New Dimensions and new products for the changing world of work in 2020
What would Europe’s workplace sector do without its most important and longstanding office design exhibition, Orgatec? Well, in 2020 we’ve had our chance to find out.
First off, the lack of a show is a missed opportunity. A biannual event offers up a snapshot of a sector on the move in ways that might be less perceptible in an annual show. Secondly, the events of this year would have made it arguably the most important Orgatec since 1994, when a new generation of products emerged to respond to a first wave of changing workstyles inspired by the advent of the Internet and mobile technology.
Finally, nobody does trade shows like the Germans. They are events in their own right and take over cities. The last Orgatec hosted over 60,000 people and featured 753 exhibitors from forty odd countries. It’s a social and learning experience as much as a launchpad for products.
So what do you do in the absence of this opportunity? Create your own, of course. Which is exactly what Sedus did with their New Dimensions event at the end of October.
True to form, the event was as much about new ideas as it was new products which made it a must-attend for hundreds of people from around the world. Hosted at the company’s base in Dogern, Germany, the event was true to the Sedus mission to shape workplace thinking as much as create the products that meet its changing needs.
Kicking off with an interview with executive board member Holger Jahnke, who introduced the new products and described how they had been applied at the Sedus headquarters, itself a model of Smart Office thinking that predates the changes in workplace thinking catalysed by the events of 2020.
All of the new products acknowledge the changing workplace but also hold to some eternal principles of productivity, wellbeing, ergonomics, collaboration and sustainability. Indeed, as Holger explained, the pandemic has made these issues even more important and emphasises the important role the office plays as part of a distributed ecosystem of places where we work. Some of these same dynamics of distributed working are evident in the design of Smart Offices, he explained, offering people choices about where and how to work when they are within the office as much as outside it.
Head of Marketing Ernst Holzapfel then explained how the idea of New Dimensions reflects the great opportunity offered by the changing world of work for people to share ideas, express their genius and create great things. The office is the hardware that allows us to connect the dots of people’s working lives, he argues. But it also sits alongside the software of culture, collaboration and other factors that can transform organisations and people’s experience of work.
The third expert keynote was delivered by researcher and trend forecaster Birgit Gebhardt who looked at new forms of collaborative work, based variously on togetherness in the office, online and in other settings. She placed current trends in a historical context, highlighting how many of the new ways of working we now see emerging can be seen in settings from hundreds of years ago.
Crucially she said that the important new role for the office will be as a stage for activities and shared experiences that cannot happen elsewhere. Rather than meaning the end of the office, the changes we are seeing in 2020 will draw out its strengths and emphasise their important role in organisational success and people’s lives. Sedus continues to pioneer not only new approaches to this new era, but the new products that make the office the best it can be.
The full event can be watched here.
The se:lab furniture system – Boost your ideas
An innovative and comprehensive product family to enhance the Sedus offering, se:lab provides the perfect solution for innovation and productivity. The se:lab furniture system is made up of a total of 14 individual elements which can be configured quickly and intuitively to create the perfect setting for a wide range of activities, including projects.
As its name suggests, it draws inspiration from laboratories. Just like a lab, it is defined by tasks, allows information to be shared and analysed, initiates questions and delivers solutions and innovation. It is straightforward an intuitive in its use, allowing people to explore ideas and create together. Working with se:lab does not mean people have to find space already tailored to their needs. It can all be configured spontaneously and create the ideal environment for whatever they want to work on.
It is ideally suited to project spaces or anywhere that flexibility and multi-functionality is required, in which meetings can develop spontaneously with the use of responsive furniture and equipment.
The individual elements of se:lab work together in numerous combinations to suit every working environment. The design of the se:lab product family is contemporary and universal so can be ideally combined with other Sedus products, such as the se:fit standing seat or the se:motion swivel chair.
World record: temptation c speed
More and more employers are equipping workplaces with height-adjustable desks to help keep their employees healthy. To meet the increasing demand for high-performance sit/stand workstations, the temptation c speed and smart twin speed desks with push button control have been fitted with an extremely responsive and fast motor. The new mechanism from Sedus might well be considered a world record, as it raises and lowers the desk at speeds of up to 145 mm per second.
se:motion net swivel chair with air-permeable knitted membrane
The domestic aesthetic and functional development of the already successful se:motion chair is called se:motion net. The knitted membrane of the backrest is available in four fresh colours and is both comfortable and cool. The addition of height-adjustable armrests offers even more ergonomic comfort. The innovative swivel chair is ideal for short term, touchdown working and is the perfect solution for workplaces with high levels of footfall, project rooms and collaborative spaces, including those in and around open plan areas.
Visitor and conference chairs se:do and se:flex
Tailored solutions demand adaptable all-rounders. These new visitor and conference chairs are a perfect addition to the se:do and se:flex task seating families in terms of both form and function, able to enhance any office, training, meeting or reception.
Available with four-legged or cantilevered bases, the seat and backrest are ergonomically shaped and can be upholstered in any Sedus fabric and leather option. The standard membrane backrests are colour-coordinated with the task chairs and are also available upholstered. The cantilever chair is available with two types of frame, one of which is stackable. The four-legged model is also stackable and can be stacked in heights of five. Available frame finishes are black, light grey and chrome-plated.
se:mood – A recycled, lightweight chair for any situation
With a unique design and using recycled materials, se:mood is an adaptable chair that weighs less than 5 kilos and has a wide range of applications. The arched armrests are fully integrated with the frame, with the rear seat of the shell free floating. It feels like you’re sitting in a cantilever chair even though it has four legs. The seat shell is available in plastic or recycled PET felt.
The development phase allowed the designers to introduce a number of important features. It had to be comfortable, sustainable, versatile, affordable, attractive and stackable. It should be usable both indoors and out, in coworking spaces and project rooms, for conference and meeting areas as well as cafeterias. And of course, it should easy to clean and come with a replaceable seat cushion. These days multipurpose means something more like ingenious.
se:note – reduced to the max
This couldn’t be simpler: a worksurface reduced to the absolute minimum combined with an integrated seat make se:note a micro-workplace in mono-construction. It is perfect for agile working, meetings, presentations, press conferences or spontaneous workshops and completely dispenses with the idea that each type of space requires its own furniture.
Available in light grey, basalt grey and black, the se:note, weighs just 6 kilos, which makes it both practical and attractive, stowed and brought into action when needed.