6 commercial design trends from NeoCon Chicago 2019
Held from June 10-12, 2019 at The Mart in Chicago, NeoCon is a highly anticipated event for the commercial design industry, where manufacturers showcase their latest products and designers can enjoy educational seminars and a host of networking opportunities. This event was in full swing Furniture, lighting and decoration backyard, and we were there to tour eight floors of showrooms to see what’s new and trending.
This year marked the first time the 15th Floor of The Mart participated in NeoCon, showcasing everything that is happening outside. From massive umbrellas to a plethora of high performance outdoor seating, outdoor furniture makers have been able to open their showrooms to this community. This also marked the first year of NeoCon Square, an outdoor facility outside the Mart along the Chicago River. The square served as a lounge for relaxation, work and refreshments, and also allowed sponsors to show off their products.
Lighting makes a statement
Especially in large scale commercial spaces, bold light fixtures can add interest even when not turned on. This Delgado pendant from the Thomas Pheasant Collection by Baker Furniture caught our eye 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 such as 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 how this business-friendly approach was successfully introduced into a healthcare space. In a research project conducted by Gensler and Unity Health Care last year, a design team set out to determine the impact of design and upholstery materials on patient comfort. They found that patients preferred woven fabric over vinyl upholstery and that a bright color scheme on the seats made the space more welcoming.
Work at home
Resimercial office spaces were everywhere at NeoCon, including the Allsteel showroom, which featured furniture designed for employee comfort and engagement. This chair, from the Park collection, is a collaboration with Norm Architects which revisits the traditional geometry of office furniture. Movable walls, lightweight furniture on glides and customizable furniture were also on display for commercial offices, allowing for customization, comfort and collaboration at work.
Plug it in
Furniture for commercial spaces such as waiting rooms is designed with convenience in mind. This lounge chair from La-Z-Boy features a plug and USB ports for easy charging.
The push towards sustainability continues and we have learned that companies are adopting unconventional methods. At Moore & Giles, we tested the Olive Green leather collection. The leather is tanned using olive leaves, which use 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 range of textiles designed to bring natural elements into healthcare spaces using nature-inspired colors, patterns and textures – without the floral prints or to typical leaf patterns.