New Products on the Horizon for OFS Brands

OFS Reception area


With new product debuted at NeoCon 2014 and their release dates on the horizon, OFS Brands is in preparation for sharing their new collections, products and pieces with the industry. Without the hassle of scavenging the internet or travelling to visit their showroom, we’re going to give you a glimpse at what you can look forward to from OFS Brands (OFS, First Office and Loewenstein) in the next few months.



A huge new product–Re:–spurred interest at NeoCon 2014. With this new benching system that provides space for both group and personal retreats, Re: enhances the ability to communicate, collaborate and work individually through desk benching systems and collaborative freestanding systems.

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Slate & Slate Private Office

Providing an efficient space within open areas, Slate hosts boardroom amenities and simple collaboration within the office. With space division, media support, and concealed storage, Slate promotes communal interactions and helps create a space where people can come together seamlessly. However, Slate isn’t the new product to keep an eye out for—Slate Private Office is. Instead of providing a communal area, Slate Private Office creates a private office space for individuals while still being a conventional meeting space with boardroom amenities, power, and height adjustability.


OFS Slate

Slate Private Office 

Slate Private Office

Riff Ping-Pong Table

For a twist of fun, the beautiful Riff Ping-Pong Table could be found among the new products seen at NeoCon 2014. Constructed with vinterio oak mocca, arctic maple, and custom paint, the Riff Ping-Pong Table reiterated OFS Brands’ ability to bring together quality products while incorporating entertainment harmoniously. Originally however, OFS created the Ping-Pong table for show and enjoyment. Following NeoCon, OFS had about 20 requests for the Riff Ping-Pong Table and is now in the process of assessing the probability of producing and selling the table.

Riff Ping Pong Table

Riff Ping Pong 2

First Office

Intermix Work

With three standard work surfaces and sizes, the Intermix Work is a station that allows coworkers to work solo or collaboratively in a close proximity. The Intermix Work can be easily reconfigured to create various work stations that accommodate the needs and wants of a company in a flexible, low cost way. Each work station contains singular circuit power which enables easy office reconfigurations in minutes.

Intermix WORK 1

Layer Teacher Station

Currently First Office offers the Layer Teacher Station, a teacher’s desk with a desk and podium connected that promotes a transition between sitting and standing to grab student’s attention effectively. Seen at NeoCon 2014, OFS Brands has upgraded this piece to allow the teacher to separate both the podium and the desk for easy adjustability and collaboration with students. The desk alone has height adjustability to engage the teacher and the student on the same level.

 The original Layer Teacher Station. Desk and podium cannot be separated.

Layer Teacher Station

The upgraded Layer Teacher Desk. Desk and podium can be separated.

Upgraded Layer Teacher Station



Remember blocks and Legos from your childhood? Based off the idea of classic platform building blocks, Hitch Storage is a creative shelving system built for corporations and individuals who enjoy building and rearranging. With different box sizes to fit a variety of objects and removable connectors, Hitch can be easily reconfigured and customized to suit the changing needs of the end user. Hitch is set to release in October 2014.

Hitch Bookcase 1

Beck Credenza

The Beck Credenza cabinet sheds light on the intricate woodworking expertise by Loewenstein and OFS Brands. Constructed from ash solids and veneer, Beck Credenza is a timeless piece that incorporates sliding drawers and routed pulls for easy accessibility and functionality. Beck Credenza brings a feel of ‘a little home at work’ and ‘a little work at home’ with careful attention to detail and a beautiful finish.

Beck Credenza

Beck Credenza 1


With both low-back stool and armless chair options, Penelope’s webbed effect is constructed by either white or black hand-woven Xiloplast wires. Penelope provides a resilient, modern seating arrangement that can act as barstool, lounge or guest seating. Whether it be in the office or the home, Penelope is a stackable, diverse chair that can suit a various array of settings.

Penelope 1

Penelope 2

Make sure to check out the Intereum Facebook and Twitter pages for more Intereum updates!

Employee Spotlight: Kim Sorenson

While others were bundling up by the fire on some of Minnesota’s bone chilling winter days, Intereum’s Education Sales Representative, Kim Sorenson, was either preparing for a skate-ski race, going to watch her 17-year-old son compete in snowboarding, or going for a leisurely snow shoe hike with her 15-year-old daughter. With passions in design and sales, the education market, skiing, biking, mountain biking and her two children, Nick and Danielle, Kim has earned this week’s spotlight due to her hard work, dedication, and passion in everything she does.

Kim recently joined Intereum in November 2013, coming from a Director of Interior Design position at ATS&R Architects. Through both ATS&R and Intereum, Kim has focused on the K-12 Education Market along with a small mix of the Higher Education Market. With a breadth of knowledge gained from about twenty years within the field, she works continuously to develop the K-12 market by building different client bases and bringing on new clients. Kim believes her job isn’t simply designing new spaces for communities; she believes her responsibility is to create collaborative spaces for end users that holds high value and bring the communities closer together. Drawing inspiration from her clients, Kim’s favorite aspect of her position is to develop the stages of creating a new space with the client, from the early design and schematic development to designing the space with the client and specifying furniture and finishes. Kim thoroughly enjoys designing spaces that support 21st century learning philosophies while working under tight budgets to fulfill each school district’s growing educational demands and needs.

Kim Abu Dahbi

Kim working in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi

When she’s not in the office, Kim is actively participating in a variety of activities and spending time with her two children.

During the summer Kim loves to bike and can be found biking with the Plymouth Lifetime Fitness Club, participating in Hillfest in Prescott, Wisconsin, a muddy race in Lutsen, bike marshaling in the Lifetime Kid’s Triathlon, and later on this summer, riding in the Tour de Tonka. With a passion for swimming and running, Kim has also participated in a mix of triathlons with friends. Yet with all the dedication to training and the long hours spent swimming, running and biking in preparation, Kim decided to focus only on bike races this summer in order to spend time on activities that she and the kids can enjoy together. For instance, later on this summer, Kim, Nick and Danielle have a few trips planned. The three will be taking a trip to Breckenridge, Colorado where they will revel in the beautiful scenery and trails that Colorado has to offer. Nick and Danielle (alongside their mother) love to mountain bike on the Pump Tracks, hike in the mountains and–hopefully this year–enjoy the tree line from above on a zip line. Soon after the trip to Breckenridge, Nick, Danielle, and Kim will take a trip to Split Rock where they will camp out under the stars!

Kim and Friend Hillfest Kim Lutsen Kim Lutsen Race

In the Fall and Winter–with a love for nature and the outdoors–Kim is at home riding her mountain bike or going skate-skiing on the great paths, hills and trails of Minnesota.

Kim’s oldest child Nick will be a senior this year which begins the college whirlwind! Nick competes in snowboarding nationally and hopes to continue pursuing his passion in college. This desire has drawn Nick to look into attending either the University of Colorado-Boulder or the University of Utah. Following in his mother’s footsteps, Nick plans to become a part of the Armstrong Cycle Club at his high school. Kim’s daughter Danielle will be going into her Sophomore year and will continue to play travel fast-pitch softball, snowboard and bike with her mom.

Kim, Nick, Snowboarding Danielle Softball Danielle snowboarding

Together this year, Kim, Nick and Danielle participated in Green Apple Day of Service in conjunction with USGBC/HGA Architects. Along with the group and the Minneapolis community, the three donated their time and efforts to the local suppliers and community to upgrade Lighthouse Academy of Nations in Northeast, Minneapolis. Nick, Danielle and Kim helped to clean, paint, and lay carpet and tile. These small communal projects help to give parents, teachers, students and companies the chance to help in the transformation of local schools. Kim’s passion for the K-12 education market extends outside the office where she is continuing to help create functional, safe learning environments for children.

Green Day of Service

What’s next on Kim’s bucket list? To complete a Century bike race–or in other words–a bike race that is 100 miles long! Recovering from an ankle injury she suffered in the Lutsen race, Kim says that the Century bike race will be realistically completed within the next year. With such determination, perseverance, passion and skill, Kim is an inspiration to clients, her children, and each of us at Intereum in and outside the office! Thank you for all you do, Kim!

Don’t forget to follow Intereum’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more updates!


MN School Board Association 2014

Learning Studios: Adaptable, flexible, and mobile
Intereum and V/S recently exhibited a dynamic booth at the 93rd Annual MSBA Leadership conference.

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The joint booth showcased the new CulturalShift product line from V/S.  This new line is designed to support research around the impact of a well designed and furnished space leads to greater connectivity and engages with students and faculty. V/S products provide a diverse set of tools, enabling the users to create their own unique environments.


Classrooms and spaces can be flexible from an architectural viewpoint, too. DIRTT offers solutions that offer behavioral sustainability to clients. The prefab construction elements are made to measure, assembled in a clean controlled factory and installed onsite without material waste. The ongoing adaptive nature of the solutions keeps the elements in use for an exceptionally long lifecycle. Customize DIRTT to look and function just the way the space requires!

dirtt class

Redefining the Classroom with a CulturalShift

The importance of the classroom being able to adapt to the way students learn and faculty teach is the foundation for the design and purposefulness behind the new product line launched from V/S called CulturalShift. (As a reminder, V/S is well-known for this popular piece, the Hokki Stool.)


CulturalShift is a concept of products that addresses individual, group, and teacher needs. Together, these products redefine the learning environment with practical, beautiful, and progressive furniture.


The pieces are all mobile, flexible, adaptable, and multi-functional to enhance the learning environment.  In a time where laptops, tablets, and connectivity rule, the furniture was designed to reduce clutter by integrating wireless and transparent technology.


It was also designed to encourage flexibility. Teacher tables fit to student and group tables. Collaboration areas turn into personal spaces.  Each product works with the other and also as a stand alone product. There are multiple learning and teaching styles that are happening in schools and CulturalShift from V/S provides the freedom to do it all.

Here’s a look at some other arrangements using the products:

130730_vs_002 130730_vs_004 130730_vs_006 130806_vs_001  130806_vs_009 130806_vs_029

Happy 100th Birthday: U of M College of Architecture – Intereum’s Favorite Centenarian!

Guest blogger, Jen Zeller, shares with us the evening at the 100 Years of Architecture Gala.

The book The Blue Zones taught us that the demographic zones that have a high incidence of people who live to 100 years old live according to certain core values.  The lifestyles based on these characteristics and values seem to have a sustaining effect – most notably – people who live longer, healthier lives.

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If you apply this concept to the values that were celebrated at the “100 Years of Architecture Gala”, one can see how the University of Minnesota Architecture Program has sustained a century of accomplishment.  When the speakers presented, they opened with an overwhelming concept.  “If you try to imagine the billions of miles of architecture and the numerous communities that have been created as a result of a century of teaching architecture at this university – it is truly mind-boggling”.

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In order to accomplish this legacy, the speakers did not talk about individual projects but more core values that drive this lasting effect.  Some of the values that were mentioned were: building communities, shaping lives and most important – a legacy of teaching.  As educators, they pride themselves as providing the “Gift of Critical Thought”, “Unique Way of Reasoning and Thinking”, and embracing “Forward-leaning, Big-thinkers”.

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There were many notable figures who spoke at the event:  Mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak*; current president of the University of Minnesota, Erik W. Kaler; and the Dean of the School of Design, Tom Fischer, and many others.  Noted local architects (George Rafferty Video) also spoke about the architecture school through the years and the impact that it has had on their lives.

Intereum is thankful for our strong ties to the architectural community and the imaginative ways that architects specify (and use) our products in their projects.  The A/D Community is a great partner to Intereum.  Happy Birthday to you!

*Architecture MN featured an article on Mayor R.T. Rybak covering the design-smart mayor and the reflections on his urban legacy.

Human-Centered and to the Core: Rooftop Yoga Lunches

photo 2Q:  Why are Jen and Robin doing yoga on RSP’s rooftop?

  1. To emphasize Herman Miller/ Intereum’s renewed focus on wellness, balance and movement in the office.
  2. To illustrate the importance of quiet contemplation as shown in Herman Miller’s Modes of Work in The Living Office Presentation.
  3. Intereum’s A/D Rep (Jen) has a one-year-old and hasn’t been able to go to yoga class.
  4. RSP has a great view of the Minneapolis skyline.
  5. All of the above.

If you answered 5. All of the above – you are correct!  Rooftop Yoga Lunches are great ways to spurr discussions about many of the shifts happening in places of work today.  In the 1960’s, Action Office was born and was meant to be just that – a way to work that allowed for (and encouraged) movement, interactivity and collaboration.  What inadvertently happened was, well (in not so many words)…Dilbertville.
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In previous blogs, we have mentioned a new vision for workplaces called The Living Office.   The Living Office is made up of parts.  A few of those parts are Provocations and Modes of Work.  These two components comprise the theory behind this shift in design thinking.  One provocation is We Feel Before We Think, another is Living Beats Dying.  These are broad spectrum thoughts that drive our behavior.  Modes of Work are the essential behaviors that happen in the work place.  A few of these are: chat; warm up, cool down; and contemplate.  The challenge then becomes creating spaces that allow your people to perform essential behaviors. This vision creates an approach that looks at the person who uses the space, the behaviors that this person does at work and acknowledges that prosperity is about more than money.

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So, why yoga?  Besides the obvious modes (warm up, cool down), yoga gave us the opportunity to show people how this emphasis on wellness is essential to prosperity.  Yogi-turned-designer-turned-yogi (again),  Jessica Rosenberg, led the class with an approach that only a Yogi/Designer could.  She started by explaining that design and yoga have a commonality: they are both focused on building strong foundations.  Design is the planning of how people interact with space.  Yoga is the science of the mind-body connection.  This yoga class allowed people to have a moment to contemplate, breathe, relax and refocus.  By doing yoga on the rooftop, it allowed this group to look at things from a fresh perspective and better understand why spaces allocated to contemplation, chatting and warm up/cool down are essential to a prosperous office.

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Some of the responses after our Yoga Lunch were:
“Wow – that made our lunch break seem longer.”
“Why don’t we do this every week?”
“I feel great.”

So, in the spirit of Living Beats Dying, what can you do to promote wellness and prosperity in your office?  How can your space enable you to actually Live Better?

These are some questions that we will be exploring with Herman Miller’s new Living Office vision.

***Jessica Rosenberg, Yogi-turned-designer-turned-yogi (again), is the founder of Super Stretch Yoga iPhone App and Gorilla Yogis Troop Leader.  Gorilla Yogis is a charitable organization in Minneapolis where students of Yoga meet in architecturally interesting places in the city, donate money to a designated charity and practice yoga.

MinneCon 2013

Another year and another great turnout at MinneCon!  The day was filled with inspiring CEU’s on creativity, sustainability, and wellness in the commercial world.  The booths in the exhibit hall had the usual hustle and bustle of designers and architects looking at what is the latest and greatest in the Twin Cities design world this year!


The Intereum and Herman Miller booth this year was all about M&M’s!


No, not just the candy, but the materials and mechanisms in our favorite chairs that make the design and ergonomics one of a kind.  Included in the lineup of great chairs was the new Herman Miller Mirra 2 and technology applications that can make any environment stunning. A recap is provided below that explains what makes each chair’s material and mechanism the best in class (click to see a larger view).