Work – A Project by Vitra at Orgatec 2016

2016.0919.Events.Vitra at Orgatec.Work

From 25 to 29 October 2016, Vitra presents the project ‘Work’ at Orgatec in Cologne – showcasing innovative concepts related to the title theme in a dedicated exhibition hall. Aiming to foster a holistic vision of workplace environments, the Swiss furniture manufacturer has invited selected design, architecture and technology companies to share the exhibition space. Together with Vitra, they convey a multifaceted picture of today’s working world with an array of products, spatial elements and furnishing concepts.

‘With new technologies allowing us to work anywhere at any time, the end of the office has been predicted time and again. Yet the office still has not disappeared. Why is that? Because the need for direct, real-world exchanges and interactions remains unabated – and is even on the rise with the growth of virtual applications.’ Nora Fehlbaum, CEO Vitra

The ‘Work’ project is conceived as an inspirational environment for architects, designers and decision-makers. In contrast to conventional exhibition formats with discrete stands and separate presentations by each company, ‘Work’ affords visitors a comprehensive perspective. Together with selected partners, Vitra will utilise the entire space of Hall 5.2 to demonstrate the manifold aspects of workplace environments.

‘Work’ is encircled by a ‘horizon’ of five-meter-high fabric panels. This horizon serves as a backdrop for the exhibition and recalls a film set illustrating various times of day from sunrise to sunset. The chronological sequence of a working day is depicted, along with the different time zones we occupy while performing our jobs.

The spatial layout of the hall is organised like a ‘city’. It functions as an open marketplace of like-minded yet diverse companies. In the centre of the hall, Vitra explores various scenarios of day-to-day office life. The partner presentations are situated along the main axis. A café and plaza with the installation ‘Social Sculpture’ by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec complete the concept.

‘Work’ has been conceived by Vitra in partnership with the London-based architecture studio of Pernilla Ohrstedt and the Los Angeles office of the designer Jonathan Olivares. Ohrstedt is well known for interactive spaces and installations, and an unusual approach to materials. Olivares works span industrial, space and communication design, and often exist at the intersection of these disciplines.

The Vitra Collage Office at Orgatec: exploring the varied settings and environments in which our working life plays out – across the campus, the city or the world.

Collage Office

The theme of the Collage Office takes centre stage in Vitra’s presentation at Orgatec. The Swiss furniture manufacturer understands collage as an individual mix of products, shapes, colours and materials. The Collage Office concept makes it possible to express a company’s identity in an actual, physical environment. There are as many different collages as there are people, and as many different Collage Offices as there are companies. For Vitra, the discussion does not revolve around one single Collage Office, but involves a variety of manifestations, which address the individual needs of a workplace and reflect a company’s understanding of itself in spatial terms.

In order to illustrate this approach with the ‘Work’ project, Vitra puts forth various Collage Offices; an office distinguished by its high degree of flexibility; a workplace environment for digital nomads who are virtually networked and can work from any location they choose; and a studio-like office, which serves as a home base and place of retreat and provides a constant in the ever-changing world of work.

The idea of the collage has deep roots at Vitra, defining the interior and the arrangement of its constituent parts as a ‘work in progress’ that remains open to changes and additions. An inspiring example of collage is the home of Charles and Ray Eames in Pacific Palisades. Its interior consists of a varied, lively and often surprising mix of old and new, handcrafted and industrial, technical and artistic, simple and complex, decorative and practical. The American designer Alexander Girard, the subject of the current exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum, also ranks as a master of collage.

The Vitra product portfolio provides the foundation for the planning of an individual Collage Office, with each new product giving rise to new combinations. And thanks to the logic of the Colour & Material Library developed in collaboration with Hella Jongerius, products can be mixed and matched to form an endless number of collages.

At Orgatec, Vitra’s presentation features novelties by Antonio Citterio, Alberto Meda, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, along with current design studies by such figures as Konstantin Grcic and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. The studies provide a preview of product ideas being explored by Vitra in collaboration with these designers, some of which might one day become available to end consumers.

Participating partners

Vitra’s presentation is complemented by the participation of like-minded companies. The partner companies are united in their confrontation with the constant change that is impacting all sectors of the working world. The participating partners address the ramifications of these changes on working life and present their findings as part of ‘Work’. The partners are: Archilogic, art aqua, Artek, bulthaup, Dinesen, Gantner, IdeaPaint, Kvadrat, Kvadrat Soft Cells, Laufen, Mercedes-Benz, Ruckstuhl, Samsung, Swisscom and Wästberg.


‘Archilogic represents digital innovation in communication about interior spaces and work environments. At Orgatec, we show intelligent 3D models that make virtual reality, visual computing and web technologies interactively accessible to all.’

art aqua

‘Work and nature in harmony: in conjunction with the “Work” project, we are staging hanging garden landscapes, water sculptures and much more. At art aqua, we are convinced that water and green elements in buildings have a positive impact on human beings, making an important contribution to healthy and efficient office environments.’


‘Artek has much to contribute to the design and individualisation of an open, informal work environment. We present transversal furniture that moves easily between work and residential spheres and can be flexibly coordinated as a broad-based system of tables, chairs, shelving and lightning.’


‘bulthaup stands for versatile kitchen and interior systems whose forms, functions and materials make it possible to focus on what really matters: people – with their highly individual and ever-changing needs. At Orgatec, we present our interpretation of a “watering hole” in the context of a modern, open work environment, showing how it can become a centre of communication.’


‘Dinesen is a family-owned Danish company where the love of wood and respect for nature have been passed down through generations. At Orgatec, our aim is to show how the soft texture and natural look of solid wood can contribute to an inspiring ambience in a modern office or commercial setting, whether used as flooring, wall panelling or ceiling material.’


‘Gantner system solutions fulfil complex requirements in the areas of access control, staff time and attendance, identification, entry and billing. At Orgatec, we present innovative electronic locking systems for locker rooms and cabinets as well as fully integrated access control and staff time recording solutions for the optimal organisation of modern work environments.’


‘IdeaPaint created dry erase paint with one simple goal in mind: to encourage everyone, every day to reach their creative and productive potential. At Orgatec, IdeaPaint presents ThinkTank Anywhere, an experience designed to inspire limitless options for people to collaborate in a new way.’


‘Kvadrat is the global leader in high-end design textiles, collaborating with internationally renowned designers, architects and artists. We persistently explore the aesthetic, technological and functional properties of textiles, while remaining deeply rooted in our Scandinavian design heritage. At Orgatec, Kvadrat is presenting recycled polyester upholsteries and innovative knitted curtains.’

Kvadrat Soft Cells

‘The manufacturer Kvadrat Soft Cells creates high-performance acoustic panels, setting the benchmark for sustainability, flexibility and durability. Together with Philips, Kvadrat Soft Cells presents the perfect combination of acoustic comfort and functional lighting at Orgatec.’


‘At Orgatec, Laufen addresses the topic of public and semi-public sanitary facilities and reflects on the relationship between the private sphere and shared use of these spaces. This is an issue of particular importance in office settings – especially for younger generations with a focus on sports and healthy living, who want to be able to brush their teeth or take a shower at their workplace.’


‘Mercedes-Benz presents its autonomously driving F015 and shows how the car is transformed from a vehicle into a place of private retreat. With a variable seat system on four swivel-mounted lounge chairs, passengers can use the time spent in the vehicle to work, relax or communicate. A central idea of the F015 concept is a continuous exchange of information between the vehicle, passengers and the outside world.’


‘Natural and individualised solutions – Ruckstuhl’s presentation at Orgatec features floor architecture, room acoustics and design in three dimensions for a sense of well-being in modern working environments.’


‘Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. shapes the future with inspiring ideas and technologies that improve our lives. At Orgatec, Samsung presents its SMART workplace solutions, which create connected office environments and support cooperative work.’


‘Swisscom shows the connections between interior space and technology and the possibilities for exchanging data in tomorrow’s work world. At the fair, visitors can learn about and test all the available tools in real time and utilise the booking options for workstations – both at the Swisscom stand and in the individual office spaces.’


‘At Orgatec, Wästberg offers an opportunity to experience how lighting can strike a balance between new technology and human needs and play an important role in a work-related context – as a tool for work tasks and a source of ambience.’

‘Work’, 25 – 29 October 2016
Hall 5.2
Orgatec 2016, Cologne