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OFFICE CONCEPT

VOL.6 NO.2

June - SEPT 2013

Inspiring AsiaN Workspaces

SINGAPORE (Incl. GST) SGD13 BRUNEI BND13 MALAYSIA WM/EM RM15/18 INDONESIA IDR70,000 THAILAND THB250


Publisher’s Letter

We’ll never stop unearthing these treasures.

Creativity Knows No Boundaries C

reative thinkers are always in pursuit of something out-of-theordinary, make a grand statement or simply put, making change. Their underlying passion to uncover or bring creativity to the next level seemingly knows no boundaries. For example, workspace design is no longer confined to the ‘beautifying’ of a space but instead, it serves a full purpose. It’s becoming functional, taking into account the occupants’ preferences or behavioural patterns. It’s this holistic approach to design that’s setting new trends.

We’re continuously inspired by these thinkers who continue to find passion in uncovering better or alternative ways of doing things. The same goes with the product designers. Innovation is always at the heart of it all. We’re here on the same quest. Knowledge exchange will not be crippled with geographical boundaries. As we extend our reach to more countries, we see the same need in reaching out globally for content. We invite you, wherever you are to share what you think is creative or unique even. Ideas will always flow and we’ll never stop unearthing these treasures.

Kenneth Khu kenneth@officeconcept.asia

SitTable by PROOFF

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Content

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Publisher’s Note Creativity Knows No Boundaries

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EntrĂŠe Sculpt Art & Space Entities

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Bring ideas to work Going Greener - M Moser Associates, Kuala Lumpur Transparent Motives - Natixis, Hong Kong Fluid Dynamic - Masan, Singapore Macro Scopic - Karl Storz, Shanghai Banking On Integration - CLS, New York Crystal Palace - Swarovski, London Effective By Nature - Autodesk, Beijing Higher Purpose - Brigade Group, Bangalore Contemporary Measures - McAfee, Bangalore Vivid Vision - Financial Communications Company, Kuala Lumpur

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Leadership Viewpoints Shattering Architecture’s Glass Ceiling Labour Of Pride That Pays Wired To Win Fitting Interiors A Multifaceted Hybrid Bringing Simple Flair & Flexibility To The Table This Is Our Playground A Celebration Of Form & Function Redefining The Lounge

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International Fairs 2013 Free Form

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Content & Team

90 Netbox Wired to win by Horst Meyer

102 Bracca Ultra-versatility of modular sofa by Arte Como

content Managing Editor Kenneth Khu Editor Pang Yin Ying assistant Editor Mandy Chin Contributing Editor Dorothy Lung Art Director Eric Phoon Senior Designer Sandy Liew Company Publisher Kenneth Khu Business Manager Edmond Lee Business Executive Kelvin Ong Customer Service Winnie Lim Contact Media Edge Publications 1002 Block D Tiara Kelana, Jalan SS7/19 Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. T: +603 7880 4525 Printer GRAMEDIA PRINTING GROUP Kompas Gramedia Building Jl. Palmerah Selatan no 22-28 Jakarta 10270 - Indonesia. Permit Number KDN PP15689/11/2013(033144), MCI(P) 101/01/2013

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114 Free Form Multiple and socially oriented functions by Marco Goffi

EMAILS ADVERTISING advertising@officeconcept.asia EDITORIAL editorial@officeconcept.asia Contribution ideas@officeconcept.asia SUBSCRIPTION subscribe@officeconcept.asia WEBSITE www.officeconcept.asia Magazine Office Concept is published three times a year and is circulated throughout Southeast Asia. We’ll also be expanding our circulation to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the year 2014. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. COPYRIGHT NOTICE All rights, including copyright, in the content of this publication are owned by Media Edge Publications, Malaysia. You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store in any medium, transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change any in any way the content of this publication for any other purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Media Edge Publications, Malaysia. PHOTO CREDITS COVER: M MoSER SECTION OPENER: Bringing ideas to work m moser LEADERSHIP VIEWPOINTS bristol FITTNG INTERIORS Prooff


Entrée . Sculpt Art

Functional Art Spoon Chair is Vienna-based Philipp Aduatz’s masterpiece, the glinting result of computer numeric control (CNC) milling and rapid prototyping. Drawing inspiration from the beauty of a bent-back leaf, the avant-garde chair recalls an esoteric piece of edgy sculpture that celebrates individual expression and personal vision. Ergonomically designed and crafted from carbon fiber reinforced polymer, Spoon chair is bound to impress with its strength, durability and stiffness as well as ultra-light weight. www.philippaduatz.com

Marine Magic Inspired by marine life and the interplay of light and shadow, Medulla is a whimsical attempt at reimagining the bulb (medulla in Latin) as a design object. Decidedly sci-fi in its look, the lamp by ToDo Studio in Torino, Italy, dissolves the boundaries between bulb and lamp. Made of DuPont Corian®, the lamp absorbs light causing its surfaces to emit a soft glow of varying intensities. www.to-do.com.pl

Springboard Seating Trampo, as this three-piece bench is called, is intended for any easygoing workplace, the home included. An epitome of balance and symmetry, the bench designed by Marco Goffi, will sit well in a digital age where people like to lounge close to the floor and even sprawl a bit. Supported by an inner aluminum frame, it is upholstered in either fabric or leather. www.marcogoffi.com

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EntrĂŠe . Space Entities

Haute Horizon Combining transparent layers of microscopically thin polycarbonate and optical film with high-intensity LEDs, the Horizon is a power-packed task lighting with a strikingly slim silhouette. With its wide swath of glare-free light at a warm white 3000K color temperature, this ergonomic lamp has a built-in dimmer with seven adjustable levels of illumination and touch sensitive controls. Environmentally friendly, it consumes only nine watts of power and enjoys a life span of up to 50,000 hours. www.humanscale.com

Seamless Simplicity Visually indicative of its comfort levels, the Diffrient Smart chair stands out for its effortlessly simplistic and streamlined aesthetics. Designed by Niels Diffrient, Smart chair incorporates Humanscale’s revolutionary Form-Sensing Mesh Technology that adjusts to the 3-D form of the human body to provide exceptional custom lumbar support. Also featuring a patented mechanism that automatically calibrates the angle of recline to the sitter’s weight, this intuitive chair is the ultimate in ease of use and seating bliss. www.humanscale.com

Light & Easy Winner of the Red Dot Design Award/Product Design in the Architecture and Interior design section, the While armchair by Marco Goffi scores high with its pure and refined lines, comfortable seating and use of lightweight materials. With a steel chromed structure draped in either fabric or leather, the starkly elegant armchair will quietly blend in with surrounding counterparts. It can also be easily disassembled to enable space savings and ease of transportation. www.marcogoffi.com

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Workspaces Designs by M Moser Associates


Bringing ideas to work Offices designed to make new ideas,

collaboration and productivity come naturally


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Yong Yook Seng, BRISTOL


Leadership Viewpoints Industry leaders speak their mind


Office Interior Design Firm

Moira Moser

Shattering Architecture’s Glass Ceiling

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n the male-dominated world of architecture, Moira Moser not only successfully navigated the career ladder, but went out to found her own company, M Moser Associates in 1981. More than three decades on, the company has not only flourished but has generated significant buzz with its international lineup of A&D projects. Here, the industry veteran shares with OC some of her experience, office design trends, and what it takes to be a woman in a leadership position. FAIA, FHKIA, FCTBUH, NCARB, Chairman

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Q: Congratulations on your recent induction to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) COLLEGE OF FELLOWS. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RECEIVING THIS HONOUR? A: It is an honour not only for me, but for all of the M Moser people around the globe. We regard it as recognition of how we as a company have been contributing to the advancement of good design. The same applies to all the honours and awards accrued by our people and projects over the last three decades, because everything our company has achieved is the result of a collaborative process. That is especially true of the facilities we create for our clients. Our approach to projects is so team-centric that even the client is regarded as not just a client, but an active and contributing member of the project team. Q: What are some of your first memories of design? A: I suppose I was nine years old, and what triggered it was my habit of leafing through my mother’s Better Homes & Gardens magazines. Initially it was just the attractiveness of the homes that I found interesting, but then it dawned on me that these lovely designs hadn’t just ‘happened’; somebody had composed them. Well, that hooked me. I wanted to be an architect from that moment onward. Q: As a female designer, what specific challenges, if any, have you encountered throughout your career? A: In a global sense, there have been very few challenges because of my gender. Clients and colleagues are more often concerned about finding a good solution, so I just get on with it. Q: How would you describe your design style? A: Our ‘style’ pertains more to our approach than to the appearance of the end-product. That is, instead of imposing solutions onto a client – telling them what they need – we start projects by developing an in-depth understanding of what the client’s organisation needs and is trying to achieve via their project. The design solutions evolve from what we’ve discovered – from the ‘bottom up’ rather than ‘top down’. Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your designs? A: All facets of the arts and nature are sources of inspiration for design. What we discover about how our clients work, their corporate heritage and their goals also feeds into our work. Usually this sparks off a lot of original thinking about how their spaces could be planned and designed to function effectively. >>

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Q: What do you love most about what you do and why? A: The joy of learning that the environment we have created is really working for the client. But as they say, ‘getting there is half the fun’. I’ve always been as fascinated with the process of design as with the qualities of the end-product. For me, the best part of the design realisation process – the juiciest part – is when people are bouncing ideas off each other, and even when they veer off on semi-related tangents, it becomes the kindling for somebody else’s creative fire. Within a design company, the trick is to create the right conditions for that to happen on demand.

“The best part of the design realisation process – the juiciest part – is when people are bouncing ideas off each other, and even when they veer off on semi-related tangents, it becomes the kindling for somebody else’s creative fire.”

Q: Talk about a recent project you completed. What was the concept, solution, location, highlights? A: One that stands out in my mind is a new office for Natixis in Hong Kong, because it involved designing a space that supported a new image as well as a different way of working for the client. Basically, they wanted to step away from the opaque, enclosed environment banks usually have, and toward something more open and transparent. The most striking example of how we achieved this is the office’s entry and meeting suite. It’s very minimalist in form and material palette, but the details start to leap out at you. The stone floor slabs, for example, are precisely aligned with the window mullions to draw the eye out to the exterior views. The meeting suite itself is transparent and bordered by a water feature. The interesting detail here is that the inboard meeting rooms have stepped floors, so users can look over intervening spaces to the perimeter windows. The work areas are equally transparent and open-plan, so staff members can see across and out of the space. There’s also a café/ break-out area with one wall entirely covered in a graffiti-like mural – probably the last thing you’d expect to see in a bank! Q: Why do you feel design is an important part of our lives and society? What greater issues can it address? A: The built environment is the one that is most familiar to the majority of people, and we spend most of our time interacting with surroundings and objects that were designed. Mostly, you’re only conscious of it when the design lets you down in some way, causes inconvenience, is unsustainable, or forces you to adopt habits specifically to ‘work around’ its flaws. Usually, objects or parts of our surroundings that are well designed are the ones that are virtually invisible to us, simply because they are so intuitive to use that we accept them as a natural part of our environment – even as extensions of ourselves. They impose no penalty on us, and in fact make life easier, healthier or more pleasant in some way. >>

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In short, design makes an enormous collective impact on who we are and how we live. In terms of M Moser’s specific focus of activity, we firmly believe that a thoughtfully designed work environment can help our clients to achieve their business goals and management objectives. What are the biggest challenges facing designers today? A: The technology and practice of design has changed, but old habits can die hard. Specifically, I’m talking about overcoming the old habit of isolated responsibility for narrow portions of a project. With projects becoming more and more complex today and timescales getting shorter, a more collaborative approach is now becoming not just the norm, but also necessity. As designers, we have to put our egos aside and heads together now. Q: How do you see office interior design in 5 to 10 years? A: With a few exceptions for specific industries and companies, office interiors are generally becoming more open and informal. They’re being designed to be more productive by not just giving people the tools of work, but also giving them spaces to relax, socialise, and stimulate their minds so that they can sustain that productivity longer. At the same time, we’re seeing more technologies integrated into these environments which enable people to spend less time in the office, and to work and communicate from multiple locations. Q: What cities are you watching in terms of development and design? A: The major cities of Asia are especially attractive to our global clients and are developing very rapidly. A lot of new ideas are coming from these areas. Q: If you had to share one final thought with an audience of women in business, what would it be? A: Don’t let anything hold you back; just keep going! Q: What would you like to leave as your legacy? A: I truly hope that M Moser Associates will continue to thrive long after I have departed this life.

About M Moser Since 1981, M Moser Associates has specialised in the creation of workplace environments, corporate base buildings and campuses for multinational companies, financial institutions, privately owned businesses and government entities. M Moser constantly shares and develops knowledge and collaborates on projects across 16 locations worldwide. Our purpose is to understand our clients’ businesses and provide comprehensive workplace solutions in support of their individual goals and objectives. M Moser is distinguished from its peers in its concentration on and understanding of the needs and requirements of integrated project delivery (IPD). To deliver the appropriate solutions, the M Moser team develops an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of clients’ projects, including strategic and workplace planning, interior and/or base building design, M&E engineering, voice and data technology, and budgeting and construction. www.mmoser.com

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Office Furniture manufacturer

Labour of Pride that Pays

Yong Yook Seng Founder and Managing Director, Bristol

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ore than 30 years ago, divested and dispossessed, but brimming with entrepreneurial spirit, YS Yong set on a journey to make a difference to the furniture design landscape in Malaysia. His quest led him to Cologne, Germany where a visit to an eye-opening furniture and interior finishing exhibition fuelled his passion to transform the Malaysian furniture industry. Embarking on a steep learning curve in the following three years, he went on to establish Bristol Technologies in 1983, a furniture design company that would embody his philosophy of valuing quality over price and seeking to bring comfort and elegance to work environments. From designing the first ergonomic, 3-dimensional plywood shell chair in Malaysia to rolling out space-savvy tables that can be swiftly folded and stacked laterally, the company has quickly earned a reputation for finely crafted sturdy chairs and desking systems whose clean, modernist lines signal a break from the gauche designs of the past. Here in Leadership Viewpoints, YS Yong took time out of his busy schedule to share his insights into the origins of the company, the current challenges and trends of the office furniture industry.

“A preference for the different styles of furniture naturally exists among the different countries and continents. However, in the case of MNCs that have expanded beyond their home countries, you will notice a similar look and feel in the offices of these MNCs across borders.”

Q: What is your business mission and philosophy? A: Bristol’s business mission is to create the best environments where people can cultivate their talents and latent strengths to jointly build and nurture a successful organization. Q: What is the Bristol story? A: I started the business when I was in my early 30s, under the name of Lee Yong Trading in 1980. Then, I got involved in importing chair components from Europe. I had noticed that the local manufacturers did not produce high quality office chairs and many components were still being imported from Europe. In 1983, I set up Bristol, realising that there was untapped potential in manufacturing office chairs that were comfortable and ergonomically-designed. I can proudly testify that I learnt the art of making chairs at a young age from none other than my father, who was a carpenter. Inheriting the skills from my father and possessing a passion for fine furniture, I expanded my forte from office chairs to office desking and accessories with an initial capital of around RM10K. Today, after some three decades, Bristol has grown by leaps and bounds to provide customers with a full range of office furniture solutions. Bristol is one of Asia’s leading and highly regarded furniture manufacturers, providing office furniture and seating. >>

KAYA

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Mr Yong giving a desking system a thorough once over before the product launch.

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of office furniture design? A: Aspects of furniture design I would rate as tricky involve pushing the limits of engineering and maintaining the high quality and requirements of international standards. For example, designing components that need to fit together with high precision to form a single structure. These components need to be designed intelligently and require state-of-the-art machines to manufacture not to mention adhering to strict quality assurance procedures to ensure they come together to form a strong structure. Q: How has embracing ergonomic trends and green practices helped your business? A: Ergonomics and environmental friendliness are increasingly on consumers’ radar as using ergonomic, green office furniture not only promotes high productivity in the workplace but also promotes better health for users. Indirectly, customers have a sense of fulfillment that they have contributed in some way towards better environmental protection through Bristol’s green furniture range. We have earned ISO 14001 (Environmental management systems) and Global Environmental Standards certifications for our range of green products. Most of Bristol’s products are made from mild steel, aluminium structure and melamine face chipboard or medium density fibreboard worktops which offer a five-year warranty. In view of the ever-increasing concern about environmental protection, Bristol utilises recyclable material wherever possible. Raw materials are sourced from local suppliers who are within a 500-mile radius from Bristol’s manufacturing facility (so as to reduce the carbon footprint) and who also adhere to Global Environment Standard requirements for green products. Q: How many different furniture tastes exist in Asia? And are they very different from that of the West? A: The choice of furniture is determined by two factors. The first

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“Today, people are looking for products that can cater to their organization’s current and future expansion plans, are aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, meet the digital demands of the work environment as well as possess attributes that are respectful of the planet and its environment.”

is determined by the local culture, and the second by corporate culture. There are some clients who still prefer the conservative panel systems; some would apply a modern twist to traditional panel systems by adding glass or light panels; others are adventurous and like to adopt modern open plan systems within the work areas. A preference for the different styles of furniture naturally exists among the different countries and continents. However, in the case of MNCs that have expanded beyond their home countries, you will notice a similar look and feel in the offices of these MNCs across borders. Many feel that there is a need to maintain some connection or resemblance to the style adopted at their headquarters. Q: Who do you consider to be your main competitors? A: Without naming any specific one, there are many players in the market be they local, regional or international. We are proud to say that in both the local and regional markets, Bristol has earned the reputation of providing the best designs, offering great value and equally great customer service. Q: Can you share any insights as to the direction the Malaysian office furniture is heading in the next 5 years? A: We foresee two main directions in which the Malaysian office furniture industry is heading towards; namely, awareness and demand for eco-friendly furniture, as well as a rising trend in home offices instead of large centralised offices. Q: Given your rapidly expanding global business footprint, what’s generating sales overseas? A: The local environment poses intense competition within a rather limited base. We had the foresight five years ago to spread our business footprint beyond the shores of Malaysia, and to set up Bristol’s offices-cum-showrooms in strategic Asian markets. Our early expansion took us to Singapore, India and Thailand. In India alone, we have five offices in the cosmopolitan cities of


Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. The Thailand operations, which opened about three years ago, has enjoyed tremendous growth in tandem with the country’s strong GDP growth of 5% per annum. The 4,000 sq feet office-cum-showroom is centrally located in the business hub of Bangkok, which also offers good logistical advantage to other key business centres within Thailand. What is even more crucial for Bristol is that the Bangkok office would enable us to penetrate the rest of Indo-China, a venture we project to embark on within the next few years. With increasing demand for competitively-price, high-quality and aestheticallyappealing office furniture coupled with our presence in strategic countries, Bristol is poised to enjoy healthy revenue growth, good turnaround through sound investments and also a strong brand reputation for premium office furniture.

SAYA

Q: What chair do you sit on? And why? A: I sit on a Soul or a Team Chair, depending on which office I am at. Both the Soul and Team chairs are ergonomically-sound, provide good support and comfort, an attribute that is particularly important when one has to sit for long hours at a stretch. I particularly like these chairs as they support me in my various seating postures. For instance, I like to lean far back in my chair when I am in deep thought. Then, when I am chairing a meeting, I tend to sit upright. Whatever posture one adopts, the design of both of these chairs has an authoritarian look which conveys the message that the person occupying the Soul or Team chair is someone to be reckoned with and not to be taken lightly. Q: You founded the company 30 years ago. What has changed when it comes to the consumers’ need for desking systems? A: Back then, the requirement for reusable systems and awareness of the environmental friendliness were not as intense as they are now. It was easier to design a product that could sell well 30 years ago. Today, people are looking for products that can cater to their organisation’s current and future expansion plans, are aesthetically pleasing and comfortable, meet the digital demands of the work environment as well as possess attributes that are respectful of the planet and its environment.

VERTIGO

Q: What do you want the world to know about Bristol products? A: We want Bristol to be known as an organisation that is committed to manufacturing innovative, functional and aesthetically-pleasing products that are not only high in quality but are responsible to society and the environment. Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the office furniture business? A: This is a large industry; as long as you are able to innovate and identify your niche in the market, there will be an opportunity to succeed. Patience is also another much-needed factor as success is not instant!

About Bristol Reputed for its modern, supreme designs and high quality products, Bristol enjoys a solid, international reputation as an office furniture manufacturer. Both its headquarters and plant are located on a 15-acre site in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, and its manufacturing operations meet both the ISO9001 and ISO14001 standards. With a staff strength of 1000 as well as a dedicated team of 13 designers, Bristol has continued to create new energy, keep its brand fresh and exciting, and drive business growth. www.bristol.com.my

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Cable Management system manufacturer

A. & H. Meyer

LEFT TO RIGHT: Lutz Hosang, Peter Lenhardt and Horst Meyer

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The 3-component NETBOX MEB-K assembly set.

Wired to Win rom its humble beginnings as a manufacturer of plastic and metal fasteners for furniture, A. & H. Meyer which is based in DÜrentrup, Germany, is today a thoroughly international supplier of cable management systems, thanks to its passion for product excellence. Three head honchos of the company share their insights on building a game-changing brand, the company’s strategy going forward, their vision for the future, and the ongoing expansion into emerging economies. Following are excerpts: >>

The NETBOX Point-Q combines innovative technology with design versatility.

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“With this generation’s habit of staying connected and the ubiquity of portable digital technology, the line between work and play has blurred by choice and passion.” - Horst Meyer

Horst Meyer Horst Meyer, who is MD responsible for corporate strategy, has always held on to the dictum that no matter how developed a company’s niche is, staying competitive means never staying still. He speaks about the market, and staying relevant to the client’s needs and the trends of the industry.

The NETBOX Move in 2-, 3- and 5-gang configurations.

Q: Walk us through the past year. What were the highlights? A: Business has been good in that we saw substantial and generic growth in sales from customers ranging from both the small furniture manufacturers to internationally established and well-accepted ones. As a leader in the field, we are constantly developing products and solutions that assist our clients in attaining their goals and meeting their needs. Earlier this year we were proud to launch an entirely new product range called the lounge line, which was born out of a need for today’s lounge areas to be easily wired for the digital age. We are fortunate that the business has grown to such an extent that it was timely to recruit a new MD for Germany which would give me more time to focus on our strategic vision, stay in touch with clients and colleagues as well as devote more time on my committee work relating to industry best practices that will benefit the end customer. For example, establishing a common recognised standard to measure a product’s safety as the absence of one at present makes it difficult for furniture manufacturers to get information about product safety at the point of purchase. Q: And what did not go as planned? A: Interestingly, despite the difficult economic climate triggered by the European financial crisis, the company was on a solid and steady growth trajectory in 2012. Q: How has the European financial crisis shaped A. & H. Meyer’s international business strategy? A: Germany’s Mittlestand (small and the medium-sized and often family-owned manufacturing firms) have endured the euro zone debt crisis remarkably well, enjoying a strong and steady growth, thanks to their foresight since 2008 of ending their reliance on banks and external financing, and thus becoming financially more independent. In fact, a key factor to the Mittelstand growth and stability is the keen awareness that debt is bad and the need to do more than just rely on the government and wait for it to solve all problems. Q: What is A. & H. Meyer approach towards environmentally-friendly practices? A: Our commitment towards producing better and more environmentally-sensitive products has never been stronger. The

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same is true for the industry’s commitment toward innovative and responsible recycling solutions. We adopt a holistic approach in maximizing the preservation of the environment such as adhering to environmentally-friendly production standards, adopting energy- and resource-saving production processes, for example using rain water to cool down our machines to having smart lighting control that automatically turns off lighting when no one is in a room in our office building, and developing energy-saving products that benefit our end users. In essence, we observe the 3 R’s of the environment of reduce, reuse and recycle. From limiting the waste we produce to reusing and recycling our used products and processing them into new products while using fewer natural resources and less energy, the company’s clear strategic focus on environmental sustainability will go towards cementing our position as an innovative driver of sustainable electrical cable management systems. Q: What was the inspiration behind the newly unveiled lounge range of products? What do you think differentiates the lounge range from similar ones in the industry? A: With this generation’s habit of staying connected and the ubiquity of portable digital technology, the line between work and play has blurred by choice and passion. Thus, we are witnessing the transformation of the lounge as waiting area for relaxation to being the intersection of different forms of communication as well as being the borderless office. Essentially, our lounge range is the seamless convergence between “the wireless and the powerless.” As for similar products from our competitors, there are none to speak of! Q: What keeps you awake at night? A: I sleep very well every night. All the same, thank you for your concern!

NETBOX Move: power access or communication connection at the finger tips.

Peter Lenhardt Peter Lenhardt is Managing Director at A. & H. Meyer Sdn Bhd since its inception in 2000. A strong advocate of the management mantra that “a company is as good as its team,” Peter is even more excited about the future of the company thirteen years on. Q: You have been Managing Director of A. & H. Meyer Sdn. Bhd. for more than a decade now. What’s your ambition for the company? A: Very simple. To remain number 1 in our market! Given our humble beginnings from being a virtually unknown company with a staff strength of 2 to our present 65, I am proud to say we have certainly come a long way. So, to get to that no. 1 spot means there is simply no place for complacency. And growth is key to staying ahead of the competition. Not surprisingly, pivotal to becoming a market leader is having a solid team who is aligned to a common goal and ensuring our product offerings are always current and ahead of market trends. Q: A. & H. Meyer has had a successful formula in Malaysia for some time. Give us some examples of your continuing innovation in terms of business partnership and product development. A: In the first week of March of this year, we held our 2nd Asia-Pacific dealer conference with our partners from India, Singapore, >>

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“I am pleased to say that our products are designed and manufactured in fullest compliance with the strict standards and approvals of the countries in which our products are marketed so as to offer the greatest functionality and customer satisfaction.” - Peter Lenhardt >> Korea, UAE, Thailand and New Zealand. This event will be a biannual program from now as we view our dealers as our impetus for innovation and growth. Listening to our clients, in terms of their business strategy and needs will enable us to develop products and solutions that assist them in attaining their goals and meeting the needs of the market. It may be doing things faster, smarter, more efficiently, more cost effectively or a combination of all of these. Our products are born out of a need that is identified and our engineers and designers build products and solutions that are practical, deliver results and drive business growth for the client, all of which also enhances our presence in the regional markets. Last year’s growth in turnover with our dealers alone saw a whopping 38% jump, with sales in India leading the way. While product development is still mainly done in Germany, local input and ideas are taken into consideration, leading to the development of locally-perceived new products. This practice has, hence, allowed us to stay true to the mantra “German technology made in Malaysia.” I am pleased to say that our products are designed and manufactured in fullest compliance with the strict standards and approvals of the countries in which our products are marketed so as to offer the greatest functionality and customer satisfaction. In fact, our cable management products have earned the highest number of technical certifications in the industry for the Asia Pacific region. As far as product development is concerned, we have always come up with products that reflect the trends in the industry, and our latest collection, the lounge line, is a result of recognising that the workplace can be anywhere and everywhere, and that boundaries between work and personal space have blurred. Q: What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about the industry or business you operate in, and why? A: I have been in this industry since the beginning of my career at A. & H. Meyer Sdn. Bhd. and it hardly surprised me that the perception that cable management can be flexible, cost efficient and convenient was almost nonexistent. Happily, we have been very fortunate

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The NETBOX Point-Q is safely installed in a furniture accessory.

in that we have been able to dismantle the mindset of customers and lure them ‘across the bridge’ from users of traditional hardwiring, which are typically cumbersome, to users of one-off cable systems like ours. We are certainly seeing increasing acceptance from both local and multinational clients here in Malaysia. Q: Going forward, what do you think A. & H. Meyer Sdn. Bhd. will look like in eight years down the road? A: Great question, since 8 is my lucky number! I would like to think we will be a larger version of what we are now. Growth which is supported by a broad range of clients who benefit from the value of our connected offerings, having great products as well as staying attuned to trends in the furniture industry. In terms of my role as MD, I hope to continue leading the same great team of familiar faces here in Shah Alam. After all, a company is as good as its team. Q: What keeps you going? A: For starters, I thoroughly enjoy my job and working with the people in the company, especially given that we started from scratch and have arrived at where we are today. In a way, I have come to see this as running a family business, which has been very fulfilling indeed. Then there is the great Malaysian weather, not to mention the glorious food and the diverse culture. I would say I have been very lucky that I am able to enjoy the best of both worlds, a German working in a German company located here in Malaysia. I couldn’t have asked for a better work-life balance.


Q: Can we start with some background on you? A: I began my professional career in 1989 with a lighting company and spent a total of 23 years there starting in sales and then crossing over to marketing development where I spent 8 years. From there I went on to become operations manager and, subsequently, technical director. My stint in that company was invaluable in that I gained hands-on experience in all aspects of the business. Q: What are some important leadership lessons for you? A: I have learnt that success in the workplace depends on your ability to build a team as well as to interact with others on that team. Together, people are able to accomplish what one person alone cannot. To me, leadership is also about lining up a team or a group of people who you can rally behind a cause or a certain direction, and the ability to overcome challenges hinges on the trust and support fostered within the team.

Lutz Hosang Lutz Hosang recently joined the executive board of A. & H. Meyer GmbH as Managing Director overseeing the entire operational business in Germany. Here, he talks about his background, his leadership style and the company’s strategy going forward.

“I expect our global footprint to grow in the coming years as a result of forging potential partnerships in the furniture industry in new markets such as South America and other emerging economies where the markets are largely untapped.” - Lutz Hosang

Q: What do you think is right about A. & H. Meyer’s brand right now, and how do you plan on improving its branding strategy? A: The A. & H. Meyer name stands for quality, reliability, flexibility and innovation, attributes that have taken the company to its present leading market position. In improving the branding strategy, I would say expansion is definitely on the cards. We already have a strong presence in Europe and the Asia Pacific region and I expect our global footprint to grow in the coming years as a result of forging potential partnerships in the furniture industry in new markets such as South America and other emerging economies where the markets are largely untapped. Going forward, we also hope to intensify our presence in hotels, lounges and retail spaces. For example, our products provide ready and relevant solutions in hotel lobbies and rooms as well as lounges which pander to the emotional attachment of guests and travelers to digital gadgetry. Our products are also particularly adaptable to the electrification needs and requirements for retail spaces and their furnishings. Q: What major furniture industry trends do you see that contribute to your thoughts and planning? A: Technology has become so mobile that rest and relaxation has been fused with work such that lounges and waiting areas have been transformed into the nomadic office. Whether people prefer to use their iPads and laptops sitting at a desk or, say, on the couch, our products are designed specifically to enable furniture in the waiting lounge to accommodate this trend. In fact, we successfully completed two interesting projects where we provided customized solutions for the airport lounge in Dusseldorf and Paris so that travelers who use these lounges can stay connected to their digital devices while waiting for their flights. Q: And just for fun, what is your favorite piece of business technology? A: Personally, I do not have a favorite piece of technology. As long as I can benefit from any form of technology, I think that is a good thing. For example, as an avid golfer, I certainly appreciate the remarkable technology that goes into golf clubs and making my game better.

Basic components of the NETBOX Point-Q.

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mULTI-FUNCTION Furniture by Prooff


FITTING INTERIORS Discover the right fit and balance with careful material selection


Multi-function Furniture

A Multifaceted hybrid The SitTable is proof that avant-garde is not just about being easy on the eyes, but also about generating buzz and creative energy.

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he name says it all. A combination of table space and seating, the SitTable is yet further proof that the walls are coming down in the workplace. Designed by Mr. Ben van Berkel of UN Studio, (NL) for the Dutch company Prooff, which is short for progressive office furniture, this hybrid creation is a response to the contemporary realities of work culture that increasingly places a high value on informality, autonomy and egalitarianism. In an era where office space is now configured in a variety of spaces to accommodate different kinds of work and personalities, this tablecum-seating combo is the spatial solution for those with an affinity for collaboration and interaction.

is finished in either dark oak with wood veneers or HPL with white veneers. With a seating capacity of up to 22 persons, at different parts of the table, this space-conscious crowd pleaser has also been conceived with the flexibility to adapt to the growing legions who work, relax and communicate in different ways or in different settings.

Whether serving as a quiet nook in a library, a work-&-play-zone in an airport lounge, simply as a reception area in a front office, or even a meeting space in an exhibition hall, the SitTable is sure to promote chance encounters and interchange of ideas of every kind Available in three versions - a small version comes with a single and, ultimately, progress in any office or public space in which it is seat, a larger version is furnished with two, and the largest has three installed. seats - the SitTable has been suitably dubbed ‘the longest table for all cultures.’ Propped up by intertwining steel rods, the table surface www.prooff.com

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Office Desking System

Bringing Simple Flair & Flexibility to the Table Taking its cue from shrinking office space and the demands of the ever-evolving workplace, the Klug is a desking system with simplicity at the heart of its design language.

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one are the days when offices were known for their warren of gray cubicles installed under low ceilings and fluorescent lighting. In recent years, in trying to promote innovation and collaboration, organisations are redesigning the workplace, opening it up to make it flexible for multiple uses and to create plenty of space where people could work in groups, rather than be isolated at their desks.

workplace. From open bench applications to more individual private spaces, only minimal components need to be added to the existing structure when change of configuration is required, or dismantled and reassembled to arrive at a new configuration. Hence providing users with the ultimate balance of privacy and collaboration, as well as supporting mobility and optimising space in an organisation.

As digital technology increasingly dominates the office scene, we see the average amount of space per employee shrinking as employees are rendered more mobile and are no longer tethered to their desks. This calls for a radical change in the spatial office furniture design and concept, which is not only space efficient but also caters to the different work styles at the office.

An intelligent work station system that addresses the digital revolution, the Klug allows users easy access to power and data for mobile devices right on top of the surface with its collapsible ducts at the lower side while managing high capacity of data and power cables discreetly. With the benefits of large primary work surfaces and optional secondary raised platforms, the amplification of spaces generates more room to organise work on the same plane. Along with other add-on accessories, such as acoustic privacy panels and integrated LCD and overhead lighting adaptors, the Klug offers a holistic office furnishing solution that creates a more dynamic and conducive working environment.

Three years in the making, Bristol has recently unveiled Klug, a revolutionary expression of a modern work station system. Conceived to deliver maximum flexibility and user-centric performance, the Klug offers a range of modular applications, aesthetics, technological support and customisable ownership options to meet the challenges of today’s modern work spaces. Resting on four sturdy slanted legs, the Klug with its 5-meter span incorporates and caters to a myriad of surface finishes ranging from veneer, glass, to high pressure laminate (HPL). Embracing a thoroughly minimalistic design approach, its clean lines and simple well-defined structure clearly speaks of Bristol’s modernist DNA.

“In sense, klug is intelligence & diligence made visble” www.bristol.com.my

In a nod towards ergonomics, the large overhang of work surface contributes to enhanced leg room and reduces the risk of the user knocking into the structure, features of which result in unobstructed movement for the user. Designed with a built-in flexibility means the Klug is poised to meet any future change or alteration in the

Designed by Y.S. Yong, Aditya.V

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Office Modular Sofa

The BRACCA series by Arte Como evokes the imagery of a fun playground.

This Is Our Playground Clad in fun colours and headlining ultraversatility, the Bracca range of modular sofa challenges the notion that work is all just about serious business.

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ost recently, industry players have observed work and play seemed to have amalgamated into a fusion concept that’s setting trends all over the globe. Modern day employers too are recognising the importance of blending that little ‘fun’ element into the work place. Designers alike are heeding the call to plan and incorporate more discussion and interaction spaces; somewhat a compensation to the shrinking sizes in personal workspace. Set usually in a more unconventional manner as opposed to the usual meeting tables and chairs, these talking corners also tend to be more colourful. This creates a more relaxed and welcoming environment that is poised to boost creative juices and break down communication barriers. Hailing this trend, designers have also taken the opportunity to push the boundaries, allowing these brainstorm areas and discussion pods to take centre stage in office design. A PLAYGROUND AT WORK At a glance, the BRACCA series by Arte Como evokes the imagery of a fun playground. With its inviting colours and streamlined design, one just cannot resist congregating for a quick sharing session.

TOP: The award-winning seating design caters to the different types of meetings, be it small or ad-hoc discussions to bigger scale group meetings.

The BRACCA clearly speaks and breathes ‘freedom’, allowing users a freehand in its configuration, due to its ultra-versatility in design. Made up of four key elements including two seats and two back rests, users have a freehand in assembling the sofa system to suit their desired shape and use. AWARD WINNING DESIGN Designed by Sujak, the BRACCA aims to redefine seating and bring new perspectives to the term ‘gathering’. Due to its flexible nature that easily fits in any space, this unique sectional seating system caters to different types of meetings, be it small or ad-hoc discussions to bigger scale group meetings. It is also built-in with various features such as storage and accounts for practical needs–fitted with electricity supply for the use of laptops if needed. One of its key features is the backrest that can be easily transformed into a flip table. Design-wise, Sujak was inspired to keep it modern and streamlined with a youthful palette of colours. Testament to its forward-thinking design, the BRACCA successfully garnered the Platinum Award in Furniture Excellence at the recent Malaysian International Furniture Fair 2013. It ranked high in key criteria such as functionality, creativity and comfort.

TOP: Apart from being versatile, the BRACCA is also built-in with various features such as storage and electricity supply.

CREATING A ‘WE’ PLACE Created by Oasis Furniture, Arte Como is a brand that is passionate in solving workplace challenges through good design solutions. Driven by its motto of ‘working at a WE place’, Arte Como capitalises on a thorough understanding of today’s workplace habits to offer inspiring designs that delivers and foster a fun and collaborative work environment. www.arte-como.com or www.oasis.com.my

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Office Seating

A Celebration of Form & Function A fusion of cutting-edge Italian design and Japanese technology, the Contessa mesh chair sets a new standard in elegance, ergonomics and efficiency.

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iven how much time we spend desk-bound at work, it’s no surprise back pains are increasingly common these days. Therefore, finding an adjustable, ergonomically correct desk chair is essential. In fact, a good chair, the ergonomists tell us, is probably the single most important piece of furniture in the workplace. And designers at Tokyo-based Okamura Corporation are heeding the experts’ advice by creating chairs that move effortlessly with the body and give support in the appropriate places. Its latest series, the Contessa mesh chair, is an East meets West design collaboration and ticks every box in terms of comfort, style and function. Sculpturally sleek from every angle, the Contessa will feel right at home in any thoroughly 21st-century office. It features the lightest and thinnest possible aluminum frame conceived by Italian industrial designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, and a wide mesh back that lends an ambiguity and semi-transparency evocative of the shoji screen. With a stylistically comfortable seating, synchro-reclining mechanism along with an array of smart controls and functions, the Contessa user does not have to work hard to get it comfortable. Using the intuitivedesigned armrest levers, the chair can go from an upright position to a sitting one to a reclining one, offering flexibility, adjustability and back and neck support designed primarily for people who sit in their chairs for long periods of time. For the style conscious with a penchant for individuality, the series is highly customizable. The mesh and seat fabric are available in 12 color variations, and the user can coordinate frame, body and seat colors to create a one-of-a-kind result. To give it a true luxurious appearance, the Contessa also comes with optional extras such as headrests in mesh or leather, and even a coat hanger to boot. Developed and manufactured through an ISO14001 managed operation with minimal use of environmentally hazardous substances, the Contessa chair is 95% recyclable with its main components labeled for easy disassembly to facilitate recycling effort. www.okamura.jp or www.xtrafurniture.com

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cable management system

Redefining the Lounge:

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NETBOX meets New Work Order Nifty, versatile and discreet, A. & H. Meyer’s newly-unveiled trio of NETBOX products are transforming the lounge into an all-immersive work-and-play environment. ith work-anywhere technology, a rise in entrepreneurship and the way people live, small wonder that the traditional boundaries between work and social life continue to fade. And no living space better reflects this trend in work-life blending than the lounge. More than just a recreation area for a brief respite for customers, guests, business partners and employees, the lounge has morphed into a digital hot spot where people can talk, work and negotiate in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. As digital technology rapidly remakes most parts of our lives, how does the modern lounge place technology squarely in the service of our 21st century affinity for being always connected? Thanks to the latest range of NETBOX assembly sets from A. & H. Meyer, the lounge space is not only spared of cables that proliferate and protrude but the lounge furniture is also seamlessly transformed into modern communication platforms. In embracing the trend where laptops, the Internet, smart phones and tablets have freed people to work anywhere, A. & H. Meyer’s latest cutting-edge products can be installed into furniture or embedded into furniture accessories such as pillows or cushions, hence layering on technology instantaneously. >>

NETBOX Point-Q

NETBOX MEB-K

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At the mere touch of the finger, the elegantlydesigned NETBOX Move can be easily pulled out when in use, and stays retracted when idle.

The NETBOX Move can be configured in up to five gangs and in a choice of power and communication modules.

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NETBOX MEB-K

NETBOX Point-Q

>> The NETBOX MEB-K and NETBOX Point-Q are designed specifically for gadget users with a knack for staying plugged-in while perched on the couch. The very embodiment of subtlety, the NETBOX MEB-K offers a whimsical array of possibilities. A built-in power & data unit designed specifically for seating furniture, its classic rectangular frame can conveniently be mounted into sofa accessories that serve as armrests or cushions that fit snugly into the triangular space between the armrest and the back of a sofa setting the tone for a thoroughly interactive and immersive multimedia experience in the lounge. The 3-component, MEB-K is a simple plug-and-play setup that can be customised with any two modules chosen from a selection of 250 different international power and communication options. Uniquely designed to be corralled within a furniture accessory that can be draped casually over the backs of sofas and on armrests, or discreetly ensconced inside a cushy headrest, the versatile NETBOX Point-Q is sure to be a stylish companion for the lounge user. It is fitted with a single power connection in addition to two communication modules.

About A. & H. Meyer A global provider of high-quality electrification systems for furniture, A. & H. Meyer’s portfolio of power outlets and connectors to data and multimedia as well as cable solutions is one of the largest in the world. Applicable in offices as well as hotels, warehouses and public buildings, the company’s products are manufactured according to stringent international safety standards for electrical appliances. A. & H. Meyer also develops customized solutions for use in specialized areas. With experience of more than 50 years, the company has earned the trust of its global clientele, and enjoys a presence in 27 countries across Europe, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region. Its Malaysian subsidiary, A. & H. Meyer Sdn Bhd, was incorporated in 2001 and is located in Shah Alam, Malaysia, from which it serves the Asia-Pacific markets. Its portfolio of capabilities includes end-to-end services, from consultation and on-site surveys through to installation, training, field- and telephone support.

On the other hand, for those with an entrenched habit of hitting the keyboard on a work surface, the sleek aluminum-and-plastic finished NETBOX Move provides power access or communication connection at the finger tips. At a mere touch of a button, the built-in cylindrically-shaped power and data unit can effortlessly be pulled out when in use or stays retracted when idle. Customisable to suit any needs, the NETBOX Move can be configured from two to five gangs and comes fitted with a built-in starter cable. Suitably installed into 80 mm grommet holes, an assembly ring makes mounting of the NETBOX Move into furniture a total breeze. Commenting on the lounge line, A. & H. Meyer’s Managing Director, Peter Lenhardt, said, ‘’We wanted a fresh approach, if you will, to allow the furniture industry to address essential changes in the way we live brought on by the rapid change in technology. The lounge collection has yet again demonstrated our consistency and reliability in delivering a quality system and high-value technical solutions so technology can be blended into furniture, hence elevating the “work-life blending” experience in the lounge to a new digital high. Aside from quality and safety being the hallmarks of the NETBOX brand, A. & H. Meyer’s designers have also ensured that this latest lineup is not only cutting edge but is stylishly applied.”

www.ah-meyer.com.my

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Calendar Of Events

International Fairs 2013

CONTESSA by OKAMURA

February 5 - 9 Feb

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair

Stockholm Internatonal Fairs, Sweden

www.stockholmfurniturefair.se

6 - 8 Feb

Australia International Furniture Fair

Sydney Exhibition Centre, Australia

www.aiff.net.au

5 - 9 Mar

Malaysian International Furniture Fair

Putra World Trade Centre & MECC, Malaysia

www.miff.com.my

9 - 12 Mar

International Furniture Fair Singapore

Singapore Expo, Singapore

www.iffs.com.sg

27 - 30 Mar

China International Furniture Fair

China Import & Export Fair Pazhou Complex, China

www.ciff-gz.com

SaloneUfficio

Milan Fairgounds, Italy

www.cosmit.it

18 - 21 May

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, USA

www.icff.com

20 - 23 May

International Design Exhibition

Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, Dubai

www.indexexhibition.com

ARCHIDEX

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia

www.archidex.com.my

Furnitex

Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Australia

www.furnitex.com.au

LED Tech Korea

KINTEX, Gyeonggi-do, Korea

www.eng.korealed.org

12 -14 Sep

100% Design Singapore

Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore

www.100percentdesign.com.sg

17 - 19 Sep

Ecobuild Southeast Asia

Putra World Trade Centre, Malaysia

www.ecobuildsea.com

17 - 19 Sep

GREENBUILD ASIA

Putra World Trade Centre, Malaysia

www.greenbuildasia.org

18 - 21 Sep

100% Design London

Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London, UK

www.100percentdesign.co.uk

22 - 25 Sep

Decorex International

Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, UK

www.decorex.com

2 - 5 Oct

Milano Architettura Design Edilizia (MADE) expo

Milan Rho Fairgrounds, Italy

madeexpo.it

16 - 18 Oct

LED Japan / Strategies in Light

Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan

www.sil-ledjapan.com

16 - 19 Oct

Saloni Worldwide Moscow

Crocus Expo, Moscow, Russia

www.cosmit.it/en/moscow

14 - 16 Nov

100% Design Shanghai

Shanghai Exhibition Center, China

www.100percentdesign.com.cn

18 - 22 Nov

MEBEL

Expocentre Fairgrounds, Moscow, Russia

www.meb-expo.ru

19 - 21 Nov

Strategies in Light Europe

M.O.C. Event Centre, Munich, Germany

www.sileurope.com

March

April 9 - 14 Apr May

June 19 - 22 Jun July 18 - 21 Jul August 21 - 23 Aug September

October

November

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Spotlight

FREE FORM

To some, the Natural Evolving Object (acronymed N.E.O.) can be likened to free speech – expressions without any limitations and inhibitions in sight. Free-formed, fluid and somewhat bold, this is one’s thorough and artful expression of how a pragmatic seating piece can be molded and sculpted to visual realism. Be it a three-dimensional art piece or unconventional seating furniture, the N.E.O is designed to be socially-oriented. It can host multiple parties, engage them in various conversations and be one attention-grabbing headline. The Design Story Award-winning Italian designer, Marco Goffi described the N.E.O as a journey towards the reticular structure of matter, one of the infinite macro perceptions that becomes a real threedimensional object with multiple and ‘socially oriented’ functions. He further adds that the N.E.O is a natural evolution – a trip with stops that define, at the end, a language where void dominates the mass. Applying the Innovative Material Goffi applied LYKOR®, an innovative thermosetting polymer he conceived for ALPAS for the N.E.O design; making it safe, technologically-advanced and ECO-oriented (both ecological and economical). This masterpiece has even been honoured the iF Product Design Award 2013 in the Research & Development/New Materials category, impressing an international jury of experts and renowned designers. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments, this multiple seating furniture is also available in 10 colours. www.marcogoffi.com

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Office Concept V6N2  

Bringing Ideas To Work

Office Concept V6N2  

Bringing Ideas To Work

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