Technology in Design


Technology in Design

by Dehne Sibbernsen

My final trend post from NeoCon 2017 focuses on new and improved technologies used in architecture, design and digital fabrication (specifically product design).

Herman Miller and Steelcase showcased their new technologies and how they relate to the ever-changing landscape of workplace design. Each focused on different aspects and outcomes for new technology enabled-workspaces.

Herman Miller introduced their smart chairs and desking system called Live O/S that track your movement of€“ how frequently you stand, sit, or stretch. This is yet another example of the growing focus on employee wellbeing in the workplace. Think of it as a FitBit, but in furniture form.

Steelcase introduced their virtual reality (VR) module – a joint collaboration with Microsoft to create an apparatus where the user can wear a 3D VR mask that controls their experience through a handheld controller (similar to a gaming controller or joystick). The mask provides a 360 degree view of the virtual space and the joystick allows you to move through the space. Below is an image of me using this amazing technology. This will be an extremely useful tool that will allow clients to experience spaces before they’re built!

Testing out VR at NeoCon

With the advancement of technology in design, I began to think of other ways in which technology can serve as a catalyst for design change. Last year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the fashion exhibit Manus X Machina featured a series of Chanel tweed suits arranged in a row. An original suit fabricated in the 1960’s showed the traditional way of weaving the iconic suit. Juxtaposed next to it, was a suit 3D printed and showcased at the Chanel Fall-Winter 2015/16 show.

Chanel women's suits

This began to pose the question, what if we were able to 3D print textiles for upholstery in a commercial setting?

It would definitely be interesting to see how textile companies and mills will begin to integrate and adapt these new technologies to their manufacturing processes. It would be fascinating to see a whole line of 3D printed contract-grade textiles at NeoCon 2018!


Dehne Sibbernsen

Dehne Sibbernsen is a New York-based designer in HOK’s New York studio, and is sharing with us the trends he spots at NeoCon 2017.