Wilkhahn and Teknion Collaborate to Harness Synergy
At a press conference in the run-up to NeoCon in Chicago on June 9, office furniture manufacturers Wilkhahn from Germany and Teknion from Canada announced their future partnership. From January 2020, Teknion will be manufacturing the AT office chair range and the Occo multipurpose chair range under a licensing agreement and sell the ranges via its sales channels in North America under the Wilkhahn AT and Wilkhahn Occo brand names. As a result, Wilkhahn will be able to target these two ranges at more customers on the North American continent. Teknion will also be able to use the ranges to strengthen its own portfolio with well-designed, high-quality products.
And it’s not just in Europe that the new Wilkhahn AT office chair sets standards, it’s already received prestigious awards in the US. The combination of Wilkhahn’s patented Trimension®, which encourages healthy three-dimensional dynamic sitting, with superb design has already made it an Architectural Record Editor’s Choice and the renowned Interior Design magazine pronounced it Best of the Year 2018 in the task chair category.
The comfortable Occo multipurpose chair with its distinctive design has also garnered similar accolades. Products from both the AT and Occo ranges are ideal in large quantities for furnishing projects. The collaboration will add to and increase the manufacturing and logistics capacities and Wilkhahn sales channels in North America. Alongside its own sales team, a selected dealer network in the US and Canada and regional sales reps, the Teknion showrooms and Teknion dealer network will also market the AT and Occo ranges in North America beginning early next year.
Founded in 1907, Wilkhahn, a German family-run company, has been doing business in the US since the 1950s. Initially it operated via an import company called Hanseatic Furniture, then went on to collaborate with manufacturers and, in 2007, founded its own subsidiary Wilkhahn Ltd. with showrooms in New York and Chicago. The office chairs, meeting and conference furniture are considered benchmarks of German-made design throughout the world. Alongside the groundbreaking functionality, durability and first-class design of its products, 30 years ago, Wilkhahn established ecological responsibility as an equally important corporate goal and made its name as a multi-award-winning pioneering company for exceptionally sustainable solutions. Wilkhahn enjoys an excellent reputation with the North American architecture and design community due to its consistent development of design models of modernism of the type nurtured by the Bauhaus and Ulm University of Design.
Dr Jochen Hahne, grandson of the family-run company’s founder and president of Wilkhahn since 2000, therefore firmly believes both partners will benefit from synergy. “We’re delighted to be partnering with Teknion, a leading international designer and manufacturer of office furniture, and I’m confident that this collaboration will provide both brands with enormous opportunities for greater market penetration in new areas. Teknion and Wilkhahn complement each other very well and, as family-run companies, both have strong traditions and similar values: distinctive design, exemplary innovations, durable quality and an unshakeable commitment to sustainability. Together we’ll be able to offer our customers even more value in many large architectural projects.”
The collaboration will allow Teknion to expand its North American seating portfolio. For David Feldberg, president and CEO of Teknion, the collaboration is a perfect fit with the company’s core values. “Wilkhahn’s pioneering office seating is internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest. For Teknion, this new venture enables us to bring two of Wilkhahn’s new innovative, dynamic seating designs to our clients. It’s also an honor for us to partner with a company that, like us, places a great emphasis on design innovation, ergonomic excellence and sustainability.”
Teknion showcased both ranges at the NeoCon contract design trade show in Chicago from June 10 to 12, 2019.