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Designers bring fresh looks to the office.


A kaleidoscopic array of high style furnishings is available to fulfill every office requirement from workstation to the CEO's chambers. Listed below are a few of the options previewed at NEOCON 23.

NEOCON 23 proved that manufacturers are taking the initiative in finding solutions to ergonomic and environmental issues. And while much of the hoopla was for tilt-top tables and lumbar-support chairs, classic and custom designs also received a fair share of attention. It was business as usual for designers premiering their NEO-style products at the world's foremost contract furniture show.

Among the prominent names at NEOCON was Dakota Jackson who personally presented his newest stacking chair, vikter, which has a concave wood back and wedge seat balanced on a gently curving steel frame. The curving arc of the frame provides seat back flexibility. "This piece is highly styled, but its simple materials and production allow it to be competitively priced," the designer said.

Light in weight and appearance, the vikter chair is geared for both the hospitality and residential markets. It comes in a wide range of finishes, including black, pumpkin, ochre, cinnabar and plum, with seat options of laminated cherry, molded foam and leather.

Wood for the contemporary office

Ward Bennett's collection of 17 designs in wood chairs, tables, credenzas and desks for the smaller, but elegant, contemporary office were introduced by Geiger International. The arc table has an arc-shaped center panel that acts as a tenon, and appears in the tabletop as a detail. Solid wood legs support a rectangular top which can be specified in a variety of veneers with contrasting finishes.

Bennett's Boullee chair is a lightly-scaled pull-up chair which echoes the geometrical simplicity found in the designs of French architect Etienne Boullee. The solid wood frame and laminated back are cherry, maple or ash, and the seat is leather.

One of the most handsome storage pieces at NEOCON was Bennett's 8-foot, black leather wrapped, solid wood bridge storage case, so-called because its arc supports resemble a truss bridge design. Five storage compartments include two for hanging file folders, two for open storage, and one with three solid wood, leather-lined sliding trays.

Designed for Alma Desk by Alex Forsyth of Greensboro, N.C., Cavetto is a transitional style in maple solids and veneers, with optional bird's-eye maple inlays and detailing. Corner posts are concave circle mouldings and metal pulls repeat the concave design. The collection includes executive and secretarial desks, storage elements and conference and occasional tables.

Additional wood collections debut

Jeff Behnke, founder of Altura Studios Inc., and designer Roland Zehetbauer introduced "2,4,6," a wood case goods collection for the executive office. The name refers to the measurement of the tapered leg. Square 2,4,6, tables are available in several different heights and top sizes with a variety of inlay options.

The Emile slat back chair was designed for Brickel Assoc. Inc. by Timothy de Fiebre, director of design development. The chair is made of solid cherry and each slat is individually fitted to the top rail for maximum comfort and stability. Styled after 18th century chairs, the Emile has an upholstered seat and is available in a variety of finishes.

A 79-year-old manufacturer known primarily for seating, Charlotte Inc. entered the case goods market with two new wood desk groups, Provenance and Toria. Charlotte's director of design, Bruce Sienkowski, said, "They offer versatile design solutions for the changing office environment."

Designed by Bruce Finlayson, Provenance is a complete desk-based furniture collection with a design that reflects an appreciation of the Shaker craftsman. Provenance is light in scale and constructed of flat-cut veneers and solid woods. Legs are solid cherry or maple and have a decorative and protective beading detail on the exposed corner. Finlayson said, "The design aids the transition to more personable office environments and more relaxed workstyles."

Other offerings at NEOCON

Allsteel's prize-winning, all-new total office system, Aurora, was designed by Otto Zapf "with people in mind." The system has multiple radii, is rounded and smooth for a sense of softness and comfort. A rounded polyurethane edge replaces the usual hard edge of the laminate work surface. "There are no sharp corners to be at odds with the human form," said spokesperson Deb Kirby.

Aurora's patented wire management system channels all wiring out of sight. Electrical and data connections can be cut right into the panel with wires directed in one of four ways: under the top cap, under the base plate, through access to the panel's center core or through edge caps. Composite and natural wood veneers are available for work surfaces as well as panel inserts, top and end caps.

AGI Industries of High Point introduced the Ess swivel tilt chair with fingertip height adjustment, upright locking and forward pivot/tilt -- all through the use of a knee-tilt mechanism. The Ess chair is offered in high and low back, open and closed arm versions.

The Prelude seating group is Trendway Corp.'s first venture into ergonomic chairs. It offers standard ergonomic features such as pneumatic height adjustment, forward seat tilt and knee tilt. Its waterfall seat edge helps circulation to the legs. The sculpted seat pan allows proper distribution of weight, and the contoured lumbar support provides support to lower back muscles.

LZB (La-Z-Boy Contract Furniture Group) offers four well-proportioned styles in the Millennia Series. Baseball stitching, sculpted arms and recessed arm caps are uncommon office furniture details. Arms and base are textured, injection-molded and reinforced with metal inserts in high-stress areas. A knee tilt control allows forward tilt.

High style in work surfaces, etc.

Steelcase featured Elective Elements for use as a panel-supported furniture system, freestanding modular furniture with or without panels, or as a line of freestanding case goods. Redesigned work surfaces have a flush appearance on the approach side and an overhang on the user side.

Additions to Haworth's Places office furniture are new shaped work surfaces, corner canopies to enclose computer clatter and provide privacy, mini-shelves, free-standing support elements and multi-purpose bins. A versatile cabinet can be configured in a variety of ways and positioned anywhere in the workstation.

Hardwood Visuals, a subsidiary of Howe Furniture, produces Mauro boards by Charles Mauro, for visual communication. The product line includes models for board and conference rooms with doors, concealed projection screens and tip-out accessory trays. Interior options are metal porcelain white boards, corkboards, tackable fabric boards and flip chart pads. Exterior materials include laminates, wood finishes, polished aluminum and fabric. Sizes range from 24 inches by 36 inches to 48 inches by 96 inches.

PHOTO : Dakota Jackson's vik-ter stacking chair is defined by its tilted concave back and wedge-shaped seat.

PHOTO : Brickel's Emile slat back chair is solid cherry. Each slat is individually fitted to the top rail.

PHOTO : The Prelude chair offers pneumatic height adjustment, lock back articulation and knee tilt. Trendway's new chair will be available in a variety of configurations.

PHOTO : The Provenance bowfront desk, credenza and worktop organizer, designed by Bruce Finlayson, is from Charlotte Inc., which recently entered the case goods arena.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Vance Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Design Lines; office furniture; part 2; includes related article
Author:Garet, Barbara
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Previous Article:U.S. adhesive demand continues growth.
Next Article:Wood of the month: Pacific madrone.

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