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 with our team as products we could see our local market being excited for.
Allermuir’s Haven Bench (pictured left) is a fully upholstered modular lounge option that integrates power into it’s base. With several lengths of the benches available, as well as added backrests, our team sees Haven as a great option for collaboration and cafe areas in workplace or educational settings. Haworth’s Openest Collection (pictured center) debuted at the 2014 NeoCon Showcase, winning Best of NeoCon in that year. With second generation improvements, Openest now features the integration of power in a sliding power drawer located underneath the Feather Sofa piece. Used with the line’s Plume Screen, Openest is a perfect solution for a quiet retreat or small team meeting within an open space. Finally, Global’s debut River (pictured right) brings together a clean lines with practicality to create a simple solution perfect for public spaces and educational configurations.
It’s Electric – Tables
While integrating power and data into tables isn’t a new innovation, we noticed at NeoCon this year that many manufacturers are utilizing these capabilities in new ways and locations within the tables. Standing height tables are more popular than ever, often being placed in cafe and breakout areas throughout a workplace to help encourage brief meetings and impromptu conversation. Paoli’s CO|HO Table (pictured left) is the perfect example of this, using stools around their standing height table, which features power and data located underneath the tabletop. This detail keeps the tabletop clear for teams to use the table for a variety of purposes without having to move belongings around to plug in. Andreu World’s use of power on the top of the table with their Reverse Occasional table (pictured center) makes using the piece as a functional side or coffee table extremely easy. Reverse’s power on top makes plugging in easy for users who no longer need to get up from adjacent lounge seating to stay charged. It’s almost a requirement for businesses to have power and data capabilities within their conference room tables, but Prismatique has created a table that places these outlets underneath the worksurface. In the photo below to the right, Prismatique’s beautiful marble table surface is left to be the star of the piece by moving the power underneath, enhancing the style of the table, while keeping it functional.
It’s Electric – Storage
The need to charge beyond lounge areas and conference rooms is more prevalent than ever. More and more manufacturers are recognizing the need to be able to keep electronics and devices secure, while also keeping them at full battery. At Haworth’s Showroom, they merged two of our standout trends this year (check out yesterday’s “Emerald City” post here) with their storage lockers (left two photos). Reminiscent of educational lockers, these can often be a much needed addition to many workplaces that are now have open floor plans and benching systems. In particular, companies that practice “hot desking” or “hoteling” within the space, these lockers can ensure employees have a place to secure their belongings at one central location away from the workstation. For at the workstation storage, Slyde Charging Solutions has created a line of products that serve to not only charge employees’ many devices, but also locks them up to prevent theft. Their Slyde Drawer is installed below the worksurface and has capabilities to charge and sync to laptops or computers. The newest model has an option to include a docking station for laptop computers to keep these computers safely in a drawer while freeing up space at the desktop. Another product in their line, the Divyde Charging Station, serves not only to charge and secure devices, but also as a territory divider on a benching system. With the ability to accessorize using standard storage accessories like paper trays and pencil cups, Divyde takes functionality to the next level.
With so many options for power to be integrated within furniture, users can stay connected and be more productive than ever. Manufacturers have recognized the undeniable importance of connectivity in interiors and we can’t wait to see what improvements and ideas will come in time for next year’s show. Check back tomorrow to see what our final favorite NeoCon trend is!