Concept vignettes by Joey Ruiter at izzy+ explore deeper meaning of collaboration and inspiration

NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2011: The Merchandise Mart, Spaces 1150, 11-100


CHICAGO – June 2011 – Joey Ruiter of JRuiter + Studio calls it a search for “a tone or a vibe” within a physical space.  Chuck Saylor of izzy+ describes it as a quest to provide meaningful places for inspiration and effortless collaboration.

The duo’s shared vision continues to sharpen and develop and a number of new or refined concept pieces will be on display in the 11th-floor showrooms of izzy+ during NeoCon 2011.

The vignettes include quiet alcoves with arbor-like elements, a 12-foot standing-height bar for impromptu meetings, and a grotto that includes sofa-like lounge seating within a semi-enclosed aluminum arbor structure that gives definition to the space.

“We’re designing to lower the barriers to communication and connection.” explains Ruiter, who launched the experimental exploration with izzy+ three years ago.  “We’re not thinking about the corner office and wood paneled walls, anymore.  People need space to develop and share ideas, along with need for solitude at times.”

The project, code-named Nemo, creates three distinct collaboration zones: extrovert, social and private.

Saylor, the founder and CEO of izzy+, notes that the Nemo experiment “all revolves around explorations into the characteristics of the places that encourage and support collaboration, inspiration and reflection.  When you ask the question, ‘Where is the most inspiring space you go to think,’ no one says, ‘My cubicle.’  They respond with answers like, ‘My beach house,’ or ‘The library,’ or ‘Under the tree in the park.’ “

By providing some structure for informal space, says Ruiter, community is created and information can be quickly shared.  “This is how real learning and real work happens today,” he says.

Saylor says the time is right for this exploratory project.  “We see the emergence of a new social culture being formed within work and learning places,” he says.  “Encouraged by easy access to information, transparency, a strong desire to contribute and grow, people are increasingly seeking to leverage each other and looking for inspiring places that encourage spontaneous interaction and reflection.”


About izzy+

The employees of izzy+ ( design, manufacture and market office furniture and seating that solve real problems for real people. The focus is to provide designers with the tools to create inspiring work spaces for forward-thinking customers in home offices and small businesses, in executive offices and board rooms, in hospitals and classrooms. Its award-winning products are marketed under the brand names izzy, HÅG, Harter, Fixtures Furniture, and ABCO. Based in Spring Lake, MI, izzy+ is a business of JSJ Corporation of Grand Haven, MI.


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