If you are heading to this year’s Courtroom Technology Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, held from September 12-14, be sure to stop by Marshall Furniture’s booth, #608, to view some fantastic courtroom tech pieces. As a custom shop, we … Continue reading
In today’s spaces, the task of effortlessly corralling the now ubiquitous equipment rack has become somewhat complicated. Occasionally, the solution is a simple if unappealing one: leave it in the corner of the room. The result? A high-end space with a frame of switchers, amplifiers and media players spewing out heat and cables from every direction. Rather than leave the rack system bare, or hide it in a closet somewhere, consider dressing it up within a properly ventilated and attractive furniture solution. Marshall Furniture offers many inexpensive, high quality rack systems for your individual needs. Each model includes several standard features with room for a variety of options to personalize and blend your piece into a space.
ELCO™ Mobile Rack Cabinets
The most obvious approach is to utilize one of our Quick Ship rack cabinets. These pieces are available in three sizes and come with a surface grommet, pocket locking door, fixed rack rail, locking rear access panel, floor hole for cable pass, floor vent, notched toe for air intake and 4″ locking swivel carpet casters. From there, surface cut outs, side drop leaf shelves, internal/external fans and a vented door can be specified. These pieces are also available in any of our 13 stock melamine colors and ship fully assembled within 30 days.
For a dual-purpose solution, consider specifying one of our Quick Ship credenzas. These pieces not only come standard in two rack sizes with dual bays but can double as a monitor cabinet. Choose from 13 or 17 rack units and any of our 13 stock melamine colors to personalize your piece. Standard with every ELCO™ credenza are surface grommets, standard locking doors, locking rear access panel, floor holes for cable pass, floor ventilation, notched toe for air intake and 4″ locking swivel carpet casters. The lead time is 30 days for build. You can also customize internal configuration by swapping out the rack for shelving instead. Internal and external ventilation options can be added and you can specify extra exit cable holes for no extra charge.
SCM™ Rack Carts
If you need a mobile solution to house your technology, specify one of our SCM™ rack carts. We have two models available in any of our 13 stock melamine colors. Both come with a 10-year warranty and ship fully assembled. Available features include a stock black laminate work surface for durability, surface grommet, black t-mold edges, locking pocket door, fixed rack, locking rear access panel, floor hole for cable passage, floor ventilation and exposed locking multi-surface swivel casters. One cart is simply for full rack storage while the other includes a small pocket for a resident CPU and hand notches on the surface for easy maneuverability. An optional monitor stand can be specified on the surface to transform this piece from a simple rack cabinet to an information display solution. Additional ventilation, laminate surface options and cabinet configurations are possible. Lead time is 30 days.
ELCO™ Wall Rack Cabinets
This furniture option takes up less room space and is ideal for projects that require very little racked equipment. Standard features include 1-6 slide out vertical hanging rack units, large back notch for wiring and cable passage to wall outlet(s), surface and floor grommets for cable passage, locking removable front panel with exhaust vent slots and wall attachment cleats. Wall cabinets can be specified in any of our 13 stock melamine colors. The slide out rack makes servicing the unit easy. 30-day ship and 10-year warranty included. Specify additional exit cable cut outs or ventilation options as needed.
ELCO™ Rack Boxes
Easily dress up your rack system using one of our ELCO™ Rack Boxes. They can be specified in any of our 13 stock melamine colors to complement existing or new room furniture. Three sizes are available: 10 RU, 14 RU or 16 RU. Boxes are ventilated on all 4 sides and are open in the front and back for cable passage and additional air flow. A 10-year warranty is included.
Providing custom furniture solutions for seamless technology integration has always been our goal. The framework for our rack enclosure solutions is to ensure equipment is discreetly hidden while being easily accessible and properly ventilated. Our Quick Ship rack systems provide just that coupled with a lower cost point, faster lead time and a handful of customization options. To prevent eyesores in your next space, consider one of our budget-friendly cabinets or carts to safely and stylishly store your AV components.
Every January, our team at Marshall Furniture looks for new ways to continue our success and growth throughout the new year. To do this, we often look back at the previous year to evaluate our accomplishments and to determine our upcoming product and marketing focuses. Looking back at 2016, however, had a two-fold purpose for us. Last year, we were lucky enough to celebrate our 30th year in business. We celebrated in a variety of ways, like giveaways and prizes, but also by showing off our high-quality custom craftsmanship skills at trade shows like Infocomm. What we discovered when we discussed last year’s sales was that 2016 was filled with a variety of interesting and creative projects. Our design team each had their favorites so we felt it was only appropriate that we give those designs the attention they deserve. With 2016 still fresh in our minds, we’d like to take the opportunity to share, in detail, aspects of our most memorable projects.
Customer: (university name withheld)
Dealer: (dealer name withheld)
Product: MLP-39.125 ADA Lectern
MFI Sales Engineer: Joyce Nemenyi
A private, ivy-league university contacted Marshall Furniture looking for a lectern that could accommodate users with disabilities and fit a large amount of racked equipment. After discussing possible options with Joyce Nemenyi, she suggested that they implement height adjust and a pullout surface into their piece as these would incorporate elements essential to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition, to create a compact, fully-racked unit, a full standard-width bay of rack was coupled with a half-bay of vertical rack to save space.
“After several revisions, it came to light that the customer did not have enough room for a pullout surface. This created an issue as this option is essential for ADA compatibility since it allows seated presenters equal access to equipment, incorporates proper reach ranges and allows for adequate knee space,” explains Joyce. “It became necessary to re-evaluate our traditional ADA lectern design.” Several alternatives were presented to the client but ultimately, they settled on a re-engineered design that allowed the surface to articulate to the side rather than forward. “This new design forced us to really flex our creative design muscles. Rather than focusing on drafting a lectern for a seated user, we were now contending with space issues. We really had to re-think the way we approached our traditional ADA lectern layout,” she says.
It was at this point that another ADA issue presented itself. The customer raised concerns that several users with limited hand mobility may have trouble properly grasping or pulling the t-handle that unlocks the pullout surface. Therefore, it was decided that the surface should be put on a linear actuator instead. This was controlled by a rocker switch, which allowed users to simply lean their hand or am against part of the switch to activate the pullout surface. “It’s typical, in our design process, for changes like this to come up. We often have to think on our toes since customization is the name of the game,” says Joyce. “Coming up with a solution to this particular customer concern required us to really put our heads together but ultimately, the alterations to the standard layout worked out fantastically.”
Customer: Calhoun Community College
Dealer: Howard Technology Solutions
Product: SCM-240 and SCM-640 Desks
MFI Sales Engineer: Matt Wulfekuhle
During early summer 2016, Calhoun Community College was working on a 30 classroom build for a new facility. It was during this time that Tyler Johnson, Classroom Technology Integration Specialist from CCC, got in touch with our Sales Engineer, Matt Wulfekuhle, after a direct recommendation from Kelly Turner at Howard Technology Solutions. CCC had a timeline for their furniture build-out that had to be met before classes could begin. In addition, the school was interested in laser-burned logos for each of their 30 pieces, which presented another challenge. “Although [their] design was simplistic, pulling off 30 laser engraved panels within a couple [of] weeks was interesting. It was long hours and required the aid of all involved, but seeing them put together made it all worth it,” says Matt.
Each desk was specified to include racked equipment, cable passage and touch panels for room control. Each style of desk was based on products originally from our Quick Ship line: the SCM-240 and SCM-640. Both finished desks were customized to the school’s direct needs and the set-up of each room.
As August began, the desks were split into two shipments in order to meet CCC’s deadline and Howard Technology Solutions time-frame for equipment integration. On handling a project such as this, Matt says, “This project was my first experience with a large order that required some design savvy. Attempting to fit all of the needed components and adhere to our Quick Ship designs presented a challenge, but with great patience and even greater colleagues, we were able to pull off the AV furniture requirements.”
After each desk found its home, the remainder of the room build was completed and the classrooms set-up for use by the time classes started. “The desks turned out beautifully; I have heard many great comments on them,” says Tyler Johnson. “It was a great experience working with Howard and Calhoun to make this project happen,” says Matt.
Customer: School of Music (university name withheld)
Dealer: All Pro Sound
Consultant: Jaffe Holden
Product: Various Studio Furniture
MFI Sales Engineer: Ariel Blaha
After their School of Music was destroyed by flooding in 2008, the school sought to furnish (5) of the re-built control rooms and production offices in 2013. Consultant Jaffee Holden prepared bid documents that called out for different L-shaped configurations to support rack equipment and mixing boards. Sales Engineer, Ariel Blaha, worked on interpreting the university’s needs and the consultant’s design.
Since the building consisted of entirely new construction, production of the furniture did not begin until May 2016. The three-year span during which bids were presented, prepared, won and ultimately designed with Marshall Furniture called for attentiveness to detail and flexibility in design around the integrated technology. “Tailoring the designs to meet the different studio requirements presented a fun challenge. Coordinating the details on projects of this nature is an important step to assure things turn out as planned. A lot can change when it comes to AV equipment over a period of 3 years!” says Ariel.
Each of the (5) pieces were designed around each room’s equipment requirements and the available space. For example, some of the units had rack in the cabinet bodies while others had patch racks on the work surface. Some had both configurations. All of the furniture pieces were designed and built with a solid wood edge profile to match the edge of the mixer, which created a fully custom and integrated appearance. Ben Bausher, Senior Consultant at Jaffee Holden, says he was particularly pleased with the design process saying, “I definitely appreciate your team’s willingness to work with the rest of the design team and contractors…The users were very pleased with the build quality of the furniture.”
Customer: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Dealer: GL Seaman & Company
Product: MLP-34 & MLCS-32 Lecterns
MFI Sales Engineer: Joyce Nemenyi
This project began when Marshall Furniture’s Sales Engineer, Joyce Nemenyi, received architectural specifications from the customer for several high-end, AV-heavy contemporary lecterns. The customer wanted to incorporate options such as height adjust, internal storage, a recessed LCD, microphone, light, clock timer, power outlets and several grommets for cable passage while maintaining a sleek overall style to the body of the pieces. “FRB of Dallas was very set on creating a modern feel for their podiums. They wanted to ensure that the pieces were not only functional, but visually appealing,” says Joyce. Part of that stylistic vision was an interest in incorporating a two-tone finish, which was ultimately accomplished by utilizing two different veneers, Cherry and Walnut, custom matched to two Wilsonart laminate finishes.
“Every aspect of the lecterns were dissected, discussed and designed to ensure a completely unique architectural piece, right down the finish and metal of the locks and pulls,” Joyce explains. In addition, Marshall Furniture made accommodation for a logo that the customer indicated they would like to order and adhere at a later time. To allow easy installation in the field, small, pre-drilled holes were included on the face of the lecterns in anticipation of a 12″ metal medallion. Hidden hardware was included so that the user could easily secure the logo pins with wing nuts from the inside of the front panel. This method of attachment created a more seamless look.
Because the lecterns were meant to be minimalistic in size, the customer raised concerns over the amount of usable surface space during the design phase. “To create room for user laptops or paperwork, we manufactured a hinged panel to cover the recessed LCD monitor when it was not in use,” says Joyce. The panel was finished in the same manner as the rest of the work surface to create uniformity whenever the monitor was covered. “I was very glad to have been given a chance to work with the customer. I feel like we were able to successfully implement all their stylistic and equipment needs.”
Customer: DGSOM at UCLA – Geffen Hall, Teaching Lab
Product: VST-40 x 60 x 90 Tables
MFI Sales Engineer: Ariel Blaha
Marshall Furniture had the privilege of providing a variety of furniture for UCLA’s new Geffen Hall Medical Education Building. Our Sales Engineer, Ariel Blaha, was contacted to facilitate a design for several tapered collaboration tables for a flipped classroom teaching space in their Teaching Lab. “The layout of the space and the concept of such a large scale collaborative classroom was intriguing to me from the day the customer brought the project to us to fashion a design,” says Ariel.
On the work surface of each table, dual monitors were specified to allow the instructor to display content on one screen while students’ content was channeled to the second. “The school’s design originally included monitor lift cabinets at the head of each table that would have concealed the displays when not in use. As the project developed, this option was replaced with the stationary monitors which simplified things quite a bit,” says Ariel. As a way to keep sight lines clear within the room, especially due to the surface-mounted monitors, some tables were made at standard height while others were fashioned at bar height. Specifically, students seated in the center of the room sat lower than those around the perimeter of the space.
AMX boxes were integrated by AVI-SPL to provide the collaborative connectivity. Custom speakers manufactured by Brown Innovations were installed in the table edge to create a personal sound zone for each student. Below, a credenza base was implemented to provide ample storage space for the rack, whose components ran the entire set-up. As for stylistic elements, Ariel states, “The finish combination selected by the architect resulted in a very linear, modern feel to the tables.”
After being delivered and set-up within the teaching space, the room presented a high-end collaborative learning environment. “Working with Ariel Blaha and the Marshall Furniture team is always a pleasure,” says Neil Bornn-Gilman, Manager of Audiovisual Services at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “The design process for these pieces lasted many months, with numerous updates and modifications as the overall system designs evolved,” he says. “The success of the end-product was a direct result of communication and teamwork between the university and Marshall Furniture,” Neil explains. “This sort of truly collaborative design process, along with Marshall’s deep understanding of what it takes to make furniture that can adequately accommodate the power, ventilation, cable pathway and other equipment needs of today’s cutting edge AV systems makes Marshall my preferred custom AV furniture vendor.”
Customer: (college name withheld)
Dealer: (dealer name withheld)
Product: Custom ELCO ADA Workstation
MFI Sales Engineer: Michelle Wille
Over the course of 2-years, Michelle Wille worked one-on-one with a community college to develop a model suited to their specific AV and ADA needs. After many design revisions and a slurry of collaboration efforts, the customer’s standard design became a reality. The equipment inside the piece consisted of 18 spaces of rack equipment, an Extron Cable Cubby 700 with six Retractors and adequate wheelchair space. “Although accommodating for AV equipment is a standard aspect of our design work, finding space to house the cable box and Retractors alongside our ADA options was tricky,” says Michelle. “After multiple discussions, we were able to effectively fit this equipment in an angled wedge on the top surface, which did not impede on the pullout work surface or equipment below.”
In order to maintain all ADA aspects of the custom workstation, the Cable Cubby, touch panel and monitors were each positioned at a distance that met proper reach ranges. In addition, the pullout surface option had to be designed to meet height, width and depth guidelines for wheelchair users. Ensuring that the rack equipment within the piece fit properly and did not complicate any of these ADA aspects was also imperative.
In the end, the customer’s piece was stylish, compact and technology-rich with the ability to adapt to their learning space. “The college was not looking for something off-the-shelf,” explains Michelle. “Our willingness and ability to engineer a custom design in-house allowed all of their factors to seamlessly come together. Collectively, we created a hybrid piece that will hopefully become a staple on their campus.”
Customer: (university name withheld)
Dealer: (dealer name withheld)
Product: MDW-106.375 Desk
MFI Sales Engineer: Joyce Nemenyi
A long-time customer of Marshall Furniture contacted Joyce Nemenyi as they were in need of an update to their traditional angled desk/lectern hybrid design. The customer specified a few changes to the equipment cut outs and overall lectern size but the usual components in the piece, like racked equipment, monitor arms and cable pass, stayed the same. All the options were encompassed in a L-shaped design in which the lectern was double-wide for a one-person desk to sit perpendicular to it. “At first, it seemed like the project was going to be a straightforward build similar to what we have seen in the past with this customer. It was only once we were in the final approval stages that the furniture design did a complete 180,” explains Joyce.
The customer discovered that their traditional angled desk build would not work in the space that they were trying to fill. “The room was set-up differently and it would not have fit or allowed users to interact with the piece correctly,” says Joyce. After some internal discussions, the customer opted to angle small desks on either side of a lectern located in the middle to create a 3-piece wedge-shaped ensemble that still allowed integration of a storage rack and monitor arms. The entire unit was designed with cable pass and ease of access throughout. The legs had large cut outs and the lectern had notches on the outside panels and the interior partitions.
Of the project overall, Joyce had to say this: “I think this new furniture design was a successful alternative that nicely complemented the customer’s space and technology needs. I’m glad we were able to accommodate the university’s design change at the last second to create a beautiful, high-end desk for their faculty.”
Customer: Providence College
Dealer: HB Communications
Product: MRP-40 Lectern
MFI Sales Engineer: Tom Feldkamp
Tom Feldkamp was contacted by Mike Bohan at HB Communications early in the summer. Mike had spoken with Providence College and had recently attended Infocomm 2016 where he had seen Marshall Furniture’s booth. He explained that he was very impressed with our work and wanted to specify our product for Providence’s president, who was looking for a high-end lectern. The customer specifically wanted to have height adjust and mobility, since it was going to be used in multiple venues where the president of the college would be speaking.
During the initial design phase, Marshall’s MLP-36 lectern was proposed. After many conference calls, the piece was ultimately changed to our highly-ornate and traditional Raised Panel style. The finished lectern called for height adjust, flush reading lights, dual microphones, a clock timer power, adjustable shelves for equipment storage and cable pass from the left and right sides. Aesthetically, the customer and Tom came up with a very original design that implemented a laser burn of the Providence College torches on the top sides of the lectern, solid wood profiles throughout and notched flutes on the corners. The audience side was shipped with two access panels, both with different laser burned logos of the school’s insignia.
“PC [Providence College] had some specific needs,” says HB Communications. “We went through a few revisions and tweaks very smoothly with a conf[erence] call each time. I think making the client part of those conversations was key, instead of my interpretations or probably a missed detail.” Because of the open communication that took place between all parties, small details, including the artwork bearing aspects of the school’s image, were able to be implanted into the final design. After the piece shipped, the school reached out to say that they were very happy with the end result.
Customer: University of South Carolina Law
Dealer: Clark Powell
Product: MLP-36 Lecterns
MFI Sales Engineer: Ariel Blaha
For over 10 years, Marshall Furniture has been working with and providing Integration-Friendly® furniture for the University of South Carolina. USC’s School of Law needed a lectern that was a variation of their standardized design and worked with Sales Engineer, Ariel Blaha, to set their plans into motion. To start, Marshall Furniture provided the school with a prototype so that they could physically review all design aspects prior to purchasing the 20 pieces they needed for their upcoming space. The prototype also allowed USC’s faculty the opportunity to review available furniture options and request tweaks to the design for their sake before the project hit the production floor. “Working with the group at USC is always a great experience! In this case, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to fly in and meet with everyone to discuss the design,” says Ariel.
The finished piece incorporated dual flip up shelves to create an immense work surface, programmable height adjust and space for 12 RU of equipment. Both levelers and casters were installed with a non-standard caster clearance to create the ability to extend the levelers and lift the cabinet off of its wheels once it was in place. Each lectern had the School of Law logo etched onto the front. Three custom color matches were provided from control samples supplied by the architect. 18 lecterns were finished in one color and the other two in different matches.
“Although there were some last-minute adjustments, the overall design came together at the very end, ” Ariel explains. “The functionality of the design offers adjustment to the users based on their work surface layout and height preferences.” Marshall Furniture was delighted to be able to provide a long-time customer, USC, with a design that met every aspect of their needs.
Marshall Furniture was able to be a part of so many fantastic, original and interesting design projects last year, these being only a select few of our team’s favorites. We are honored to be entering our 31st year in business and know that none of our successes are possible without our dedicated dealers and customers. We are anxious and excited for the fun and creative designs that await us and look forward to working with you and your team. Contact us today if you’d like to share your designs or would like more information to complete your upcoming project.
Kiosks, Monitor Stands, Video Carts. Although these broad terms conjure different images for different people, they all link back to one general purpose: to display information, through images, video or direct interaction, to a specific audience. Regardless of the product … Continue reading
The first entry in our multi-part “Anatomy of” series, the lectern is ubiquitous to a slew of different applications. From teachers and keynote speakers to conference meetings and medical presentations, lecterns spearhead a majority of informative discussions. Although the specifications are unique for each project, there are a few key elements all users should consider prior to design and procurement.
Through it seems rather obvious, it’s important to keep the furniture design at the forefront of every project, especially when planning a new or remodeled space. Space can very quickly become an issue. If the specifics of the lectern build are not ironed out early on, you may be left with very little space and limited design options when all is said and done. This is especially true if you find there’s a multitude of required technology that needs to be integrated.
What’s important to consider right off the bat is what’s going in the piece and then work outward. If you’ve got a stockpile of equipment that needs to be housed (monitors, touch panels, racked amplifiers and switchers, microphones, cable boxes, retractors, etc.), discuss with the specified furniture manufacturer how much space would be needed to allow proper fit and function of all aspects. Consider any moving parts – will the surface pull out, is there a keyboard shelf, does the unit have height adjust, are there any side shelves or document camera drawers? If you’ve got parts that will increase the depth, height or width of a piece at some point during use, ensure that the space surrounding the overall unit is usable and can accommodate such options. This consideration also applies to anyone that may be seated at the unit. Space needs to be set aside for chairs, wheelchairs or stools.
Just like choosing the appropriate garb for an event, it’s important that a lectern, especially one that is the focal point of a room, make the right impression. The material or finish can transform a lectern from traditional to modern. Matching it to colors, woods and accents in the room ties the entire atmosphere together. Topping off an excellent design with the right finish is crucial – the lectern may be functional, the space may be sufficient and the style may be spot out but if it sticks out like a sore thumb, the success of its design falters.
It’s important to consider what aesthetic elements you would like integrated into the lectern. If there is a particular veneer already being used in the millwork of a room, it’s important to determine early on if using it on the lectern will incur an up charge from the furniture manufacturer. Some woods may be exotic or are not a company’s standard choice and will need to be ordered for the project.
If a space has elements of modern style (metal accents, bright colors, glass overlays, etc.), it follows that any new piece of furniture should embody these aspects as well. Speak with your furniture supplier before hand to ensure they have the means necessary to implement the materials or design features you’d like to see.
My Name Is
Although it’s sometimes an afterthought, deciding whether to include signage on a lectern is a crucial early step to explore when designing your next custom piece. Logos can take weeks or months to design, review, approve and manufacture, especially if you’re looking for a metal or multi-piece ensemble. To both speed up the process and ensure you are getting exactly what you want, it’s important to first consult with any in-house designers, webmasters or graphic artists about whether they have a style guide that outlines rules for using the official logo. This information will help the vendor determine logo type, complexity, time line and attachment options relatively quickly so they can compile an overall cost.
If no guideline exists, several questions must be answered step-by-step. To begin, assess whether the logo will be fixed. If it will not be removed anytime soon, it can be adhered via stud mounts or tape. For multiple speakers or different conference buildings where a logo may need to be removed or swapped for a different one, you will need to discuss removable methods with a designer. Second, determine size and style. More than likely, the available space on the lectern front will determine the logo size. However, when it comes to style, figure out what works best (and is in your budget) material-wise. Is there a lot of lettering or block-shaped pieces that make up the artwork? Consider individually-cut pieces of metal or an etching done right on the face of the piece. Are there multiple colors? It’s probably best to do a wood logo as it can pass through the laser more times than a metal piece. Third, make accommodations for complexity. A vector image that contains a jumble of lines or detail will take more time to etch and paint. Intricate details in artwork will typically result in more labor costs and lead time. Also, depending on logo size, some artwork may even need to be simplified to produce a clearer image.
In All Fairness
For many years, there has been a massive overhaul to make all spaces as ADA compliant as possible. When it comes to lecterns, there are easy to integrate ADA options available that allow for a more universally friendly experience. You may need to make accommodations to your budget to do so but specifying ADA options into your piece will benefit you in the long run. For one, it shows colleagues, instructors, students and keynote speakers your awareness of individuals with disabilities and your dedication to providing those individuals with a functional and comfortable user experience. Secondly, by taking the time to discuss ADA customization from the start, you can prevent the lectern from looking as though accommodations were added-on as an afterthought.
ADA furniture must adhere to three basic principles: proper wheelchair height, available knee space and equal access to any controls or technology. There are several ways that a design can satisfy all three but the majority of the time, utilizing the following options allows seamless integration of the necessary guidelines. To accommodate all speakers, whether seated or standing, including a lift is key. At its completely lowered position, the lectern would be at the maximum seated ADA work surface height and raise to a standing height comfortable for most speakers. As a way to create knee space where there isn’t any, the work surface can act as a large pullout. This would allow users to reach all integrated components without knocking their knees on door handles or locks. Of course, creating an ADA height work surface can be done multiple ways . For example, the surface can open to the side or a drop leaf shelf can be added if no fixed components exist on the surface that require universal use. If users are only using a monitor or laptop on the surface, an articulating arm can also be specified as a way to adjust equipment for comfortable use by each specific instructor.
Wheels in Motion
Perhaps the most overlooked but essential component to consider in your lectern build is mobility. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to utilize locking casters unless you know the piece will not be moved whatsoever. The locking caster mechanism typically consists of a level that is pressed to stall caster movement. Although adjustable glides do provide more assurance that the lectern will not accidentally roll away, it makes moving the lectern into a room more difficult. Leveling casters bridge the gap between both options offering a mobile solution that can be swapped for a fixed foot once in place. However, engaging the levelers is a cumbersome task that many would prefer not to perform every time they want to move the unit. Whatever choice you make keep several things in mind. Will the lectern ever be moved once in place? Is there a suitably-sized dolly available to bring the unit to the room if it is on leveling feet? What accommodations does your staff prefer to access any locking mechanisms?
These questions are important to discuss before or during design as swapping out feet later on can pose issues. Installation of an alternative will likely require the piece be tipped over, which is a situation ripe with damage potential. Also, space beneath the cabinet (if feet are typically hidden) can cause issues. Casters usually require more clearance than leveling feet. Utilizing one for the other after the fact can mean that larger blockers may be needed or casters may stick out more than normal.
It’s true that there are many different aspects at the core of each custom lectern and personalizing a piece often takes time to execute. Customer needs change from project to project and there are various concerns that must be addressed for each one. However, taking the time to consider and implement the above mentioned components for each potential lectern is fundamental to a successful design.
During our 30 years in business, we’ve had several projects where space planning, ADA accessible furniture and equipment integration did not always play nicely. As ADA-friendly spaces increase, the ubiquitous, all-in-one solution to presentation furniture becomes all but obsolete. An articulating lectern inside a small space sometimes just doesn’t work. The ways in which it articulates could change based on available space, budget or specific user disability. With so many aspects to keep in mind, the ability to personalize is invaluable to ensuring each variable is met and every space is accommodated accordingly.
As a rule of thumb, there are three essential guidelines to ADA furniture: adequate knee space, equal access to controls and a work surface at proper wheelchair height. Although a desk or table is the most obvious answer, it does not always work for every application. Not every space has room for a desk, especially one that includes racked equipment. Tables are simple and can be added to most spaces but they don’t always afford much storage space. A more common and compact solution is to specify a lectern or workstation. They are capable of holding a decent amount of rack units, have the ability to be machined for various cut outs and can be customized to match different architecture in each room. For us, to satisfy the important aspects of ADA in a smaller unit, we include a hydraulic lift to take the lectern from sitting to standing height as well as a pullout surface to create a knee space and pull all components toward the seated presenter. This seemingly simple solution is not a fail-safe for everyone, however.
So, what do you do when you’ve got little to no room behind the lectern? What if your presenter has a disability that prevents them from accessing the moving parts? One set-up may work for a large percentage of our customers but not every space, application or need is the same. The above mentioned issues present new challenges that showcase why custom furniture is important to consider.
To address a situation without adequate furniture space, it’s important to first note what will and will not fit inside a lectern at its maximum size. After that, the ADA accommodations may need to be re-designed to allow proper articulation. For example, if the space between a wall and the lectern will not allow a pullout surface to function properly, an alternate consideration would be to have the surface pull out to the side instead.
ORIGINAL DESIGN REVISED DESIGN
Not only does this alternate design still satisfy the key components of ADA, it offers users a more inclusive solution than simply adding a side shelf.
Although there exists a general precedence for each ADA set-up, it’s important to remember that not every user is the same. To ensure equal access, aspects of the general ADA set-up may need to be re-evaluated to ensure every presenter has a fully-accessible unit. For example, including a knee space on a lectern or work station via the pullout surface option simply won’t work if accessing the pullout mechanism isn’t possible due to a physical disability. Typically, to unlock and allow movement of our pullout work surface option, users would need to pull on a t-handle that is located below the surface.
However, the ability to grasp and pull may be hindered by a variety of physical disabilities. An alternate option that does not require as much movement on the part of the presenter would be a rocker switch connected to a piston that would activate work surface movement electronically.
Putting slight pressure on the left or right side of the switch will engage the mechanism. This option is also located right on the front of the podium next to the seated presenter for ease of use. Although a bit more costly, specifying an electronic work surface in place of a manual one solves a variety of issues and provides users with a personalized unit for their direct needs.
The amount of available options and design specifics can vary from project to project but one thing is for sure: specifying custom furniture is one sure fire way to ensure that every customer has a unit that is entirely built around their specific needs. Accompanying height restrictions, matching aesthetics and accommodating integrated equipment are all important parts of what we do at Marshall Furniture. However, our ability to provide an accessible piece of ADA furniture is what sets us apart. We’ve got years of experience and knowledge behind this subject and we pride ourselves on being able to design around or come up with alternate solutions to any number of design or space issues. We want to ensure that every project and its unique qualities have a voice in the ultimate furniture design.
If you have any questions for us or need an ADA unit for your space, please send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 847-395-9350 to speak with one of our knowledgeable designers.