Edward Keegan

Scaling Up for NeoCon 2003

I only arrived a half-hour late to NeoCon this year, a delay more by design than mere tardiness, since I know how congested Chicago’s River North area gets during rush hour. Showing up at 9:30, I thought, would help me miss the madness of the usual commuter crush. So I zipped along in a cab from my North Side apartment,…

More Monolithic Cork Flooring

Composed purely of recycled cork and rubber, Expanko’s XCR3 seems to have a rather high-tech name for an all-natural product. In fact, the moniker is simply an acronym for the tongue-twisting “Expanko cork-rubber, 3rd generation.” Expanko’s iteration of the cork-flooring composite, however, is the first to offer an aesthetic that’s significantly closer to a typical rubber floor in its subtler…

Into the Woods

Milwaukee architects craft a stunning lakeside retreat that blends naturally into the rugged hillside setting.

Xten: A Chair with a Sports Car Legacy

It’s hardly surprising that the first chair to be designed by Pininfarina would have the sleek lines and sophisticated technology usually associated with sports cars. After all, the company’s legendary designers have been sculpting the automobiles of Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Ferrari for decades. The Xten has all the adjustable elements expected of any high-end chair: armrests, seat, and…

Lees’ Vinyl Carpet Tiles

Initially, Lees’ Wovensquare MTX Collection looks like ordinary carpet tiles, but their holographic surfaces alter when you view them from different angles. And the 24” x 24” tiles aren’t really carpeting at all: they’re made of an abrasion-resistant vinyl polymer that combines the durability of vinyl flooring with the flexibility of carpet tiles. Lees initial Wovensquare MTX collection offers three…

A Light that Takes Root

Inspired by the organic language of nature, the Root light bollard offers a distinctive profile while providing ample illumination, which it directs at the pavement, rather than the pedestrian. In its wood-finish option, the Root could well be mistaken for a tree’s upturned structural system; in metal, it seems like more of a sculptural periscope. The Root is appropriate for…

Growing a New Carpet Tile Collection

Last year, Interface sent out enough carpet samples to match the height of the Empire State Building six-and-a-half times, according to the company’s regional VP Joyce LaValle. Reflecting upon this, Interface is utilizing innovative—and more environmentally sensitive—methods to introduce its Apple Seed collection of modular carpet tiles, designed by David Oakey. When customers order custom variations of the line’s subtle…

ICF Group’s Laminated Luna Seat

The Luna chair is sophisticated, with its thin steel frame and pin-striped, laminated wooden seat and back. (You can choose between black or mocha-colored stripes, too!) But the sheer simplicity of the chair, particularly its single-piece construction, gives it a classic feel that will make it at home in many environments. The Luna side and armchairs are stackable, while the…

A Sofa that Creates Waves

Brayton’s new Ripple lounge can either be a squiggly shape across your floor or a wiggly seat under your bottom. Designed by Arquitectonica principal Laurinda Spear, this couch can be placed upright, so that you sit snugly between a pair of its three fabric humps and your legs are flat against its side, or placed sideways, so that the top…

Linx: An Interlinking Bench System

Linx’s name is a play on this seating system’s cat-like maneuverability and its distinctive steel-and-nylon linking mechanism that attaches each six-sided piece to its neighbor. The length of the seat i s potentially limitless, and the easily rotated link makes it easy to reconfigure the bench to many different layouts. Sixteen pieces can complete a full circle. Both Linx and…

An ADA-Compliable Wall Bracket

Doyle Crosby’s elegant new Rail Wall Bracket allows designers lots of possibilities for exciting lighting installations. The ultra-thin fixture—its finished frame is a mere 1-3/4” square—projects, at most, only three-and-a-half inches from the wall, which makes the bracket compliable with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The fixture can be specified in 3’, 4’, or 8’ lengths and utilizes fluorescent…

A Process to Etch Photos on Glass

Chicago-based Skyline Design’s FOTOglas is a new proprietary process that etches photographic images onto the surface of glass. The etching is permanent, translucent, and can be used on either one or both sides of the glass to create varying illusions of depth. The etching can be of 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, and 3/4” thicknesses, and can be done on plate, tempered,…

Kron’s Blooming Good Seat

An empty auditorium usually looks like just a sea of empty seats. With kron’s Tulip, however, that auditorium can look like a field about to blossom. With a petal-inspired seat, arms, and back, the Tulip not only offers a visual respite from standard, high-density seating, but the chair’s rounded edges and slight profile (while not in use) also allows individuals…

Wood Flooring Made of…Rubber?

As flooring has become more sophisticated and affordable, resilient wall bases have lagged behind. Now Johnsonite is offering 11 different profiles in their Millwork Collection; all are designed to mimic traditional wood bases in size and appearance. These single-piece rubber bases install much faster than their wooden counterparts, which often can require multiple pieces to achieve the same look. And…

Topo Office System

“It’s a dynamic composition that allows users to work at a variety of elevations—standing, sitting, and lounging,” says Metro senior designer Otto Williams about the new Topo furniture system. The firm’s in-house design group did “road trips” to offices around the U.S. to identify different corporate styles of working, then developed comfortable, useful furniture to support those styles. The Topo…

Sitting Pretty with the Seattable

With a small tug of a handle, the Seattable Model ST.L converts from chair to table and then back again, alleviating the need for stocking a space with lots of different types of furniture. With its sled base available in numerous types of plywood and colored plastics, the Seattable is suitable for everywhere from conference rooms to training areas to…

A Jellyfish for Your Laptop

This amoeba-shaped stand raises your laptop screen to eye-level; this more ergonomically correct position prevents back strain. A hinged, clear plastic leaf allows you to choose three different heights and angles for your machine, while carefully located openings at the back of the stand allow for tidy wire management. Available in four colors, including yellow, white, red, and black, the…

An Office Chair with Zoom

ZOOM Seating’s as-yet-unnamed prototype office chair features a five-point wheeled base, fully upholstered seat, and a polypropylene back with five different options. Designer Sava Cvek draws on many contemporary chairs with this seat’s slightly vertebrate frame and the de rigueur perforated back; however, this chair offers the standard bells and whistles while eschewing the more frenzied aesthetic so typical of…

Technology Keynote: The ‘Millennials’ Are Coming!

At noon on Monday, June 14, Metropolis editor in chief Susan S. Szenasy delivered NeoCon’s Technology keynote, entitled “Future-Shaping Technologies.” Joining her in the presentation was Fred Dust, of the multidisciplinary design shop IDEO; Dust is best known as the lead designer of Dilbert’s Ultimate Cubicle, a modular, conceptual office cube created upon the request of Scott Adams, the author…

Instyle’s Wovin Walls

Leave it to an Australian-based textile company to produce one of NeoCon’s more distinctive booths. Instyle’s space features two apparently woven walls; look closely, though, and you’ll see those walls are actually a panelized wall and ceiling system, called “Wovin,” which the company distributes in the United States. While the system can be finished in a variety of looks, including…