I have finally managed to tag and organize more than 3000 photos and 5 bags of books, pamphlets and brochures from my incredible trip to Chicago in June for NeoCon 2010. I had an absolutely great time with my friend, coworker and fellow designslave Simon Chu. Together we explored 18 of 24 magnificent floors of the Chicago Merchandise Mart with everything from commercial office furniture to silk carpets and crystal chandeliers. I feel a deep need to showcase some of the best permanent and temporary booths and showrooms from this great trip. Without further delay here are Laura’s Top NeoCon Showrooms!
Office Furniture is possibly the largest draw to NeoCon with all of the major competitiors showing off their permanent showrooms and range of product offerings. Clive Wilkinson Architects did a stunning job for Haworth in creating a beautiful presentation and presence with a colorful and creative poolside design. Special Congratulations to Haworth for winning gold for both the Very task chair and the Enclose frameless glass movable wall system. Hawoth put on a bunch of great free lectures at their showroom this year. I only had a chance to attend one of them. The lecture was about the Macquarie group building in Sydney. I will definitely hav eto do an article just on that project in the near future!
Steelcase always combats with the other giants using simple color schemes and dynamic forms. Their Threesixty magazine showcases all of their great new product offerings and explains all the vitals, definitely worth checking out to call yourself ”in the know” even if you didn’t attend the show. Media Scape is by far one of their coolest products… the possibilities are endless with the integration of videoconferencing, sofas and bar height counter and stools. They define their offering this year as “harder working spaces” and I believe it with great compact furniture solutions for school and office.
Luna and HBF rocked the show with high fashion and drama in their showrooms. Each showcased all color options for their new ranges and let you pet and play with each of their product offerings. I love how Luna hung sneakers covered in their fabric making you feel like you really can use it anywhere.
Corporate Lounge spaces are all the rage at this years NeoCon. The office is no longer about a sea of cubicles (“drewbicles”) or the corner office, rather it is about flexibility and collaboration in an ever changing working environments. Consider quick meeting spaces, relaxed teleconference rooms, residential style board rooms… all this and more has become the new standard for all the major brands. Bernhardt design keeps classy and timeless with simple white lines and occassional pops of color. Turnstone takes the corporate office outdoors with campfire themed seating areas that encourage coomunity and natural postures and social instincts. (cave, campfire, oasis, daycamp, island, canteen, wildlife, shanty, picnic table,
Skyline Design sold me with humor and imagination. I love their new line of environmentally friendly tempered safety kids glass with plenty (11) of fun and creative patterns that can be written all over. Imagine them in a childs bedroom, classroom, library, hospital or anywhere you may need to keep a child busy and their mind active! Congratulations to Skyline for being a NeoCon 2010 Gold Winner!
Joel Berman is a captivating and talented glass artist from Vancouver Canada. This great Canadian has taken over the world with sculptural glass, divider panels, sidelights, lighting and more. His collection now includes resin which has benefitted him greatly for its lighter weight properties. His Heat luminaire is a gorgeous new light fixture that I would love to see over a dining or conference table. Congratulations to Joel and his team for capturing two best of NeoCon 2010 awards!
I will have more updates in the coming week of some of my favorite products, food, architecture and design from Chicago and NeoCon. Let me know if their is anything else you would like to hear about from the show or my trip or if I missed out on any great products or design parties.
Have an inspiring week!
Laura C. Bielecki