ORGATEC 2018 Challenges Designers to Rethink the Modern Office

The theme for ORGATEC 2018, held in Cologne, Germany, was “Visionary concepts for a new work culture.” There were a number of exhibitors, including Lars Boisen, Montana Furniture’s head of sales for Europe; Anton Van de Putte, CEO of BoConcept; and Thomas Halliday, Manager of Dealer Sales, Nick Laughton, Sales Director, and Kempton Williams, President of Clarus Europe.

Office furniture does not have to be limited to desks and cubicles, as ORGATEC proved.

All three companies emphasized the degree to which the new collaborative office spaces require greater flexibility, and how their products solve the new problems which arise from this new trend.

Lars Boisen spoke about Montana Furniture’s main product, Storage, a modular storage system with seemingly limitless of possibilities. There 42 colors and a large number designs, drawers, push-drawers, pull-drawers, shelves, handles, glass doors, and so on from which to choose: “It’s like Lego bricks for grownups.” This modularity allows them to fulfill the goal set by ORGATEC 2018 that “freedom and structure be given equal space” and to allow customers to express their own creativity.

Montana’s latest offering is Montana Free, which is a freestanding storage unit. It has 12 compositions and 4 colors at the present time, allowing for even greater flexibility. They also offer a height-adjustable office table so your sitting office can become a standing office.

This year’s most cutting edge furniture was on display at ORGATEC.

BoConcept, with 284 stores in 65 countries, is “the most global furniture retailer there is,” according to Van de Putte. The design of their full assortment of furniture is based on “Scandinavian/Danish design principles, which very much focus on the functionality of the furniture—that also has to look good, but functionality always has to come at the first place.”

As work environments also become more collaborative, they provide different models of shelves, tables, meeting tables, desks, and office chairs to meet evolving office layouts.

According to Halliday, the focus at Clarus is also on modularity, saying of its glass products that “You can custom color it and custom shape it.” Clarus’ Go Mobile and Glide products allow for greater flexibility throughout the office environment. View is a projectable glass surface that, according to Williams, has projection capabilities built right into the glass. Flip allows the user to change his or her writing surface to solve acoustic problems.

Clarus was displaying its glassboards on the trade show floor at ORGATEC 2018.

Laughton says he is excited to present Clarus’ writable glass at ORGATEC, in no small part because its high-definition glass is unique. He says the company also tries to integrate its products with other companies’ technologies as much as possible to ensure even greater flexibility of use, saying, “We love to be a ‘yes’ company.”

Three companies with three different solutions to the new office environment. ORGATEC 2018 was definitely the place to be to see how modularity and flexibility are providing solutions to the new collaborative office layouts.

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