26 INTERIORS & SOURCES AUGUST 2015
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F.I.R.E. Planning Software
Like we said, this team wasn’t just interesting in launching a furniture line. They wanted to change the conversation. “It’s about how we bring it to architects and designers, and
how we speak to them and help them visualize this to their clients,” said Stelter.
Inscape plans to do so with 20 design labs dedicated to the implementation of West
Elm Workspace, set to launch around the country by NeoCon 2016. But more importantly,
designers will be able to come into these labs and work with Fully Integrated Resource for
Enterprise Management (F.I.R.E.)—a planning software that can illustrate the collection
within a project, translate that into programs such as Configura or Autocad, and then revert
the layout back into a system that prices the job. It’s a complete streamlining of the purchasing
process from envisioning to specification, orders, and follow-up.
To learn more, visit www.inscapesolutions.com.
This collection is getting the strongest reaction
from customers, especially tech companies, note
both Brett and Stelter. While many small upstarts
and newer tech and design companies have bought
direct from retail (and still will to some extent, Brett
admits), West Elm Workspace entices them to
engage directly with the contract market, thanks
to the comfort their name provides and a very
transparent pricing structure with only a few tiers.
The Industrial collection represents a utilitarian
workshop style, with warm oak finishes set on steel
frames, and shelving systems and casegoods that
feature deep cabinets and drawers. Workstations
within this line have built-in storage.
The Modern line delivers a much more sleek form with its mix of white laminate
and natural wood base. The wood softens it, said Brett, and it’s those little
design details, added onto simple forms, that bring warmth to a space, and
are very much at the core of how West Elm designs their products. Modern is
also one of the brand’s biggest aesthetics next to Industrial. It features curved
edges and swivel seating that also allows for a big focus on functionality and
a seamless flow between workstations, lounge areas, and breakout spaces.
This is essential for collaborative cultures that thrive on a sense of community,
which can either be turned on or off depending on the task at hand.
“Collaborating is exhausting,” laughed Brett. And while the West Elm
personal office culture relies on it, he acknowledged that people need to
be allowed to work in different ways. “Many [furniture] solutions today are
designed for rigid work cultures,” he explained. But the Modern line is a good
option for a client who needs, well, options.