FEMB at Workspace Design Talks Dubai


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The FEMB are sponsors of the Workspace Design Talks in Dubai and have four speakers presenting on Monday 19 May. This is a result of the activities of the marketing Committee and in particular Barbara Schwaibold from the BSO who coordinated the research and interface with the speakers.

FEMB President Julian Roebuck will give an Introduction to the FEMB and the Design Talks. The talk will cover the scope of the work of the FEMB and how this will benefit designers, specifiers, property owners and facility managers. It will cover the work in sustainability, market information, the coordination of the office furniture activities in Europe and how it interfaces with regions outside Europe.

Trend Expert Birgit Gebhardt has the working title of “New Work Order – the rise of a new working culture”. To overcome old routines from the industrial era and to live up to the network economy, not only virtual communication tools are necessary. To bring more flexibility, efficiency and fun into the workflow, the office itself has to change. Employees are looking for the “right” working mood. Shaping this mood management in an intuitive and practical way will become the key challenge of office design.

Smart Office Materials, is an interesting topic and Dr. Sascha Peters from Haute Innovation will give an overview of future materials for the office furniture industry .In office environments of tomorrow, the energy will be transmitted wirelessly to all users, room dividers have acoustic shielding functions and consist of naturally fragrant materials. Lightweight solutions for the facility allow the short-term move to the outside. Work will be more flexible, more comfortable and healthier. The working areas of the knowledge society will change significantly in the coming years.

Colin Watson, FEMB Secretary General will reflect on what was innovative 20 years ago at the Orgatec Fair in 1994 and ask “has much changed?” He will also present Trends in European Office Furniture Design a review of the market drawn from research. The talk will cover the scope of the European market in size, the most active countries and major companies. A review of the most popular product types will work through the trends in Office furniture design and workplace trends.








Birgit Gebhardt

Trend Expert Birgit Gebhardt Trendexpert

Birgit Gebhardt conducts relevant trends to plausible visions of the future. Birgit worked for 5 years as an editor with the professional journal “Design Report” and joined Trendburo in 2001. Today, her consultancy activities for the automotive, service and FMCG sectors make her to an appreciated speaker for both management boards, and public conferences.


Dr. Sascha Peters


Dr. Sascha Peters is the founder and owner of HAUTE INNOVATION – Material and Technology in Berlin. In the context of the services offered by his company he focuses on accelerating innovation processes and turning technological developments in materials into marketable products more quickly. Alongside leading technology companies such as BMW, Ottobock, Audi, and Evonik, his clients also include public institutions such as the Hessen Ministry of Economics, Technologiestiftung Berlin, and the European Commission



Julian Roebuck

President FEMB

Julian Roebuck is President of the FEMB (European Federation of Office Furniture) and sits on the Board of the BCFA (British Contract Furnishing Association). Julian spent 7 years in industry as a Chartered Civil Engineer specialising in railway engineering prior to joining the family furniture business in 2004, taking the Company into new markets and increasing both turnover and profits


Colin Watson

Secretery General FEMB

Colin Watson is Managing Director of the BCFA (British Contract Furnishing Association) and Secretary General of the FEMB (European Federation of Office Furniture Trade Associations). He sits on a number of boards in the UK, including FIRA (the Furniture Industry research Association), the BFC (British Furniture Confederation) and the Creative Industries Sector Advisory Board for the UK Government

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