People say that Italians love design. Do you notice that in the offices in Italy? Is that visible in the interior design style, the furnishing and gadgets?
Oh, yes. I think so. We have an extraordinary history in this field. It is part of our DNA. We were born in a fantastic country deeply absorbed into beauty. The beauty is visible in the landscape, in the climate, and in the architecture. It is very hard to work as an interior designer in Italy because everyone has a huge sense of beauty and wants to define their spaces by themselves. Not always with a good result anyway.
Are there any visible trends regarding types of materials, shapes and colours of the office chairs?
Yes, there are. In my opinion, we shouldn't think about a single trend but about many trends that go in different directions. One that is very clear is the fact that the office is trying to be much more comfortable than it used to be. Sometimes you don't have to recognize if you are sitting into your working place or into your sitting room. We don't want to lose the technicality of the office product, but we try to hide it and make it simple.
Natural materials are coming for this reason – wood and natural fabrics like wool. The colours are getting warmer; there are even some flowers and stamps.
What do you take into consideration when designing a chair?
For many years I've been getting more and more interested in two trends. One is the sustainability that can be declined in many aspects. The most integralist approach is focused on using only natural raw materials, like wood, and then trying to develop products with a low impact on the environment. For me, the most important issue is to guarantee that the product can be disassembled at the end of its lifecycle, and all the components can be recycled and used to create other raw materials.
The other field I'm trying to develop is ergonomics. There is a branch of it that I find the most interesting and which is changing the way people think about the products. From having something that adapts perfectly to something that pushes your body to move. The movement is crucial and can prevent a lot of diseases. So to have a chair that invites you to move is something extremely healthy for our physical condition and our brain. There are many lines of research that focus on this direction – from the stand-up desk to the chair with a flexible seat, or the working stool without a backrest that obliges you to activate your muscles. The worst thing is to stay always in the same position. So the chair with adjustment allows you to prevent the possible problems in a wider area. I even recommend stepping away from the chair, changing your body position and using the chair in a creative way. And don't forget to go for a little walk once in a while.
Mobility is also encouraged by the division of an office space into different zones – this allows people to perform tasks in diverse ways.
Exactly. For example the desk-sharing is adopted to save the cost and space. I think it can be expanded to something more interesting – to reducing the problem of a durable sitting position. If we can share a desk, we can even choose between different opportunities. So we can sit half a day at one desk, and then change it with a colleague for a stand-up desk or a stool desk. Many researchers have found out that the intellectual productivity increases a lot along with people's well-being.
The Navigo chair that you designed for Nowy Styl Group has three innovative mechanisms to choose from. Is the functionality the most important aspect here?
We expect a big number in production and for this reason the design is simple so that the chair can be adapted to many spaces. It will be a very rich chair in terms of visual aspects. The design is not too shaped in order to allow you to find a different position and move around the seat freely. So functionality is the key aspect here.
We tried to make a good chair with maximum of quality keeping it simple and ensuring a reasonable price. This is one of the most difficult things and requires more time and much greater investment than in the case of a fancy spectacular armchair. Nothing is missing in comfort but nothing is exceeded in cost.
Oscar Buffon runs a design studio in Venice. His work mainly involves developing furniture for residential homes and offices. He has extensive experience in creating original office chairs using modern materials and technologies, with a strong focus on ergonomics. For Nowy Styl Group he designed the following products: Intrata, Belite and our novelty – Navigo.
ARSEG is the biggest French organisation for facility managers and companies that provide services for the office real estate sector. The organisation brings together over 2,000 enterprises and specialists that deal with workplace arrangement. Every year the association awards the best projects, teams, managers and technological solutions within the sector. The ARSEG Trophées 2016 award ceremony was held in Théâtre de Paris on 5th December.
Our project: Lounge Plazza in the headquarters of Gemalto
Lounge Plazza is a public, agora-like space where Gemalto employees meet together and hold meetings with customers. The place consists of a restaurant, a cafeteria, a library which is open to everyone, and a funroom with a table football table and a set of board games. For this innovative project our company has been awarded the ARSEG Gold Trophy in the "Real Estate Projects" category.
The project success is a result of fruitful cooperation with the client – the Gemalto company and architects from BARU Design. The rearrangement process of the current cafeteria (covering 200 m2) at the main headquarters of Gemalto near Paris was connected with changing the company's identification. Understanding this change and the new needs related to it allowed us to offer our client the best solutions.
We decided to change a typical cafeteria with a long counter into a multifunctional space with four espresso machines located in different places. Thanks to soft poufs and armchairs, high tables and bookshelves, as well as curtains sectioning off particular zones, Plazza Lounge has been transformed into a place suitable both for silent work that requires concentration and quick internal meetings over a cup of coffee. The nice atmosphere created according to the BARU Design project (wooden finishes, natural fabrics, warm colours and modern lighting elements) adds a unique character to the Gemalto company and ensures people sitting in the cafeteria experience sheer pleasure. This allows for blurring the line between a work zone and a relaxation area.
Geometrical shapes are dominant in the interior decor. They are visible both in the decorative elements specially designed by BARU Design and in the combination of horizontal and vertical lines of the Sand and Metafora furniture and the wall bookshelves.
– The ARSEG award was a real surprise for us since we competed with companies that have been present in the French market longer than we have – says Marc-Olivier Leroy, Sales Director at Nowy Styl Group in France. – The category we went in for was very demanding: the jury assessed the strict ROI indicators, employee satisfaction and the influence the new interior had on the improvement of workplace efficiency. The Gold Trophy from ARSEG confirms our competences in all of these fields.
The list of the Nowy Styl Group's latest clients in France includes: Capgemini, Veolia, Sonepar and Akka Technology. The company's products can be seen in a new showroom located at Boulevard Haussmann 32.
Crédit Photos © Sébastien Duijndam
Can a customer visualise the arrangement of a new office before its realisation? Can a customer switch the furniture system for a completely different one with a single click? Can a customer walk around an open space, sit comfortably in a managerial office or test the functionality of a conference hall? Yes, of course! The #OfficeVR application, which we created together with i3D, makes all this possible. Would you like to learn more?
Why did we decide to enter the world of new technologies, not only in terms of manufacturing products, but also to present our solutions? – We currently have 29 showrooms located in the biggest European cities, from Warsaw through London, Paris and Berlin to Moscow. However, their limited area doesn't allow us to present the whole scale of possibilities we offer. Thanks to the #OfficeVR application, we can expand the space to practically any dimensions, – says Magdalena Tokarczyk-Cyran, Marketing Director at Nowy Styl Group. – Moreover, the application enables us to prepare personalised projects that take into account the conditions of a particular office and customers' equipment preferences – she concludes.
Successful premiere at the ORGATEC fair
We presented the application for the first time at the ORGATEC fair that took place in Cologne on 25–29 October. The fair is considered the most important event in the office space equipment industry. At our stand, covering 1,200 m², we had two VR rooms. They were visited by over 500 people, who spent 100 hours there in total. All the users, including visitors from Germany, Poland, Chile and Dubai, were hugely impressed and our stand was acclaimed the most technologically advanced in the whole history of the fair. – The information about the VR room at our stand spread like wildfire. Our stand was visited by a lot of people who had heard about our innovative solution and wanted to try it out. For 99% of them, our VR office was the first they had ever seen. Some of the visitors looked below a desk or lay down on a carpet and were surprised that they were able to see our products from different perspectives. There was often someone trying to touch the furniture, which was of course impossible, but proved that our virtual office made a very realistic impression. Customers, architects and our dealers were all delighted with our idea and the quality of its realisation. The application was most often described as "fantastic," "amazing," and "incredible," which had a huge influence on the way Nowy Styl Group was perceived – as an unquestionable pioneer in using a virtual reality in the furniture industry – says Agnieszka Tilborghs, Marketing Specialist, who presented the solution to participants at the fair. This was also confirmed by an invitation our company received – to take part in the Warsaw Day 2016 conference as a lecturer.
The exceptionally positive reactions to the #OfficeVR application at the fair confirmed our conviction that it is worth implementing the solution in our showrooms, so a wider group of our customers and architects can use it. – In November and December we are going to prepare first demonstrations in Cracow, Warsaw, Łódź, Gdańsk and Poznań. However, our aim is to make the VR office a permanent element of our showrooms – firstly in Poland and later abroad. The application already provides visitors with an incredible feeling of being in a real office, allowing them to see the real distance, height and dimensions of spaces. We are going to continue developing the application and improving it – we are planning to add new furniture systems and colour concepts, as well as increasing the possibility of adjusting a virtual walk to the conditions of a particular space – claims Michał Kita, Graphic Design Team Manager, responsible for the VR project. – We are working on the possibility of creating different scenes, from small offices to huge open spaces in business centres. #OfficeVR is a new quality in the conversations we have with our customers because it allows us to define their expectations and concepts at an early stage, which is a good starting point for a successful project – concludes Konrad Majewski, Online Marketing Manager, responsible for the VR project.
It is worth mentioning that, according to our philosophy We KNOW HOW to #MakeYourSpace, we not only take the place into consideration, but also the people who work in it and the processes they realise when creating an office arrangement project. Only by considering these three elements together can we create a project for an office that is adjusted to a particular organisation, improving team efficiency and helping a company realise its business aims.
Read more about our new philosophy at www.nowystylgroup.com/mys and on social media under the hashtag #MakeYourSpace.
We invite you to watch this short video about the VR Warsaw Day conference:
The systemic chair family SitagTeam not only sets ergonomically new standards, but also positions visually in the top league. It has won one of the most prestigious international design prizes, the German Design Award 2017 with the Special Mention distinction in the Office Furniture category.
Fit for the future, the SitagTeam chair complete solutions from the design team 2DoDesign fulfil the highest requirements for flexible, modular and also mobile furnishings.
«The complete office furniture family SitagTeam satisfies the high requirements for ergonomics, functionality and formal expression with all family members. From swivel chairs to visitor and conference chairs, SitagTeam addresses a uniform design language led by a basic theme and offers flexibly usable chairs for both office zones and home offices», the international jury explains their decision.
Design and functionality at eye level
The SitagTeam chair family convinces visually all along the line. The high design awareness is presented with accentuated design vocabulary and homogenous contours. In all models the backrest extends below the mechanism and is therefore invisible from the backside. The frame alignment, which resembles a circulating band, is on the contrary intentionally building a design momentum, which is a characteristic feature of the swivel chairs and also the visitor and conference chairs. An innovation is the swivel chair version with a backrest made of Elastollan. This versatile material is flexible, durable, dirt-resistant and permeable to air. This version of the SitagTeam chair is also used in laboratories and in medical centres.
Thanks to the honeycomb structure of the Elastollan backrest, the chair is not only exceptionally functional, but also highly eye-catching. Versatile cover collections as well as quality textiles with surprising visual structures are available for the whole SitagTeam chair family.
The German Design Award is one of the globally most renowned design competitions and enjoys a high reputation far beyond specialised circles. The competition is organised by the German Design Council, the expert for brand and design in Germany, while its jury consists of 48 international design experts. Winning here against the high-class competitors is a successful proof of being part of the elite.
The handover of the award to the internationally multi-awarded design team 2DoDesign will take place in February 2017.
This is not the first prize for SitagTeam. The line was also appreciated this summer when its designers received the Red Dot Award 2016.