Each June, NeoCon fills the the Merchandise Mart in Chicago with the latest in furnishing, fabrics, and more. But NeoCon is more than just a trade show, says Lisa Simonian, vice president of marketing for North America’s biggest commercial interiors design event. "It's a vibrant and influential year-round community. Our goal is to deliver a multifaceted and immersive experience for the tens of thousands of industry professionals from around the world who gather at the MART each June.”
It’s Simonian's hope that the show's accompanying events and presentations spark connection and reflection to complement the innovative products showcased, particularly within the context of the morphing office landscape. With the shift to remote work—a residual of pandemic life, and for returning workers, it’s often about taking down office walls to make spaces more inviting, user friendly, while always keeping comfort, wellness, and sustainability in mind.
“New generations of workers continue to alter the workplace,” says Jonathan Webb, director of workplace strategy for the Green Bay, Wisc., contract furniture maker KI. He says the brand is striving to provide solutions that"allow employees to be more collaborative, efficient and ultimately, more productive."
French outdoor furniture maker Fermob also has workspaces on the mind. Aiming to promote well-being, the brand proposes a garden office concept. “Given that life in the outdoors is inarguably a source of well-being, working to nature’s rhythm can only be beneficial for revitalizing, inspiring, and airing the mind and body,” according to Fermob. “Urban furniture has already made the shift and companies are following to encourage employees to share, meet and exchange.”
Designers and architects will be looking at new product through this evolving lens of the changing workplace. Here, we'll take you through the floors of some of the innovative interior design products you'll find at The MART from June 12–15.
1. Plant life inspired senior designer Ellie Moser to create the bold graphics of Paradiso, a new collection by Momentum. Paradiso uses bold yarn colors for six different colorways and is composed of 51% cotton, 33% post-consumer recycled polyester, and 16% nylon. Showroom #323, momentumtextilesandwalls.com
2. Textile designer Sina Pearson’s newest collab with Momentum is aptly called Unexpected in reference to a surprising play of scale and an exuberant color palette. The range comprises three prints, including Modern Plaid, which features an oversize pattern ideal for furniture and seating. Showroom #323, momentumtextilesandwalls.com
3. Chris and Jon Panichella of Achella Design in Carlsbad, Calif., played with the classic classroom chair to shape its Kuvi Work Lounge for Encore. They deconstructed a comfortablechair, mixing the form with a variety of arm, tablet, and shelf options. Some models include casters, a right or left articulating table with 360-degree movement, under-the-seat storage, and an integrated side table with a cup holder. A selection of veneer laminates and metal frame options allow for additional customization. Showroom #336, encoreseating.com
4. Body-hugging, sculptural Oko chairs, by the Italian duo Lucidi Pevere for Stylex, lend a residential feel to corporate and hospitality interiors. With longevity in mind, the seat and back cushions are engineered to be easily removed and reupholstered, making the chair easy to maintain Showroom #337, stylexseating.com
5. Roopa by the London design studio Doshi Levien for Arper plays with the contrast of matte and high gloss. The semi-translucent glass top contrasts with a matte MDF frame to provide texture for a monochromatic look. Finishes include midnight blue, forest green, Jaipur pink, or warm gray. Showroom #346, arper.com
6. Shapely silhouettes command attention with the Beam series, an innovative group from Nienkämper. The name comes from the design: The fully upholstered rounded seating elements rest on an exposed, central wood beam. The low, compact footprint is well suited to lobbies, breakout rooms, and lounges. Wood-veneer tables with a subtle low sheen round out the collection. Showroom #365, nienkamper.com
7. The new Deli lounge chair from Scandinavian Spaces boasts a laid-back style. Its legs come in solid ash, oak, or steel, and the upholstery seat and back can be covered in contrasting fabrics. Showroom #366, scandinavianspaces.com
8. The animated form of Mudra, by German industrial designer Stefan Diez for Davis Furniture, was created with a new 3D technology. Thin layers of veneer were shaped three dimensionally to produce a light, flexible, and stackable chair suited for a variety of applications. The chair features an open-looped back and its seat can be specified in matching oak or walnut veneers, or upholstered for additional comfort. The steel base is available in more than 30 powder-coat colors ranging from neutrals to lustrous pearl. Showroom #3-115, davisfurniture.com
9. With a focus on high-end workplaces, Keilhauer and its Vienna-based design collaborators EOOS set out to create Tailored—a formal, sophisticated collection of seating. Symm, for example is a simplified tuxedo sofa with one cross on itsback. The base can be wood or aluminum with slender tapering legs, and lounge and side chairs share a hexagonal seat shape and traditional cross stitching. Swav features an armless lounge chair and low and mid-back conference chairs, all minimal and light with a grid-stitch detail. A large-scale lounge called Neesh has a slightly canted tall back and a wood base available in walnut or ash. To round out the four distinctive groups, there’s Fold, a family of three all-wood tables with sculptural forms. . Showroom #373. keilhauer.com
10. The Valencia, Spain–based architect Ramón Esteve designed the Mitjorn collection for iSiMAR, which is made of galvanized polyester and powder-coated steel tube, and features faceted lines that create a geometric design. Booth #7-8066 isimar.es
11. At Formica, there are plenty of colors and textures to choose from, like a matte or high-gloss Algae with the textured Washi paperfold. The latter simulates the handcrafted look of hand-crumpled paper in organic green.. Booth #7-4069, formica.com
12. Adadesk, a new lightweight aluminum rocking desk from Fermob, can be used ergonomically, sitting astride, facing the table top, sitting with your back to the top that then doubles as a backrest, or sideways with the table top as an armrest. The Bolder tables accomodate up to three sitters with curved, integrated stools. Booth #7-8054, fermob.com
13. The walnut Hanover coffee table from Room & Board showcases a unique joinery detail. Legs meet the top surface with a subtly softened edge. The table is crafted by Vermont woodworkers from solid legs and a wood veneer top. Booth #7-8078, roomandboard.com
14. Armstrong Flooring’s Unify VCT collection features warm wood and textiles, influenced by Scandinavian design. VCT offers a low carbon footprint, as its main ingredient is 85% locally quarried North American limestone. Booth #7-2086, ahfproducts.com
15. Part sconce, part color art, and part sound absorber, this textile-clad BuzziPebl Light sconce rom BuzziSpace is inspired by the smooth shape of a pebble. It features an LED light strip on the back to provide accent lighting for an office, a bar, a lounge, a reception area, or a restaurant. The piece also can be ceiling mounted, or ceiling suspended, and grouping adds visual interest. Showroom #10-111, buzzispace.com
16. Raglan Home, designed by the furniture and interior designer Piergiorgio Cazzaniga for Andreu World, is an elegant modular sofa with injected-aluminum legs and multiple configurations. A series of auxiliary tables also connect different modules. Showroom #10-132, andreuworldamerica.com
17. Acclaimed textile designer Dorothy Cosonas loves pattern play that speaks through rich color. Quiet Riot, her collection for Wolf-Gordon, mixes scale, organic forms, and texture. Mischief, an abstract floral/camo design and a larger scale complement to the others, anchors the group. Its tricolored, irregular ground gives it an upbeat rhythm and energy. The textile is 52% post-consumer recycled polyester, 25%acrylic, and 23% nylon with a PFAS-free stain resistant finish. Showroom #10-161. wolfgordon.com
18. Koncept’s Yurei Co-Working Light is designed specifically for shared spaces and takes itsinspiration from yurei, the Japanese word for ghost. The lights have USB-C power for device charging. They emit a soft glow and are height-adjustable. Available in a range of translucent colors and metal finishes, the shade adds an artistic touch. It also may be paired with an acoustic panel to reduce unwanted noise. The light, which is made from more than 95% recyclable materials, includes versatile mounting options including a desk clamp, or freestanding bases. Showroom #1064, koncept.com
19. Shaw Contract collaborated with the hip-hop architect Michael Ford, AIA, the founder of BrandNu Design Studio, to create Breakdance and Graffiti, part of his exuberant, colorful carpeting collection for Shaw. Showroom #1014, shawcontract.com
20. Patcraft’s Material Edit collection of carpet tiles is constructed with 100%post-industrial recycled content, and is used with the Cradle to Cradle Silver certified EcoWorx backing, aiming to offer a lower embodied carbon footprint. The carbon neutral styles are available in eight colorways. Showroom #10-160, patcraft.com
21. Historical design movements from classical Beaux Arts to sleek Art Deco architecture are reflected in Mayer Fabrics’ Revival Collection. Options including Beau, Retro, and Arc make a statement through line work, geometric patterns, and vivid colors including saffron, harvest gold, spice, Aegean, and peacock. Showroom #1173, mayerfabrics.com
22. The U.K.-based furniture manufacturer Frövi is making its Merchandise Mart showroom its North American home. Designed as a canvas to incorporate biophilia and lighting options, the brand's Relic Cloud is a bold design that can serve as a centerpiece for a workspace. Showroom #11-101, frovi.co.uk
23. Elevate is a new modular system designed for outdoors from SIXINCHUSA. The posture-friendly profile aims to support mobile work with a stylish and comfortable silhouette. Showroom #11-117, sixinchusa.com
24. Pallas Textiles, a subsidiary of the contract furniture specialist KI, is showcasing the intricately woven Savoir Faire collection. Showroom #1181, pallastextiles.com
25. Inspired by water, Arc-Com’s Essence Collection captures the graceful fluidity of this essential element. Options include Wave, a stylized interpretation of tidal flows, and Wave-X, a privacy curtain pattern woven with the brand’s X-STATIC silver antimicrobial fiber, an agent registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Showroom #1194, arc-com.com
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