Blog

Designology Wellness Symposium

Written By Jane Colclasure
 
The OFS Brands Dallas showroom was the site of the first annual Designology Wellness Symposium on April 19, which also coincided with Earth Week 2017. The Wellness Symposium was conceived as a curated educational forum and a sustainable product showcase, sponsored by a group of industry reps aptly called Designology. It was a fun and educational day comprised of CEU offerings, a round table luncheon, and an interactive terrarium class. CEU topics focused on evidence-based design, acoustics, workplace wellness, and WELL building certification. Designers from all around Dallas attended to learn more about the relationship between human health and the built environment.
 
The highlight of the day was the lively lunch hour round table discussion titled The Whole Wellness Story: how to increase employee engagement, design spaces that foster social connection, and encourage occupant health and wellness. The moderator for the discussion was Kaitlin Snow, A+D Market Manager with OFS Brands Dallas. The panel members that participated were:
 
Jose Montoya, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M – Project Manager, Corgan

Angela Ramer – Design Anthropologist & Research Analyst, HKS

Melody Lenox – Vice President of Human Resources, Axxess

Vanessa Englert – WELL AP, LEED AP, Director of Product Education, OFS Brands
 
The conversation got off to a very insightful start with Melody Lenox providing her perspective on how HR professionals can encourage employees and stakeholders to embrace WELL building concepts. She stated that a key step is to ensure there are policies developed with consideration for all occupants and how they will be using the space. Once they are put in place, it is essential to educate employees on the policies and continue to evolve them as needs change. She noted that the development of such a program can be a lengthy and intense process, and you don’t always get it right the first time, so you need to be prepared to tweak the program.
 
This led to a shift in the discussion regarding the fact that design is now less “transactional” and is more collaborative. This puts the designer in the “driver’s seat” as she is now interacting with a wide variety of users, and it is essential that the perspectives of those users are accounted for in preliminary project programming. All the panel members agreed that this can be a very messy process, but is worth it in the end. Jose Montoya also noted this can help to scale the project appropriately, while also planning for future growth. 
 
Angela Ramer, providing an anthropological perspective, had some ideas about methods that might modify behavior in constructive ways. Employees may be more prone to buy into a program by using a “gamification” model which allows users to make a game out of healthy behaviors such as exercising and achieving ideal circadian rhythms. 
Vanessa Englert ended the conversation by again focusing on the role of the designer and stressed that it is necessary that the designer tie together information from all different directions: code, building systems, human behavior, LEED and energy consumption, and possibly WELL building standards. The client needs to understand at the beginning of the project the scope of what is being addressed. 
 
After the educational portion of the day, each attendee was able to participate in a succulent plant terrarium workshop led by Energy Gardens of Dallas. Everyone was able to get their hands dirty and learn about how to take care of the plants.  The Designology Wellness Symposium was so well-received, it will be held at the same time in 2018.  The topics and discussion will evolve and focus on principal-level involvement at design firms to make next year even better.
 
Questions about the development and planning of this event can be directed to Kaitlin Snow at ksnow@ofsbrands.com.
May 08, 2017 BLOG/Showroom

New Showroom, Products-not-Prototypes and You!

NeoCon 2016 is here. That 12 month period seems shorter and shorter every year. In perusing magazines and social media, there is definitely no shortage of new products showcasing in the Windy City this year. The influences of residential and all the markets we serve, including education and healthcare are melding together for an interesting context of what each day brings for an individual. You’re witnessing firsthand the proliferation of “third spaces” as organizations seek balance of focus, sharing and social interaction resulting in a slew of products that address this in varying degrees.
 
We believe that if you put people first, we all can do so much more. By actively listening and putting the needs of others before our own, true discovery will happen. In conversations with our design and distribution partners, we constantly heard their frustrations with the industry always showing prototypes and not products. Some even went so far as to say the show should move to every two years so new product launches wouldn’t seem so forced and incomplete.  
 
We saw the challenge differently and so, in 2015 all 11 collections we launched at Neocon were available to order and deliver within 8 weeks of the show.  This year will be no different.  Our 8 new collections, along with 3 significant platform enhancements, will all be ready to order and deliver in 8 weeks.
 
This is not easy to accomplish; however, it is something we felt compelled to do in response to our customers’ frustrations and needs. Our R&D product pipeline is loaded. We’re gearing up for big introductions at Healthcare Design and throughout the year. However, there is something about when a visitor in our Chicago Showroom asks us, “When is this product available to order...next year?” and we can respond with a resounding, “Right Now!” that completes our mission. This is putting people first.
 
We invite you to spend NeoCon with us. Inspiration and a hint of something new and different about OFS Brands will hit you before you even enter the space. Whitney Architects curated an elevated showroom experience befitting our focus on people and delivering a portfolio of products that solve challenges beautifully and functionally. Aptos casegoods by Brian Graham, Qove Lounge by Q Design, Preview Lighting by Tom Newhouse and Genus Seating by Roger Webb Associates are several of many collaborations bringing solutions for work, learning and well-being that address activity, culture and materiality.
 
A new showroom, new products available to order...and, most of all, our friends and family...I love Chicago in June!
 
- Ryan Menke
May 31, 2016 BLOG/Showroom

OFS Brands Los Angeles Showroom

Located in the PacMutual building in Downtown Los Angeles, the newest OFS Brands showroom speaks to both the history of the built environment as well as the culture and heritage of the brand. A collaboration with Pam Light; pL-D Studio and Klawiter and Associates allowed this truly refined aesthetic to be achieved through preservation of existing architectural elements and thoughtful selection of interior finishes. To schedule a tour and experience it in person, contact us at 310.453.0212.

 

Photography: MOD Agency

 

Feb 09, 2016 BLOG/Showroom

OFS Brands New York Showroom

We've recently refreshed our New York City showroom. Opened in 2013 and located in Midtown Manhattan, this OFS Brands showroom displays 10,000-square-feet of the latest in office furniture. The space features views of the city's architecture spanning from the Empire State Building to the Hudson River. Contact us at 212.337.9676 to schedule a tour.

 
Photography: David Christensen

 

Dec 16, 2015 BLOG/Showroom

OFS Brands DC Showroom

In 2009 OFS Brands opened our Washington D.C. Showroom at 1602 L Street N.W., in the heart of our nation’s capitol. This showroom spans over 6,000 square feet on the 5th floor of the Farragut Tower. The space features dramatic views with floor to ceiling windows supporting the idea that elements of nature enhance human performance and increase productivity. Contact us at 202.331.1063 to schedule a tour.
 
Photography: Mary Parker
Feb 27, 2015 BLOG/Showroom

OFS Brands Atlanta Showroom by Warner Summers

Located in West Midtown Atlanta's burgeoning furniture district, the newly renovated 10,000 sq. ft. OFS Brands showroom was transformed into a neutral canvas designed to showcase ideas and concepts in furniture and space planning. The addition of new windows, a glass garage door and refurbishment of the existing skylights, as well as the neutral palette, provide a warm environment resplendent in natural light. Inspired by the OFS Brands interlocking hexagon logo, the dynamic floating ceiling elements and the three-dimensional faceted walls connect the architecture of the space to both the products and the brand. Contact us at 404.231.4347 to schedule a tour.
 
Photography: David Christensen
Nov 13, 2014 BLOG/Showroom