For the past five decades, design professionals have gathered at Chicago's Merchandise Mart (the Mart) to survey the latest in commercial and contract furnishings for the annual National Exposition of Contract Furnishings, or, as the industry knows it, NeoCon. This year, from June 11-13, more than 50,000 attendees explored 1 million square feet of exhibitor space, attended keynotes by Art Gensler, FAIA, and Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, and clogged the streets of the already-packed Windy City.

At this year's show, manufacturers continued to embrace human-centric design, with many leveraging these efforts into forward-thinking office amenities.

Here are ARCHITECT's top picks from the showroom floor:

Courtesy BuzziSpace BuzziMood

BuzziMood, BuzziSpace
Belgian company BuzziSpace has expanded its line of acoustic solutions to include an organic alternative that utilizes preserved reindeer moss rather than conventional sound-absorption materials. Created in a collaboration with Pasadena, Calif.–based designer Cory Grosser, BuzziMood is soft to the touch, but will harden and dry in a space that lacks adequate humidity, helping users to track the quality of the overall indoor environment. It is available in seven geometric shapes, two moss shades, and with a black or yellow frame.

Courtesy 3Form HooDoo

HooDoo, 3Form
A proposed solution to counter issues of privacy and distractions in open floor plans, this octagonal, semi-enclosed breakout space is made of lightweight, translucent walls that allow in natural light while limiting outside noise through acoustic panels at its base to enable small meetings, phone calls, or simply peace and quiet. HooDoo's translucent panels can be specified in multiple colors and patterns. HooDoo will be available in the fall.

Courtesy Luceplan Farel

Farel, Luceplan
At the Italian lighting manufacturer's first-ever NeoCon, Luceplan debuted Farel, a suspended dome-shaped acoustic luminaire, which provides both diffused downlighting and sound mitigation due to the shade's combined acoustic material and Trevira CS fabric. Designed by Diego Sferrazza, Farel measures 31.5 inches in diameter and is fitted with a 2700K, 35W LED with a minimum CRI of 90. This fixture can be specified with alternating interior and exterior colorways of light gray and dark gray; dark gray and raw white; rust and dark gray; and aquamarine and raw white. The rings and heat sink can be specified in a matte black, matte aluminum, or matte brass finish.

Courtesy Humanscale Summa

Summa, Humanscale
Designed in collaboration with Gensler, Summa is Humanscale's first executive boardroom seating option. Specifiers can select from three backing materials, including a polymer that mimics lacquer—in black or white—and colorways that emulate the look of wood. It is available with casters or glides with a chrome base. Upholstery options include leather in multiple colors.

Courtesy Innovant HotDesk

HotDesk, Innovant
Innovant is combining its office furnishings and the Internet of Things for its new co-working station application, now available for its entire line of benches and workstations. Designed with Dutch wireless charging manufacturer Zens, HotDesk allows users to wirelessly charge mobile devices, such as cell phones, by placing them on a charging zone on the table surface. Concurrently, the connected HotDesk smartphone app marks the workspace as occupied or booked by the user, allowing transient employees to find available workstations or specific colleagues.

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