BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Gensler is the world renowned design firm. West Elm is the trendy home furnishings firm whose commercial business - West Elm Workspace with Inscape - brings contemporary residential sensibility to the modern office.
The two have partnered to launch at NeoCon 2017 the Conduit System, an office system the pair say offers flexibility and choice in its configurations. The debut also represents a commitment, say West Elm and Gensler, to collaborate and harness industry research to meet the needs of the changing workplace ecology.
“From our initial conversations with West Elm it was clear that we shared a vision that held game-changing opportunities for the workplace,” said Andy Cohen, Gensler’s co-CEO. “Because our design solutions are rooted in our industry-leading global workplace research, we can deliver designs that support how people do their best, most productive work at the office.”
A cornerstone of the Conduit System’s development was the comprehensive research findings from Gensler’s proprietary series of global workplace surveys including the 2016 U.S. Workplace Survey and West Elm Workspace’s research directed by Plastarc, a social research and design consultancy. Gensler’s Workplace Surveys found that individual control of one’s workspace—no matter how open—is a key contributor to employee satisfaction, performance and innovation. Concurrently, West Elm Workspace’s research identified the need to address the total well-being of today’s office employee, creating environments and product solutions that benefit the worker’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
West Elm Workspace has opened a satellite office on near the Mart, at 444 W Lake Street, Flr 47.
“The Conduit System is a truly flexible office solution that addresses today’s workplace trends by creating unique user experiences and combining functionality with warmth and versatility,” said Catherine Schwartz, senior vice president of West Elm Workspace. “It has been an exciting opportunity to partner with Gensler and tap into their expert knowledge of workplace design and ‘in the field’ experience.”
The Conduit System is the realization of this research – distinctive residential sensibility that meets stringent commercial standards. With the Conduit System, West Elm Workspace and Gensler have landed upon unique design elements and features including:
Flexibility: The ultimate space planning solution, Conduit System allows organizations and individuals to create environments for both concentrated work and cross-functional collaboration and congregation. The system provides options to help clients temper visual and sound disturbances in this age of the open office plan.
Configurability: Its highly configurable components allow businesses to design branching systems with versatile work zones as well as the ability to reconfigure the same product suite into traditional benching layouts with ease.
Residential Sensibility: A unique combination of mixed materials offer choice in a variety of styles and design aesthetics—from brass detailing with modern influences to a spectrum of fabrics, textiles and work surfaces in both laminate and veneer.
Power: The wholly integrated Power Wall helps create workspaces untethered from fixed power alternatives while a robust electrical connection under the work surface minimizes the number of plugs running to the wall from the desk. The Power Wall’s top rail serves as a universal bracket system that allows the Conduit System to grow and change over time with the addition of accessories such as shelves, lighting and coat racks.
Enhancements: Integrated enhancements permit customization such as freestanding carrels that create zones for concentration without posing a visual distraction. The carrel allows users to focus on work near his or her desk with the option to move it to another location, putting the user in control of their work environment. Additional enhancements include height adjustable work surfaces and privacy screens that address a user’s desire to personalize his or her workstation.
The complete Conduit System is on view at NeoCon 2017 in Chicago June 12-14 at the West Elm Workspace with Inscape showroom #11-91 (Merchandise Mart). A temporary offsite location near the Mart, 444 W Lake Street, Flr 47, will offer a comprehensive look at the West Elm Workspace with Inscape 2017 products and solutions. For more information on the West Elm Workspace with Inscape and Gensler Conduit System visit and follow @westelmworkspace on Instagram.
Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY since 2002, West Elm opened its first store in DUMBO, the neighborhood it still proudly calls home. With a mission of harnessing the power of design and human connection to enrich lives, everything West Elm does is designed to make an impact in everyday life, from creating unique, affordable designs for modern living and commitment to Fair Trade Certified, from LOCAL and handcrafted products to community-driven collaborations and events. The brand operates 99 retail stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK, ships internationally to customers around the world and operates stores in Mexico, the Middle East and Philippines through unaffiliated franchisees. In addition to home furnishings retail, West Elm operates West Elm Workspace in the commercial furnishings industry and announced its expansion into the travel and hospitality industry with the launch of West Elm Hotels. West Elm publishes the blog Front+Main and is part of an active community on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. West Elm is a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands.
Inscape, an award-winning designer and manufacturer of office furniture, has been initiating change in workspace design for the past 125 years. With an emphasis on quality, innovation, technical design and unparalleled delivery and service, Inscape has been consistently awarded for its design, including 4 Gold and 1 Silver Best of NeoCon Awards at NeoCon 2014, North America's largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors. Inscape collaborates with leading European partners and manufactures their designs in North American facilities. Their systems, storage, seating and wall solutions delight users, foster agility and empower technology in the workplace. Flexible and designed for sustainability, Inscape products enable easy customization and readily adapt to keep pace with changing needs in the workplace. For more information visit
Gensler is a global architecture, design and planning firm with 44 locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work and play more inspiring, more resilient and more impactful.

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