There was a pleasant surprise at the Izzy+ showroom at NEOCON this year. I happened to run into Joey Ruiter explaining his new office concepts to a group of visitors. The two projects, Arbor and Grotto, are variations on a theme. You could call them "office huts" perhaps, or maybe "work pods," but Izzy seems to have settled on "Nemo." Whatever you call them, the two projects provide semi-private zones within the open office environment. Although they might seem like variations on an already well worn theme, they have some really nice moments that set them apart.
Arbor, essentially two really tall, green sofas with a wood lattice sitting on top of them, forces people to duck as they enter. This mostly symbolic action is meant to provide a sense that you are entering into another space, even though visually you are still connected to the larger environment. Grotto, Arbor's cousin, provides a more enclosed space. The inside surfaces of the enclosure are lined with a tack area, allowing people to pin things up and personalize the space. Running through Grotto is a super long work table supported only at each end. This allows furniture to be positioned anywhere along its length creating several different zones which sponsors multiple activities happening at one table all at the same time.
Both projects offer a fresh take on the problem of the open office environment. More photos after the jump.