What makes a design NeoCon-Gold-worthy? Joey Ruiter should know.


What makes remarkable design so clean, simple and straightforward that its discreet, understated nature makes it perfectly elegant, engaging and awesome? For globally acclaimed designer Joey Ruiter, it is design that meets everyday needs in surprising ways.

Take something as iconic as a bicycle, a desk or a chair. Does it have to look like the picture in our brains? Joey relishes the rethinking. How could a classic product be reimagined, reconfigured, with only the most essential elements? Most important, the new design has to be something we like. A lot. The thing you’d grab first or reluctantly part with last.

Working with Joey Ruiter, we know we’ll always end up somewhere entirely, delightfully new.

For all those reasons, we are proud to introduce Sylvi – a new modular lounge collection that Joey designed for izzy+. Today, Sylvi was awarded a 2015 Best of NeoCon Gold award, presented by Contract.

Sylvi is the perfect lounge collection for the way people work today, in different places and in different spaces. She’s smart, affordable – and remarkable in her ability to play well with others.

Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes look at the design process for Sylvi, from Joey’s perspective:

  • Challenging criteria: “The (izzy+) Nemo bar worked well with the trellis. We needed a lounge with it. It’s kind of the garage sale approach. It shouldn’t have to match but it goes together. It should be timeless. It shouldn’t say 1980 or 2015. It had to be and feel modular. It needed to be a light scale and look like you could pick it up.”
  • Sweet spot: “We went back and forth with different iterations, but the sweet spot for Sylvi is being something that you’d want to take home. It’s something covetable that wasn’t prescribed for a specific building or institution, but still works in those spaces. We wanted something that felt like more than just office furniture.”
  • Designer’s delight: “The cleanability for contract furniture is a huge deal. It needs to work for fabrics that are fun for designers. Thick. Thin. Stretchy. Not stretchy. Sylvi uses the best yield for the yardage, like a carton. Designers can use range of fabrics to make the space pop.”
  • No-surprise privacy: “The backers are panels to create spaces. It feels like it’s coming over on you like the hallways in Star Trek. When you’re inside, it wraps around a little bit. Height is key; you know when someone’s behind you. No surprises. We learned that from the trellis concepts for izzy: how open office and privacy worked. Credit to izzy, Chuck Saylor and Allison Roon to accept those as learning opportunities. Many companies don’t take the time to do that.”
  • Comfort trifecta: “We played around with how long it should be comfortable. In the automotive industry, it’s 8 seconds. There’s lots of debate on that and we’ll ask potential customers these questions. Looks comfortable, looks awesome and is comfortable – that’s the trifecta.”

Sylvi modular lounge collection_izzy+_overhead