Minnecon 2011 Highlights

Intereum and Herman Miller participated in Minnecon again this year – showcasing products for Healthcare, Storage and Collaborative/ Innovative Spaces.  On the healthcare side, we showed some of the new enhancements to Compass that were released at Neocon.  Base cabinets, a rotating worksurface and various depth storage options were the focuses for our Compass display.  This expanded product offering was a response to the massive outpouring of interest in the new system.  This year, (as opposed to last year – when we launched Compass) there was a lot of interest in the details of the product…specifically the Durawrap finish.  Many questions were asked about this 99%PVC-free thermofoil that makes cleanability, durability and sustainability simple.  Adjacent to the Compass display was a flat-screen television and seating space for participants to watch videos on the creation of Compass and the research that went into the system.

Compass Sink and Storage. Note the Dex chair hanging besides the sink.

This seating space was created as a quick “touch-down” for a participants to gather information and have a quick conversation.  It was very efficient use of space because we created it by using 18”d Meridian files as a bench (and dressing it up with a bolster and cushions) and some new lounge products from the Swoop Collection.  This space made information-sharing easy.  These spaces were almost always in use – people seemed to naturally gravitate to this type of communal area.

Dex Chair and adjacent seating.

Our “collaborative/ innovative spaces” are not just for healthcare projects, however.  At Minnecon, we showed how multiple small spaces (that seemed very close together) could feel private and not as fussy as a conference room.   Using products for two purposes (the way we used storage for sitting space and standing-height space) made the booth feel both accessible (like people were supposed to be there) and like they were able to move in-and-out quickly without a large time commitment.  Since Herman Miller provided an “education-specific” CEU at Minnecon this year, we wanted to show how a quick, technology-enhanced space could also be a learning space.  A sort of “Hub” were people go to get things done (this was the topic discussed in the seminar).  In our collaborative educational space, we used Swoop Products for seating and side tables and Canvas Product to provide a screen for viewing a projection of Black and White photos of early Herman Miller Collaborators (George Nelson, Charles and Rae Eames, etc.)  Then, instead of using panels to divide the spaces – we used Meridian files and showed how by examining the way you file (front-to-back rather than side-to-side in a 20”d x 42”w Meridian file) you can save on square footage and provide your people with more space to layout papers and have quick meetings.  Also, the Meridian files have been updated to provide power – the same way a panel would provide power and privacy.  Also, we used dark gray and light gray carpet tiles from Patcraft to show a playful way to tie in the retro feel of the Swoop Collection.

Swoop Seating with Compass in the background.
Swoop Seating with slideshow.

Leaf light, Swoop Seating and a Green SAYL Chair

We find the demand for quick, impromptu meeting spaces in almost every type of project – government, commercial, education or healthcare.  These are spaces that people naturally gravitate toward and show employees, clients, etc. that in this facility – you can choose how and where you want to meet.  Efficient use of space and using things for multiple purposes are essentials to this new type of meeting.  Much like the playroom under the stairs – spaces used for two purposes in new/innovative ways – sometimes become the most memorable and utilized spaces.   How do you encourage choice,  impromptu information-sharing, efficiency and accessibility in your space?  How do you use furniture and products to foster a culture that inspires innovation, brainstorming, technology and sharing?  We showed a few ideas at Minnecon 2011.

GW’s Capacity Filing

Contact Intereum and Herman Miller for more ideas…

***For information on the CEU and/or speaker see thefollowing attachments:

HM Learning_spaces_for_innovation

Jeff Vredevoog Bio

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