Davis Furniture’s 2023 NeoCon Introductions

Vida Conference Table, design: Hanne Willmann. All photography courtesy of Davis Furniture

The idiom “the devil is in the details” is attributed to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to mean that even the grandest project depends on the success of the smallest components. German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe described the importance of designing even the finest elements by saying “God is in the details.”

Details matter a lot at Davis Furniture, especially when the team in High Point, N.C. begins describing a host of new products it will introduce at this year’s NeoCon.

Capas Tables, design: jehs+laub.

There’s the way the Capas table collection by jehs+laub is created from a quarter inch sheet of solid aluminum that forms the table’s surface and is seamlessly welded with curved sheets of aluminum to form the two legs.

There’s the detail in the Seba seating collection, designed through a collaboration between Davis Furniture and Sebastian Herkner, that uses a cast rigid urethane core to form a base that conceals casters that allow users to easily move the chairs around the space.

Seba Chair, design: Sebastian Herkner

And there’s the Mudra Chair by German industrial designer Stefan Diez, who animated the back of the chair using a new 3D technology where thin layers of veneer are shaped more three-dimensionally and with greater elasticity than ever before.

Mudra Chair, design: Stefan Diez

That’s just a small sample of the new products, finishes and colors Davis will introduce this year at NeoCon. Those kinds of seemingly small design details might not matter to some companies, but they do at Davis.

It’s been a busy year preparing for the show with nine new products and eight new items being added to its Elements collection, according to Rob Easton, vice president of design and development. In many ways, the 2023 NeoCon collection is the culmination of three years of hard work, projects that began during the pandemic and are just now making their way to the showroom.

Taken as a whole, the products give Davis a refreshing new look — a little softer, warmer and slightly more curvaceous than what we’ve seen from the company in the past.

Here’s a complete outline of Davis Furniture’s 2023 NeoCon introductions:

Vida Collection by Hanne Willmann. This is the first time Davis has worked with German designer Hanne Willmann (and the first time Davis has engaged a woman furniture designer). It is a good example of the design direction this year at Davis. The table uses bent steel legs paired with a thin profile top. Integrated power options are available in the meeting and conference tabletops. Vida’s occasional table features a round cantilevered surface. The small meeting option includes a drum base. The conference table option is where the design really shines as it uses both convex and concave forms to create the larger piece.

Vida round table shown with Mudra Chairs

“I view my design process as an ongoing search for sense and sensuality within design, and I utilized that approach as I worked with Davis Furniture for this initial collection,” said Willmann. “They encouraged me to bring something new and fresh to their offering while still being true to the ‘Davis aesthetic,’ and the Vida collection strikes a perfect balance between those sensibilities.”

Casen Lounge Collection by Anderssen + Voll. The Casen lounge collection is another strikingly new form for Davis, with its rounded arms and softer residential feel. It is the first collaboration between Davis and the Norwegian design studio Anderssen + Voll. The collection includes a lounge chair, love seat and sofa. While the cast and polished aluminum leg and how it connects to the study metal frame is mostly hidden, its engineering is a good example of Davis Furniture’s attention to detail. The leg almost invisibly connects to the frame and the arm, making it appear as if the arm and back are floating above the seat’s surface and the separate back cushions. Casen’s cast aluminum base can be specified in polished or more than 30 powder coat colors.

Casen Lounge collection, design: Anderssen + Voll

“As we start designing, we watch a piece take on its own personality. It’s almost like breathing life into it. Ultimately, we desire to create pieces ‘with souls’ – essentially to animate something inanimate. When we began developing the Casen Lounge Collection for Davis, we were pleased to watch its identity slowly emerge. The result is an emotionally-driven collection that’s clearly defined by unique charisma and charm,” according to the designers.

Nora Shelving Collection by Davis Design Team. The Nora shelving collection came from a showroom design element Davis Furniture created as a one-off product to define space in its Merchandise Mart showroom. The shelving unit proved so popular with designers who toured the Chicago showroom that the company decided to add it to its line, said Jeffrey Rosner, vice president of sales. Nora Shelving’s framework is created using 5/8″ aluminum extrusions that are joined by matching square connectors effectively creating an “Erector Set” product that can be specified in widths of one, two, or three shelves wide and three to seven shelves high. Nora Shelving is also available in a broad range of heights, from 22 inches to 86 inches, encouraging designers to specify the product in many ways.

Nora Shelving system, design: Davis Design Team

“The need for a modern spatial system that complemented our other Davis products while also providing an opportunity for visual intrigue became the inception of Nora Shelving. We were inspired by the clean architectural lines of our Nora Lounge Collection, which led us to expand that unique base detail into this elegant storage system,” said President Danny Davis.

Mudra Chair by Stefan Diez. Mudra is the first Davis product designed by Diez. The Munich-based industrial designer created Mudra using new state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. The result is an innovative plywood chair with a half-moon, curved back. Mudra’s form was created by using a new 3D technology in which thin layers of veneer are shaped three-dimensionally and with greater elasticity than ever before. The result is a light, flexible and stackable multi-use chair suited for a variety of applications including café, small meeting and guest applications.

Diez said: “Mudra challenged my understanding of formal qualities and functionality in an exceptional way and would not have been possible without the profound knowledge of our suppliers and an unwavering devotion to design.”

Mudra Chair shown with a Q6 table.

Cape Collection by jehs+laub. The Cape Collection is the newest modular lounge series by jehs+laub created in collaboration with Davis Furniture. Inspired by the smooth, organic forms of a garment flowing in the wind, Cape fits in a variety of modern interiors from corporate, hospitality and even residential.

“We are experiencing an exciting shift in how we occupy space,” the designers said. “The way we live and work continues to become more casual and laid back. Cape’s user comfort and dynamic form help define it, and its durability allows it to succeed in higher traffic environments like an office or hotel lobby – making it the perfect lounge solution for our current global paradigm.”

Cape Modular Seating Collection, design: jehs+laub; shown with a Cape coffee table and Nora shelving
Cape Seating shown with Capas tables and an Aki coat rack.

Zen Conference by jehs+laub. Initially released in 2016, the Zen Chair by jehs+laub quickly became a designer go-to for well-appointed offices seeking modern, minimalistic design sensibilities. For 2023, the German design duo jehs+laub released an executive and conference chair series that mirrors many of the design details of the original Zen Chair while evolving them for new applications. The result is a modern executive chair offering high levels of luxury, craftsmanship and comfort.

Zen mid back conference chair shown with an X2 table.

The designers said: ”We designed the Zen Collection to impress the most discerning designer. Its delicate language of modern, organic forms and high-quality function have been perfected to even the smallest details.”

Zen high back conference chair, design: jehs+laub; shown with a Tix Conference Table

Perle by Sebastian Herkner. Perle is an understated stacking chair series representing the third collaboration between Davis and the German product designer. Perle is reminiscent of classic European bistro chairs with slim wood backs, seats and metal frames. Herkner designed Perle to so it to furnish the needs of the next generation of café, small meeting and multi-use seating applications.

“Perle is quiet and subtle, yet beautifully elegant in its nature. It’s one of those products that’s an instant classic as it reflects upon the steadfastness of the past but equally embraces the aspiration of the future,” said Herkner.

Perle Stacking Chair, design Sebastian Herkner; shown with an Inform table.

Seba Collection by Sebastian Herkner. Seba is another collection created by Davis and Sebastian Herkner. The collection includes a chair and lounge that uses the aforementioned  cast rigid urethane core to form a base that conceals casters that allow users to easily move the chairs around the space. It is an interesting form, modern and contemporary. It was designed to fit an ever-evolving modern interior and can be easily moved from one area to another, allowing users to quickly establish impromptu meetings, casual conferencing or even space for individual work.

Seba Lounge shown with a Q6 table and Nora Shelving

“Whether it be an office, hotel or residence, the modern interior continues to evolve into something that’s less formal and more open to flexibility and casual occupancy,” said Herkner. “When designing for the Seba Collection, I explored how to meet the needs of the end-user by providing a youthful solution that was not only beautiful but also highly comfortable and easily reconfigurable.”

Capas Collection by jehs+laub. Precise engineering and highly technical aluminum welding makes the striking Capas Table possible. Designed by jehs+laub is an occasional table collection that plays with solids and voids though a flowing aluminum form. Each Capas Table transforms itself visually from light and ethereal to solid and grounded, depending on how the viewer approaches the piece.

Capas Tables shown with SoMod in a jehs+laub family photo.

“This table’s name is derived from the Spanish term for ‘layers.’ Capas is a study in combining different paradoxical design elements, and when creating this collection, we wanted to achieve something that not only could be physically layered together, as when the tables are nested, but also in a more abstract, conceptual sense such as lightweight yet strong or substantial yet slim,” according to the designers.

Elements 2023. Davis is also adding a number of accessories to its Elements collection, including the Aki coat rack by Christian Haas, Enki coat hooks by Christian Haas, Ronde by Relvaokellermann, Brella umbrella stand by Design Methods and the Nini table by Apartment 8.

Aki coat rack, design: Christian Haas; shown with a Seba Lounge and Tosca Table.
Enki coat hooks, design Christian Haas