Kimball Office: Stepping Big
Kimball Office has stepped out of its comfort zone and launched a new surface materials platform.
It's a bold move for the venerable commercial furnishings line--a complete repositioning that consolidates its design aesthetic with a coordinated and easy to navigate program that will be gradually rolled out as new finishes materials--paints, laminates, and wood--evolve. All is taking place under the talented direction of Perkins+Will design principals Eva Maddox and Eileen Jones and their team of designers.
Eileen describes the primary objectives of the project as beginning with sustainability--an effort that seeks to reduce Kimball's footprint. Other goals include setting a 10-year life expectancy to assure designers that their selections won't become obsolete, which is, by the way, also very sustainable; integrating all the product lines--seating, systems and casegoods--into an integrated platform and supporting the Kimball brand throughout all markets.
The rollout begins with the just-introduced Vision collection of more than 70 panel and seating fabrics, developed with an unusual collaboration between Kimball and four fabric houses, Maharam, Carnegie, Knoll Textiles, and Mayer. The vendors were selected because they offer leadership in sustainability and design.
Kimball and the P+W team, which also included Chris Youssef, a materiality expert, set sustainability criteria and looked for vendors that have demonstrated green leadership and commitment. Eileen discussed the difficulties a number of vendors have experienced during the recession with their supply chains. She shared that some vendors were rejected because they didn't have the product to meet our sustainability requirements or were having trouble with deliveries. "We looked at an array of textile suppliers and selected the best of the best," she said.
Most of the textiles are made from recycled polyester or rapidly renewable materials such as cotton and wool. Nearly all of the fabric lines meet Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) Indoor Advantage certification, and some have achieved McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) Cradle-to-Cradle certification. The collection includes 19 healthcare-specific fabrics, which offer a variety of options with antimicrobial, bleach-cleanable, and moisture barrier attributes.
"Kimball Office wanted to ensure this was a successful collection," said P+W design principal Eva Maddox. "By turning to the industry's great textile resources, they have been able to develop a relevant and fresh surface materials platform that meets the needs of a wide range of audiences."
We'll be eagerly watching for the next phase of the rollout. Nice work, Kimball.