Bright and delicate colors, spaces for relaxation of great stylistic refinement, seating built with ergonomic padding, very light chairs and connected furnishings: the revolution of workspace, on view at NeoCon 2019, narrated by Lew Epstein, General Manager of Coalesse, and Andrea Cañada, Sales Director of Viccarbe.
Sales Director Viccarbe
What is Viccarbe’s vision into contemporary workspaces?
When it comes to conceiving collective spaces, it sometimes seems as if kindness has been forgotten. The durability of a product has always taken precedent over comfort. However, the constant search for warmth and distinguished processes, has, on occasion, also given us novel and deeply thought-out products. Our characteristic ‘Designed in the Sun’ concept promotes collaboration both in work and residential spaces. Cooperation and creativity don’t find any border in the furniture industry; and that’s why our Mediterranean philosophy has helped us to be a reference in this segment.
What are the new products that Viccarbe presented?
Viccarbe has presented this year new designs devised by Mario Ferrarini, Ramos-Bassols, and Víctor Carrasco. The Quadra chair, created by Italian Mario Ferrarini, has been originated as a tribute to the delicate details, lines, and tools of architectural drawing. Ferrarini’s new design is a convenient option for projects that require excellent functionality and durability over time (educational spaces, coffee shops, meeting rooms, homes…), and can additionally be stacked in large quantities. On another hand, the characteristic comfort of the collection extraordinarily has taken form in the new Copa chair, with curved and overly enveloping lines, created by the Spanish duo Ramos&Bassols. Maarten Plastic symbolizes Viccarbe’s venture into polypropylene: a particularly durable material that is more adaptable to the user’s movement, capable of complementing the Viccarbe collection from a use and function point of view. This new version of the chair designed by Víctor Carrasco maintains the rhomboid-shaped seat that is characteristic of the family.
Can you talk about your partnership with Coalesse?
In Summer 2017, Coalesse officially partnered Viccarbe for offering our entire portfolio to the contract market throughout the Americas – as the Viccarbe Imports Collection. However, the relation between both brands has existed for more than a decade in the design industry, thanks to a complementary aesthetic and sharing a mutual attention to quality. During these last years, Viccarbe has represented a key ally in regards the ancilliary portfolio of Coalesse. The result has been the creation of commercial environments with a comprehensive range of products for outstanding brands such as Linkedin, Dropbox, McDonald’s, Disney or American Airlines.
Important names in the design world collaborate with Viccarbe. What are the new entries?
The last introductions have been developed by the hand of the Italian designer Mario Ferrarini, the Spanish tandem Ramos&Bassols and Viccarbe’s Founder, Víctor Carrasco. All of them have thoroughly worked on Mediterranean values, shaping three new chairs: balanced, warm, and free of unnecessary accesories.
What is the most important element into Viccarbe’s products?
Viccarbe’s products range could be described as a calm, human and practical collection. We don’t believe in trends, but in conclussions.
What are your customers?
We can affirm that the contract market (office, healthcare and educational) represents more than the 80% of the projects we develop around the world. Our customers look for new, innovative ideas to inspire collaborative spaces; a certificated quality that achieves both proper implementation and comprehensive user safety, a responsible production and a competitive pricing at the same time. In conclusion, they look for that same balance we try to reach everyday with the creation of timeless furniture pieces.
General Manager Coalesse (Steelcase brand)
What is your vision for the future of workspaces?
To me everything is an evolution. It is rare that there is something radical that happens in the workplace, we have seen a shift from being very cubicle centric to being more open and more residential and having more social spaces. This is evolving over a decade. It’s a matter of envisioning what the goals are for the workplace. If we look at where we are, this showroom is a mirror back to the workplace. It’s more social and more residential but there still needs to have performance to support the body and your physique for different durations in different types of meetings. People are still working even though up and down and moving around. Understand the behaviors and their activities in order to problem solve. People want to be sitting down low in lounge chairs and also be in high stools to be more active. High sit tables or adjustable. All these choices are part of a great recipe. There is a great influence of biophilia in the workplace and that is important. The natural affinity for nature. This can be seen through integrating greenery. Through patterns of nature in textiles, carpets. Or using certain colors. Or replicating natural light. This opens up a new world for planting companies. This will emerge and their role will be beneficial. This is exciting.
How do you choose new colors for Coalesse’s collections?
In Coalesse there is a very natural palette. Coalesse started in California and the light in this landscape is very different and unique. It is the way the light moves through the mountain, seaside and of course the great bridge. Nature offers so many hues, but we do not find deep saturated primary colors. It always has to be muted. Grey is actually the modifier to many colors.
Any new designer collaborations?
We are very selective with whom we partner with because the relationship is long-term. We want to partner with those that complement our portfolio and also create something new. The best example is the newest with Nanimarquina from Barcelona, a rug company family run. We love that they have a reference to craft as do we. Dividing a soft round plane is a way to ground our furniture. They add color, texture and form to complete the setting of our furniture. It really complements and enriches with their colors and biophiliac patterns. The outcome will be launched in the fall: 7 different patterns each with 5 color ways.
Can you talk us about your collaboration with Viccarbe?
It has been going on for 11 years. Began with localizing the manufacturing for some of their designs for shorter lead-times. We both share our product road maps with each other. This shows trust. Very close collaboration and partnership.
What new products are you presenting at NeoCon 2019?
Some of the new Nanimarquina rugs, and MoreThanFive table – designed by the Coalesse Design Group and Michael Young – made out of cast iron on the other hand can be quite heavy. It can transform into a square top or round top table. Marien 152 is a seating collection designed in collaboration with Arik Levy, a chair inspired by the home but engineered for workplace: the back cushion has a flexible membrane for support, perfect for long meetings. Invisible but very performing. Coalesse presents also the new palette for LessThanFive chair designed in collaboration with Michael Young and made entirely of carbon fiber that weigh less than 5 pounds but can support a person over 300 lbs.
The collaborations for the future – companies and designers – are…?
I can’t name names. We have a very talented design studio in Munich but we bring in designers because maybe they see the problem differently. It’s an opportunity to have a relationship and collaborator that you get along with and respect. Also partner to find solutions. You need to complement me and I need to complement you. When we can help your idea be better and you have a fresh take on things, we are happy to collaborate.