Italy is a “Fundamental” Country, at Neocon 2014, too (Chicago).

Rem Koolhaas curator of 14a Biennale di Architettura in Venice “Fundamentals” with “Monditalia” asserts the important role of Italy and the last edition of Neocon 2014, the most important annual exhibition on office and contract furniture (Chicago June 9th/11st) confirms the ever-growing cultural and trade weight of the “Made in Italy” in all its aspects. 

Just to quote a few examples, Calligaris, that entered the contract world with its customized stools for Estèe Lauder and McDonald, opens now its permanent showroom at Merchandise Mart.
Among the new exhibitors of Neocon we noticed the temporary showroom Natuzzi Italia and B&B Italia in partnership with Teknion. And some American companies have chosen an Italian name, for example Sedia Systems and Borgo (dealer of Ares Line).
The name of  the Steelcase’s partition system is V.I.A., not accidentally; it is designed in collaboration with Claudio Bellini and it is inspired by the urban organization.

However, the larger Italian presence is “invisible” to the outsider, it’s well-know through the data on foreign trade: millions of Italian components and semi-finished products can be found in American products.
Our hunch is confirmed by Franco Bianchi, CEO Haworth (also an Italian!), “Italy is present with its products but most of all with the spirit and inspiration of design”. A sort of  aura? Not only that. A concrete, recognized element and awarded with Best of Neocon Award 2014 for the Openest Collection Haworth designed by Patricia Urquiola, Spanish, but Italian for adoption and for the spirit that make our Country, unique, Fundamental.
Text by Silvia Fattore, reporter WOW! Webmagazine.

1,2, Haworth, Openest Collection by Patricia Urquiola
is an ensemble of products for collaborative spaces where people work or relax.  The collection includes sofas, pouf seating, tables and space-dividing screens that offer design flexibility.  It was awarded Best of NeoCon Gold in the Collaborative Collection category and Best of Show.
3, Herman Miller, Living Office, an enlightened and more human-centered framework to approach contemporary office design. It seeks to inspire and enable a more natural and desirable workplace, fostering greater connection, creativity, productivity for all.
4, Coalesse, Massaud Conference Seating Collection designed by Jean Marie-Massaud. It was inspired by luxury outside the office and beautifully crafted for comfort in the workplace. The collection expresses a modern form accentuated by refined upholstery details and tailored for progressive organizations.

5, KI, MyWay. It responds to the needs of each user with a wide variety of seating styles, allowing users to interact with the chair in varied unconventional seating styles—all while providing unparalleled ergonomic support.
6, Groupe Lacasse, IO Chair, design by Francesco Favaretto; polymer chairs feature wood, aluminum or steel frames; four-legged, sliding, star and beam bases; optional armrests and upholstery.
7, Steelcase, Elective Elements; a freestanding office system designed to address the changing workspace requirements in today’s private and open-plan environments. It supports the needs of the individual, without sacrificing performance and with a ‘50s style aesthetics.
8, Steelcase V.I.A. (Vertical Intelligent Architecture);design by the Steelcase Design Studio with Claudio Bellini. The newest technological device may be the wall, one of the oldest architectural elements. It creates spaces that help fuel the innovation process, hosts the latest large-scale video and display technologies, offers unprecedented acoustic privacy, and easily reconfigures to support rapid change.
9,10,11,12, Caimi Brevetti Snowsound Acoustic Panels. Even the Best of Neocon 2014 Silver Award -Architectural Products category- awarded an Italian Company: Caimi Brevetti. The jury awarded the whole Snowsound Collection that includes products designed by Michele De Lucchi, Lorenzo Palmeri, Alberto and Francesco Meda.


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