Personalities  27.07.2015

Burkhard Remmers, Wilkhahn

Wilkhahn

Work and lifestyle on the cutting edge. In discussions with contemporary figures we review the assertions, clichés and ideals which circulate around work envi-ronments. On this occasion we chat with Burkhard Remmers, spokesman for the German furniture manufacturer Wilkhahn, about ergonomics, motion and office trends.


Wilkhahn specialises in the design of high-quality, ergonomically designed chairs and related furniture. What developments have you observed in the last few years? What have been the noticeable trends and most important innovations in the world of work, and how has Wilkhahn responded to these?
Working cultures change much more slowly than people generally think. A good example is the paperless office, which people have been predicting for over 20 years now. It is only now that the internet allows us to work practically from anywhere that the paperless concept has gained real practical relevance and led to a decrease in demand for storage furnishings. It is important to distinguish between narrowly focused, often marketing-driven fads targeted to a very small minority and actual long-term trends. Digitisation with smart technologies is one of these trends that has an impact on all of our lives. It is exciting to see smartphones, tablets and related technologies being brought out of the world of consumer electronics and into the office — even with the related security concerns and the headaches for staff in IT departments. A second trend is related to this first one: the boundary between a person’s private life and their job has grown murkier. This in turn leads to a demand for offices to be more in tune with the way people live, warmer and more liveable. Furthermore, these new technologies, and the changes they have brought in terms of how and where people work, have forced people to rethink the key strengths and competences when it comes to office buildings. These have increasingly become places for communication and cooperation, especially since focused individual work can theoretically be done anywhere you like now. And this means, too, that it is all the more important that people come together in one place for cooperative work.


It is unhealthy to spend too much time sitting down. In spite of this, we spend hours every day sitting in front of our computers. What should a good office chair provide to prevent the user from developing back pain?
We have spent the last five decades researching this very topic and transform what we have learnt into constantly updated product standards. Back in the 1970s, the first Wilkhahn study advocated a transition “from stationary sitting to mobile sitting”. Since then, it has broadly been recognised that a lack of active physical movement plays a role in almost all illnesses associated with the developed world. On the other hand, when it comes to micromotor work, sitting is an absolute necessity in ensuring the concentration and efficiency required. And finally, sitting, along with standing and lying down, is a basic natural position for our bodies to take. It is not the fact that we are sitting that is the real problem, it is how we are sitting.

Bene News  03.06.2015

True Economy Forum 2015

True Economy Forum

On May 29th, leading corporate representatives, innovation experts and startups came together for the 2nd True Economy Forum. Amidst them: VerVieVas @ the Bene Nice Wall!
Once again we had the chance to accompany inspiring keynotes by amazing speakers live on stage with Graphic Recording on our continuous frameless interactive Wall.

The True Economy Forum 2015 transformed the top floor of the Vienna imperial palace into an executive academy for corporate-startup-collaboration. And that is exactly what the agenda was all about: Amazing keynotes, interesting workshops and various networking opportunities brought startups and established companies together! In order to capture all the profound experience of the speakers, a VerVieVas creative-team (Alexandra Brenner & Fridolin Brandl) accompanied them throughout the day with graphic recordings on the Bene Nice Wall live on stage.

Bene News  28.05.2015

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015

Clerkenwell Design Week 2015

Office Trends, Inspiration, New Working Environments, Communication, Creativity, Innovation

Thank you for visiting the Bene London showroom during Clerkenwell Design Week. It was great to see you!

With so many new products, trends and ideas being presented this year, there’s bound to have been something that you missed. That’s why Bene have teamed up with graphic facilitators Scriberia; to capture some of the festival’s key themes on the Nice Wall powered by We-inspire.

Throughout the week, Scriberia created a rich and evolving digital tapestry of the festival experience - incorporating visitor suggestions, insights and quotes. Download the full mural here to see their results.

 25.03.2015

Bene Office Maker: experience the ideal office!

Bene Office Maker

Bene is publishing an innovative online tool to design office environments: The Bene Office Maker (officemaker.bene.com) is a new online application that makes the design of office spaces delightfully easy.

When you start planning an office space, you may quickly find that it’s much harder than you initially thought it would be. What does a modern office actually do? What needs to be considered? And how can an office space perfectly support a company’s culture and processes?”

This is why Bene developed the Office Maker, a handy online tool to offer support in the initial phases of office space design. The Bene Office Maker is a digital tool that enables a conveniently easy visualisation of office settings. The online application just asks a few simple questions about the user’s company, work methods and workflows.

 23.03.2015

225 years of Bene - a short company history, Part 2

225 years of Bene

Bene celebrates its birthday. Founded in 1790 by Michael Bene as a small carpentry workshop in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, the company has now , 225 years later, 80 subsidiaries in 37 countries. 225 years of family history, 225 years of office history, 225 years of Bene history. Happy Birthday Bene.
 

Part 2: The Bene Logo

Most people, especially in Austria, connect the Bene Logo with so-called "Bene-folders". True connoisseurs of the brand, however, know that these folders have only little to do with the core range of the office furniture manufacturer Bene. Why then are these two logos so similar?

 16.03.2015

Thinking like a designer

PARCS Toguna

Solving problems and creating innovation are desires shared by EPUs, start-ups and companies with hundreds of employees in any sector. But how? That's the question that "Design Thinking" tries to answer in a holistic way.


Design Thinking? Never heard of it? Probably not quite true. Even if the term initially brings up only question marks, all of us will have had something to do with Design Thinking - maybe without even knowing it. Workplaces have changed drastically in recent years. It's not only the internet that has opened a vast number of new options - especially with regards to cooperation and co-creation , team and project related work is frequently the topic for discussion - but also in the "analogue" world. If you add to this: innovation, interdisciplinary nature and user oriented design, then you get pretty close to what Design Thinking is.
 

What is it?

Let's start again from the beginning: Design Thinking initially simply means to "think like a designer". That is, to use the methods which (industrial) designers use in their work and to apply it to other areas. The term is probably most often connected to the Californian company IDEO, who first marketed the Design Thinking system and uses it themselves. Flat hierarchies, project related team work and creative courage are part of a normal day in the office at IDEO - a core task of the company is to also teach this to others.

 06.03.2015

225 years of Bene - a short company history in ten parts

225 years of Bene

Bene celebrates its birthday. Founded in 1790 by Michael Bene as a small carpentry workshop in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, the company has now , 225 years later, 80 subsidiaries in 37 countries. 225 years of family history, 225 years of office history, 225 years of Bene history. Happy Birthday Bene.
 

Part 1: The name Bene

in 1790, when Michael Bene founded the small carpentry workshop in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, he most likely did not expect that this business would still exist 225 years later at a scale which was hardly imaginable back then .

The carpentry workshop was extended more and more over the years. In 1951, the business switched to industrial production and instead of household furniture, it switched to business only office furniture. In the 1980s, the company started its internationalisation by Manfred Bene, the owner at the time. He is on the supervisory board of Bene AG today and still connected with the company.

 18.02.2015

Bene goes Australia: Schiavello is new dealer partner

PARCS © Bene AG

Schiavello is the leading Australian designer and manufacturer of interior office environments, specialising in high-quality, dynamic office solutions. The company sets the bar extremely high in terms of design and workplace research, making them the ideal partner for Bene. "Bene is known all over the world as an expert in office design, and its solutions meet the varied requirements of its customers optimally", says Belinda Joyce, Partnership Manager at Schiavello. "We are convinced that with our outstanding customer service and Bene's extensive product range we can create decisive added value for our customers."

As a trendsetter in the sector, the Bene brand stands for continuous development and top-quality office design. In the fall of 2014, Bene restructured its sales organisation into three channels (‘direct selling', ‘project business' and ‘dealer business'), and since then it has concentrated on selected international markets with above-average growth potential. The focus of the sales activities is on innovative, brand-driven customer groups.

 07.01.2015

German Design Award for Bene: CUBE_S

CUBE_S

Once more Bene's design quality and innovation power has been endorsed with this design award. The workstation program CUBE_S received the German Design Award 2015 Special Mention by the German Council for Design. Form and function convinced the jury. This is already the third design award for CUBE_S. Last year, the program received the red dot design award and the Interior Innovation Award.

The German Design Award is the international premium prize given by the German Council for Design. Awards go to high quality products and projects in product and communication design as well as to design personalities and young designers who are in pioneering in their field within the German and international design landscape. The aim of the award is to recognise, present and award unique design trends. A competition that moves the design scene forward and highlights great design skills of the participants. The German Design Award is also highly regarded by the business world and the public. This is due to the renown of the organiser, the Council for Design, which has represented German design for the past 60 years and supports the business world skilfully and vigorously in all design aspects.
 

Premium prize for design quality

The high calibre international jury evaluated a total of 2,250 submissions. The workstation program CUBE_S by Bene received the Special Mention award for particular design quality. This prize honours work with especially successful design aspects or that offers great solutions.

 25.11.2014

The labyrinth of innovation

Bene AG

The word "innovation" has maybe left its worst or best times behind - it depends on how you look at it. It has lost its buzzword status, i.e., its ability to impress simply when mentioned. In recent years it has been too frequently used by the business and advertising world in order to present a product, idea or process in a better light than others. The adjective "innovative" as it is often and happily used today is characterised mainly by one thing: its positive connotation. We meet this word frequently in our daily lives and it may even get on our nerves - after all anyone who ever had to do a project application may have been asked to demonstrate the innovation in their idea. Yet, innovation means renewal - after all that's what the word really means - and we interpret this as progress.
 

And why shouldn't we?

It could be that the people who are currently setting the pace in media, business, politics and advertising and therefore influence such connotations. It does not matter if they have been in their career for only a few years or are at the end of their professional life. All of them have seen a dramatic bandwidth of great innovation or at least have information about it and are benefiting from the fruits of these achievements in our most recent history. Even someone who is only 20 today can remember a time before Facebook and smartphones. Large parts of the population can remember what life was like without the internet and the opportunities it offers today. Put into this context, the positive charisma of the word "innovation" becomes even clearer. It is hardly surprising that technical developments which make our (working) life easier are met openly and positively. After all, we receive great benefits from them. However, it does take a certain time for the long term effects to manifest. Technical advancement can also have downsides - data monitoring, drones, weapons made in 3D printers for example. All of these are phenomenons which are not directly the fault of the innovation per se, but still a possible result.

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