Barcelona Chair Featured in HGTV’s Trending Now

HGTV's June 2019 issue features Mies van der Rohe's renowned design and reflects on the chair's lasting influence and relevance

HGTV’s June 6 article on Trending Now highlighted Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair, asserting the iconic design’s continued relevance. In the Trending Now piece, writer Lauren Oster recalls the chair’s interesting conception where Mies van der Rohe was tasked with creating an extremely important chair for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. The Barcelona Chair could not be anything but monumental given that it was to be the seat for the King of Spain. Naturally, Mies van de Rohe took inspiration from the curule seat, the classic chair reserved for dignitaries in ancient Rome.


Florence Knoll was formally granted the production rights to the Barcelona Chair and Stool in 1953. Although the chair’s materials have evolved since its conception, the original form and physical design have remained unchanged. Since 1996, the Barcelona Chair can be identified by its logo and signature stamp added to the legs, indicating that it is a licensed, authentic version.

Ginger Curtis from Urbanology Designs told HGTV, “we love the Barcelona chair for its timeless designer appeal. It’s one of those pieces that’s unfussy but well stated; it instantly elevates the feel of a room.”


Leading the Way: Knoll is first to Fulton Market, Chicago’s trendy, eclectic, groundbreaking new district.

The Fulton Market District, with its vibrant architecture and streetscapes, is the ideal setting for Knoll to present a transformative view of how we work and live today.
— Andrew Cogan, Knoll CEO

Since 1938, Knoll has been transforming spaces. The opening of the new Knoll in the vibrant Fulton Market District is another bold move for this trailblazing company. As the first furniture design brand to move to Fulton Market, Knoll joins other innovation leaders like Google and WeWork.


Representing a grand rebirth of Chicago’s meat-packing and industrial district, Fulton Market is now Chicago’s fastest growing neighborhood – home to celebrity chefs, trendy art galleries, upscale retailers, inspired work spaces and now, Knoll’s masterful designs.


70 Years of Inspiration

Knoll’s new Fulton Market space represents the forefront of Knoll’s transformative power. Each floor provides inspiration for design topics such as natural materiality, architectural and acoustic harmony, hospitality experience, and engaging technology.

The fifth floor is the North American flagship showroom of Muuto, the latest addition to the Knoll constellation of brands. Muuto collaborates with the best of today’s contemporary designers to bring new perspectives to Scandinavian design through forward-looking materials, techniques and courageous thinking.


Another First: Knoll Design Days

Knoll’s new space held its first-ever Knoll Design Days, an immersive event where Knoll debuted products and hosted engaging programs, inspiring the design community with a new view of Chicago. Knoll featured products across its constellation of brands – Knoll Office, KnollStudio, DatesWeiser, Spinneybeck | FilzFelt, KnollTextiles and Muuto – that reflect co-founder Florence Knoll’s “total design” perspective which championed good design and blurred the lines between workplaces and homes.



Honoring Florence Knoll

During Knoll Design Days, Knoll also hosted the Florence Knoll Women in Design Dialogues. The Dialogues honor Florence Knoll who passed away at 101 in January 2019 and explored her “total design” approach in the context of today’s design, artistic and workplace environments. With diverse topics ranging from user experiences to environmental challenges, the seminars featured talks from ten inspiring women who represent the leaders of today and tomorrow. Florence Knoll, a pioneer in design, also served as CEO for the Knoll company in the 1950s – a period of incredible growth for the company. 

We’ve designed Fulton Market to inspire our commercial, education, healthcare, hospitality, residential and public sector clients to plan environments that adapt to evolving workstyles. Florence Knoll’s ‘total design’ perspective, blurring the lines between workplaces and homes, is more relevant than ever.
— Benjamin Pardo, Knoll Design Director

We are Wahine. We are INSPIRED!


Three words that embody the emotion our team felt at this year’s Hawaii Business Magazine’s Wahine Forum, of which CEI Hawaii was a gold sponsor. This was the first year our team was part of this powerful community event that united over 1,000 attendees to discuss important topics like leadership, cultural norms, public speaking and grit, to name a few. Featuring over 55 local and national speakers throughout this one-day event, our team left feeling motivated to help spark the change that this world so desperately needs in this day and age.

In addition to the day’s events, CEI Hawaii was humbled to partner with Hawaii Business Magazine to provide lounge furnishings for the first-of-its-kind “VIP Lounge,” allowing attendees to enjoy, socialize and network amongst one another. Featuring “resimercial” style pieces like the Muuto Outline sofa and Fiber chair in addition to a fun Framery phone booth, the VIP Lounge provided the perfect huddle-spot for guests.

A few of our classic Knoll Studio pieces were also featured on the stages of the General and Breakout sessions, providing that elegant touch that only a Bertoia chair and Warren Platner 18K gold-plated arm chair can provide.

Check out some snapshots from the event below:

Throughout the event, CEI Hawaii gave away tons of fun swag bags, Knoll textiles, FilzFelt coasters, nail polish featuring Knoll’s color of the month, and much, much more. One lucky attendee even won a Generation by Knoll task chair valued at over $1,000.

CEI Hawaii wants to extend our heartfelt mahalo to Hawaii Business Magazine and the attendees of this year’s Wahine Forum for providing such an important platform to launch pivotal community discussions. We agree with the sentiments of Hawaii Business Magazine in their article, 5 Takeaways from the 2018 Wahine Forum where they quote a powerful statement by Amanda Corby Noguchi, creative director and owner of Under My Umbrella and co-founder of Pili Group,

“We all are looking for … people we can call on and say, ‘My life looks really ugly, can you help me?’ And we need to honor that from one another and really be there.”

Our team is motivated now, more than ever before, to be the change agents in this world and support one another as best we can. Mahalo, Amanda and Hawaii Business Magazine for igniting this powerful drive.

We are Wahine.



We Are Women - Hawaii Business Magazine’s 11th Annual Wahine Forum



CEI Hawaii is humbled to be a Gold Sponsor of the upcoming Hawaii Business Magazine’s 11th Annual Wahine Forum, a pivotal community event for women that unites Hawaii’s top leaders, entrepreneurs, and the up-and-coming generation to discuss important cultural topics in Hawaii’s workplace.

Throughout this event, CEI will be featuring our furniture for all forums, break-out areas and the new VIP lounge. Make sure to stop by our exhibition table for great giveaways and social media prizes. We will also be gifting to one lucky attendee – a very special Knoll Generation Task Chair!

Our company culture promotes diversity and respect amongst our employees and through the work we put forth every day. 50% of CEI’s employees are wahine (women) with a mix of ethnic backgrounds, showing that diversity in a workplace can lead to a beautiful collaboration amongst creative professionals!

It’s not too late! Join us and the 1000+ attendees at this event and connect with like-minded individuals this Thursday, October 25 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballrooms.

For more information, or to REGISTER for this event, check out Hawaii Business Magazine’s website or click on the link below:

Follow us on Instagram (@ceihawaii) for updates and news.

We hope to see you there!

"The Gen Z Worker" - Pacific Edge

Mahalo to the Pacific Edge Magazine family for featuring CEI Hawaii's very own Michael Yasui in their recent Exeprt Edge column. 


"Believe it or not Generation Z (those born after 1998) will begin entering the workforce in just two short years. A little shocking considering the average workplace has just now reached a peak in Generation Y, or "millennial," workers. So what can you expect from Gen Z?

This generation values social connections, structure and a sense of predictability. They are strong multitaskers with an unparalleled reliance on social media. They are "virtually" smarter, fueld by their online gaming activity. Understanding the unique characteristics of the Gen Z worker is essential to adapting management practices and workspaces.

Our team of experienced professionals are helping businesses plan for the future. We can help you to identify areas for refuge to minimize distractions, enclave spaces that support online group work and create purposeful spaces that enhance productivity. To learn more, please call us at 526-2825."


Here's a fun infographic to break down the characteristics of the Gen Z worker:

**Image courtesy of 

**Image courtesy of 

Let us know how we can help to prepare your workplace for the onset of the Gen Z worker population.

A Game Changer! CEI Hawaii presents MUUTO

Affordable LUXURY for the Workplace and Home

Muuto products pair seamlessly with the range of modern Knoll designs, offering expanded breadth and depth of affordable luxury products that reflect today’s evolving workstyles and trends in residential design, with particular appeal to a younger generation of architects, designers and clients.
— Andrew Cogan, Knoll CEO

In January 2018, our premier partner Knoll, Inc. added the Danish design company Muuto to its constellation of brands. Muuto, a contemporary design company, offers affordable luxury, clean, modern furnishings and accessories that pair seamlessly with the range of Midcentury modern Knoll designs.

"Muuto is a 'resimercial' design-driven, creative Scandinavian brand representing global style for the workplace and home," explained Knoll president and CEO Andrew Cogan in a statement. "We have been tracking their explosive emergence on the workplace and residential scene in both Europe and North America for some time now."

Muuto offers an expanded breadth and depth of affordable luxury products that reflect today’s evolving workstyles and trends in residential design, with particular appeal to a younger generation of architects, designers and clients, and those seeking a homier, more relaxed aesthetic.

The full range of Muuto products are now available through CEI Hawaii. To see more of this game-changing product line and to learn how you can purchase, please contact CEI Hawaii by calling 808-526-2825 or by emailing


Read more about this Muuto acquisition:

**Pictures courtesy of 

A Celebration of Mid-Century Modern Design

We were so humbled to have hosted our friend and featured guest of honor Celia Bertoia this past February to celebrate Mid-Century modern design. Celia, daughter of the world renowned designer and sculptor Harry Bertoia gave such an enlightening glimpse into her father's life.

From Celia’s awe-inspiring presentation, to the heartfelt camaraderie, to the mid-century inspired food and drinks, to the awesome entertainment provided by the UH Manoa dance team, the event was one for the books!

See below for a few action shots from the night's festivities.

And sending a BIG MAHALO to Celia Bertoia and the Harry Bertoia Foundation for featuring our Mid-Century Modern event in their March newsletter. 

Click on the image below to read more.

Check us out on Instagram!

CEI Hawaii is now on Instagram! Follow @ceihawaii as we give you a glimpse into the daily workings of our company. From client projects, to event photos, to the latest vendor updates, we'll keep you informed and maybe even a little entertained with our spirited staff and company mascot, Miki.

Catch you on IG!

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Knoll Featured in the 2017 Wired Gear Issue

Washington Prism Lounge Chair and HiLo land a spot among Wired's chosen best gear

Both the Washington Prism™ Lounge Chair by David Adjaye and HiLo by Seth Murray and Bret Recor were featured in the 2017 Wired gear guide. The Wiredgear guide is an annual compilation of the latest and greatest gear broken down into seven categorizes: create, work, drive, play, relax, move, and cook. The Washington Prism was listed under the "relax" category, while the HiLo was listed under the "work" category.

Of the Washington Prism Lounge Chair, Wired noted, "The angular Prism chair, upholstered in a wool blend over molded foam, is aesthetically striking yet shockingly comfy." Adjaye's Prism Chair transforms his architectural and sculptural vision into elegantly poised and contemporary objects for the home. Every side of Adjaye's design is meant to be seen, forming new lines and a constant engagement with the user.

Existing in the in-between world of sitting and standing, HiLo is a small, simple, and playful perch that will change the way you work. The perch keeps you balanced between active and relaxed, fun and functional, sitting and standing. Wired commented, "you can take it along on lunch break, hold pup-up meetings in the hallway, introduce a new angle, and lean in."

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Knoll Classics Featured in GQ Style


From Knoll: 

A recent article from GQ Style lists what the publication believes to be the 12 most iconic chairs of all time. Among that list, Knoll took 4 of the 12 spots - well deserved ones in the eyes of the greater public. On the list, GQ featured Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Chair, Platner's Arm Chair, Saarinen's Tulip Chair, and Breuer's Cesca Chair. Brad Dunning, a GQ writer, aptly noted, "a successful chair represents more than the marriage of form and function - it rises to the level of art." The Knoll pieces featured by GQ are indeed works of art, "total" works of art and their designers true artist.

The chairs by Mies van der Rohe, Platner, Saarinen, and Breuer are mere perfect symphonies of painting, industrial design, graphic design, and architecture. As Dunning pointed out, many of the designers on the GQ list were principally architects, meaning the exercise of designing a chair often required the right balance of innovation and practicality. The featured Knoll pieces illustrate Dunning's point. A Barcelona Chair finds its graceful curves from a functional cantilevered X structural base. Similarly, Saarinen wanted to get rid of the clutter that was the four legs of a traditional chair. However, the weight of a sitter still had to be evenly supported. The solution was one that rendered such technical consideration with one of the first single-legged chairs.

The chosen Knoll classics have earned a well-deserved spot among the most iconic chairs of all time. They have all stood the test of time, proving that less is truly more and that Modern design continues to fill the homes we inhabit today. Saarinen, Mies, Platner, Breuer, and a few other of Knoll's power players haven't just created a museum-worthy chair, but have pushed the limits of design, asking the right questions, ones we continue to answer today.


Barrie Loberg of DIRTT Named One of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business 2017

From DIRTT: 

Barrie Loberg, co-founder of DIRTT and developer of ICE® software, is named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business for 2017!

“What our Most Creative People coverage reveals each year is just how broad and rich an impact business can have, regardless of any external economic and political conditions. There are always amazing things going on, if you pick your head up to notice them.” – Robert Safian, Fast Company

The list was revealed online May 15, 2017 and the magazine hits stands May 23, 2017. Fast Company's Most Creative People list was introduced in 2009 and quickly became one of their most esteemed franchises. Each year, the Fast Co magazine editors present an all-new list of 100, chosen according to a proprietary methodology. In Fast Co's words, the resulting ultra-competitive list represents highly accomplished, dynamic individuals whose work and ideas are driving the world forward.