Our favorites from NeoCon 2018

Our team had the opportunity to attend this year NeoCon – one of the most recognized trade shows in the commercial design industry. We had the opportunity to meet with our partners to get the scoop on the newest products. Take a look!

Kimball Office

Focal Point:  Transform the workplace into a destination of choice.

National

Focal Point: Residential Inspired Spaces

Knoll

Focal Point: Hospitality at Work–presents a new way of thinking about the office and a more welcoming way to work.

DIRTT

Focal Point: Build the perfect interior space for what you need now –– and whatever the future brings.

Kimball Redefines Healthcare Design

“Modularity, Flexibility and Adaptability are the future of all environments but especially healthcare.”

– Aneetha McLellan, Director of Kimball Health Sales, Design, and Innovation.

At this year Healthcare Design Conference in Orlando, Florida,  Kimball Healthcare unveiled their new healthcare design vision with new products as well as “new mindsets to support and challenge today’s healthcare spaces.”

Let’s take a look at the innovative new introductions:

Alterna – Supporting the Full Facility

Modular | Flexible | Adaptable |

Ideal for lounge and waiting spaces, registration, nurse stations, infusion bays, in-room solutions, cafes, administrative areas and more.

Wilder – Design, Simplistic Scale, Comfort and Durability

Wilder is a lounge and guest seating family that is small in scale with aesthetic detailing, while still having a very generous and comfortable seat.

 

Pairings Health – Changing the Way We Wait

Adaptable | Comfortable |Tailored Solutions

Ideal for privacy room, family alcoves, open café, as well as small group huddle space.

Behavioral Health Solutions

Designed with wellness in mind.

The Wonder of Technology | How DIRTT Can Help You Build Your Vision

Few products on the market today can give you the results that DIRTT delivers.  By using the latest technology, the  ICE® software, the design team can assist you in exploring and modifying your design in real-time 3D.

The ICE® software is “a video game for design – with brains for business. “

Ice software

ICE® software provides graphical, interactive exploration of your design. The process is very simple:

As your visions are rendered, you are able to view in 3D how your space is going to look. The advantages of this approach are very simple: everyone is on the same page and understands the big picture.

Once all the details have been finalized,  your design is instantly calculated into the parts, pieces, connections, and pricing.

When everything is ready, the information goes to the DIRTT factory where your vision is precisely manufactured without human interpretation.

ice_software_2

Here are some examples of completed projects:

Another way DIRTT is using technology to bring your project to reality is with the recent introduction of ICE Reality ™ which  is built on DIRTT’s ICE® software. A BIM tool that captures material, pricing, engineering, manufacturing, and installation information for every aspect of an interior construction project. The ICEreality app takes that functionality and blends it into a social, mobile and immersive virtual reality world that mirrors the ICE design file.

 

ICEreality is available in the App Store and is compatible with iPhone 6s or newer, running iOS11. Users without a connection to DIRTT’s ICE software can explore the app’s preloaded DIRTT timber frame demo file. For the full experience with ICE software, contact us to try it in person.

 

Open Office Etiquette | Workplace Research by Knoll

Introducing Policies, Protocol, and Politeness

It can be challenging for companies to transition from a private office workplace into an open space work environment. A significant number of workers do not know what to expect. Moreover, they may not how to handle the difficult situations that often arise in open office environments. That is why it is extremely important for companies to develop a clear path for a smooth transition and to provide each employee with the necessary tools to alleviate possible anxieties. This new research prepared by one of our favorite manufacturers outlines in very simple terms how we can easily implement a program that will benefit the whole organization.

Photo by Knoll

“By improving collaboration and communication, flattening hierarchies and eliminating siloes, open environments can catalyze the innovation businesses seek.”

Photo by Knoll

Source: Open Office Etiquette | Workplace Research | Resources | Knoll

Download the full article click here

Everyone Needs a Place to Plug In

Flexible work environments need to provide more flexible products. Since we are relying more and more on our mobile electronic devices, so does the need for keeping mobiles, laptops and tablet devices charged. Consequently, a good portion of the furniture manufacturers have answered the call and are incorporating charging points into upholstered seating as well as desks and tables.

Let’s take a look at some of those options:

Highlights:

≡ The PowerCube by Knoll is a lounge table that does double-duty as a digital charging hub and an analog communications tool,  with whiteboard writable surfaces on all sides.

Jolt by Kimball Office has a USB charger and a wireless power-charging surface that seamlessly integrates technology vital to connection, collaboration, and productivity.

≡ The Pairings Lounge Collection by Kimball Office merges simple sofa/lounge collections with the more informal space where people work, team up, and gather, creating adaptable, lounge-based work settings that host teams and technology in comfort.

≡ The Power Up Arm available in the Fringe Lounge Seating Collection by National Office offers extreme flexibility. It features two power outlets and
two USB ports.

Charge it!

 

10 Ergonomic Tips for a Healthier Workspace

Eyestrain? Sore back? It is amazing how making even small tweaks to office furnishings or work habits can make you more comfortable. To reduce your risk of injury, and improve your performance, consider these ten practical ergonomic tips for your workspace — and work style.

Check out this very useful infographics created by Knoll:

 


 

Shaping The Fluid Office: What Can We Learn From Buildings 20 and 99?

Even as open-space environments have become increasingly more popular over the past few years, companies continue to debate the open- versus closed-office environment concepts. But there is another concept that lays a solid foundation for both – the “fluid office.”

The dynamic environment of the fluid office seems to be taking shape and is gaining more and more attention. The fluid office is not confined to a single set of walls but, instead, is one that flows with the worker and task allowing for even greater productivity.

Because it addresses the situational demands of the activities and roles performed at any given time, the “fluid” office is flexible and adapts continuously to your organization’s changes and growth.

CLOSED + OPEN = FLUID OFFICE

Fluid Office Workplace

The closed-office environment works best for tasks that require intense concentration. Interruptions and distractions are minimized, but it is usually more expensive. Conversely, the open-space environment encourages communication and collaboration and often reduces costs. Yet this approach can also lead to a lack of privacy.

Instead of trying to design office solutions around the worker or team, the fluid office approach is designed to match the worker and environment to the requirements of different types of tasks. Workers have the flexibility to choose their space at a moment’s notice, based on the tasks they are performing. And the overall environment becomes more configurable through the use of architectural products such as raised flooring or movable walls.

The Benefits of Fluid-Office Environments

  • Encourages communication and knowledge sharing, when necessary.
  • Isolation available, when necessary.
  • Shared office space and the open-office floor plan still saves on real-estate expense.
  • Higher visibility of worker work habits, when necessary.*
  •  

The real trend – and therefore the real advantage of the fluid concept – is more about creating spaces that can quickly and easily adapt to the changing needs of your organization.

BUILDING 20: THE FLUID OFFICE CONCEPT – Design by Surprise

MIT Building 20 - Fluid Office Workplace

 

The fluid office concept is not only NOT new, it is genuinely intrinsic to innovative and productive working conditions as revealed by chance in MIT’s infamous Building 20 (also known as “The Magical Incubator”).

During WWII, MIT was growing quickly and needed extra room for scientists to conduct research. In 1943, Building 20 was built as a temporary facility that was supposed to be demolished at the end of the war. It was hastily constructed, with thin wooden walls and a leaky roof, yet served as a home for groundbreaking research from a wide variety of professors and students, including Noam Chomsky and Amar Bose (of Bose Corporation).

According to MIT professor Paul Penfield, “Its ‘temporary nature’ permitted its occupants to abuse it in ways that would not be tolerated in a permanent building. If you wanted to run a wire from one lab to another, you didn’t ask anybody’s permission — you just got out a screwdriver and poked a hole through the wall”.

And precisely because of its temporary nature, Building 20’s occupants were free to reconfigure work spaces, move walls – even floors in some cases – to accommodate their changing needs.

To get an idea of just how Building 20 bred productivity and innovation in its 50 years before being torn down in 1998, check out this list of amazing stories. And if you’d like to know more about Building 20, I highly recommend reading How Buildings Learn: What Happens to Buildings After They’re Built, by Stewart Brand.


BUILDING 99: THE FLUID OFFICE CONCEPT – Design on Purpose

Microsft Building 99 Fluid Office Workplace

While MIT’s Building 20 birthed fluidity as a result of fate and circumstance, Microsoft’s Building 99 was meticulously designed to foster flexible collaboration in all the right ways. The main atrium was designed to accommodate all 650 people who work in the building at one time, if necessary. Writable (and erasable) surfaces line the walls at every turn. And the interior is filled with a thoughtful mix of private offices, formal and informal meeting rooms to be used according to the task or project at hand.

Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, describes it best: “In a sense [the building’s designers] built the water-coolers first, and then designed an office building around them.”

Building 99 is based on meeting the changing needs of its workers. And since it’s the headquarters for Microsoft Research, the need to optimize change is paramount.

Robert Scoble, an American blogger, technical evangelist and author, wrote of his visit to Building 99, “The floor is actually elevated so all networking, and air control can be put underneath. The carpet isn’t actually one solid piece, but rather is tiled so that each piece can be lifted off and things underneath can be reconfigured. If a researcher is bothered by the location of the air vent in her office she could have it moved to some other location.”

Scoble also mentioned that all of the interior walls were movable. “So, if a group wanted to change its space they could do so without costing Microsoft a lot of money in rebuilding costs.” Check out Scoble’s photostory on Bldg. 99 here.


THE FLUID OFFICE CAN BE A SOLID CHOICE

Primarily due to advancements in technology, the world we live in changes on a daily basis. Businesses must be prepared to adapt and that means creating flexible and efficient working environments that foster innovation and productivity. You don’t have to be MIT or Microsoft to incorporate fluid workspaces. Yet doing so can help you build success and longevity into the foundation of your organization.

*Source: The Fluid Office: An Open and Closed Case University of Missouri, St. Louis