In search of inspiration at ORGATEC in Cologne

ORGATEC Trade Fair

is a leading international trade fair showcasing products and solutions from all areas related to the work environment.

The trip to the Orgatec trade fair was directly related to our office’s expansion into designing and furnishing office space.

For several years now, our portfolio has been systematically enriched with more and more interesting projects and realizations of this type. The best examples are the Warsaw-based film and TV post-production studio Black Photon and the headquarters of IT industry leader Britenet in Lublin.

What did participation in the fair give us?

  • we keep abreast of office furnishings trends, which we will be inspired by in our designs for offices and public spaces
  • we learned about a wide range of new products of different categories: lighting, flooring, acoustics and media technology in the office and contract sector
  • we made new acquaintances with foreign interior brands
  • we visited the stands of friendly brands whose products we recommend in our realizations, such as NOTI, Nowy Styl

Trade fair through the eyes of an architect

There is no denying that the furniture and office design market has been very significantly affected by the pandemic period. Remote or hybrid work is an everyday occurrence in many industries today. Not all employees are eager to return to the office, but employers are increasingly facing declining efficiency and difficult management among teams that do not meet in the office every day. The main trend of interior design and office furnishings is precisely related to this situation, raising the question: what can be done to make the workplace attractive enough for employees to choose to work in the office instead of at home?

The second clear trend is related to the dynamic change in employers’ office needs. It is very difficult to forecast what kind of office we will need, how many positions, division of teams, ratio of closed to open spaces). These aspects are changing rapidly these days, and creating a design brief for a new office give many project managers sleepless nights. That’s why at trade fairs such as Orgatec we can increasingly see equipment that allows us to arrange space flexibly and rearrange furniture and zones on the fly. At the fair, we were able to see a wide range of workstations that can be easily rearranged thanks to mobile modular walls, partitions and shelving units that allow easy division of space.

An ever-present and growing trend is the quality of working conditions. Here, ergonomics and acoustics are the most talked about. Comfortable office chairs are pretty much standard now. The amount of space per employee is now greater than just a few years ago. Desks with variable-height tops that allow for standing work are slowly making their way into more and more offices. Acoustical improvements are sought in almost every element of interior design. Not only office partitions or wall panels but also elements such as lamps and pots are designed to absorb unwanted reverberation in office spaces. Products that combine flexible space shaping with acoustics are acoustic booths, which are displacing classic partitions. Worth mentioning here is the Czech brand SilentLab.

An ever-present trend is ecology and sustainable product life cycle. A prime example of this is ECOcero, which is strongly committed to environmental protection. At their booth, we liked the acoustic panels, which are made from recycled plastic bottles. This year, ECOcero recycled more than 5 million bottles!

During the fair we were able to see a cross-section of furniture manufacturers mainly from Europe. German, Dutch and Scandinavian companies dominated, but the representation of Polish brands was quite strong. We were able to see the offerings of both old players such as Nowy Styl, Balma, Noti and Comforty, but also younger companies such as MUTE.

Traditionally, we have highlighted companies from our region, namely Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to Polish brands, there were quite a few Czech representatives, such as. Mias OC. We particularly liked the Lithuanian brand Narbutas, with which we will definitely want to cooperate.

From an exhibitor’s perspective

Trade fairs are not only an exhibition, but also a unique opportunity to build relationships with potential contractors and the image of the company. In our opinion, those stands win, which, in addition to good products and an interestingly arranged display, give something from themselves that makes us want to stay at the stand a little longer. These can be the simplest things like refreshments with regional snacks or wine, but also small events, professionally trained and dedicated staff, or eye-catching and emotionally stirring gadgets that visitors are eager to take pictures with.

What inspired us?

Our biggest inspiration of this fair was the colors. More than 600 companies exhibited at the Cologne fair. Each stand stood out with something exceptionnal, but what attracted most were the bold color and material combinations, often very surprising. This is a signal to us that in the coming future, energizing interiors will lead the way, bringing a dose of optimism to the current reality. Our favorite in this field was a spanish company manufacturing terracotta floors – Todobarro.

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