Last week, we gave some bragging space to Steelcase. But Herman Miller did even better, bringing in its own collection of awards at NeoCon 2013. The company’s booth and showroom was recognized as the best place to visit in the entire convention. You can see HM’s “Living Office” concept page here and even download the delightfully artistic wallpaper for your computer or mobile device.
HM’s New Workstations Are Made of the Right Stuff
In the product categories, the company won an Innovation Award for using a new material to create office furniture. Expanded Polypropelene (EPP) is a very lightweight yet durable plastic that is used in the systems furniture “Metaform Portfolio” by Studio 7.5 in Berlin. Unlike heavy desks and cubicles with many parts that have to be disassembled and reassembled, the modular Metaform blocks are easy to reconfigure. In fact, each one weighs less than 20 pounds. This means even a solo employee can rearrange the office space if the mood strikes them. This will probably lead to some really hilarious cubicle pranks. However, it may also provide a new level of autonomy and dynamism for workers to define their own private and collaborative work areas.
More Silver and Gold…
The company also earned recognition for the Eames molded wood side chair, Catalyst Phase II casegoods, and Locale benching. This last is the most revolutionary and part of HM’s larger “Living Office” concept. It was created to facilitate “a physical version of how social networks function; the most relevant participants are kept close so that communication is easy, fast, and frequent.” The curvaceous, adjustable height desks are designed to turn any individual workspace into a collaboration zone quickly and easily.
Facility managers and office space designers can configure clusters in many ways to bring different work zones and styles into the same “neighborhood” for maximum productivity. Standing height panels break up the open office design and afford a degree of privacy for workers who need to concentrate. The collection won’t be on the market until this winter, but you can start thinking about ways Locale could start changing the way your office works right now.