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Sneak Peek: Darley Village and the Midwest Miniatures Museum

Sneak Peek: Darley Village and the Midwest Miniatures Museum

At this moment, r.o.i. Design has many projects that are in process. Here are two we would like to share with our fans. These are good examples of our diverse talents and experience. 

Darley Village

Darley Village is an active senior complex with new apartments being built in Muskegon, Michigan. Our main contact, Denis Johnson of JNA Group, has been a longtime associate of r.o.i. Design. We have collaborated on both hospitality and public space designs. Denis is a partner in, and the project lead for, this development. 

This project pushes the finishes beyond the competitive offering and hints at a level of sophistication and “fun”, making it attractive to the discerning tenant. 

Midwest Miniatures Museum 

Midwest Miniatures Museum has made a bold move to purchase the historical Robbins House in Grand Haven, moving from their previous location in Hickory Corners, Michigan. r.o.i. Design has been engaged in the exhibit and related environmental design. 

The project is a perfect fit between content and venue, and we are so excited to be on this team. Thank you to our friend and museum consultant, Timothy Chester, who referred us to the Midwest Miniatures Museum.  

The Robbins House was built in 1899. Except for a brief time as a law office, the structure has been in continuous use as a private residence. This unique home is on the National Register of Historic Places and those familiar with the building are excited to see its new life as a museum. This conversion from home to the museum will take place in three phases; initially, the museum will re-open with first floor exhibits and a gift shop. 

NeoCon 2020 Canceled – Designers Connect and Identify the Trends

NeoCon 2020 Canceled – Designers Connect and Identify the Trends

This time of year, r.o.i. Design would normally be bringing you news from our annual trip to NeoCon in Chicago. Because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, NeoCon had to be canceled. The yearly commercial design show held at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago is our chance to get out to see, touch, and experience the latest and greatest products from manufacturers of office furniture, flooring, fabrics, and wallcoverings. 

Understanding that the design community would be deeply disappointed, the organizers and exhibitors of NeoCon put together a virtual exhibit this year, called “NeoConnect”. This series of online resources, programming, and events normally at NeoCon, aims to virtually connect the design community through the Fall of 2020. This allows those who would normally attend NeoCon to get information about the new product offerings, attend virtual educational seminars, and connect with others in the NeoCon community.  

The developers of this site have done a good job to make looking up exhibitors and their products easy. Users can search by company, keyword, or category, or you can browse a list of exhibitors sorted alphabetically. Additionally, floor plans of the Merchandise Mart with exhibitors’ showroom locations are available to explore. Each showroom has its own link to additional company and product info. 

Trends 

One of the biggest design trends coming out of NeoCon this year is obviously making spaces safe. With the threat of this virus and whatever else may come, feeling safe in the workplace is a number one priority. What may have been popular before for space planning, fabrics, and finish options may now be deemed unsafe in the age of COVID-19. Open offices or benching configurations are now impractical without allowing for six feet of distance between people. Screens and plexiglass barriers will now figure prominently in space planning. Upholstery, wallcoverings, and worksurfaces now need to be able to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.  

Other industry trends identified at NeoCon this year include designing with a system mindset, creating spaces of inclusivity and gender-neutral design, investments in sustainable products, and preparation and risk assessment.  

We are all hoping the world is in a better place a year from now, and we look forward to attending NeoCon in person again in 2021. 

“Coming Right Up” – Projects Soon to be Completed

“Coming Right Up” – Projects Soon to be Completed

r.o.i. Design is busy with nearly 30 projects this December, and three to four projects will be completed soon.

Funky Buddha:

Adding a fourth location in West Michigan, Funky Buddha is planning to open a storefront studio at “Studio Park” in downtown Grand Rapids this winter. Known for their “hot yoga”, this place is “steaming” cool. The team at “FB” engaged architect Jon Blair of r2Design and r.o.i. Design for interior finishes and details. They have refreshed their branding, as is evident by their clean new website. This latest location supports the brand in its simple but bold approach. Our contractor friends at First Companies, Inc. are making it all happen.

Burco:

A family business that produces and distributes car and truck mirrors and related products decided to upgrade its office with new finishes and in-office branding. Their products are creative and solution-driven, so why not make the office match that creativity? That means an expanded lunchroom with all new cabinets and furnishings, punches of the company’s “blaze-orange” accents, painting out the old mahogany trim, and all-new office furniture. It is quite a transformation! Thank you to Erhardt Construction for making us all look good.

West Michigan Pediatric Dentistry

This growing practice in Holland, MI is in the final phase of building their new office. West Michigan Pediatric Dentistry engaged the help of Dixon Architecture, r.o.i. Design, and T2 Construction to make it all happen. The new office includes expanded square footage in most areas from their current offices. Waiting, exam, treatment, and kids’ areas all grew. The much-loved model train and fish tank are being updated and replaced with newer models. In addition to the calm but kid-friendly interior finishes and details, r.o.i. Design was asked to design their new logo. And of course, we incorporated the train into the new brand. Stay tuned to see more of how this project turns out!

Grand Valley State University:

Using all of our skills in exhibit design, graphic design, and interior design, we created a soon-to-be-installed exhibit that will be unveiled at GVSU’s downtown Pew Campus this winter. It is always great to work with GVSU!

NeoCon Reveals Colors Perfect for 2019

NeoCon Reveals Colors Perfect for 2019

NeoCon, the world’s leading expo of commercial design, took place last month, June 10 – 12, in Chicago. Three designers from r.o.i Design attended this year, Mary Witte, Ryan Bright, and Megan Hoekzema. We travelled down to the Windy City for a day to see what’s new in office design and take in the overall trends.

After walking around NeoCon, it became apparent the colors that were changing in furniture and design. White and gray are old news!

Now there are shades of pink, emerald green, deep blue, and a sea of taupes and tans.  The shift in the color trends are being used to promote a home-like feeling and give people an environment that can foster creativity and comfort.          

As seen in some of the photos below these updated color choices are meant to inspire health, wellness, and restoration, and those observations were also noted in the Interiors+Sources article, “These Paint Colors are Perfect for 2019 Projects.”

Notable was the Behr showroom, where they unveiled their 2020 Color Trends palette. According to Interiors+Sources, Behr was showing a “balanced mix of grounding shades, energizing bright color, deep accent hues and atmospheric pastels.”

Other trends we saw at NeoCon and referenced by Interior+Sources:

A palette called Worldhood, which is ideal for the hospitality industry, offering depth and brightness and deepen the warmth of the space. These colors are inspired by the natural rugged landscapes and rustic tones seen by exotic travels.

Another category is Restore which exemplifies serenity. These colors aim to provide restorative qualities and balance. Blues and greens create a soothing sanctuary and celebrate the outdoor environment.

The last category of colors is Atmospheric. These colors are subtle pastels and neutrals and are ideal for modern and traditional environments.

It’s definitely time to play with a different range of colors. We are already seeing the shift in our projects.

The Open Office: A Love/Hate Relationship

The Open Office: A Love/Hate Relationship

Lots of “Pods” at NeoCon 2019

Do you love the open office environment, but sometimes struggle with the need for a quiet spot to get a project done, have a private conversation, or just have a moment by yourself?

While trends in office space planning are moving towards no walls and open spaces, the reality is that most people sometimes need an area which is peaceful and private, where they aren’t interrupted.

The open office isn’t going away because it has proven to be great for managing by overhearing, training the new hire, and collaboration. It also helps the growing company be flexible as they need to add or move employees without calling a contractor and building more walls.

So, how are offices balancing the need to be together but “apart”? Our annual trip to NeoCon proved that manufactures are paying attention to their customers’ open office needs. We saw lots of creative ways to get a moment of isolation, while still being “available”.

This year the drapery curtain showed up in several showrooms, turning the cubicle walls into a framework that allows for a curtain to be drawn for full separation, or just some. Herman Miller created a lounge in their open office using a giant red velvet curtain and globe lights. Groovy!

There were also a lot of “pods”, little rooms that manufacturers are now offering as part of the line of furniture. You buy this tiny room and place it within the open office and plug it in for power and ventilation.

There were canopies, lids and cones of all shapes and sizes that aim to keep your voice from traveling to the next. There was one we called “the cone of silence” that you can pull down around a meeting table.

So, don’t hate the open office, it doesn’t have to make you frustrated. You just need to get creative with some relief spaces!

r.o.i. Design Attends Spring Design Shows

r.o.i. Design Attends Spring Design Shows

At r.o.i. Design, we like to stay on top of new products and current trends in the design world. One important way that we do this is by attending design shows to see these new products and trends firsthand. This spring, we attended two major design shows, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City and NeoCon in Chicago. Read on to learn more about we saw and discovered.


ICFF, New York City

Thirty years ago this show started as an international furniture show, introducing new ideas and new materials for furniture. But today it is not limited to furniture.  They describe themselves as North American’s platform for global design, showcasing the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next. ICFF NYC hosts more than 800 exhibitors from more than 40 countries in 11 categories from furniture to materials to kitchen and bath to fabricators.

r.o.i. Design spent a day at the show and came away with a couple of observations. LED lighting promotes creativity in all product design, but the decorative lighting designs were breathtaking. A couple of memorable showcases were Featherbeams decorative faux trusses and metalwork, Puff Buff Design, LED lights in vinyl bubbles that are shipped unassembled from Poland, and Knuckles and Other Good Joints, beautiful metal joinery that promotes custom table designs.

ICFF is part of Design Week in NYC and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum was part of the Design Week agenda. They were featuring two major exhibits, “Access+Ability” and “Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color”.

“Access+Ability” is an exposition of product designs that enable humans to freely engage with their environment. There has been a surge of design with and by people with a wide range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. Fueled by advances in research, technology, and fabrication, this proliferation of functional, life-enhancing products is creating unprecedented access in homes, schools, workplaces, and the world at large. “Access+Ability” features over 70 innovative designs developed in the last decade.

The second exhibit, “Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color” explores the elusive, complex phenomenon of color perception and how it has captivated artists, designers, scientists, and sages. Featuring over 190 objects spanning antiquity to the present from the extraordinary collections of Smithsonian Libraries and Cooper Hewitt, the exhibition reveals how designers apply the theories of the world’s greatest color thinkers to bring order and excitement to the visual world.


NeoCon 2018, Chicago

We took a day trip to Chicago again this year to attend NeoCon. This year marked the 50th annual Neocon! While the six-plus hours on the road (round-trip) made for a long, hurried day, we still enjoyed the opportunity to see what is new in the world of commercial furnishings.

As usual, NeoCon was crowded with industry professionals on six floors of the Merchandise Mart. Some floors are occupied by the permanent showrooms of larger established manufacturers of furniture, textiles, carpet, and wallcovering. Other floors are full of booths represented by smaller groups and some newcomers. Large or small, many of these exhibitors have something unique, exciting, or just plain beautiful to introduce each year. This year was no exception, as we saw many items to whet our designer appetite.

Here are some of the trends and cool stuff we saw at NeoCon this year.

The styles and colors of the late-midcentury modern style are coming back in retro full-force. This style is super-chic right now in the commercial office industry. Of course, these styles are updated to today’s standards of technology, sustainability, and environmental quality.

Intricate and complex geometric patterns are trending. We saw a lot of these tessellations in fabrics, wall panels, and even light fixtures at this year’s NeoCon.

Adjustable Desks – This trend actually took off a few years ago, but it was interesting to see how almost everyone has adjustable height workstations now. There are some great designs out there. Heck, even r.o.i. Design created custom adjustable desks recently for one of our clients!

We noticed a lot of furniture now features natural wood paired up with powder-coated metals. When past trends in furniture were all wood or no wood at all, these new designs seem to strike a balance between the two.