Life, work, fun -- all on an even KEEL: Keeping design and function in balance and within budget

NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2011: The Merchandise Mart, Space 8-3094

CHICAGO – June 2011 – With the introduction of KEEL, a lighter-scale modular case goods series with a nod to minimalism, ABCO by izzy+ is embarking on a new course that blends its traditional functionality with an unprecedented focus on elegant and "aspirational" design.

The result is a remarkable departure from business as usual for ABCO, as KEEL strikes a perfect balance of remarkable flexibility in either open-plan or private office environments along with a bouyant look and flair that comes with the visual interplay of multiple widths, heights and material choices in the series.

The addition of KEEL to the ABCO portfolio reflects the influence of the izzy+ design philosophy, underscoring the determination to bring good and affordable design to the segment of the market served by the ABCO brand.

The system is organized around the "keel," a panel with an extruded-aluminum rail which serves as the primary storage and technology axis in each office. After the keel is put in place, the system builds out and builds up. A range of work surfaces, vertical storage units, privacy screens, and organizational tools connect off-module to the keel, allowing both specifiers and users the ability to tailor each space. Multi-tiered surfaces provide functional versatility.


KEEL organizes and divides space in a highly configurable way, connecting people and their work projects more effectively.  The simple structure offers a myriad of solutions with modular storage components and an impressive range of 17 high-pressure laminates and nine thermo-fused melamine finishes.


"KEEL can look pretty conservative and business-like, or with the right finishes it can get a little spicy or a little cool," said Paul James, the designer of KEEL.  "It's still an ABCO product that's highly reliable, but it gives the ABCO customer a less conventional look and set of options."


The form and function of KEEL is unusual in this category, providing maximum design flexibility at multiple price points.  The width of the keel is 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 feet.  Base cabinets are selected from a pre-configured set of options -- drawer, door or open. Hutches can be keel-mounted or wall-mounted.  Storage options at 49, 63 or 71 inches give the possibility of a tiered look to the system.


KEEL was designed with the environment in mind, using recycled and recyclable materials, with a minimal impact on indoor air quality, and it awaits BIFMA LEVEL certification.


About izzy+

The employees of izzy+ ( design, manufacture and market office furniture and seating that solve real problems for real people. The focus is to provide designers with the tools to create inspiring work spaces for forward-thinking customers in home offices and small businesses, in executive offices and board rooms, in hospitals and classrooms. Its award-winning products are marketed under the brand names izzy, HÅG, Harter, Fixtures Furniture, and ABCO. Based in Spring Lake, MI, izzy+ is a business of JSJ Corporation of Grand Haven, MI.


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