NeoCon 2018: Movable walls for open floorplans, and integrated technology solutions and services — see Herman Miller’s latest offerings

by Brianna Crandall — July 11, 2018 — Herman Miller,  a globally recognized 112-year provider of furnishings and related technologies and services, introduced several innovative products at the recent NeoCon 2018 commercial interiors show. A previous FMLink article showcased the company’s Best of NeoCon Gold and Silver award-winning products. Herman Miller’s Overlay movable walls and Living Office Settings technology collaborations are highlighted below.

Overlay movable walls

Organizations don’t always have the time or money to reconfigure their offices, even when it’s obvious that an updated space would help people work more effectively and help the organization accomplish strategic goals, the company points out.

Overlay movable walls accommodate changing needs for space without the cost of prefabricated walls or the burden of traditional construction. Image: Herman Miller

With the introduction of Overlay, Herman Miller gives organizations a way to accommodate changing needs for space without the cost of prefabricated walls or the burden of traditional construction. With just two people and in about two hours, Overlay can be relocated with minimal disruption to an office.

The movable walls can be used to create freestanding rooms, give shape to open spaces, or simply divide areas. A three-sided workspace can become a designated area for impromptu meetings or collaborative work, for example. Or four Overlay walls can create an enclosed meeting space — complete with a door — that offers some visual and acoustical privacy.

Overlay also brings visual clarity to open-plan offices. Drawing inspiration from urban planning concepts, Ayse Birsel and Bibi Seck designed Overlay to create a pattern of integrated but distinctive settings that help people navigate the workplace. A sea of workspaces without clear divisions can look and feel chaotic. Overlay makes spaces legible by defining areas where people can go to collaborate and catch up, or hunker down and work alone.

Overlay’s quiet aesthetic can be turned up or dialed down — outfitted with a variety of textiles, laminates, glass, white boards, or custom materials — to reflect the character of an organization.

While developing Overlay, Birsel and Seck thought a lot about dichotomies. Their design research showed that people do their best work when they’re alone in a buzzing room full of other people also working, like a café. They realized that people want to see and be seen as part of a community, even if they’re working alone. They also found that people are most productive with some ambient noise, but not when they can hear the specifics of a conversation.

Overlay reconciles seemingly opposite needs and wants — open yet closed; alone yet together; clean yet messy. As Birsel says, “If you can make any two opposites co-exist, you can have your cake and eat it, too.” When it comes to the office, Overlay reportedly makes it possible.

Living Office Settings technology collaborations

Herman Miller also introduced Living Office Settings, which leverages a range of collaborative-technology partners to deliver complete settings including workplace tools, furnishings, and services

A group of people showing furnishings coordinated with technology

Living Office Settings leverages a range of collaborative-technology partners to deliver complete settings including workplace tools, furnishings, and services. Image: Herman Miller

Herman Miller, known for collaborating with world-renowned designers to deliver best-in-class workplace solutions, is now expanding its partner network through the technology sector to bring holistic collaboration solutions to customers in North America with Living Office Settings.

This new offer integrates Herman Miller’s innovative furniture designs with collaborative technology solutions from a range of leading technology companies. Living Office Settings uses an organization’s workplace strategy as a guide to align surroundings, furnishings, and tools in harmony with people allowing work to flow seamlessly in every setting.

Herman Miller notes that the company’s research has given it a deep understanding of how people work and the tools and furnishings they need to do that work, which enables Herman Miller to work with technology partners to streamline the process of creating, specifying, and deploying integrated solutions to help customers and their design partners save time and money.

Herman Miller’s collaborative-technology partners include:

Logitech — As teams continue to become increasingly dispersed, Herman Miller and Logitech strive to make remote video conferencing more intuitive, effective, and engaging through thoughtfully integrated furnishings and collaboration tools. The environments they create are places where people feel more connected to each other and to the work they are sharing.

Whitlock — For US customers, Herman Miller works with Whitlock to offer full-lifecycle media collaboration services. The partnership ensures an attractive, comprehensive setting design that provides an uncomplicated and well-integrated audio, video and team working experience with an option for 24/7 support.

Genesis — For Canadian customers, Herman Miller is partnering with Genesis, a national collaboration firm focused on Connected Experiences — how people use and adopt technology in their spaces. Herman Miller works closely with Genesis on every element of projects to achieve seamless furnishing and technology design and deployment.

Crestron — Together, Herman Miller and Crestron solve calling, conferencing, collaborating, and presenting challenges so the experience of meeting is more intuitive and productive.  Herman Miller’s Living Office design framework and Crestron’s technology solutions shape workplaces that ignite people’s potential.

Robin — Robin makes it easier to find and schedule the right room with the right tools so people and organizations can operate more efficiently. Using Robin room utilization, Herman Miller and its partners help organizations optimize the spaces that are underperforming.

Living Office Settings is another way Herman Miller is introducing Workplace Services into its contract business offer as part of a toolkit to improve all aspects of the work environment. Whether an organization is aiming to enact a cultural shift, increase efficiency, or scale technology for people and their work, Herman Miller’s team of specialists will help shape a workplace where the people propel organizational growth.

Clients in North America can leverage Herman Miller’s Workplace Services capabilities to gain settings that help better position organizations and their people for success. These results include places where furnishings, tools, and technology align with the needs and daily activities of the workforce, while simultaneously addressing the organization’s real estate and financial goals. With this seamless experience, people are free to think, create, and connect in meaningful ways, says the company.

For more information about Overlay or Living Office Settings, visit Herman Miller’s NeoCon 2018 landing page.