Over the course of three days from 10-12 June, NeoCon marked its 51st edition as the world’s leading platform and event for the commercial design industry. Held in the iconic 1930s Merchandise Mart building in Chicago, this year’s show saw plenty of talent showcasing the best in furniture design – and encompassing both private and collaborative work. OnOffice picks out key trends in the show and some highlights that embody them.
This year, Steelcase expanded and redesigned its showrooms to provide a reinvigorated WorkLife experience. New products and partnerships were revealed, along with solutions from Coalesse and Turnstone. A highlight was the Mackinac collection (pictured above). Designed with the aim of helping people feel more connected, its distinctive “micro-zones” come together around a cantilevered desk that’s effortlessly height-adjustable – supporting small-group collaboration as well as privacy and making it an easily adaptable place for focused work.
Designed by Mark Müller, Three H‘s Woodstock range offers an expansive selection of functional and modern pieces. The focus was on personal space, as the decline of the open-plan office continues, and warmer and more relaxed environments dominate. Solid legs with a metal sleeve, visible cabinet seams and pull-less drawers were the main starting point – plus an abundance of natural wood as the main source of material.
ICF’s Land Lounge Chair won both the Best of NeoCon Innovation Award and the HiP Award at NeoCon this year – and it’s clear to see why. Designed for outdoor use but able to fit in anywhere, its slightly inclined seat promotes a relaxed posture with outstretched legs and back support. It’s incredibly comfortable. Made entirely of rotational-moulded polypropylene in a variety of colours, the elegant aesthetic means it would be particularly suited for lounges, waiting rooms and receptions.
For this year’s NeoCon, Unika Vaev expanded its portfolio of decorative acoustic solutions. In collaboration with Icelandic artist and designer Bryndís Bolladóttir, the Kula collection takes office wall acoustics to another level. The range – which features colourful spherical and hemispherical products crafted from sustainably sourced Icelandic felted wool – sees maximum sound absorption, minimal coverage and vibrant style take centre stage. The result is almost sculptural.