​upStage


​​Creative.
Custom.
Personal.

This NeoCon, Teknion introduces upStage, workplace furniture that borrows the best attributes of a panel-based system and the best attributes of casegoods to create a new typology for the office that offers maximum flexibility and enriched, experience-based design at both the planning level and the level of the occupant.

“What’s different about upStage is the degree to which it offers seamless transformation and control—not to the ‘end-user’, but to people,” says Steve Verbeek, Teknion’s Vice President of Design + Innovation. “We’ve come from a perspective of efficiency, thinking about office furniture as work tools. But there is an emotive quality to it as well that is important.” ​upStage connects individual personalities and personal work styles by allowing people to manage independently their own preferences for acoustic control, visual privacy, movement, orientation, and storage—thus touching on many of the important aspects of worker well-being that are rising to the top of the most current thinking about effective workplace strategy: When workers have some degree of control over their physical environments, they feel empowered, energized, inspired—and therefore more productive.

​upStage manages the apparent paradoxes between the need for privacy and the need to be connected to co-workers in the office. It is based on a simple platform or “stage” that frees people from the constraints of a benching frame or panel, allowing them to build along horizontal or vertical planes to create layered work surfaces and multi-story volumes. An innovative structural solution, the staging unit integrates a full complement of desks, height adjustable tables, cabinets, shelves, cubbies and screens, and serves as a conduit for electrics. Every element simply moves into place and fits together, offering innumerable combinations for a dynamic and collaborative workplace.

“It does not require a tremendous amount of assembly,” notes Verbeek. “​upStage is more like Lego® blocks, with layers of elements that we place upon, beneath, or adjacent to the stage. They are easy to rearrange and relocate without tools.”


upStage is more like Lego® blocks, with layers of elements that we place upon, beneath, or adjacent to the stage. They are easy to rearrange and relocate without tools.






Power and data, which are integrated into the stage, offer choice by allowing the occupant to locate the plug-in anywhere along the stage or move it up onto the work surface. Functioning solid or perforated metal louvers, magnetically mounted fabric screens, and movable, stackable storage elements allow occupants to seamlessly tune their space according to personal preferences or need for the next task. The integration of height adjustability allows for sit/stand options throughout the day. ​upStage also rethinks some of the usual support elements typical to systems furniture. Most notably, storage transitions away from the box file and file drawer—which have become increasingly obsolete to many users—to a series of 6-inch volumes at the desktop that allow the user to store files in an organized and visually accessible manner.

The A&D community will also enjoy the creative flexibility that upStage affords. In addition to a wide range of planning scenarios, a rich materials palette gives designers the opportunity to be original and bold, using color and texture to create a more varied and visually inspiring work environment. Myriad options include textiles, wood veneers, translucent and back-painted glass, perforated metal, and a range of beautiful metal finishes. “The launch of upStage coincides with a major launch of new finishes across Teknion,” says Verbeek. “The designer can impact the look and feel depending on the finishes selected and where they are applied. It can be very serious or much more playful, or anything in between.” In addition, design details like the elegant wood and metal Y-leg endow the furniture with a level of refinement that approaches that of high-end residential furnishings.

In many ways, upStage offers a familiar way of interacting with furniture, which occupants might begin to recognize as similar to their relationship with their home furnishings. Like real furniture, it can be stacked, moved around, or mixed. When asked if ​upStage is intuitive, Verbeek pauses to think for a moment. “Yes,” he says. “But there is also an element of discovery that draws you further and further into the product. That’s why you continue to be enamored by it.”

Visitors to NeoCon can discover for themselves what makes ​upStage so creative, so customizable, and so personal at the Teknion showroom in the Merchandise Mart.


The designer can impact the
look and feel depending on the finishes selected and where they are applied. It can be very serious or much more playful, or anything in between.