Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cool designs

I spent a day in Chicago last month at the NeoCon event, and besides learning that there were more types of chairs than I ever imagined, I saw some amazing design ideas. To my new-to-the-industry eyes, here were three that stood out:

1. Panelite panels, in addition to being cool, are ... cool. Well, in an insulating sort of way, that is. These honeycomb-like structures, made of glass or polymers, are available in a dizzying array of colors, styles, and shapes. I felt their Basel Lounge was a creative twist on the product, which is usually used for walls, doors, and the like. 

2. Vancouver-based Molo Design, Ltd. has a line of textile softwall and softseating products that can be arranged and rearranges to create unique public spaces. The products are made from a highly durable polyethylene non-woven fiber. The fiber is tear, UV and water-resistant ... and is 100% recyclable. The seating can be stretched into myriad shapes, such as long, winding benches, ottomans, or lounge chairs. Magnetic end panels allow two or more of the same size forms to be connected.

3. Quality glass always makes a statement, and I was intrigued by the work of Meltdown Glass Art & Design. They have a broad focus on industrial and hospitality projects, and their work is quite varied. They claim that their kiln-cast glass is easier to maintain than regular glass, as fingerprints are not visible. It's also sanitary and safe in highly traffic areas. Designers can even create fire-rated doors and transparent wall systems.

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