Every year the Merchandise Mart in Chicago is filled with designers from all over the world for three days in June to see what is new in the commercial design world. As part of my Interior Design role with FMD Architects, I attended NeoCon to see the latest trends and came back with innovative ideas and inspiration to share.
The shift seen with furniture this year had an increased emphasis on the recent trend in mobility. There is plenty of research to back up the fact that people today are working much different than years before. Companies work as teams, collaborating in different groups throughout the day. With this idea in mind Steelcase same out with a line that promotes constant movement throughout the day. Desks are able to be rolled throughout the space near mobile marker boards or grouped together for co-creation. This is an interesting concept for the office, but could also be used in other settings like media centers in schools.
With the open office design comes the need for areas of retreat, whether it is to take a private call or have a moment alone. Many manufacturers continue to come out with furniture systems that provide a feeling of privacy and offer an escape from the office bustle. Kimball exhibited an expansion
of their Pairings line showing that a semi-private nook is the perfect place for independent work or a casual conversation. OFS created another nook setting with their LeanTo, winning a Best of NeoCon Gold Award.
Throughout the showrooms there was an overall feel of biophilic design. The idea of biophilic design brings elements from nature into architecture and interior spaces, whether it is with actual plants or imagery inspired by the natural environment. More and more furniture companies are seen incorporating planters into their products, like Stylex with their Free Address collection. Real or fake, plants are proven to brighten anyone’s day and also contribute to the acoustics of a room, so why not add them to your space? Steelcase showcased a product from Sagegreenlife in their show room which combined a mobile marker board with a green wall, promoting collaboration while giving users their plant fix.
Flooring continues to move away from the typical linear patterns we have seen in the past. Instead, organic and geometric patterns covered the floors of NeoCon this year. Along with the awesome new designs comes just as great back stories to many of the products. Patcraft showcased more carpet from their Deconstructed line, breaking carpet down and focusing on the beauty of imperfections.
One of the best displays of geometric patterning was in the Tarkett showroom. Their new LVT comes in a variety of shapes and colors to allow your floor to become a statement piece. They also created an interesting environment with a geometric installation of their new linoleum line, Lino.
If any of these products or ideas interest you please feel free to reach out to us, we’d love to incorporate them into your new space.