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12 November, 2011

VCUQatar Presents Office Design for the Knowledge Economy

The Interior Design department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar in conjunction with German office furniture manufacturer, Wilkhahn, presents a lecture by Burkhard Remmers entitled Office design for the knowledge economy, space for communication, living ergonomics and sustainability, on Monday, 14 November, 2011 at 2:00 PM at the atrium at VCUQatar.

“We have all been taught that sitting up straight is the correct and healthy way to sit,” says Burkhard Remmers. “This is an opinion shared by almost all treatises on ergonomics. But in reality this has nothing to do with health, but with the military-style, social conventions of the 19th century,” he says. “In the search for the “right” seating posture, new, even more distinctive and complex adjustment functions are being developed to adapt the chair like a corset to each body. But it is this very development that removes any stimuli and weakens the muscles because it makes the change of posture required more difficult. It is probably one of the key reasons why back pain in the office is rising despite increasingly more ergonomic office chairs. In biological terms, any posture the body can adopt without causing pain is right and important in order to maintain joint functions and stimulate the variety of motion muscles are capable of,” he adds.

Remmers’ special focus is on the development of sustainable organizational and communication structures which can adapt to the future. He is the author of numerous international articles, book contributions and lectures as well as a co-curator of exhibitions. His most recent publication was the “Planning Guide for Conference and Communication Environments” in cooperation with Prof. Guido Englich, Berlin, Basel, Boston 2008.

“The Interior Design Department is very much looking forward to Mr. Remmer’s lecture,” said Carolyn Freeman, chair of the Interior Design department at VCUQatar. “The topics of ergonomics and sustainability are vitally important in the workplace today and we want our students to hear about them from the best!”

Remmers was born in 1960, studied German linguistics, philosophy and history. After finishing his course, he changed track and went into the furniture industry in 1988. After being the Head of Marketing and Public Relations at USM Germany for eight years, he joined Wilkhahn in 1995. Today he is Head of International Communications and in charge of internal and external Public Relations.

Wilkhahn, considered a premium brand among office furniture manufacturers across the world, was founded as a chair manufacturer in 1907 by the Wilkening and Hahne families in Bad Münder near Hanover. It’s still a family-owned business but today the company specializes in manufacturing high-quality office chairs and conference furnishings. Their products stand apart due to their sustainable quality, their timeless, distinctive and appealing designs and their useful innovations. As a result, Wilkhahn constantly succeeds in developing innovations that are long-term best sellers and win numerous awards. To date it is the only furniture manufacturer to have won the “German Environmental Prize”.

‘Office design for the knowledge economy, space for communication, living ergonomics and sustainability’ will be presented on 14 November at 2:00 PM at the atrium at VCUQatar. The lecture is open to the public.

Burkhard Remmers, head of International Communications at Wilkhahn