For the launch of a new carbon-fiber chair by Michael Young, we created a make-your-own cafe display in the Chicago Showroom for Neocon 2014. The left wall talks about the notion of "craft" in the 21st Century, drawing parallels to the philosophies and methodologies of mid-century greats like Hans J. Wenger and his Wishbone Chair.
The adjacent wall invites participants to pull down a chair, and pull up to a table. They can experience both the lightness of the chair itself, which can be lifted with a fingertip, and understand the effect of different color and sheen finishes on the form.
Propping is planned in advance, but often shifts on site during installation. Rugs, lighting, and accessories help tell a story -- this is not your average workspace. Even book selections on the shelves and end tables evoke the people we imagine utilizing these spaces.
One of the challenges in showroom design for a made-to-order furnishings company is to help customers visualize the range of possibilities a product presents. This is not just about fabric, veneer, and laminate selections, or product options, but also use in many types of settings and spaces.
Approximately 30% of the furniture on the floor of our Chicago showroom was replaced each year. This presented a challenge in developing a coherent materials palette that looked fresh each year, as many pieces we were working with were from previous years' palettes. In 2015, we hit reset, and invested in more replacements in a neutral palette, meant to form the basis for presenting our core products for years to come.