National Office Furniture making strides in Social Responsibility & Sustainability

Woo hoo for National!  They recently released their 2011 CSR Report (Corporate Social Responsibility Report).  We at Business Environments are happy to represent such a fine company.

You can read the whole thing here:

Here are a few highlights:


USGBC Indiana Chapter, Southwest Branch

Did you know there is a USGBC branch in southwestern Indiana?

Yes, there is!  It was formed back in May of 2009 and has been a growing presence ever since.  I am now part of the steering committee and am really excited to be involved.

Today the branch is hosting a webinar for LEED ceu credits.  Check out the details here:

You can now find updated information about the branch here:  Including the names and email addresses of everyone on the committee.

AND you can like us on facebook!

Indy Airport | LEED

Indiana might not be on the forefront of sustainable building and architecture, but there are a few bright spots here and there.  One of the them is the “new” airport in Indianapolis.  I’ve had the pleasure of attending a couple presentations about its designa and the art program for the terminal–such interesting stuff!  I loved hearing about the concepts behind the design decisions and then being able to actually experience them as a user of the site and space.   It’s been a year or so since I sat in those presentations, so I might not remember the details exactly right, but there are few things that stuck out to me.  The first is the approach to the terminal.  The curves and grade levels are very intentional about revealing views as you progress.  The second is the art program.  I love it!  There some limestone pieces on the wall just behind the checkout counters that kept me occupied for quite a while.  And I am totally, utterly in love with the mosaics and glass pieces.  Did you know that those colored glass panels are actually glass fused within those curtain walls?  I believe they were produced in Germany.  Amazing!  The third is the simplicity of wayfinding.  The terminal is very easy to understand and move around in.

Back in May there was a news release about the LEED certification of the Midfield Terminal campus.  Even better!  Here is the full release as seen on the Green Business Network:

Although the features recognized by the LEED certification provide an enhanced experience for visitors and employees and support their well-being,they also add great value through measurable efficiency gains in energy,fuel,and water usage. In fact,the investments in sustainable design recognized by LEED certification will more than pay for themselves through substantially reduced aircraft fuel usage and cuts in terminal campus energy and water usage. (emphasis is my own)

We can only do better from here!

Anatomy for Interior Designers

You never know what you will find when you look in the nooks and crannies–and bookcases–of a design office.  I found this gem the other day and had to crack the cover to compare it in my mind to the books that I became so acquainted with while in design school.  Anatomy for Interior Designers by Julius Panero, Illustrated by Nino Repetto.

Anatomy for Interior Designers–1962

Here is the intro for the section called “The Business Office”

The Business Office

The popularity of the office party is so great that it is often no longer confined to Christmas. Clerks, stenographers, salesmen, executives, and even accountants are finding more and more opportunities for getting loaded together.  It is perhaps for this reason more than any other that, as office space becomes dearer, each individual worker, while forced by circumstances to be nearer his neighbor, needs the modern equivalent of a bundling board to separate himself as much as possible from the neighbor.  This is clearly because (a) The chasee of the previous night does not want to have to listen to the excuses of the the chaser (particularly if the chaser was caught); (b) The chaser wants to be able to get away and hide until he or she thinks up a good excuse.

We are not absolutely certain that manufacturers of furniture and equipment have recognized all the nuances arising from these activities but our measurements will help designers arrange units in logical ways–to provide the proper party atmosphere when occasion demands.  No-one need worry about whether the furniture or equipment functions for work and play; our office worker community is quite original in the art of adaptation.

If you want your own copy, you can get it on Amazon:

Designer Meets Chair

Meet Ryan; website designer, owner of VisualRush, super cool guy, looking to improve the 90% of his work day spent sitting at his computer with a new ergonomic task chair.

Two most important requirements?   Must look cool.  Must take care of current back pain and legs falling asleep (definitely not cool.)

I know that there are tons and tons of options, but I was surprised when he actually wanted to delve into them. Most people find them tedious.  As we went through the list of options, I found answers and information to help us choose the best one.

At the end of the road, we chose the Mitos Chair from Kimball Office-Interstuhl.  I think I am  just as satisfied with our choice as he does!  I mean, this chair is super cool.  And it seems to be a great fit.

Here are some of the particulars that we scrutinized and features of the Mitos that really seemed to fit the bill…

  1. It looks cool. With the ice grey mesh back, chrome frame and sleek design, it just. looks. cool!  The mesh back comes in two colors: the ice grey and black.  Most people choose black.  In this case, ice grey was definitely the way to go.  It says designer.
  2. The mesh back is supportive and breathable.  Ryan came in to this knowing that he wanted a mesh back option.  After a few hours in his previous chair, he noticed his back feeling hot (maybe even a little sweaty?).  The mesh on the Mitos allows air flow, and it is also a really well made, quality material.  Mesh backs are a popular option for chairs these days, but not all are created equal.
  3. The seat adjustment fits long legs.  As Ryan sat at his desk working, his legs would fall asleep.  Not a major problem in the short term.  But long term, this isn’t healthy.  Plus, it’s uncomfortable.  What he needed was some adjustment in the seat depth.  Some chairs have seats that slide back and forth to create more or less depth.  On the Mitos, the front end of the seat sort of unrolls to create more length.  This keeps Ryan’s spine aligned with the seat back and lumbar support.
  4. It’s got “Transmotion.”  There a few different mechanisms that you’ll see in the world of task chairs.  But this one is different (and patented by Interstuhl). Transmotion allows the body to be supported as it moves in the chair.  “Mitos is like taking a seat in a whole new feeling. A feeling of floating in gentle movements, of letting every movement discreetly bounce, swinging smoothly.” ( “Dynamic sitting” is very ergonomic and especially helpful for those sitting for long periods of time.  With this mechanism, the entire seat moves in an arc-shaped curve to the rear and downwards.  This changes the angle of the seat to the back at very specific ratio.

The Mitos chair was designed by Andreas Struppler for Interstuhl. Interstuhl is a german company that focuses on seating and ergonomics.  They have partnered with Kimball Office to bring their products to North America.

Check out Interstuhl’s user guide for the Mitos which includes some tips about the best way to sit. 

Tuohy Now Available at Business Environments

Elegance Works.

TUOHY: An international design and manufacturing company,
committed to bringing elegant and productive solutions
to workplace environments. BoY 2011 Winner for Xpect-II.

Xpect Collection

Xpect Collection

Edo side and swivel

Ribbon modular lounge seating