New vs Used: What to Consider When Evaluating Furniture Options

With an eye on reducing costs, organizations often evaluate the purchase of used furnishings for their new workplaces. While used furniture savings may appear considerable, buyers must take into account a series of underlying factors in their decision making process.

This great infographic will give you some insightful ideas when considering buying furniture.

New vs. Used Furniture

A visual summary of the Knoll Research paper “New versus Used: What to Consider When Evaluating Furniture Options.”

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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

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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!

 

Knoll to Present a Range of Immersive Planning Solutions at NeoCon 2017

Knoll_NeoCon17Knoll Inc., a constellation of design-driven brands, will showcase a range of Immersive workplace planning solutions for commercial, healthcare, and educational space at NeoCon 2017 – the annual contract industry trade show that will take place in Chicago from June 12 – 14.

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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:

 


 

The Power of Ergonomics to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

ergonomic

 

Ergonomics is all about efficiency, less downtime, and better performance, which leads to increased productivity. Isn’t that what all businesses want? Technology has created a variety of tools for the workplace, computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones changing how we work.  Each tool presents new opportunities, as well as challenges for workers. Addressing ergonomic issues affects staff emotionally as well as physically, because it expresses the company’s core values to employees that their health and wellbeing matter.

Most ergonomic injuries happen slowly over time, so they may not be initially detected. It may seem like things are going fine in your business, but gradually poor ergonomics will become more apparent in workers from eye strain, to issues like carpal tunnel, and  back and neck strain slowing productivity. Simple things can be done to design a workplace that minimizes fatigue, stress and injuries to workers that keeps business running smoothly. Many companies are creating tools that can be easily implemented into your business.

Photo of Knoll Remix Chair, Courtesy of Knoll
Photo of Knoll Remix Chair, Courtesy of Knoll

Knoll takes an approach called “holistic ergonomics” in the development of products that address ergonomic concerns.  As the company states in a research paper produced by Knoll, called “Holistic Ergonomics™ – A New Approach”, “Thus, holistic ergonomics is all about creating products and workspaces that support how people think and move.”

Knoll’s popular Remix Chair™ is a prime example of this approach. The chair is designed for performance, as well as comfort.  “Inspired by the idea of bringing pre-existing elements together to make something entirely new, Remix pairs upholstered comfort with innovative Flex Net Matrix™ technology for active, all day support. Remix delivers unexpected performance in a familiar form. By combining traditional and innovative elements, Remix infuses movement into a traditionally static upholstered chair,” according to Knoll.

remic_01Knoll’s popular Remix Chair™ is a prime example of this approach. The chair is designed for performance, as well as comfort.  “Inspired by the idea of bringing pre-existing elements together to make something entirely new, Remix pairs upholstered comfort with innovative Flex Net Matrix™ technology for active, all day support. Remix delivers unexpected performance in a familiar form. By combining traditional and innovative elements, Remix infuses movement into a traditionally static upholstered chair,” according to Knoll.

Joya_02
Photo of Kimball Joya Chair™courtesy of Kimball

Kimball Office is also committed to creating ergonomic workplace solutions.  According to Kimball, the Kimball Joya™ Chair is designed with advanced ergonomics in mind that perfectly fits all body types and offers back support and fits any workspace.  Advanced ergonomics and material technology give the Joya its smooth-flowing movement. Thoughtfully scaled seat and back components support a wide range of body types comfortably encouraging healthy postures and reducing physical stress. Optional sliding seats modify thigh and back support for people with long legs while an adjustable lumbar option personalizes lower back comfort.

joya7

 

Both sitting all day and standing all day can be tough on the body. The Humanscale workstation standing desk makes it easy to create some balance. The QuickStand height-adjustable workstation is easy to operate.

sitstand_01
Photo by Humanscale

SitStand_03

 

National’s ergonomic keyboard kit includes a keyboard mechanism with a tray that adjusts from -15° to +15°, 360° swivel, and arm tilt that moves up and down. The mouse tray can be moved to support right or left-handed users. The keyboard kit also includes high density polyethylene tray platform, foam gel wrist pad, and thermoplastic mouse tray.

Basic_Keyboard
Photo courtesy of National Office

 

20 Of The Most Iconic Office Chairs of All Time

Among the many thousands of office chairs designed and manufactured today, there are a but a mere handful considered true icons of the industry. These chairs are not only the possible basis and inspiration for most created today, their timeless designs have kept them in production for up to more than 75 years.

 

We’ve highlighted our top 20 icons since 1925, below. Which ones would you add?


1) WASSILY LOUNGE CHAIR – 1925

 

 

Designer: Marcel Breuer

Manufacturer: Knoll

Marcel Breuer was an apprentice at the Bauhaus when he conceived the first tubular steel chair, the Wassily chair, based on the tubed frame of a bicycle.

 

 

 

2) LE CORBUSIER LC2 ARMCHAIR – 1928

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer : Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand

Manufacturer: Cassina

The “Cassina I Maestri” (Cassina Masters) collection includes some of the most important furniture created by leading figures in the Modern Movement, pieces which have since become landmarks in the evolution of contemporary design.

 

 

 

3) BARCELONA CHAIR – 1929

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Manufacturer: Knoll

The Barcelona chair features the pure compositional structure that now epitomizes Modern architecture.

 

 

 

4) FLAT BAR BRNO CHAIR – 1929

Designer: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Manufacturer: Knoll

Designed for the Tugendhat house in Brno, Czechoslovakia, the Brno chair mirrors the ground breaking simplicity of its original environment. The simple profile, clean lines and meticulous attention to detail have elevated the Brno chair to an icon of twentieth century furniture design.

 

 

 

5) RISOM LOUNGE CHAIR – 1941

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Jens Risom

Manufacturer: Knoll

 

One of the first designers to bring traditional Scandinavian values to the United States with the Risom Lounge chair, Jens Risom was part of a new vanguard that helped establish post-war America’s leadership role in modern furniture design and manufacturing.

 

 

 

6) EAMES MOLDED PLYWOOD CHAIR – 1946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Charles and Ray Eames

Manufacturer: Herman Miller

Designed to comfortably fit the body, the sculpted form of the molded plywood chairs are produced using thin sheets of lightweight veneer gently molded into curved shapes with natural rubber shock mounts to absorb movement.

 

 

 

7) WOMB CHAIR – 1946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Eero Saarinen

Manufacturer: Knoll

The Womb Chair displays the Finnish-born designer’s flair for challenging rules, breaking molds and setting new standards for modern design.

 

 

 

8) EIFFEL CHAIR – 1946

Designer: Charles and Ray Eames

Manufacturer: Herman Miller

In the 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames were looking forward while other American designers were content to stay put. Designed in 1948, the Eiffel Chair was the first plastic chair to be mass-produced with its clean, simple form that is sculpted to fit the body.

 

 

 

9) DIAMOND CHAIR – 1952

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Harry Bertoia

Manufacturer: Knoll

Innovative, comfortable and strikingly handsome, the chair’s delicate appearance belies its strength and durability. In Bertoia’s own words, “If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.”

 

 

 

10) FLORENCE KNOLL ARM CHAIR – 1954

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Florence Knoll

Manufacturer: Knoll

Like so many of her groundbreaking designs that became the gold standard for the industry, Florence Knoll’s 1954 lounge collection has made its way into the pantheon of modern classics.

 

 

 

11) BUTTERFLY STOOL – 1954

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Sori Yanagi

Manufacturer: Vitra

“True beauty is not made ; it is born naturally”, Sori Yanagi, hence the Butterfly Stool.

 

 

 

12) STACKABLE CHAIR SERIES 7 – 1955

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Arne Jacobsen

Manufacturer: The Republic of Fritz Hansen

In speaking of the Stackable Chair Series 7, Arne Jac”I have made my chairs so that they can be stacked and leave the floor open.” -Arne Jacobsen

 

 

 

13) TULIP CHAIR – 1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Eero Saarinen

Manufacturer: Knoll

In his purist approach to architecture and interior design, Finnish-born Eero Saarinen sought the essential idea and reduced it to the most effective structural solution within an overall unity of design.

 

 

 

14) LOUNGE CHAIR AND OTTOMAN – 1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Charles and Ray Eames

Manufacturer: Herman Miller

Originally designed as a gift for their friend Billy Wilder, the director of “Some Like It Hot” and “Sunset Blvd,” the Eames’ lounge chair and ottoman is recognized everywhere including museums like MOMA in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. They have even been the subject of documentaries and books.

 

 

 

15) EGG CHAIR – 1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Arne Jacobsen

Manufacturer: The Republic of Fritz Hansen

Originally designed for the lobby and reception areas of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, this organically egg shaped chair has since become synonymous with Danish furniture design throughout the world.

 

 

 

16) SWAN CHAIR – 1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Arne Jacobsen

Manufacturer: The Republic of Fritz Hansen

In 1958, the Swan was a technologically innovative chair: No straight lines – only curves.

 

 

 

17) ALUMINUM CHAIR GROUP – 1958

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Charles and Ray Eames

Manufacturer: Vitra

The Aluminium Chair, one of the greatest furniture designs of the 20th century, stands out for its intelligent combination of materials. The covers are attached inside the aluminium profile sections and simply stretched over the frame, transforming them from mere coverings to a load-bearing part of the structure.

 

 

 

18) PANTON CHAIR – 1960

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Verner Panton

Manufacturer: Vitra

Most people spend their lives living in dreary, beige conformity, mortally afraid of using color. The main purpose of my work is to provoke people into using their imagination and make their surroundings more exciting.” – Verner Panton

 

 

 

19) BALL CHAIR – 1966

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Eero Aarnio

Manufacturer: Adelta

A Ball Chair is a “room within a room” with a cozy and calm atmosphere, protecting outside noises and giving a private space for relaxing or having a phone call. Turning around its own axis on the base the view to the outer space is variable for the user and thus he is not completely excluded from world outside.

 

 

 

20) SOFT PAD CHAIR – 1969

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer: Charles and Ray Eames

Manufacturer: Vitra

The Soft Pad is identical to the Aluminium Chair, although the attached padded sections form an interesting contrast to the elegant aluminium frame. They make the Soft Pad Chair softer and plusher, without detracting from its transparency and clear lines.


3 Main Categories of Office Furniture Styles

Even with the thousands of options available when choosing office furniture, everything basically falls into three distinct categories:

  1. Traditional
  2. Transitional
  3. Contemporary

The traditional and contemporary styles fulfill the more extreme and defined needs to express one’s taste. But it is the transitional styles that have gained such widespread appeal in recent years. As a matter of fact we are finding that more than 50% of what we sell today falls within the “transitional” styles. The more blended design approach works with a wider variety of furnishings and is less likely to limit a company’s personality. And the furniture you choose defines who you are. Which style are you?

TRADITIONAL

traditional furniture
Kimball Senator

Traditional furniture is exactly what it sounds like – traditional. Usually made of wood, with sometimes ornate accents, traditional furniture has been a staple in office environments for more than a century. There’s a certain beauty in the warmth and comfort that traditionally styled furniture can have. But it can also come off as antiquated or gaudy without careful consideration.

 

TRANSITIONAL

transitional furniture
Knoll Reff

Transitional furniture is less rigid by definition, but essentially marries traditional styling with modern aesthetics. Materials and styles vary widely but laminates are often used to provide a contrasted look of wood against metal, with glass sometimes used as an accent. With this style of furniture, the interior designer has a lot of flexibility to let  the environment dictate mood and atmosphere.

CONTEMPORARY

contemporary and modern furniture
Knoll Ross Lovegrove Collection

Contemporary furniture usually embraces minimalism in its quest for a sleek appearance. Metal, glass and composite materials are commonly used to achieve this. White and black are the most popular colors, sometimes using bright and bold colors for contrast. There’s a cleanliness to this look, often appearing futuristic in its execution. Critics claim this style can sometimes feel cold and uninviting, when taken to extremes.

“Contemporary” furniture is also considered “modern” by most standards. Yet, surprisingly, much of the furniture we classify as contemporary was designed in the 50’s and 60’s. Pioneers in this mid-century modern design such as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Saarinen inspired many of the new designs being manufactured today including the chair below by Saarinen.

tulip chair by Eero Saa

What do you think? What’s your favorite style of furniture?

 

Knoll Believes That New Work Patterns Call For New Office Designs

Knoll, Inc. introduced furniture solutions at NeoCon 2012 for a range of individual and group work that recognizes the increasingly social, mobile and collaborative fashion of today’s workplace.

“The office planning paradigm that most of us are familiar with was never intended to support the complexity or even the unpredictability of new work patterns,” said Benjamin Pardo, Knoll design director.

The Knoll NeoCon 2012 showroom was designed to showcase the role of activity spaces in the workplace in relation to primary workspaces that support:

  • focus (concentrative work by one person)
  • shared (among two or three people) and
  • team work (among four to six or more people)

 

Knoll has determined that activity spaces generally fall into one of five types:

  • REFUGE – for one to two people;
  • ENCLAVE – for 3-4 people
  • TEAM MEETING – for four to eight people
  • ASSEMBLY SPACES – for larger groups
  • COMMUNITY SPACES – for larger groups

If you weren’t able to attend NeoCon 2012, click on the image below to experience Knoll’s Virtual Showroom.

 

10 Essential Furnishings Every Office Needs To Consider

Sometimes knowing what your office doesn’t need helps narrow your furniture purchasing strategy. Whether the size of your office is large or small, the following basic furnishings should always be considered, even if it is determined some of them are unnecessary.

TASK SEATING Designed to be adaptable to specific tasks performed, ergonomic chairs allow your employees to get the job done faster, in a more comfortable and healthy way.

 

DESKING SYSTEMS Today’s organized systems provide places for computers, numerous devices and ‘things’.

 

VISITOR SEATING Seating that gives your guests or patients a place to get comfortable, in areas such as lounges or waiting rooms.

 

OCCASIONAL FURNITURE This shows that you’ve put more thought into your workplace than “just the basics.”

 

RECEPTION AREA – Extra attention here gives you opportunity to make a great first impression.

 

ARCHITECTURAL WALLS/PANEL SYSTEMS These systems create division between people and distractions.

 

POWER/DATA SOLUTIONS An important consideration for your furniture in today’s ‘connected’ world.

 

TASK LIGHTING The illuminance level and contrast and proper lighting for mood and eyesight cannot be underestimated.

 

STORAGE Planning ahead gives you a place to file documents, clear clutter and hide personal belongings.

 

BREAK ROOM TABLES AND SEATING Area that allows your employees to take a healthy break from their work for a meal or even conversation.

 

What do you think? What furnishings do you consider essential in your office?