1997 A TURN TOWARD TECHNOLOGY
When asked if there was a moment when he
realized his namesake brand would have a
long-lasting legacy, Nienkämper recalled the
VOX conference table which debuted 21 years ago.
“One of the biggest changes came about when
we had a job in Dallas to provide a boardroom
table,” Nienkämper said. “They wanted the
connectivity with embedded power, which almost
didn’t exist in those years. We worked very
diligently to provide that. I think it took us 18
months to come up with a solution that we called
VOX. That was a big turning point for our business.
I think we were the only ones in those years who
had this, and it made an enormous impact. It
created a whole new side business for us. We’re
now making more than 1,000 boardroom tables
every year on account of that development.”
1997 TO PRESENT LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Although the Nienkämper brand enjoys a legacy and its
products—somewhat ironically—are sought after by antique
dealers, the company isn’t resting on its laurels. “I always
think one of the most important [aspects of the business] is
keeping up with the technology,” Nienkämper explained.
“I think that drives furniture design most. I’m always worried
that the [information technology] people will start designing
furniture and that’s why I always say, ‘Keep up with the technology because that always leads to new things in design,
and certainly makes things better than they were.’”
However, progression doesn’t come without drawbacks.
“I think of the history of the brand,” he continued. “Midway
we became so involved with technology that it took us away
from the early years. It is still rewarding; it drives the business
now. I’m actually amazed every time I go to our design
department and see how many new technological inventions
have come out.”
The iconic Nienkämper LolliPOP
tandem seating design.