Today I managed to catch a talk that had been put on for University of Salford Interior Design students and Penketh Group by Steelcase.
Steelcase are leaders in furniture and products for office environments. We were given a tour around their Munich learning and innovation center which was filled with amazing ideas and lots of innovative products. I will talk you through a couple of the key products I found really interesting.
Above is the portable chargers they use within the office. These have a USB port and therefore can be used to charge anything from a phone to laptop. These portable chargers were stored on top of a tablet which charged them up. I really liked this idea as it is a great solution for open plan flexible working spaces, meaning you don't have to litter the walls and floor with sockets.
The second of the products they showed us which really interested me was these whiteboards. The whiteboards are super light weight which makes them easy to take around the building but also means that they are not a health and safety hazard. The lady giving the talk demonstrated what would happen if you were to drop it, and the board just floated down to the ground which amazed me and the others in the call as this is a far cry from the heavy whiteboards of wheels i remember from school. After further investigation I have found out they are made from a lightweight plastic in a honey comb pattern.
These desks shown in the same room as the whiteboards are another innovative idea. The desks are on wheels, making them easy to maneuver. The way they are designed is that they have enough weight to not be sliding around when in use but are easy to move when needed. These would be super helpful in a space that needs to be multi functional.
Another good idea is these screens located on the exterior of the private working spaces. From these tablets you are able to book a time slot for the room and when it is booked/in use, this will glow red. If I had watched this presentation prior to submitting my SDP work, this is something I would have added to my design.
Something we were shown which I had already added to my SDP design is the table on the right of the above image. I had used these movable laptop tables on my booth seating wall in my external corridor so it was good to see them on this talk.
The talk from Steelcase was extremely interesting and really helpful. I have decided that if I'm ever in Munich I will 100% be making a trip to this office as it would be great to see it all first hand.