ORGATEC 2016 was once again the leading international trade fair for the modern working world with more than 56,000 visitors from 118 countries. The trade fair’s theme, “creativity works – new visions of work”, ran through the presentations by the exhibitors and attracted praise from architects and designers in particular.
Exhibitors and visitors agreed on one thing: without a doubt, ORGATEC has grown to become the creative hotspot for the modern working world. Koelnmesse Chief Operating Officer Katharina C. Hamma commented: “The results have exceeded our expectations by far. But we are especially pleased that we attracted a wider audience than large numbers of architects and designers.
In particular, many senior decision-makers attended ORGATEC this year, including managers from listed companies that apply innovative, holistic workplace concepts.” For Hamma, this is a reflection of the vitally important role that the modern working world plays in corporate strategy. Hendrik Hund, President of the German Interior Business Association (IBA / Industrieverband Büro und Arbeitswelt e.V., sees the comprehensive solutions that exhibitors from around the world presented in Cologne as proof of their immense capacity for innovation. He gave his verdict on the event: “The exhibitors demonstrated in impressive style that they can provide creative solutions to today’s challenges. Architects, designers and senior decision-makers from industry and commerce paid credit to this ability. This is why ORGATEC is and will remain a must-attend business event. Here the trends are set for commercial success tomorrow.”
ORGATEC 2016 also achieved exceptionally impressive results in terms of its international reach. Significantly more visitors from outside Germany travelled to Cologne for the leading international trade fair for the modern working world. From start-up founders to dealers and decision-makers in medium-sized companies all the way through to senior managers at large corporations, a wide spectrum of professionals see ORGATEC as a global networking and business platform.
The first Work & Style conference by the highly respected weekly paper DIE ZEIT was a great success: the conference programme with an excellent line-up addressed urgent questions on the future of work. The first-class speakers and high-calibre contributors to the discussion rounds attracted an intense interest from the audience. There was also a full house every day of the ORGATEC Trend Forum, moderated by Hajo Schumacher. The forum looked closely at the importance of creativity and design in the modern world of work. The influence of design on co-working spaces could be seen by ORGATEC visitors at the special event “The smart co-working lobby”. Every aspect of the co-working model’s effectiveness was presented in prototype form at ORGATEC, and it proved to be an absolute magnet for visitors from the first day of the fair to the last.
One of the exhibitors we were most interested in was British designer Tom Dixon.
As the conventional office is rapidly vanishing under a series of challenges from new working practices, mobile communications and a demand for total flexibility, Tom Dixon launches for the first time a new office range, including BOOM desk light and SLAB School Desk.
Tom says: ‘A more domestic, more human aesthetic is fast becoming the required backdrop for the newly blurred distinctions between work, home and entertainment spaces. Our adventures in designing hotels, restaurants, clubs and homes have shown us that there is a need for versatile, hardwearing and functional objects for work, that are attractive enough to be used in domestic and decorative situations.’
Tom Dixon’s exhibition stand included the Boom lamp and the Slab desk, which we found particularly inspirational and evocative in design.
This functional, practical and beautifully engineered task light takes its inspiration from generations of draughtsman’s and machinists lamps, reduced to a series of cylinders, tubes and junctions arranged in a minimalist sculptural composition. It’s the ultimate understated lighting option for a multitude of interiors.
The office world is awash with functional clinical and efficient systems. Slab is an alternative for the future office that is looking for more natural alternatives. With softly rounded edges, solid materiality and bold cable management slots, it’s the solid and honest desking system for the rapidly emerging co-working space.
We were also interested by US designer Todd Bracher as he spoke to ORGATEC about his experience at the exhibition. He discussed how he is embracing the movement of simple workflow between office and home whilst managing the design requirements of multifunctional, multi locational ‘offices’ as they evolve in our world of futuristic communication.