Simple, light, sustainable: Analogue innovations for conferences SYSBOARD series by Leipzig’s Studio Hartensteiner 

While conferences and business events are constantly being shaped by new digital innovations, it is also worth considering forward-looking ideas in analogue interior design. What is the best environment for conference participants to get talking to each other? How do you devise modern workshops and panel discussions? And what about creating spaces within a space – and what role can sustainability play in this? With their SYSBOARD series, the designers at Leipzig’s Studio Hartensteiner deliver answers that do more than just look impressive.

In line with the motto “Simpler, lighter, more sustainable”, Studio Hartensteiner develops environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional methods for conferences, workshops and exhibitions. “We are interested in avoiding waste, reusing materials and in well-thought-out, long-lasting, sustainable solutions when it comes to manufacturing, handling and recycling, as well as simple repairs,” explains Andreas Neubert from Studio Hartensteiner. The designers translate these ideas into their innovations for conferences – in all sorts of ways.

For example, the SYSBOARD/FLEX acoustic wall system offers an uncomplicated way of organising and structuring spaces within a space. It is possible to create visually and acoustically separate meeting zones or create booths in an exhibition space in no time at all. For very practical use in workshops, the walls can serve as pinboards and also be fitted with shelves, magnetic whiteboard panels or castors, making them easy to move. The lightweight and sound-absorbing surfaces are largely made of recycled PET bottles. In the interests of sustainability, they can also be returned to the recycling loop without any problems, since they do not have a multi-layered material structure or difficult-to-separate composites.

© Studio Hartensteiner

Resource-saving alternative to system construction

The SYSBOARD/WALL also focuses on multifunctional and versatile use as well as user-friendly handling. The lightweight wall system was developed as a visually appealing and resource-saving alternative to system construction. The wall surfaces can be used in a wide variety of ways, whether for constructing exhibition stands, presenting scientific posters or for partitioning rooms. Depending on the application, a wall can serve as a revolving or sliding door, a shelf panel or a table element. In 2019, this environmentally friendly lightweight wall system earned Studio Hartensteiner the Saxon State Prize and the Green Product Award.

And the designers also have a sustainable idea for working in workshops, moderating and group work: SYSBOARD/FOLD is 99 per cent recycled cardboard, highly versatile and has a simple appearance. The folding solution can be used as a flip chart and pinboard at the same time. Thanks to its low weight, the whole thing is easy to transport and users have even taken it with them when travelling to exhibitions by plane.

© Studio Hartensteiner
Upcycling for a trade fair stand

The Studio Hartensteiner team has already combined sustainability and creativity on behalf of the Leipzig congress initiative “Feel the spirit… do-it-at-leipzig.de” when it exhibited at IMEX, thus illustrating the long-term commitment of many stakeholders in the Leipzig conference industry. In May 2019, the Leipzig stand featured impressive examples of upcycling – the reuse of supposed waste and discarded materials. The furniture, for example, was made from wooden boxes, Euro pallets and workbenches. Old rain barrels were given a makeover and served as islands for informal chats and many of the materials were reused again after the trade fair, meaning Leipzig’s appearance at the fair generated comparatively little waste.

Award-winning ideas

At the Designers’ Open in the KONGRESSHALLE at Zoo Leipzig, Studio Hartensteiner recently presented its interplay of functionality, aesthetics and sustainability once again, thereby picking up on the central themes of the design fair: visions of the future, alternatives to fast fashion, and regional production. Sustainability was also the focus of three award shows, including the Green Product Award. And it was in 2019 that SYSBOARD/WALL received a Green Product Award as the best product in the Architecture category and a Green Concept Award.

© Claudia Laßlop

Photos: © Studio Hartensteiner