Last year we had imagined that the appointment would be important. So it was!
The NeoCon has celebrated its 50th anniversary as a leading platform for the design of workspaces, incubator and catalyst for the future of the industry, a launch pad for innovation and thought-leadership.
The Merchandise Mart is a privileged place for meeting, sharing, learning and inspiration for those involved in “commercial design”.
The extraordinary success of this edition comes from the record attendance and increased volume over the duration of the exhibition, and the largest number of permanent exhibitors.
The top trends are acoustic performance, sustainability, biophilic design and integrated technology. The offer, the quality and the variations increase in an atmosphere of great effervescence and enthusiasm.
In general there is an overall commitment to a softer, more comfort-based approach to the design of the work space, oriented towards wellbeing and people-centric approach, with colorful, harmonious, material furnishings, the recovery of natural materials and finishes and decorative elements.
Trends in residential, hospitality, health-care, education, and workplace interiors continue to converge and intersect. Human wellbeing is emerging as a new benchmark for good design, as is inclusivity for people of all abilities, genders, and ages.
Among the HIP Award winners 2018, we highlight the Silq by Steelcase, the innovative swivel chair made of carbon fiber designed to be an organism that integrates with the body and follows its movements; the BuzziHat, a decorative and highly recognizable hat-shaped pendant light with excellent sound absorption capabilities, designed by Alain Gilles for Buzzispace; Mac Stopa, an eccentric Polish designer known for his organic approach in both workspace interiors projects and product designs, has been named “designer of the year”.
The movement was further solidified by exciting announcements: Herman Miller’s acquisition of contemporary Danish furniture brand, Hay, and Steelcase’s partnership with West Elm (we talked about this brand last year) and Extremis, the Belgian outdoor furniture brand; the acquisition of the Danish brand Muuto by Knoll, the transfer of its showroom from the Mart to the Fulton Market District.
Following the preview in Milan on the occasion of Salone del Mobile, Herman Miller launched at Neocon the Cosm Chair designed by Studio 7.5.
Then, as with every self-respecting anniversary, the party could not be missed.
Future is Party was the big event organized on the last night on the main entrance of the Mart, in front of the river, to celebrate the history of the NeoCon started on June 22, 1969. In a curious and welcoming setting made with the products of the sponsor brands, more than 3,000 guests were welcomed, coming from all parts of the world.
And there we understood that there was no trace of rhetoric turned to the past and that, rather, the real interaction was all oriented to consolidate the foundations for the future. So, taken by the enthusiasm, we have already blocked the dates of the next edition: 10-12 June 2019!
Text by Silvia Fattore, WOW! reporter from Chicago.
BuzziHat is the new successful acoustic lighting design by Alain Gilles for BuzziSpace. A decorative and highly recognizable hat-shaped pendant light with excellent sound absorption capabilities. Its unique design, combining an upholstered part with a metal shade is bound to steal the attention in any space.
Silq is the Steelcase chair, designed by James Ludwig, vice president of design and global engineering of the company.
It has only one lever under the seat to adjust the height of the chair. For the rest, the chair automatically adjusts when you sit inside the Silq’s swoopy frame. Put your weight into it and the seat scoots forward just the right amount as the back bends to cradle you comfortably. When you lower the height, the chair dynamically changes shape to adapt to the lower center of gravity.
The goldilocks combination of rigidity, adaptability and simplicity is all thanks to a new polymer Steelcase engineers developed just for this project. It closely mimics the famed structural properties of carbon fiber, but it is far easier to produce and costs about one quarter of the price.
Cosm by Herman Miller, designed by Studio 7.5. The ergonomic support is not limited to the mechanics, the structural frame and the suspensions work in tandem with the Auto-Harmonic Tilt, offering a dynamic and uninterrupted support for a total comfort experience; the sculptural Leaf Arms welcomes the elbow as a cradle, regardless of size or shape (armrest available in different versions).