the idea of conferencing as a group of people gathered around a meeting table is not as universal as before. Now, there’s a lot more flexibility in how people collect to brainstorm and make decisions.
The assumption that most modern collaborative/conference areas will feature at least one large, flat screened monitor or TV is an interesting change from designs developed just a couple of decades ago. Up next, perhaps we’ll see conference room furniture arranged around a holographic imaging system like the one Angela Montenegro uses in the hit fictional forensic TV series “Bones”.