NeoCon 2019: Best of Competition - OFS Obeya Architectural Product
Neocon is always an exciting time of the year, with the buzz of new products and the excitement surrounding trips to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. This year when I
stepped foot into the OFS showroom in Chicago, it felt like a family home – not a Neocon commercial furniture showroom! There was residential style wallpaper, wood
wainscoting, an antique fireplace, penny tiles at the entrance and various oil paintings hanging on the walls. With an 83 year history as a family business, it only made
sense that the showroom would honor our company roots and celebrate the welcoming and homeful feeling known to OFS by blending the lines between commercial
Our most popular item of the showroom is a new product called Obeya, which is a stunning architectural structure that truly embodies OFS in showing craftsmanship,
sustainability and the true authenticity of wood. Obeya is unique in that it celebrates the beauty of real wood with a combination of plywood, hardwood and veneer
married together on a curved wood post. I loved seeing people’s reactions when they were shown the cross section of the wood frame where all three wood types come
together, and how each post was unique due to the natural wood imperfections and variations.
With the majority of today’s workplaces being open plan concept, Obeya grew out of the need to easily reconfigure open spaces and create spacial division to
accommodate the various ways we work. It sets the tone for collaboration and concentration areas using the beauty of wood that is so important in creating
character, harmony and authenticity.
The highlight of Neocon was to be in the showroom when OFS was presented with the coveted Best in Competition Award for the Obeya product in the Best of Neocon
awards by Contract Magazine. Shouts, claps, and happy squeals could be heard echoing through the showroom and up and down the 11th floor halls. It was so
special for the company because OFS has never received an honor like this, and it was done by focusing on what we do best – homeful wood products – in a unique
and relevant application. I think it shows that nature and biophilia are not just a trend, but something that can be embraced and celebrated in innovative new ways.
It’s fun to be part of a genuine hardworking company that made a big splash at Neocon.
Best of Competition winner OFS Obeya is a wood framework that brings people together for privacy and community. Image courtesy OFS
Best of Neocon Gold – Contract Magazine
Best in Competition – Contract Magazine
HiP Award – Interior Design Magazine
Maria VanDeman is the South Florida District Sales Manager for OFS + Carolina. Her background in office and healthcare sectors gives her a passion for improving the built environment and work spaces. Maria's attention to detail and spacial instincts ensure successful projects and client experiences. Her mission and belief is that every person love what they do and love where they work.