Live at #NEOCONEAST: Leland International: Classic Faves and New Hits

While Leland International's Cricket Bench may have debuted at NeoCon09 this past June in the windy city of Chicago, that doesn't mean there's nothing new under the sun-or Baltimore's Convention Center- for this Michigan company aspires to "no more good products, only great products... our litmus test is to ask ourselves when a competitor sees a new Leland product will they be thinking, 'I wish I'd thought of that.'" My guess is-at least in the case of the Cricket Bench, the Mod Chair, the Ease Stacking Chair, and the classic Brit Bench-nine times out of ten this hypothetical competitor is thinking just that.

Leland International Booth at #NeoConEast.

Leland's contributions to the contract market are consistently functional as well as aesthetically interesting. I witnessed this admirable synergy first-hand at NeoCon in the form of the textural and tactile appeal of Cricket, a bench whose visible skeleton (exoskeleton, if you will) and segmented articulations render it a dead ringer for the chirpy, mellifluous insects that are its namesake. The bench is available in a straight or serpentine (and linking) profile, making it just right for any variety of contract applications. As for the Mod Chair-making its Coastal debut at #NeoConEast-that's designer Simon Pengelly's contribution to the evolving landscape of the modern office. An "elegant yet comfortingly supportive" tub chair on a swivel or wire base, Mod is a playful homage to 60's icons like Pierre Paulin, as well as a breath of fresh air in the sometimes stifling environment of all work and no play.





Designer Pages Lounge at #NeoConEast. Sponsored by Leland International.

Then there's the Ease Chair, whose tagline says, "if you're looking for a handsome, hard-working stacker, you'll find it with ease." The double-meaning isn't lost on those tasked with filling lecture halls and conference rooms. The slim frame and subtly-arched back and seat make this piece especially attractive for "set-up" and "take-down" situations (they can stack 30 high). It goes without saying that they're available in multiple finishes (30 some colors and natural bentwood or upholstery).

But perhaps I've saved the best for last. Leland's Brit Bench-with which the company has graciously agreed to outfit the Designer Pages/3rings booth at #NeoConEast-is a modern classic (so what if it's only a year and a half old?). Brit has the strange grace of a starfish, albeit a three-tentacled one. Constructed of asymmetrical arms that jut out at 120 degree angles, Brit creates an ideal configuration for public seating, since it allows you to snuggle up close to your better-halves while remaining a good arm's length from strangers. The optional center table creates an impromptu work station, perfect for quick meetings of the minds. Brit is available in powder-coated steel in white or red, natural stainless, or upholstered. If you happen to be traveling through Miami, you'll be able to have a good sit atop Brit while waiting for your flight, or, even better, stop by the Designer Pages booth in Baltimore and sample its tri-partite charm.

Posted November 2, 2009 by Joseph Starr

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