Held June 10-12, 2019 at The Mart in Chicago, NeoCon is a much-anticipated event for the commercial design industry, where manufacturers showcase their newest products and designers can take advantage of educational seminars and a host of networking opportunities. This event was right in Furniture, Lighting & Decor’s backyard, and we were there taking in eight floors of showrooms to see what’s new and what’s trending.
This year marked the first time The Mart’s 15th floor participated in NeoCon, showcasing all things outdoors. From massive umbrellas to a plethora of high-performance outdoor seating, outdoor furnishings manufacturers were able to open their showrooms to this community. This also marked the first year of NeoCon Plaza, an outdoor installation outside The Mart along the Chicago River. The plaza served as a lounge for relaxation, work, and refreshments, and also allowed sponsors to show off their goods.
Lighting Makes a Statement
Especially in large-scale commercial spaces, bold lighting fixtures can add interest — even when they’re not switched on. This Delgado pendant from Baker Furniture’s Thomas Pheasant Collection caught our attention with its height and textured bronze finish.
Focus on Comfort
Designers are increasingly blending residential and commercial aesthetics, bringing the comforts of home to spaces like offices and hotels. At Sunbrella’s booth, where its high-performance woven fabric was on display in a variety of styles and colorful patterns, we learned about how this resimercial approach has been successfully brought to a healthcare space. In a research project conducted by Gensler and Unity Health Care last year, a design team aimed to find out the impact of design and furniture materials on the comfort of patients. They found that patients preferred woven fabric over vinyl upholstery, and a bright color palette on the seating made the space more inviting.
Work From Home
Resimercial office spaces were everywhere at NeoCon, including the Allsteel showroom, which showcased furniture designed for employee comfort and engagement. This chair, from the Park collection, is a collaboration with Norm Architects that puts a spin on traditional office furniture geometry. Movable walls, lightweight furniture on gliders and customizable casegoods were also on display for commercial offices, allowing for personalization, comfort and collaboration at work.
Plug it In
Furniture for commercial spaces like waiting rooms is being designed with convenience in mind. This lounge seating from La-Z-Boy has an outlet and USB ports for easy charging.
The push toward sustainability continues, and we learned about companies going green in unconventional ways. At Moore & Giles, we checked out the Olive Green leather collection. The leather is tanned using olive leaves, which uses less water and energy than conventional tanning processes, making it the first LEED-compliant leather.
Back to Nature
From plant walls to greens galore, nature continues to permeate commercial spaces. In the DesignTex showroom, we saw the Biophilia line of textiles designed to bring natural elements into healthcare spaces using colors, patterns and textures inspired by nature — without the typical floral or leaf-patterned prints.