Orgatec 2018 Trends

Written by

Lucy Davies

“As Marketing Manager at BOF I am involved in the preparation of all tender bids, website management, advertising, events & social media. Within our Projects Team I ensure the team is kept up-to-date with communications & liaise with all bof departments & suppliers to co-ordinate tender responses."

Orgatec 2018 Trends

November 2, 2018

Orgatec is the leading international trade fair for the modern working world, highlighting the newest trends and innovations on the market. Our group of BOF attendees, Dan, Simon, James and John, set off for Cologne to see what new products and trends the industry has to offer this year.

Powerless Sit-stand

Workers are wanting increased flexibility in their work environments so the industry is responding with products that have multiple functions and can move around easily to suit changing requirements. A perfect example of this is the new desk launch by VS that is totally wireless – all power comes from a battery pack fitted below the work surface. The battery holds enough power to power a computer, accessories and the sit-stand function of the desk for a full working day.

Modular Systems

This year we also saw a big trend for modular furniture systems. This is by no means a new concept, but this year we’re seeing launches from manufactures that historically, haven’t ventured into modular furniture. Vitra for example have just launched Softwork, a sofa system with near endless configuration possibilities, thanks to the wide range of shapes available. We also saw new power module designs from Vitra, different to anything on the market currently. The moveable system on the Softwork range allows the user to pull the power unit up when needed, and push it back out the way when finished.

Another new launch from Vitra was the ‘Dancing Wall’ which will be available in the latter half of 2019. The idea is that a mobile partition can be used to flexibly divide offices into zones while providing vertical work space. The metal frame can be equipped in various configurations such as a bookshelf, TV unit, plant wall or room divider with removable whiteboards and pinboards. With removable boards, you can take meeting notes to anywhere you need them.

Casala previewed a unique product we’ve never seen before – a modular designed table system that allows you to mix and match your base, pillar height and table top size, with all parts being interchangeable with one another. This flexibility makes the Blender table the perfect solution to a space with changing requirements – that could mean a room is full of dining height tables one day, and soft seating and coffee height tables the next with a simple change of components.

Sustainable Materials

Sustainability was a big feature for many of the exhibitors this year. Most notably, the Smart Ocean chair by Humanscale which incorporates almost 2 pounds of recycled fishing net material. According to their research, fishing nets are the worst plastic pollutant in the sea. The nets collected up and transformed into nylon pellets and then used to manufacture Humanscale’s ergonomic Smart Ocean task chair.

As we also saw at Stockholm this year, the upholstered tubes that were hanging from the Offecct stand are made using the cardboard tubes from the middle of the rolls of fabric they use. They’re also stuffed with fabric offcuts which improve their sound absorbing qualities while reducing the use of raw materials.