NeoCon 50 was surging with enthusiasm of exhibitors and guests alike. Learn on to see what caught our consideration this yr.
Chicago is among the world’s nice cities. Its dramatic lake and river setting, its magnificent structure and its uncooked power encourage the locals and companies to realize nice issues. Individuals work and play very arduous. Competitors is fierce each in enterprise as in the best way the individuals relate to one another, and befits a metropolis closely influenced by waves of immigration down the ages. Aside from considerably overly aggressive and noisy driving, if there’s friction, you don’t sense it and it isn’t apparent. Most locals appear genuinely open and pleasant, together with to strangers, and completely satisfied to get on with their lives with out troubling others. Maybe they’re all being buoyed up by the good road music which is in all places.
The town’s climate nevertheless would check the endurance of a saint. It runs to extremes, at the least so it appears for these from temperate climes. Scorching and humid summers and really harsh winters do their greatest to emphasize out a Chicagoan’s famously good humor. Unusually this yr, guests to Neocon weren’t handled to countless days of blue sky and unbroken sunshine and balmy summer time evenings. Solely these stalwarts who stayed over till Wednesday have been capable of take pleasure in wonderful climate; the remainder of the crowds who left of their droves on Tuesday night and even earlier, skilled miserably uninteresting drizzle and positively chilly temperatures.
The present was nice on so many ranges. There appeared to be many extra guests than in recent times and the environment was sensible. Noisy, crowded to extremes, pushing and shoving, laughter, and banter of previous buddies bumping into one another, a yr after they’d final met. Formally, the present opens on Monday and closes on Wednesday however more and more, Sunday has turn into busier and busier with previews and VIP shows in addition to events within the night. The tempo, day and night time, continued frenetically till Tuesday, after which, judging by the just about empty showrooms, corridors and elevators on Wednesday, everybody had collapsed someplace in a heap.
This was the 50th Neocon and if the keenness of exhibitors and guests alike is something to go by, it appears properly set for the subsequent 50.
Modifications final yr restricted the short-term present area in order that it’s now housed solely on flooring seven. That space was a lot improved this yr, and the excessive demand for the area allowed the organisers to be selective, elevating the exhibitor requirements and enhancing the customer expertise. The guts of the present stays, nevertheless, the everlasting showrooms on the three essential flooring – three, 10 and 11, particularly three, the place a lot of the area is taken up by the huge showrooms of Steelcase, Herman Miller, Haworth and the HNI corporations. This yr, Steelcase had additional expanded their showroom area with a number of new areas, together with the WorkCafé which used merchandise from the Steelcase, Coalesse and Turnstone manufacturers, in addition to unbiased companions, and got here collectively to create casual areas to help individuals when they should collaborate, socialize, focus or rejuvenate.
Scandinavian Areas was a colourful and engaging newcomer, bringing collectively 9 well-known design corporations, primarily from Sweden, together with Blå Station, Nordgröna and Götessons.
The entrance entrance space of the Mart, occupied in recent times by Herman Miller, was this yr given over to the Danish firm, Hay, by which Miller acquired a 1/three stake earlier this month.
Environmental points have been properly in proof with Knoll, and their very giant showroom, which they’re reportedly planning to vacate earlier than subsequent yr’s Neocon, was dominated by an enormous dwelling wall. Additionally they introduced their Full Circle environmental program the place they work with international shoppers to scale back landfill.
After numerous current exhibits in Europe, it wasn’t in any respect shocking that this Neocon additionally had an overwhelmingly residential really feel to it. A lot of life as we speak is to do with breaking down limitations so why shouldn’t that apply to the variations between work and residential? Supplies – even the factitious supplies corresponding to laminates and metals – had a pure look. Out have been blacks, whites and silvers; in got here wooden and muted browns and greens and greys of the forest. Nordic designs are more and more admired and appreciated right here and lots of corporations from the area are starting to exert some critical affect available on the market, each as companies in their very own proper and piggybacking a few of the largest North American corporations. SitStand tables that dominated the present final yr had retreated considerably and didn’t take delight of place to the identical extent. Relatively, the emphasis was on colors, finishes and textiles used to create a sense of seamlessness between house and workplace.
Knoll’s putting Environment Assortment of wall remedies by Dorothy Cosonas gained a Gold Award and attracted consideration.
The Allseating showroom was within the 325 North Wells St constructing throughout the road from the Mart the place they launched the Zinc chair in quite a lot of configurations from Carl Gustav Magnusson.
Inscape, from Ontario, adopted the wooden theme with their new RockIt bench system which had a really intelligent easy system of attaching screens, plant packing containers and different equipment by clicking them into toolbars.
Additionally wanting very “woody” have been Vitra whose small showroom was mild, ethereal and barely idiosyncratic.
One other environmental story was advised by architect and furnishings design agency, Eugene Stoltzfus, who create their furnishings from moso bamboo and strong Portuguese cork. Impressed by the imaginative and prescient of Gerrit Rietveld’s iconic Zig Zag chair, they confirmed the Zee Counter Stool which wants no blocking, plates, or pins.
Persevering with the environmental theme, Burgeree from Shanghai printed patterns and logos onto compressed PET sheeting to create acoustic wall cladding and area dividers.
The studio tk division of Teknion continues to broaden its attain and seize extra showroom area. Their gentle seating was notably engaging, as was their Cesto line from Netherlands based mostly designer Khodi Feiz
Herman Miller’s area was huge and crowded. Amongst a variety of latest merchandise, the brand new partnership with the Finnish firm, Framery, allowed them to point out a variety of soundproof cabins and Canvas Vista designed by Joey Ruiter created a horny workstation and area division system.
Haworth’s showroom seemed very totally different from final yr. Their Wellbeing theme, which was introduced in quite a lot of showrooms beneath totally different names, used unique materials and plenty of pure wooden to create some stimulating environments. Additionally they featured the Haworth Assortment of way of life designs from a variety of worldwide designers and corporations with which Haworth and their sellers are content material to work. They embrace Janus et Cie, Pablo Designs and, apparently, as with Herman Miller, Framery.
The Mackinac Assortment from Steelcase mixed a chic electrically powered sitstand desk cantilevered off an enormous, powered, base and one of many many open shelving methods seen on the present, this time in inch-steel part. One other innovation was the best way Steelcase labored with Microsoft to mix a PC and monitor with the only of straightforward, elegant, pivoting and peak adjustable stands.
Steelcase has additionally additional developed the Brody enclosure idea based mostly on airways’ enterprise class seating utilizing a variety of finishes and equipment.
One firm that by no means disappoints is Davis whose enterprise mannequin is to scour the world for superbly designed furnishings which they then manufactures beneath license in North Carolina. This yr, they launched Gingko indoor/outside furnishings from Jens +Laub.
Boss Group from the UK gained a Gold award for his or her Simon Pengelly designed Atom vary, as did Okamura for his or her Traverse Satellite tv for pc desk system designed by Susan Grossinger. One other UK firm, Allermuir, a part of Senator Group, confirmed their new Axyl aspect seating designed by Benjamin Hubert of Layer.
Interstuhl, the most important German workplace chair firm, working with Garmin, have created an app managed system, S4.zero, for workplace staff to watch and enhance their seating time. An digital, rechargeable, button underneath a process chair measures the chair’s movement and checks and data the extent and the best way they transfer on the chair to match towards pre-set objectives.
Certainly one of Europe’s quickest rising corporations, Narbutas from Lithuania, have been in Chicago for the primary time. Utilizing a number of worldwide designers, their merchandise appeared to suit naturally with the types coming from the higher recognized European corporations.
The one firm on the present from Turkey, Koleksiyon from Istanbul, introduced a variety of breakout furnishings together with enclosures.
Nucraft confirmed their new Myne coaching and presentation tables offering a intelligent answer to a standard drawback. As a result of these tables are all the time on the transfer, they will’t simply be left plugged into energy sockets. So how can the tables’ USB ports be relied upon to cost telephones and tablets? Myne tables hyperlink the ports to a detachable and rechargeable battery saved beneath the desk; the port has a collection of indicator lights to point out when the battery will subsequent want charging.
Enwork from Lowell, Michigan, began life within the proverbial basement fifteen years in the past. This yr they launched the Journey Desk in numerous heights and configurations.
Buzzi have been as enjoyable and quirky as all the time with a brand new vary of lighting – BuzziHats – and BuzziSpark, a re-arrangeable seating system designed to start out or stop communication.
The OFS showroom had been re-jigged and their merchandise have been following the development of residential styled furnishings. Their acoustic enclosures and the Customized banquette bench attracted consideration
- The Steelcase showroom stole the present with its measurement, type, innovation and demonstration of business management
- Neocon is alive and nicely – though it wants a correct third day, which might unfold the load for guests and exhibitors alike. Monday and Tuesday are so jam-packed that it’s very troublesome to maneuver round, not to mention to actually respect the usually wonderful product and conceptual shows.
- A problem – pronounce Karol’s 2nd identify, for those who can!