Beyond New Products, OFS Returns To Neocon Elevating Equity in Design

Beyond New Products, OFS Returns To Neocon Elevating Equity in Design

by Aaron Estabrook

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, October 4, 2021 — At NeoCon 2021, OFS is unveiling its support of a new program, Design Your World, from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and After School Matters to increase equity and diversity in the interior design industry. OFS is the presenting sponsor of the pilot program, a six-week deep dive into commercial interior design for high school students. The program provides the opportunity for diverse groups of people to come together and create spaces that are inclusive of everyone. The company is also launching products and materials to support a changed world, as well as continuing to focus on its initiative towards corporate stewardship.

Elevating Equity In Design

As part of a long-term commitment to introducing a diverse community of students and emerging professionals to design through learning and engagement, OFS’ role in the IIDA Design Your World program went beyond sponsorship. The company provided a real-world look into a potential career pathway for a designer, allowing program participants to embark on a field trip to its Chicago showroom and hear from OFS leadership through a panel discussion during the program.

On Tuesday, October 5, at the grand staircase in the Mart, IIDA will exclusively present a video highlighting the first Design Your World program and its impact, with a reception to follow.

“We really focused over the last year and a half on a commitment to advancing the design industry beyond the products we make, and more through programs and people,” said Ryan Menke, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at OFS. “Our own Doug Shapiro and Imagine a Place have stretched our minds and engaged, entertained, and educated our community through meaningful programming and content. We’re incredibly proud of our unwavering support of IIDA’s new Design Your World program and its significant impact.”

OFS and program partners, IIDA and After School Matters, with additional support from 3Form, Mannington Commercial and Configura, are building a framework for future regional expansion to create more educational design opportunities with equity at the source.

New Products For New Work

Located in Suite 1132, OFS’ showroom will display its new products and materials. In support of its soft architecture and You+ adaptable approach for dynamic spaces, OFS will unveil enhancements to its 2019 NeoCon Best of Competition product, Obeya, as well as personalized workstations, tables, lounges, stow away baskets and refreshed surface materials, including textiles, laminates, stones, powders, and paints. The OFS portfolio supports shifts that organizations and individuals will navigate as the workplace continues to evolve, helping to create environments that offer a wide variety of solutions to ensure each and every aspect of a space is considered, as well as the individuals that utilize it. The company wants to be able to iterate, not prescribe, with the spaces and people in them to be at their best from a sense of purpose-filled work, well-being and belonging.

“This year, our showroom illustrates the adaptability of soft architecture, an approach that responds to the rise of hybrid work and a more flexible lifestyle. Soft architecture enables the ability to deconstruct the confines that lock us into permanent situations and provide us the freedom to make choices as we observe the actions of employees and the way they utilize space,” said Molly Prior, Director of Marketing at OFS. “The goal of our new products is to contribute to better experiences while fostering confidence, belonging, and connection at a time that’s largely unpredictable.”

And, OFS will continue its commitment to #ProductsNotPrototypes, where everything it introduces at NeoCon is available for order and delivery in the company’s standard lead time.

Obeya: Through the richness of wood, Obeya’s design was intended to simplify and define space. The latest Obeya additions, designed by Webb Associates, include new free-standing walls and a 120° angle-joint, enabling a host of new configurations, including hexagonal rooms, future-proof space division, and more flexibility to simplify and define space.

Staks: Pam Light and John Duffy envisioned furniture that could match the imagination — stackable, customizable, with options for texture, pattern, scaling and more. With the introduction of new details and options, Staks is the perfect solution to meet people where they are and support them to do their best work.

Tote: Designed as an accessible, mobile storage solution that can come with you when you need it, Tote allows for flexibility and functionality, while still maintaining a personal touch. Or, when stationary, Tote can keep workplace essentials nicely tucked away.

Sofy lounge and chair: With a sleek metal base, angled back, beautiful stitching details, and opportunity for textile contrasting and customization, Sofy was designed to complement and inspire the spaces it lives in, offering several options from a guest chair to a sofa lounge.

Rowen pull-up table: Rowen was inspired by architecture and landscapes, imitating sleek lines, natural materials and a sense of lightness and poise. Designed by Brian Graham, the Rowen pull-up table was crafted to meet people where they’re at — a lounge area, a pop-up café space, and more. The thin, faceted leg evokes a sense of clean design, while the butcher block surface provides a flexible workspace.

Teardrop: Following Hex lounge and Strap occasional table, Teardrop is the third product from designer Morten Nikolajsen of Mohoni Studio to debut this year. True to its name, the rounded-shell back mimics the shape of a teardrop, while the arm and base options add flair. Available in guest or stool heights, Teardrop can be customized with pops of color, warm accents of wood, and sophisticated textiles.

Tapas: Tapas is ideal for indoor cafés, outdoor patios, and entertainment spaces. The angular frame contrasts the soft, rounded edge details to mimic naturally occurring curves in nature, representing balance and stability. Tailor Tapas with options for solid surface, veneer, or a laminate top.

Materials Matter

Materiality, texture, color, and biophilic elements are the foundation of OFS launching over fifty new surface materials at NeoCon 2021.

These introductions include 28 new stones, 11 new textiles, 6 new laminates, 4 new powders, and 2 new paints — all crafted to create products that will stand the test of time. Roam and Allure, two new textile patterns, incorporate 31 and 22 bottles of recycled plastic per yard of fabric respectively.

Additionally, the company has continued its journey in transparency and pursuit of a responsibility towards environmental stewardship, including a push towards Health Product Declarations (HPD) certifications for its products and putting trees in the ground one-at-a-time, as well as at scale through partners.

“Since we last met in Chicago, OFS and Carolina have completed HPDs on a handful of products in its portfolio,” said Jarod Brames, director of sustainability at OFS. “We will continue to add more HPDs throughout our product series as we pursue our sustainability goals and low carbon transition plan.”

Products with HPDs include OFS’ Staks, Pulse, Impulse, Applause, Intermix, Genus, HB, Bistro, Heya, Coact, Flexxy Guest, Wyre, and Carolina’s Voyage.

Through One Tree Planted, the company has also supported the planting of over 100,000 trees in at-risk forests throughout North America in the last 20 months.

For more information on OFS, please visit


OFS is a family-owned contract furniture manufacturer dedicated to crafting experiences and products that contribute to places where people want to be. Founded in 1937, OFS provides furniture and logistics solutions for office, healthcare, education, lifestyle, hospitality, government, and home office markets worldwide, offering seating, tables, casegoods, and open plan products. The brands, Carolina and Bryan Ashley are OFS companies. OFS is based in Huntingburg, Indiana.

OFS Press Contact: Chris Piedmont FrazierHeiby 614.702.2130