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.
This perfectly located, generously sized and well-appointed office building is going through a face lift.
Hillary Taatjes-Woznick and Doug Taatjes of NAI Wisinski contacted us, asking us to compete to win the opportunity to provide a design for the lobby of Park East Court, off of East Paris in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This “first impressions” area was key in providing future tenants a glimpse into the aesthetics and financial commitment of ownership.
Our design included expanding the lobby into a hallway and a copy/storage room and floating a drywall lid in the center of the space. We replaced a reception desk with seating, and added focal points to the space. The popular gray color scheme of today was used, but with an accent of yellow on the ceiling and blue in the furnishings. The dated mahogany trim was painted. Decorative lighting was strategically placed to create a contemporary appeal.
We partnered with longtime friends and collaborators, Pinnacle Construction, to create budgets that directed the final design scope. Pinnacle Construction completed the lobby remodel in spring of 2017.
While we pride ourselves on our values of Budget (first), Brand and Beauty, we were told we won the opportunity to provide the design because they liked our design, which they thought best captured the owner’s preferences and gave them a look that they thought would best appeal to their tenants. Our idea wasn’t the least expensive but they thought offered the best ROI.
For more information about Park East Court, visit naiwwm.com and search for 4035 Park East Court
Triangle Associates has been keeping up operationally with its rapid growth over the last few years. And most recently that meant updating their corporate office interiors.
“Who we are as a company, our values, and our attitudes need to be represented in our workplace. It was time to make our office a more transparent and collaborative space to match our culture,” explains Mitch Watt, President of Triangle Associates.
Triangle has long offered design-build services for their customers and have in-house design, led by architect Aaron Jenks, but wanted interiors help. They called longtime friends and collaborators r.o.i. Design to work with them on interior concepts and finishes.
r.o.i. Design also provided recommendations for material selection that delivered design but offered opportunities for budget savings. Triangle Associates also consults with r.o.i. Design on procurement for their customer projects.
“We were very pleased to work on this team,” says Mary Witte, r.o.i. Design. “Triangle has always been a company with a strong foundation in design. Craig Datema and Mitch Watt are both architects and their leadership has made design one of their core values.”
Other things to know about Triangle Associates:
- Triangle Associates is a client-centered construction company that provides construction management, general contracting, design-build, development, and sustainable building/LEED consulting services across a wide variety of market segments.
- While they have been hiring and training to fill positions that have been created to manage the growth, they managed to already be recognized as a leader. Last December they were named one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in the country for 2015 by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR). For 12 consecutive years, they have been named one of West Michigan’s 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For by the Michigan Business and Professional Association.
- Triangle’s newly constructed Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management was recently awarded at the AIA 2016 Honors Awards. Triangle thanked both the AIA Grand Rapids and their partner TowerPinkster for the keen eye towards quality workmanship on their Facebook page October 18, 2016
- Triangle received a 2016 Excellence In Construction Award for Hudsonville Public High School Project from the Associated Builders & Contractors West Michigan
- Triangle received a 2016 Excellence In Construction Award for Standard Lifters from the Associated Builders & Contractors West Michigan: New Construction $1 – $5 Million
Advantage Label says they “label with a purpose”. They work with their customers to create labels and packaging that present a quality product and promote sales. r.o.i. Design’s experience of Advantage Label was just that, they perform with purpose and wanted their office to show them as a place of quality, efficiency and pride.
Wolverine Building Group contacted r.o.i. Design to support their design process and we were asked to review lighting plans, select finishes and lighting, and help make the break room more of a restaurant than a cafeteria.
Using the red of their logo colors (which was also an accent color on the exterior of the building), r.o.i. Design added charcoals, blue gray and orange to the overall scheme to create depth and variety. The use of planked modular carpet tiles allowed accent colors to be introduced within a consistent field of carpet, without added costs.
For more about Advantage Label, CLICK HERE
Wolverine Power Cooperative is a bold company, with big goals and a humble history. While r.o.i. Design enjoyed every aspect of our time with the group, what is lasting for us is their commitment to their customers, their hopes for their employees, and their desire to do the right thing.
Those values translated into a desire to make their new work place a space where collaboration, communication and innovation would thrive. That meant their new offices and employee culture would be making landmark changes in how they work. Their directive was to allow the space to be as transparent and as inclusive as possible, but also provide an inspiring environment for their business.
Rick Skendzel of Architecture Technology in Traverse City, MI, engaged r.o.i. Design to provide interior design services that included interior details, lighting design, light fixture selections, specialty millwork design and finish selections. Our close work with Skendzel, Wolverine’s Dawn Coon, and construction manager, Apex Engineering’s, Steve Steimel, was a dream team. We all were focused on the same goals, compromises were almost effortless.
Highlights of our design contribution include:
- Bringing a natural rhythm to ceilings in open areas with planes of wood and color, helping to organize a large space without adding walls.
- Highlighting the sense of innovation with a curved entry wall, LED lighting, textural surfaces and recessed niches to display historical elements.
- Using a “birds nest” pattern (symbolic of nature) into details at reception, café and board room.
- Adding dramatic lighting in café and open areas.
- Creating intimate arrangements of furniture to foster collaboration and interdepartmental socializing.
The history of their cooperative is inspiring and you can learn more about that here.
Shannon Orthodontics prides itself on its use of the latest research and technology and delivers an extremely friendly service. They want their customers to “achieve the smile they have always dreamed of”.
Shannon’s business practice far out-shown the interior of their offices. They wanted to deliver a complete experience, so Tom Shannon and wife Kate researched other offices in the area and found our work at JCL Periodontics. Tom and Kate liked the character and personality we brought to that space and after initial meetings decided to engage us in the redesign of their Grandville office.
Their newly designed offices were officially complete in July 2015 and the transformation is very satisfying to the Shannon team and to r.o.i. Design. Thank you to Rockford Trades for managing the remodel while they stayed open. It looks great!
Highlights of the design include:
- Flexible lobby seating creating greater capacity through use of backless benches.
- New decorative and in-ceiling LED lighting for a crisper look and far more efficient energy use.
- All new finishes, including modular plank carpet laid in herringbone pattern, all freshly painted walls, and new cabinetry and countertops. The reception desk was reclad in place.
- New wall art and signage.
Shortly after the project was complete, the Shannon’s made a short video of the interior as an advertisement that they ran during the Summer Olympics this summer. You can see that video on their Facebook page.
Now their Grandville offices reflect their business. Everything is straight and bright!
We start on their Plainwell location this year.