“New Visions of Work” is the theme of the 2016 edition of Orgatec, which is opening today in its traditional location of Koelnmesse in Cologne. Five days (ending on Saturday 29 October) completely dedicated to the office and workspace world in its multifaceted and diverse compositional and technological solutions. 665 companies from 40 countries and an outstanding exhibition space create the perfect environment to present major trends, not only in terms of product trends, but also and especially when it comes to culture, process and working environment.
Orgatec, which centres around an environment that it defines as the “working world” of today and the future, focuses on several key concepts, above all teamwork and flexibility: two qualities that are increasingly requested for environments intended for highly-skilled professions; two interconnected qualities that often clash (individuals work at a different pace, so the creative phases alternate with reflective work, requiring different practices). Solutions such as the Hub office system by Fantoni (which allows individual and group use for multiple purposes) are a response to this problem, as is the minimalist Rope sofa by Normann Copenhagen for lounges or waiting rooms, combined with different arrangements, coverings and colors.
An equally important aspect is a working environment’s capacity to adapt to the different generational range that it can host; this also means a greater attention to the welfare and health of workers. Chairs are the first furnishings to be considered in this area and new mechanisms are helping to expand the range: one example is the new AM chair by Vitra, which adapts to the different weight of those who use it, ensuring the highest degree of comfort without the need to change the position in advance.
Today’s offices do not overlook the issue of acoustics, generated by open spaces and open areas where noise can become a problem. There are a variety of sound-absorbing panel solutions, such as Canor by Thonet, which in addition to muffling sounds, also serves as an all-in-one partition wall, notice board and container.
Orgatec demonstrates that working spaces are becoming increasingly smart and technological: there are desktops that charge tablets and phones alongside curtains that automatically open and close depending on the position of the sun. Sedus presents an exclusive new wireless charger that can be hidden under a desk, not only for tablets and smartphones, but also for PCs. Klober unites technology and furniture in the new “climate chair” with its integrated ventilation and heating system.
The furnishings therefore become innovative elements of the working space, which incorporate increasingly original solutions and are sometimes even transformed into artistic creations (see the modern, architectural BuzziBlinds by BuzziSpace or the LightWalls by Laurameroni), which give a new boost of energy to the environment with their colors, effects and designs.