This company is taking a fresh approach to soft seating.
Last year at NeoCon, Allseating previewed Exchange, a modular seating system that can be configured in the four most common planning formats needed of soft seating in today’s open plan offices, including individual seating, bench seating, banquettes and open plan collaborative enclosures.
The focus then was to show off the different types of configurations in the line; in this year’s preview, they’ll be showcasing the flexibility of this unique system of modular seating components, a move they think the A&D community will find especially appealing, allowing for visual and functional continuity from reception to the cafeteria and throughout the working area. Exchange has limitless configurations, offers a range of ways to gather, with choice levels of privacy. It can also be specified with power and USB to support technology needed by today’s mobile workforce. Exchange can be configured in U-shape, straight and serpentine, among others. The large serpentine layout in the middle of Allseating’s showroom this Neocon will be a demonstration of the near endless possibilities the A&D community can create.
And the company’s fresh approach doesn’t stop there. With Exchange, Allseating also wanted to look at how they could use materials in a new and more efficient way, which led to the development of light weight injection-molded seat components rather than awkward, individually assembled wooden boxes, the traditional support structure for soft seating. Exchange is built from two-foot by two-foot square building blocks containing high percentages of recycled content to create work settings that meet the needs of today’s open plan environments sustainably and within budget.
Exchange will officially hit the market in early 2018. We reached out to Nick Gillissie, the freelance designer who worked in partnership with Allseating’s founder and CEO Gary Neil, to find out more.
How is Allseating Differentiating Itself with Exchange?
Both in how Exchange addresses the needs of today’s workplace and in how it’s made.
No other manufacturer has created a single soft seating system that addresses all of these key settings. The “why” behind this versatility is that it can be used to create visual and functional continuity from reception to the cafeteria and throughout working areas.
And no other manufacturer has taken the step of so thoroughly turning the method of soft seating construction on its head. Injection molding core components that incorporate so many useful features into a minimal kit of parts is a bold move that will profoundly affect how soft seating is: made, shipped and installed for years to come.
How will the product impact the workplace?
Exchange addresses the “why” behind one product line that does many things. Exchange includes a bench, club chair, banquettes, and panels, which when combined, uniquely support new ways of working. The system allows you to create endless configurations in an open plan, as well as privacy with the use of the paneling system. The client might like the bench, but say, “I wish you had it in a couch.” Now we will. Subsequently, if you want to match reception seating and banquette to open collaborative seating, you can do that with Exchange.
How will Exchange contribute to “new ways of working”?
Exchange supports mobility and choice, which allows flexibility in how, when and where people work. We’re seeing this swift shift from static to mobile work as technology continues to increase in power and portability. You get to choose where you’re going to work for a particular task, and being able to create a wide range of soft seating formats supports the direction the open, collaborative workplace is going.
Who was the designer of the product?
I was the one hired, but it has been a team effort. I worked with Laura Barski, VP of Marketing for Allseating, to identify the opportunities in the first part of the project. The next stage of the project was then more hand-in-glove with with Gary Neil, the company’s owner, and Tom David, design and development manager for Allseating.
When will the product be introduced?
What do you think our readers will love about the product?
I think the amount of flexibility and versatility to customize the pieces. You have a lot of ability to flex the size, the number people it seats, add or remove panels, and to change the finishes in different places. Allowing that specificity and control is something we’re all striving for in systems. Now you have to have the ability to choose exactly how you want it configured without having to sacrifice comfort or style with Exchange by Allseating.
Where can we find you at NeoCon 2017?
325 N Wells Street, Suite 210 (across from the Mart).
Will the showroom be hosting any special events?
Yes, we will have a party in our showroom on Monday from 4-7pm.
We will also be running a contest in our showroom from 8:00 am on June 12 to 11:00 pm on June 13 for a chance to win a weekend for two in NYC to spend quality time with design giant Carl Gustav Magnusson. Stop by our showroom or go to our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages for contest details and how to enter!