Battling Ergonomic Misconceptions – Part 1

Guest Post Written By: Vanessa del Aguila, AEP, Project Manager at Workwell Partners When you think of the word “ergonomics,” what comes to mind? Chairs, health, spine, injury, computer, comfort?—all common responses. To put it simply, ergonomics is the study of fitting the work to the body. The goal is to improve comfort, efficiency, and minimize the risk of injury. Over the course of my career as an ergonomist, I have had to take the time to dispel many common misconceptions regarding ergonomics. Here are a few: Sitting up straight is the best posture Have you ever been told to “sit up straight” by your mother or grandmother? Sure, sitting up straight makes you look more poised than slouching, but maintaining an upright position can and has been linked to lower back discomfort. Gravity naturally pulls your body weight down, subsequently causing the vertebrae to compress the discs in the spine. Sitting up straight is […]

READ MORE

Site Feature: Return Path

Project: Return Path Location: New York, NY Timeline: February – July 2014 Architect/Designer: Spector Group Key Features: High Impact Collaborative Areas, Privacy Collaborative Booths, Open Floor Benching Configuration, Height-Adjustable Desks Manufacturers: Haworth, Humanscale, Nienkamper, Slyde, Allermuir About The Project: Return Path, an email intelligence company with headquarters in New York City recently moved office locations and wanted a space to reflect their innovative and creative brand. A priority for the space was to encourage collaboration and impromptu meetings using open and high-impact areas. Click through the gallery below:  

READ MORE

“From Head To Heart To Hand”: Architecture & Furniture

Every year, Haworth holds a Dealer Day on the Sunday before NeoCon to celebrate their dealer network with workshops, a cocktail party and a tour of the Chicago Showroom. While the party and tour are a great opportunity to network and meet other dealers from around the world and see the new NeoCon spaces, it’s really the workshops that stand out to me. As a marketer, I often find myself interested in the creative aspects of the interiors industry like design, architecture, art. One of the workshops this year merged these creative concepts and explained what furniture dealers and manufacturers can do to leverage their skills to successfully create what not only beautiful spaces, but functional ones as well. Will Bruder, President of Will Bruder Architects based in Phoenix, took the time in the workshop to share some of his successes, as well as lessons learned in creating spaces throughout his career. The talk, titled […]

READ MORE

Top NeoCon Trend: [Re]Mix of Materials

In our first two NeoCon blog posts, we discussed how color and technology were major players at the showcase. Our final favorite trend takes a look at how mixing materials can take a piece of furniture and completely change it’s look and purpose. Material Mix-Up: Chair Backs While walking around NeoCon, we noticed several manufacturers were showcasing their seating products with unique new details. Specifically, we saw a trend of wood veneers and other casing shells on the back of the chairs. Andreu World’s Best of NeoCon Gold Award-Winning Flex Executive Conference Chair (pictured left) is a great example of the power that mixing materials can have on the aesthetic of the piece. With a walnut veneer back, the Flex Executive adds a special touch to the chairs positioned around the conference table, contrasting with the light gray upholstered fabric seat. Paoli’s CO|HO chairs offer a seating solution that is both comfortable and beautiful, with an exposed […]

READ MORE

Top NeoCon Trend: Power Everywhere

In talking about trends at NeoCon, one of the most prominent was the integration of power into corporate lounge furniture. For decades, we’ve seen the importance of power and data management in systems furniture but until this showcase, the integration of power in lounge and collaboration pieces were much more uncommon. It seemed that in each showroom our team entered, we found products that made charging mobile devices and electronics easier than ever. Below are some of our favorite pieces that take staying connected to the next level. It’s Electric – Lounge Charging electronics, laptops, and tablets while staying engaged in your work helps to maintain a high level of productivity. Integration of outlets and USB power into lounge furniture allows workers to stay plugged in while collaborating in a think tank or focusing on heads down work. While we saw these types of lounge pieces in nearly every showroom at NeoCon, several struck a cord […]

READ MORE

Top NeoCon Trend: Emerald City

With this year’s NeoCon Showcase wrapping up today, our team is reflecting on the product debuts, trends, and stand-out showrooms from the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Debuting in 1969, NeoCon has been featuring key products and brands from lighting and flooring to furniture and textiles in the commercial interiors industry for decades. Over the next few days, we’ll be covering the top three trends this year, starting with a pop of color that couldn’t be avoided. Emerald City The color green made a major appearance at this year’s showcase. Whether it was the feature color for furniture pieces or the major accent color, green seemed to be everywhere. In various hues and levels of saturation, we found ourselves “envious” of many of the pieces in this color. One of our favorites included Haworth’s Poppy Chair, a beautiful debut from Patricia Urquiola, shown below (pictured left) in a stunning emerald tone, accompanying Studio Urquiola Tables and Haworth’s Trivati […]

READ MORE

How 3D Printing Is Being Used in Furniture and Design

Although 3D printing isn’t the newest trend, it’s starting to become more common in widespread markets. In particular, 3D printing is making its way into the design world, used by designers who are creating large-scale, functional furniture and fixtures. The process to create furniture or other items using a 3D printer is pretty simple. It breaks down something like this: a virtual design is created through 3D modeling programs or scanned by a 3D scanner. The scanner then creates layers that fuse together to create the 3-dimensional object. After that, the printer fuses layers of plastics and metals to create the object giving it a unique shape and feel. Designers and architects are taking advantage of this feature and are creating 3D furniture and specific textures. The virtual models that are printed are lightweight and durable. With the 3D modeling program, artists are able to create patterns and complex structures for these furniture pieces. An Italian design team […]

READ MORE

Workwell + Haworth Collection Collaborate On Design Competition

Last night, Haworth NY and Workwell celebrated the 1st Annual Haworth Collection Design Competition with a party honoring the participating designers and firms. Held at Haworth NY’s Showroom, the event was the culmination of the efforts of five local New York City architecture and design firms to create a space using pieces from the Haworth Collection. The teams were tasked to select one of three design scenarios and utilize pieces from the versatile collection to craft an environment to fit the scenario. With over 75 high-design furniture pieces from Cappellini, Cassina, and Poltrona Frau to choose from, the design teams selected everything from furniture layouts and fabrics to architectural finishes and lighting fixtures. After the sketches were complete, Workwell’s designer Kinya Kasai created full renderings of each of the environments to be judged for the competition. The renderings were then displayed at the event using Haworth’s Bluescape Media Wall, a perfect backdrop to a casual presentation by the […]

READ MORE

How I Am Merging Fitness and A Standing Height Desk

When I first started at Workwell Partners in early 2014, I began hearing a lot of “buzzwords” for the trends and products in the commercial furniture industry. Some of these have been featured on this blog in the past few months, including “activity based working“, “collaboration”, and “benching“. But none have hit as close to me personally as the concept of height-adjustable workstations, one of the most widely discussed product categories and concepts in the industry now. Workwell’s offices feature a variety of workstations – from private offices to more open panel based systems and benching applications. My designated work area is located on a bench, where I sit with 7 other individuals at standard sized 30″ x 60” workstations. While I love sitting with my coworkers and find it vital to our work as a team, I often grab my laptop and go work at a standalone height-adjustable desk we have in our showroom. While I’ve been using the Stir […]

READ MORE

The Top Three Workplace Trends We Saw at Facebook NY

On Tuesday, May 5th our team was part of a tour at Facebook’s New York City Headquarters, hosted by CoreNet Global’s Young Leaders. Facebook’s offices, located at 770 Broadway in Manhattan, take up space on the 2nd, 7th and 8th floors of the building that also houses tenants like J. Crew, AOL, Huffington Post and Structure Tone. Like their campus in California, the offices here in New York were designed by the iconic Frank Gehry and feature many of the same design elements that the campus has, such as the industrial finishes on the ceilings of the office. Like many creative and entrepreneurial spaces, Facebook has developed a reputation for having really interesting offices that are cool, unique, and memorable. While touring the space, our team took notice of several key workplace trends that we think show that Facebook has their finger on the pulse of creating special and effective spaces. Check out the photos and trends at […]

READ MORE