The Top Three Design Trends at Orgatec 2014


Last week, I attended Orgatec in Cologne, Germany, one of the leading product expositions in Europe for modern work environment solutions. More than 600 companies from 40 countries bring furnishings, flooring, acoustics, lighting, and media technology for an audience of architects, designers, facilities managers, and end users. The fair is spread out over 105,000 square meters—massive in comparison to shows based in the U.S. Since IA is a global firm with projects around the world, it’s important to stay abreast of trends in all our markets.

There were three recurring themes that appeared throughout the show, regardless of the manufacturer’s nationality or target market.

Materiality: Plywood

#latergram: more #plywood at #orgatec. Why ply? More on the blog. #interiors #design // #rg @whatthehelman

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We’ve been seeing a lot more being done with plywood in recent years, and are doing some fun things with a few clients currently. It was huge at the Ophelia, Ondaretta, Andreu World, and Arper booths at Orgatec. The appeal here is the “trueness” of the material. There nothing added or surfaced, for the most part. It’s completely authentic, low cost, and available anywhere you’re building. It’s also incredibly versatile. It’s still a definitive statement but it can also act as a neutral value in certain spaces, whereas veneers are typically used as focal points. You can also route plywood to build shapes and facets and you don’t have to worry about directionality of wood grains. It’s a very malleable material that you can do anything with.

Double on-trend(re): #plywood meets #mint and #rose at #orgatec #interiordesign #latergram // #rg @whatthehelman

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Wellness: Biophilia
We’re working with many clients that have employees who spend long hours in the offices, so we like the workspace to feel as natural as possible. Incorporating living greenery and plants creates a more inviting and warm space, making our constructed environments more comfortable. There are health benefits to working in close proximity of the source of the carbon dioxide-oxygen exchange, where typically air is supplied via mechanical systems. But there are psychological benefits too. Studies show the feeling of being outdoors in nature calms the mind.

#vitra #biophilia at #orgatec #latergram #cologne #Germany #office #design #interiorarchitects // #rg @whatthehelman

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Green walls have been popular for years, but facilities managers are deterred by the requisite heavy maintenance. At Orgatec, vendors like Cascando and Ophelia were supplying solutions where you can insert the plants and replace the greenery in the containers as necessary.

More #biophilia at #orgatec – #design for #wellness #latergram // #rg @whatthehelman

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Colors: Rose and mint
A continuation of the color trends at this year’s Salone del Mobile, were especially prevalent, especially in rose and mint. This was especially strong at Fritz Hansen, Haworth, and Vitra. We’re already seeing the presence of mint accents in corporate design, and I’d estimate that we’ll see more of rose, too. For clients that are worried about the durability and longevity of products, lighter colors will be a harder decision to make but it could definitely work on a hard surface that can withstand the wear, and it infuses a residential feel into commercial settings.

#mint-ed dancing ladies #wallcovering #graphic at #orgatec #latergram #graphicdesign // #rg @whatthehelman

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#rose and #throwback #tech at #orgatec // #rg @whatthehelman

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Disclaimer: I attended Orgatec courtesy of COR, but this post is not endorsed by my travel host.