Leo, Grand Rapids Chair
Contact: Dean Jeffery FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tel: (248) 346.6497
GRAND RAPIDS CHAIR AND JOEY RUITER PUSH DESIGN LIMITS WITH LEO COLLECTION
Third collaboration between Grand Rapids Chair and Ruiter marks milestone in design and manufacturing
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Chair Company, a Michigan based commercial and hospitality furniture manufacturer, and industrial designer and West Michigan native Joey Ruiter team up for the third consecutive time to create the bold and brash Leo collection. This collection pushes the design and engineering limits for both the Company and designer, signaling the forward thinking nature of the Company and furniture collections to come.
The collection will make its debut during NeoCon 2015 in the Grand Rapids Chair showroom, located at suite 394 of the Merchandise Mart. Leo is a stainless steel chair with distinct steel tubing, suited for indoor or outdoor eating spaces. The collection is available in an armchair or armless application as well as in a metal or wood dowel leg base.
Industrial designer Joey Ruiter knew he was going to make something unique with Leo. Ruiter simply describes Leo as “a twist on a classic form.”
Ruiter drew inspiration from the suspension on his 1962 Lincoln Continental. The four vertical lines in the back of the chair reflect the simple tubing of the car’s updated rear suspension. Ruiter noted, “I try to keep an unrestricted eye open, so inspiration is never limited in a particular category.” The designer also paid homage to the design aesthetics of the 1980’s: flamboyant, unashamed and unapologetic.
But Leo is more than just a funky chair; it’s a design statement for both Ruiter and Grand Rapids Chair Company. While Leo is certainly modern and eye-catching, it’s not meant to follow trends, but rather to influence. Leo leaves a memorable impression through a design based on contradiction and juxtaposition. The steel tubing is bold and delicate; the back of the chair features distinct steel bends, yet the soft curvature of the frame provides a much-needed aesthetic balance. Together, the two design extremes work in an unexpected way.
The seemingly simple design also tested engineering and manufacturing capabilities. The Grand Rapids Chair engineering team achieved the illusion of a seamless, continuous silhouette through complex multi-plane steel bending and tailored coped joints and welds.
Grand Rapids Chair Company Marketing Director, Jill Frey, detailed, “Leo, to us, represents our overall desire to bring unique, influential pieces to the market, our growth in our outdoor seating options and our continued relationship with West Michigan designers and talent. Leo is our representation of growth in development, design and manufacturing.”
The minimal silhouette offers a casual modernity, making it easy to picture Leo in a variety of dining spaces. Indoor options include wooden or metal dowel legs as well as upholstery, while outdoor uses all stainless steel.
The Leo collection will debut at the NeoCon 2015 showroom, and will be available late fall 2015.
About Grand Rapids Chair Company
Founded in 1997, Grand Rapids Chair Company is a family business that has grown into one of America’s leading providers of seating and tables for corporate, commercial and hospitality environments. The company has built its reputation by offering superior-quality products, peerless custom capabilities and quick lead times. Local manufacturing facilities enable the company to maximize quality control for its worldwide customer base and contribute to a finer quality of life for its employees and community.
For Grand Rapids Chair Company:
NeoCon Makers: Grand Rapids Chair Company
Monday June 8, 2015
written by: Jill Hinton
There’s a tongue-in-cheek term for the exceptionally courteous, reserved and mild-mannered way Midwesterners interact with each other: “Michigan Nice” (or “Minnesota Nice,” depending on where you are). As Grand Rapids Chair Company teams up for the third time with industrial designer and West Michigan native Joey Ruiter for its new Leo chair, they’ve begun to redefine what Michigan Nice means.
“I think it’s our biggest differentiator,” said Jill Frey, spokeswoman for Grand Rapids Chair, referring to the company’s reputation for being exceedingly easy to work with. “There’s definitely something about the Midwestern sensibility as far as far customer service…Maybe it’s our own desire as a company to push ourselves beyond; become more relevant on the coast. Our history has been a little bit more traditional looking furniture.”
She said the company used to have a tagline, coined by the company’s owner: “We want to be the nicest damn people you’ll ever buy a chair from.”
Ruiter and Grand Rapids Chair have worked on at least three previous projects together, and each time Ruiter said he feels like the company is stepping a little further away from its classic — and let’s be honest, conservative — roots, and into a design direction that is decidedly more… adventurous. The result is the indoor/outdoor Leo chair, with its 80s-style individualism and bent steel curves, which the company said points to West Michigan’s design, engineering and manufacturing heritage.
So what exactly is the Midwestern design sensibility? Although Ruiter pauses for a moment when asked to define it, he eventually said whatever it is, it runs deeper than materials and shapes.
“I think we’ve grown up with manufacturing in our blood,” he said. “Our parents made this stuff. Our grandfathers worked this material and in these factories.” Ruiter believes that most Midwestern designers come from a tradition of building things, rather than just consuming them. “I think the culture of being makers allows us to be a little more sensitive to materials; processes…It’s highly creative but sensible, if that makes any sense.”
The Leo chair features either a wood or upholstered seat, optional arms, and wood dowel or metal legs. It (along with the Dylan table) will make its debut at NeoCon 2015. It’s designed for either indoor or outdoor eating spaces, and is available in either an armchair or armless application, as well as in a metal or wood dowel leg base.
Ruiter said working for Grand Rapids Chair was a departure from working with other, larger companies that have seemingly unlimited budgets and once-removed approval systems. “What I really like about them is Jeff [Miller], who is the owner, is in the meetings. The engineers are there, marketing is there, to really streamline the organization. If they don’t need it or see the value in it, they won’t do it.”
He said this adds an extra level of accountability for him, which isn’t always easy. “It’s definitely a hard place for a designer like myself, because the risk is equally shared.” There’s no room, either financially or from a manufacturing perspective, for iteration upon iteration of design tweaks like there might be at a larger company. He said there’s also a clear line of accountability, and if something goes wrong, it’s pretty obvious where to point the finger. But it also means that there are stronger, more personal relationships.
“There’s no mystery at the Grand Rapids Chair,” said Ruiter. “Jeff and everybody there knows exactly who does this operation, who picks this box up, who signs these papers. It’s a close family of people and everybody is responsible for doing good things.”
Ruiter said he found the inspiration for the Leo chair while working in an auto shop on a 1965 Lincoln Continental. He said since his mind is always in more than one place at once, as he studied the classic car’s undercarriage, he immediately thought of Grand Rapids Chair’s steel and bent tube capabilities. Aiming to improve on a classic (which Ruiter readily admits most of his automotive enthusiast peers would say is impossible), the idea for the Leo chair was born.
The chair is an eclectic combination of wood and steel. “With Leo we really wanted something progressive and interesting and eye-catching,” said Frey. “Right away we thought it would be really great to have that really tough, cold steel, and that really kind of rounded form in the back. The wooden dowel legs we thought was really a fun addition. It kind of gives warmth to the product.”
As the hospitality and contract furniture industries continue to beg, borrow and steal from each other, both Ruiter and Frey agree that it’s nothing but a win-win for both industries. Ruiter said that contract furniture gets to move away from its “business tool” roots, while hospitality gets a more rigorous design process, so the furniture lasts longer.
“I’ve had a rule lately that if somebody doesn’t want to take this home with them it’s not worth building,” said Ruiter. “We’ve made contract furniture its own sort of animal for too long…Nobody fights for these objects when they get thrown away in the dumpster.” Frey thinks designers are really going to like the level of customization that Grand Rapids Chair has to offer in the Leo chair (as well as the Dylan table, another product making its debut at NeoCon this year).
“We have 23 standard powder coat colors,” said Frey. “Grand Rapids Chair is actually really known for our custom capabilities since we are small and agile. If someone wanted to put a Pantone color onto a chair, we can do that. We work with our powder coat supplier. We can do any color.”
The same applies to wood customization. Frey says that although customers typically request maple, Grand Rapids Chair can work with all different types, everything from walnut to ash to oak. She said customers have sent them everything from a piece of beach driftwood to a cherry jewelry box someone’s grandfather made generations ago. She laughs and said customers could send the company a bike frame and they’d match it.
Which of course, is really, really nice of them.- Read Less
see the full collection at www.boldfurniture.com- Read Less
Nucraft Introduces Standing-Height Tesano for Versatile Elegance
May 28, 2014
Nucraft’s modern and minimalist design sensibility finds fresh expression with the introduction of Tesano,
a standing-height, powered table that promotes easy and elegant collaboration in the workplace. The table will be unveiled within Nucraft’s 11th floor showroom at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for the NeoCon 2014 World’s Trade Fair from June 9 to 11.
Tesano’s designer, Joey Ruiter, describes the table as “clean, simple, workable and approachable — and it really shows off what Nucraft is so good at. It’s a great human- centric design that people will
want to gather around.”
Ruiter, who has collaborated with Nucraft on more than a dozen designs over the past several years, also is introducing another table program with the company at NeoCon 2014. The Kai conference table is only 5/16” thick, while the Tesano carries a 3”-thick profile.
“It’s a little bit of a yin-yang concept this time,” said Ruiter. “It gives Nucraft’s customers a world of options.”
The Tesano table boasts mitered corners and an aluminum accent ribbon to show off a limitless palette of wood veneers, laminates, and glass as surface options. And the table comes in three widths and lengths that range from 48” to 240”. Tesano also was designed with an optional monitor-support end piece to take advantage of video sharing technologies.
Like Kai, the Tesano table was designed with wireless technology in mind. It has modular power and data units, all of which are able to be discretely attached to the underside of the table top. They can easily be removed when a fully wireless environment becomes a reality.
Ruiter’s philosophy of designing tables for Nucraft follows a simple maxim — “they should be tables for today and for the future. Technology needs to be considered, but it ought not to be the first and only thing. I try not to put a time stamp on these products. I want them to live with longevity in mind.”
Ruiter designed Tesano to amplify “the plank look — it shows off the big cathedrals and tells the story that this is real wood (veneer) from real trees.”
Since its founding 70 years ago, Nucraft has worked with customers to create inspiring conference rooms, private offices, reception areas, and training spaces. The company’s designs and custom capabilities delight clients who demand the most exacting fit, finish and value for their environments. Every day, Nucraft serves customers with
imaginative solutions that integrate technology and furniture in new and inventive ways.
www.nucraft.com- Read Less
DESIGNED BY: Joey Ruiter
Visually stunning yet familiar, Kai is ready for today and tomorrow. The thin aluminum top has a minimalist profile making it appear to be floating in space. The camber rail structure evokes the design of a suspension bridge, allowing for long spans with only two bases. Kai also anticipates the future needs of the workplace with power/data units that can be added, moved, or removed altogether with no visual impact when the conversion to wireless is complete.
Nucraft Launches Kai Conference Table and Credenza at NeoCon 2014
GRAND RAPIDS — The people responsible for product development at Nucraft have learned how to engage industrial designer Joey Ruiter’s creative imagination. This time it sparked in the immediate aftermath of posing one provocative question: “What is stunning?”
The question sent him to doodle on his sketchpad, and to draw on his rich visual archive of a surfboard slicing through the crashing ocean waters off the coast of Hawaii.
The result of the latest collaboration between Nucraft and Ruiter is a dramatically different and visually arresting conference table and companion credenza which debut this June at the NeoCon 2014 World’s Trade Fair as the centerpiece of Nucraft’s 11th-floor showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
The new family of tables and credenzas has been christened with the name “Kai,” a Hawaiian word meaning ocean. The Kai conference table has a sleek, knife-thin profile with a 5/16” polished aluminum table top that appears to be floating in space. The table also has been specifically designed to bridge to a wireless future, with the capacity to include easily removable power-data modules beneath the surface of the table.
The table top has an array of finishes, including wood veneers, paint, and glass. But its silhouette is always strikingly slender with the rolled polished aluminum edge, putting the focus less on the table than on the people who congregate around it.
“I really want people to stand out, which is why I am such a minimalist in my designs,” says Ruiter. “After all, to get together is to be with people. The furniture needs to facilitate that.”
Matt Schad, Nucraft’s Director of Marketing and Product Development, notes that Ruiter is brilliant at “pushing the envelop with product designs in a way that inspires the customers, but also allows them to use the product to complement their existing environments. The fun part of working with Joey is that we generally don’t know how we are going to make his ideas and designs come to life, but we know we have to — because our customers will love it.”
Bob Surman, Nucraft’s Product Development Manager, said the company’s ambition with the Kai project was to tease out a design that was not merely “visually stunning, but also functionally interesting, providing a bridge from today to tomorrow.” Says Surman: “The wireless environment is evolving. We haven’t gotten to truly wireless yet. So the table accommodates modular plug-and-play power and data units, which can be moved and removed. It’s always fun to give Joey Ruiter a design brief and see what comes back. We give him free rein to translate our words to his designs.”
For his part, Ruiter describes his relationship with Nucraft as a designer’s delight in which he is encouraged to explore all the material and aesthetic possibilities with minimal creative constraints. “For me, Nucraft is a dream client,” he said. “They have created an environment that allows designers to do just about anything. We can push forward, take risks, and lead with innovation together. Most importantly, they have
the knowledge, people and facility to pull off the vision.” Over the past seven years, Ruiter’s product designs have garnered a dozen awards for Nucraft. In additional to
the Kai table and the complementary credenza, Ruiter and Nucraft will introduce Tesano, another conference table program, at NeoCon 2014.
5151 West River Drive Comstock Park, MI 49321 | 877-NUCRAFT | nucraft.com | #craftedspace
The Kai conference table can be ordered in three widths and in lengths that range from 84” to 240”. The coordinating credenza comes in two different heights and four lengths with the choice of either a wood or painted case.
Bob Bockheim, president of Nucraft, believes that Kai will appeal to companies which are introducing a more sophisticated contemporary look into traditional office environments. But he acknowledges that the “early adopters will be firms looking for a unique aesthetic, yet not too different.” No matter the marketplace for the table, Ruiter contends that Kai powerfully represents his design drive “to lead people to what’s next — to imagine, to create, to inspire. It’s important to me that people find a relationship with the objects I create.”
www.nucraft.com- Read Less
The fully height-adjustable double pedestal desk featured in the One Collection is completely at home in private offices; its equally comfortable in open, collaborative spaces. There’s nothing simpler than furnishing a One Collection office: one person, one part. Complement with screens and credenzas as you choose. Designed by Joey Ruiter.
“After two years of research we ended up with a handful of contradictory needs. In first couple of full sized mockups, we realized we had a modern “tanker” desk. The right mix of proportion, materials, and components, made something wonderful for us today.”
At its core it is a double pedestal desk from the turn of the century. “I went back all the way to the beginning, the reference, and the start to what we know today as the office. We have come full circle.” This desk is more relevant today than ever. One person, one desk. Height adjustable, 22” to 50”, power integration in drawers tucked under the work surface, and simple storage that meets our needs today.
BOLD One Collection
Sit-to-stand at a double-ped desk. Yes, it is possible.
Just as suited to private offices as collaborative spaces.
Our commitment to sustainability includes cradle-to-cradle design practices. We plan manufacturing to minimize waste, and take into account needs for water and electricity. We use recycled materials whenever appropriate, and design for easy recovery and reuse of materials. Our finishes and glues are water-based, emitting no VOCs.
BOLD Furniture warrants its products to be free from defects in materials and workmanship found during normal usage for these warranty periods: lifetime for desk and table legs and file and storage handles; twelve years for laminate products and plate and step casters; and five years for wood veneer and MDF products, drawer slides, and accessories.
Stable, Durable Base
Perforated modesty panels balance the scale of the desk, which is visually pleasing individually or in groups in a shared work area.
2291 Olthoff Drive
Muskegon MI, 49444
GRAND RAPIDS CHAIR COMPANY UNVEILS INDOOR/OUTDOOR COLLECTION AT NEOCON
Top Designer, Modernizes the Grand Rapids Chair™ Portfolio
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Chair Company, a Michigan-based manufacturer of commercial and hospitality furniture, introduces their first indoor/outdoor seating and table collection at NeoCon 2014. In collaboration with world-renowned, Midwest-based designer Joey Ruiter, the company will debut Sadie at its Merchandise Mart showroom in Chicago. This collection heralds a new era of design for Grand Rapids Chair™.
The Sadie collection, designed by Grand Rapids native, Joey Ruiter, marks the company’s first official foray into the indoor/outdoor seating market. Exhibiting Ruiter’s minimalistic approach to design and functionality, Sadie captures a modern playfulness forged from steel and complemented by wooden accents.
“Products should always be as functional as they are beautiful,” says Ruiter. “If something needs to be as strong as steel – like an outdoor chair – then we need to make it out of steel. At the same time, we have a responsibility to push, imagine and create the next version of a steel chair.”
“Our goal with Sadie was to create a chair that would look just as good inside as it does outside, allowing designers to create a seamless environment that marries interior and exterior space,” says Geoff Miller, Grand Rapids Chair
The indoor Sadie model features a high-quality steel frame, wood seat and wood back offering various upholstery options. The frame is available in a wide variety of standard or custom powder-coat colors. The outdoor version boasts a stainless steel frame, metal seat and optional seat pad, allowing for use 365 days a year.
The entire Sadie collection will be manufactured in the United States at the company’s new production
facility in Byron Center, MI. Sadie will be on display in suite 394 of The Merchandise Mart during NeoCon 2014, June 9-11 in Chicago, and will be available for order in late summer 2014.
About the Company:
Grand Rapids Chair Company has always helped our customers create spaces that look (and feel)
fresh – original, on-trend and always welcoming.
Founded in 1997, Grand Rapids Chair Company is a family business that has grown into one of America’s leading providers of seating and tables for corporate, commercial and hospitality environments. The company has built its reputation by offering superior-quality products, peerless
custom capabilities and quick lead times. Local manufacturing facilities enable the company to
maximize quality control for its worldwide customer base and contribute to a finer quality of life for its
employees and community.
Media Contact For Grand Rapids Chair Company:
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Chair Company introduces Bodie, a new line of lounge furniture designed around the user experience.
Designed by Joey Ruiter, the winner of multiple “Best of NeoCon” awards and owner of 25+ design patents, Bodie .proves that exceptional design can be made affordable.
“Bodie is a new direction for us in terms of style and application,” says Grand Rapids Chair founder and CEO Dave Miller. “But our existing customers will recognize all the hallmarks of a Grand Rapids Chair product – superior craftsmanship, remarkable durability and infinite personalization in addition to affordability.”
The line includes:
• A lounge chair in a choice of fully upholstered, upholstered front/wood back, for wood/upholstered seat-pad versions, plus two base options: five-star or pedestal.
•an Ottoman that mimics the form and material options of the chair; pedestal base.
• Personal side table, low coffee table, and work-height boat-shaped table in wood or laminate, with a pedestal base.
Lounge spaces are intended to provide comfort and support collaboration. The Bodie chair satisfies the first requirement with wide seats and an open, armless design that allows unrestricted movement. An optional ottoman offers additional comfort.
The chair’s narrow back and unobtrusive base “disappear” when in use, keeping the user squarely in focus. This enhances face-to-face communication and group collaboration. It also ensures that interior design choices drive the aesthetic of a space.
That’s not to say that Bodie fades into the background. Its clean lines and modern profiles, combined with near-infinite upholstery, finish and color options, make it a signature statement piece for any organization.
“I have always been fond of designers that ensure their designs maintain their initial vision – like when a swivel lounge returns to its original position” says Ruiter.. “It’s about making statement pieces work well while in use, and look visually pleasing and inviting when not in use.”
The Bodie Table collection-
Informal, Intimate, and Infinitely Adaptable.
Bodie’s streamlined design creates a relaxed, sociable feel perfect for spurring collaboration and engagement. A personal side table, low coffee table, low conference and standard conference height table accommodate numerous environments and tasks, while endless wood and laminate finish options allow a one-of-a-king look. Matches beautifully with Bodie lounge chairs and ottomans.
Like many of its products, Bodie is named after a member of the Grand Rapids Chair family – in this case, President Geoff Miller’s Labrador Retriever, who accompanies Miller to work every day.
Bodie is one of three new product lines debuting at NeoCon 2013, each developed by a prominent designer working for the first time with Grand Rapids Chair Company. Together with a new permanent showroom in The Merchandise Mart, these design collaborations represent the company’s expanded emphasis on the contract furniture industry.
Bodie is on display in suite 394 of The Merchandise Mart during NeoCon 2013. It will be available for order entry in September 2013.
www.grandrapidschair.com- Read Less
check out the fly through of the Neocon showroom 2012 for izzy-
Nemo Bar and Trellis
NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2012: June 11-13, 2012
The Merchandise Mart, Showrooms 11-100
CHICAGO – June 2012 – Through the years, Joey Ruiter and Chuck Saylor have dedicated untold hours to sketching out and thinking through furniture that can support a balanced approach to new styles of working and learning, both for individuals and for teams.
The result of that effort and inventiveness is being introduced to the contract interiors marketplace at Neocon 2012, with the commercial launch of the Nemo Bar and Trellis by izzy, two pieces that can function very well independently but may be even more effective and better together.
“This is step one of a continuing journey at izzy+ to create products that inspire, encourage and support the power of collaboration,” says Saylor, founder and CEO of izzy+.
“We’re lowering the barriers to communication and connection,” adds Ruiter of JRuiter + Studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a long-time collaborator with Saylor and izzy+. “People need space to develop and share ideas.”
The Nemo Bar and Trellis by izzy, both of which were shown in concept form during the two previous NeoCon shows, help create inspiring spaces for next-generation knowledge workers and learners. The Bar offers a hub for connection and collaboration, where ideas may be freely shared. The Trellis provides a sense of enclosure and privacy for one individual to several people at a time, along with options for power and technology.
Equally at home in a corporate office, college setting or airport lounge, the Bar and Trellis create a flexible environment that fosters, supports, and stimulates a free-flowing exchange where two or more are gathered, while also providing a sanctuary for semi-private work or reflection, according to Saylor and Ruiter.
The Bar is available both in counter and bar height and the tabletop surface comes in 8, 10 and 12-foot lengths to accommodate 6, 8 or 10 people. The surface choices include an array of veneers or laminates. The Trellis, both freestanding or wall-mounted, can be ordered in 20 standard configurations.
Both the Bar and Trellis are built primarily of steel and cast and extruded aluminum for maximum durability and recyclability to reduce the impact on the environment at the end of the product’s life. Customer and designers are free to specify materials to fill in the frames of the Trellis or the leg base of the Bar to make a colorful and customized design statement that can change over time. The fresh and extensive izzy+ flavors palette offers designers a plethora of choices in materials and colors.
Consistent with the izzy+ modernist design philosophy, the Bar and Trellis reflect clean and simple geometric forms. Both elements support the ideas associated with layering, change of scale and intuitive functionality. Using recyclable materials, both the Bar and Trellis strive for a balanced, organic pureness of form that elegantly fulfill the desired function of each.
Ruiter and Saylor continue to hone and develop new concepts for the Nemo collection, and several prototype pieces, including lounge seating, low benches, tables and privacy “cocoons” for heads-down work, will be shown in the izzy+ showroom space 11-100 during NeoCon 2012.
By providing some structure for informal space, says Ruiter, community is created and information can be quickly shared. “This is how learning happens today,” he says.
“Encouraged by easy access to information, transparency, a strong desire to contribute and grow,” says Saylor, “people are increasingly seeking to leverage each other and looking for inspiring places that encourage spontaneous interaction and reflection.”
With Nemo Bar and Trellis by izzy, he adds, the interactive and reflective adventure has just begun.
The employees of izzy+ (www.izzyplus.com) design, manufacture and market office furniture and seating that solve real problems for real people. The focus is to provide designers with the tools to create inspiring work spaces for forward-thinking customers in home offices and small businesses, in executive offices and board rooms, in hospitals and classrooms. Its award-winning products are marketed under the brand names izzy, HÅG, Harter, Fixtures Furniture and ABCO. Based in Spring Lake, MI, izzy+ is a business of JSJ Corporation of Grand Haven, MI.- Read Less
Getting Static Conference Rooms Moving
The development of Passport conference furniture, Nucraft’s award-winning meeting and collaboration solution, started as an open-ended question: What’s a better way to accommodate project teams in conference rooms? To find the answer, Nucraft turned to the experts: Its customers. Over the course of six months, Nucraft conducted extensive customer-site research with users, facility managers, and designers into the issues that they face every day with conference rooms. What obstacles do they face? What do they need to enhance people’s productivity, efficiency, and comfort? “We know conference rooms are in high demand and often used by different project teams,” said Matt Schad, (Director of Marketing and Business Development). “The concept of a single project team reserving a conference room for weeks or months at a time is no longer viable, because the rooms are often left vacant. It’s a waste of space. But how do we make them efficient for multiple users?” He said Nucraft didn’t draw any conclusions ahead of time, and didn’t have any preconceived notions about products. “Our goal was to define the issues up front and let that guide product development.”
Joey Ruiter: The Designer for the Job
Accompanying Nucraft teams on research visits to customer sites was Joey Ruiter, Nucraft’s choice to design the solution. “Joey was perfect for it,” said Schad. “When we have a tough problem, we always bring it to Joey because he’s such a creative thinker with a sophisticated, innovative, and elegant design sense.” Ruiter, a Grand Rapids, Michigan industrial designer, has a strong relationship with Nucraft. He’s previously designed Nucraft’s Cavara casegoods and Flow conference table. And he is gaining worldwide recognition for his ability to look at common products, like bikes, cars, and boats, in new ways that embrace today’s materials, technology, and trends. “I want to give people something they can own, or discover, or conquer,” he says. “Something that they deserve and makes them feel better about themselves.” For this project, he put the challenge this way: “What is a hard-working room today? Once we learn that, what kind of products do we want to work on?”
The Roots of an Idea
Passport designer Joey Ruiter says he drew inspiration for what a project room could be by studying Winston Churchill’s war room. After studying the Nucraft research, Ruiter started to come up with concepts for what might be a solution for conference rooms. His early sketches for the project show that Ruiter had devised the basic concepts for Passport almost immediately, which is fairly typical for the inventive Ruiter. “Here’s the secret to my process,” he said. “I start with a schematic drawing to define users’ needs and the design constraints.” To illustrate, he sketches his thinking process for a new stool he developed, starting with the measurements and angles that people require for ergonomic sitting. The simple lines and proportions of the stool logically and quickly followed, and the design was well underway. For Passport, Ruiter first considered the basic possibilities for a conference-room-size space: One table that doesn’t move; mobile tables that users can reconfigure; or a fixed table that moves. And what about the walls? How can they be used more efficiently and effectively? And then there’s storage to consider. Ideas, explorations, and sketches turned to detailed mechanical drawings and a proposal for Nucraft, whichincluded two industry-firsts that make Passport a unique and truly innovative solution.
Passport adjusts the conference room to the guests, instead of the other way around. Its unique sliding top, the first of its kind in the industry, lets users properly position the table relative to the marker surface or monitor, reconfiguring easily to solve any meeting or project need. Power/data access is designed to move with the table top, remaining fully connected in every position.
The Passport activity wall features a vast presentation/marker board with concave curves that wrap toward the audience and built-in storage for racked equipment and other items. An optional mobile display panel lets you adjust flat screen monitors horizontally and vertically while neatly managing cables.
visit www.nucraft.com for more information, images, and pricing- Read Less
Inspired by an off shore fishing reel this stool is as simple as it gets.
Too often our products conflict with each other in spaces. This stool is designed to sit perfectly well with lots of other “designery” type products. Not everything has to stand out.
material: cast aluminum
We are looking for a new supplier and manufacturer to support the Norm stool.
firstname.lastname@example.org- Read Less
A full line of reconfigurable components serves a broad range of application needs while minimizing its cost of ownership.
contract Gold award, casegoods 2011- Read Less
Floor 11, Showroom 1166
The new benchmark for technology accommodation in an elegant form, Flow provides powerful scalability concealed beneath a floating center island, allowing for simple adaptability over the life of the product.
Dewey finds fresh ways to inspire creativity and connection on campus and beyond with new cart and storage solutions
NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2011: The Merchandise Mart, Spaces 11-100 and 1150
CHICAGO – June 2011 — Dewey’s back, and this time it’s bigger, smarter — and more personal.
The collection from Fixtures Furniture by izzy+ made an impressive debut at NeoCon 2009, when an award-winning portfolio of tables, benches, bookcases, lecterns and help desks was introduced as a fresh approach to the future of learning and teaching. Dewey took another leap forward at NeoCon 2010 with the addition of the celebrated and versatile Dewey 6-Top Table for spur-of-the-moment gatherings all over campus.
This June, at NeoCon 2011, the Dewey collection expands from the classrooms to the commons to the media labs and libraries to the professor’s office space. Dewey’s adding an array of storage and filing options, along with a privacy screen that transforms a Dewey table into a hard-working desk. The Dewey Connection Cart completes the 2011 enhancements to the collection, a mobile stand that encourages idea sharing in and out of the classroom.
“Dewey has redefined and reconceptualized the classroom over the past few years, and now we’re rounding out Dewey as a more robust answer for imaginative open-workplan areas and private offices and meeting spaces,” said Brandon Reame, the Brand Manager for izzy+. “We’re continuing to grow and demonstrate Dewey’s adaptability and its thought leadership throughout all learning environments.”
The new Dewey storage elements include a mobile pedestal file that features an open bin for briefcases or backpacks, as well as bookcase-based doors and drawers to neatly hide files and personal items in new configurations.
“It’s the same kit of parts, with more functionality and flexibility,” Reame explained. “It’s reconfigurable, freestanding, modular furniture which allows us to swap out shelves with different storage components.”
The Dewey Connection Cart incorporates storage elements along with a shelf beneath its whiteboard display. The cart also can accommodate up to a 40-inch flat screen monitor for digital and video display. The stand is designed to enhance connections among learners and workers in a variety of applications.
“It brings technology and a collaboration surface right where it needs to be,” Reame said.- Read Less
Concept vignettes by Joey Ruiter at izzy+ explore deeper meaning of collaboration and inspiration
NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2011: The Merchandise Mart, Spaces 1150, 11-100
CHICAGO – June 2011 – Joey Ruiter of JRuiter + Studio calls it a search for “a tone or a vibe” within a physical space. Chuck Saylor of izzy+ describes it as a quest to provide meaningful places for inspiration and effortless collaboration.
The duo’s shared vision continues to sharpen and develop and a number of new or refined concept pieces will be on display in the 11th-floor showrooms of izzy+ during NeoCon 2011.
The vignettes include quiet alcoves with arbor-like elements, a 12-foot standing-height bar for impromptu meetings, and a grotto that includes sofa-like lounge seating within a semi-enclosed aluminum arbor structure that gives definition to the space.
“We’re designing to lower the barriers to communication and connection.” explains Ruiter, who launched the experimental exploration with izzy+ three years ago. “We’re not thinking about the corner office and wood paneled walls, anymore. People need space to develop and share ideas, along with need for solitude at times.”
The project, code-named Nemo, creates three distinct collaboration zones: extrovert, social and private.
Saylor, the founder and CEO of izzy+, notes that the Nemo experiment “all revolves around explorations into the characteristics of the places that encourage and support collaboration, inspiration and reflection. When you ask the question, ‘Where is the most inspiring space you go to think,’ no one says, ‘My cubicle.’ They respond with answers like, ‘My beach house,’ or ‘The library,’ or ‘Under the tree in the park.’ “
By providing some structure for informal space, says Ruiter, community is created and information can be quickly shared. “This is how real learning and real work happens today,” he says.
Saylor says the time is right for this exploratory project. “We see the emergence of a new social culture being formed within work and learning places,” he says. “Encouraged by easy access to information, transparency, a strong desire to contribute and grow, people are increasingly seeking to leverage each other and looking for inspiring places that encourage spontaneous interaction and reflection.”- Read Less
Congress style table without the legs to hinder seating applications-- Read Less
*gold award winner, Neocon 2010, technology- Read Less
New concepts by Joey Ruiter at izzy+ invite people to explore social dynamics, energy of third space
Why the kitchen island is such a draw, and how posture changes interaction
NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2010: The Merchandise Mart, Spaces 1150, 11-100
CHICAGO – June 2010 – How do you structure the unstructured space? Good question. That’s why the izzy+ team asked designer Joey Ruiter to conceptualize how people connect at anchor destinations within a lobby, commons or student union.
Two unusual concept pieces during NeoCon at the 11th floor showrooms for izzy+ explore the answers, inviting Chicago visitors to test and provide feedback on third space.
The first concept draws you into a small alcove composed of a table, seating and an arbor-like ceiling resembling woven branches, where you might spend an hour, thinking or talking privately to others, recharging your energy in reflective solitude.
But when you have 15 minutes to check the scores, recharge your phone or debrief after class, head to the second concept piece. You can’t miss this 24 foot bar-like structure, capped off with a semi-enclosed seating area. The entire product creates three distinct collaboration zones: extrovert, social and private.
“We’re designing to support a culture of relevance,” says Ruiter of JRuiter Studio. “People need something to gather around, to share ideas and confidences, or to be alone while they’re standing next to someone else. These two concept pieces show how informal space builds community, where information is shared quickly. And it’s where real work and real learning take place now.”
izzy+ Founder and CEO Chuck Saylor is excited about the “concept car” conversation. “This is experimentation 101. It’s another stage of our research on how people act and use space for collaboration and personal reflection, and how we can best support them,” he says. “Why do you naturally rally around a bar, or kitchen island? In the five stages of posture, from sleeping to standing, the stand-up aspect is so intriguing. The body is completely engaged. Your inhibition is low and your energy level is high. In contrast, in the arbor setting, there’s an element of mystery and intrigue. Who’s in there? Who are they with and what are they saying?”
Mixing open and intimate spaces helps explore threshold barriers, says Ruiter. “How do you decrease these barriers? That’s the idea of a bar-height lounge,” he says. “When you sit in a restaurant booth up on risers, it’s more comfortable when people walk by. You have a visual connection to others but you’re not in their space. Can you mix complete privacy with complete openness? We do it all the time today, in the subway, in a stairwell, sending emails from the cafeteria. Converting that idea into physical products is a new idea.”
The employees of izzy+ (www.izzyplus.com) design, manufacture and market office furniture and seating that solve real problems for real people. The focus is to provide designers with the tools to create inspiring work spaces for forward-thinking customers in home offices and small businesses, in executive offices and board rooms, in hospitals and classrooms. Its award-winning products are marketed under the brand names izzy, HÅG, Harter, Fixtures Furniture, Zoom Seating and ABCO Office Furniture. Based in Spring Lake, Mich., U.S., izzy+ is a business of JSJ Corporation of Grand Haven, Michigan.
Debbie Goode, 616.847.6539, email@example.com
Clare Wade, 616.644.1090, firstname.lastname@example.org
Outdoor seating ready for all weather conditions.
This sofa traces tradition tufted seams, cracks, and buttons, in powder coated steel. Water, dirt, and grime, won’t find their home here.
laser cut steel, formed and welded. available in many colors
74” wide x 35” deep x 28” tall- Read Less
Neocon 2009 Gold Award
The best learning tools don’t just accommodate new teaching styles. They also inspire better approaches. That’s why Dewey by Fixtures Furniture, a complete collection of ready-to-roll tables with power/data troughs, mobile storage for wireless technology and freestanding bookcases, is listening, learning and leading in design for today’s and tomorrow’s learning environments.
Leading means listening and learning first. During Dewey’s development, instructors from leading universities and community colleges helped evaluate its design and functionality. These focus group discussions inspired secure storage, reconfigurable class settings and technology-enabled furniture – including the iPod-ready teacher’s station, the Helpdesk.
Think social networking. Dewey’s tables, teacher’s Helpdesk, Lectern and Buddy help level the playing field for students and instructors with function, approachability and scalable power options. In particular, the teacher’s Helpdesk features easy access to technology and power connections. Its inviting soft urethane edge topography intuitively illustrates how the teacher-to-student classroom has morphed into collaborative learning that’s more peer-to-peer.
“On the bus, in hallways, and in stairwells – it’s outside of the classroom where the real learning takes place,” says Joey Ruiter of Jruiter Studio, designer of Dewey for Fixtures Furniture and izzy+. “With Dewey, these things happen naturally because of the intricacies of the design. The top and underside urethane edge of the teacher’s Helpdesk edge is very approachable. You won’t know why you’re more comfortable approaching it, but you just are. On the surface, the Dewey collection is clean and basic. But underneath, as you peel away the layers, it gets more involved.”
With aluminum frames and legs, and solid and wood-grain laminates, Dewey features more than 20 percent recycled content. Designed for minimal impact on indoor air quality, it has powder coat finishing and PVC-free components. No welded parts ease product breakdown for reuse.
“As a result of our acquisition last year, izzy+ is fortunate to offer our customers
Dewey as part of the Fixtures brand, a well-established name in the higher education
market,” says Chuck Saylor, chairman and CEO of izzy+. “Dewey is influenced by
today’s mobile, wireless technology, which you can see manifested in the integrated
teacher’s station. Dewey is also based around the Socratic nature of learning, a
shared interactive knowledge and leveraging of each other’s ideas and experience.
The timing is right for Dewey. And we’re excited to work with designer Joey Ruiter on
Opening June 15, izzy+ showroom 1150 at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago hosts
an entire space devoted to the learning market, showcasing the Dewey learning
collection by Fixtures Furniture. Architect design firm Perkins+Will created the newly
http://fixturesfurniture.com/dewey/- Read Less
SIMPLE, AFFORDABLE CHOICES FOR UNIFYING A SPACE
A mix of private offices and open plan workstations? Nothing brings a consistent look to both types of workspaces better than Intent furniture. That’s because Intent is designed to be compatible with Vivo® interiors. The same parts that come together to form desks and storage in private offices can join with Vivo walls in workstations.
Thoughtful design and smart engineering let you combine Intent’s concise set of parts into everything from a single or double-pedestal desk to returns, credenzas, and hutches. Whatever the form Intent takes, its parts come together with a few simple tools. That makes assembling and rearranging Intent easy and straightforward. With Intent, you have the choices needed to tailor furniture to match the way an individual works. And those choices are very affordable. A variety of materials options as well as multiple leg options let you scale Intent furniture’s price to match your needs. Which makes Intent very easy to own.
From the innovative Articulating Table, to the glass & wood stationary tables, media consoles, visual products & benches, Neos delivers a family of hard working, value-oriented products for a wide range of applications.
A cube with a dynamic,flexible seat that expresses itself from every perspective. Swank is a statement about comfort and convenience through simplicity in form, and brevity in material use. It’s designed for a wide range of applications: team spaces, lounge areas, project rooms, and reception areas. The integrated shelf below the seat is an intuitive and convenient place for all the stuff we seem to carry along with us these days.- Read Less
Neocon 2008 Gold Award
In the era of the incredible, shrinking 401(k) comes the amazing, shrinking office. Neos saves the day with a U-shaped station and a bevy of storage compartment sidekicks. Fit for use either as an executive open workstation or as a private office case good system, it has double-height overhead storage cabinets, high and low wall partitions, a single-pedestal desk, wardrobe compartment, and an 18- or 24-inch-wide tower. It is available in FSC-certified wood, with 75 percent rapidly renewable content and up to 80 percent recycled content. It comes in 18 wood finishes with clear, anodized aluminum hardware.
Moment, a collection of contemporary occasional tables, benches and consoles. The collection incorporates mitered corner joints for crisp, straight lines on the top and outer edges that contrast with soft curves on the underside, creating a dynamic visual interplay. The signature element of the tables and consoles is a back-painted ½”-thick glass top featuring optically clear glass to allow the true color of the painted underside to shine through.
“The Moment collection was designed to blend the natural warmth of wood with the bold, reflective nature of glass for a unique, contemporary aesthetic,” says Joey Ruiter, designer of the Moment collection. “The piece began by incorporating soft curves on the undersides of the support structure, reminiscent of the curves found in turned or hand-carved furniture, and combining that with crisp, straight edges on all outer surfaces. When combined with the shimmer of the back-painted glass, the end result really pops!”
Moment’s breadth of offering provides solutions for a wide range of needs. The Moment collection of tables are available in square and rectangle shapes in two heights, providing a simple yet flexible offering suitable for most settings. The Consoles feature an adjustable glass shelf and two storage cabinets, which make them a perfect solution for anything from food service to technology accommodation. Finally, the bench offering includes a large Island bench designed to accommodate multiple users in a single piece. Individual cushions and an optional power & data device in the center of the Island bench offer both aesthetical and functional flexibility.
Nucraft quality sets Moment apart.
Moment’s handcrafted artistry is enhanced by Nucraft’s modern high-quality manufacturing processes, which are used to produce fine wood furniture. The product meets or exceeds BIFMA durability standards and is backed by Nucraft’s 10-year warranty.
“Moment is a very progressive contemporary design while being both elegant and timeless,” says Bob Bockheim, Nucraft’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “The combination of soft curves and sharp, clean lines in the wood pieces creates a simple, minimalist structure that can work well in a variety of settings. When you add the iridescent qualities of the back- painted glass, the result is very striking. This product was designed specifically for customers who appreciate a mix of materials in clean, contemporary forms.”
Tiro features a clean, minimalist aesthetic and is ideal for creating large or small gathering places in lobbies or corridors.
the collection features a modular motif based on a lightly-scaled steel frame complemented by a mixed use of painted and veneer surfaces. “The goal was to be flexible enough in the design that the furniture would fit in most any architectural environment,” says Ruiter. “Using a thin, yet solid steel frame, we were able to provide a simple, clean support structure for all the pieces.”
All tables, consoles and benches in the Tiro collection are available in numerous sizes and shapes. The surface material offerings are many, and include a wide variety of veneers and paint options, along with custom finishes. Taking advantage of this combination of materials provides striking aesthetic alternatives. Coordinating table lamps provide accent lighting within the same aesthetic.
The handcrafted artistry needed to create Tiro is enhanced by Nucraft’s modern high-quality manufacturing processes, which are used to produce fine furniture of aesthetic integrity. The product meets or exceeds BIFMA durability standards and is backed by Nucraft’s 10-year warranty.
“This is a practical yet versatile product,” says Bob Bockheim, Nucraft’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “The reasonably priced Tiro occasional table collection is at home in any environment, which in today’s ever-changing surroundings means it can move with you as your company changes and grows.”
Founded in 1944 and based in greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nucraft is a privately held manufacturer of high-quality wood furniture for conference and training rooms, lobby and reception areas, and private offices. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at HYPERLINK “http://www.nucraft.com/” www.nucraft.com. Nucraft was recently recognized with the West Michigan 2005 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For award.- Read Less