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…

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…

Into the Woods

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

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Vecta’s Rocky Chair Lasts 15 Rounds

Designed with a hip-side pivot, Vecta’s Rocky chair can move with any punch you throw at it. Sleek in style, the two-part seat is designed for comfort and looks, and is reminiscent of the aerodynamic curves common in classic modern…

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,”…

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…

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…

Glass Tiles Broaden Range of Uses

Glass Tile USA’s Live Tile line is an example of old-world tradition being revived for modern needs. The tiles, which are produced by Czech glass craftsmen, come in different silhouettes and strengths, in order to support internal and external uses.…

A Trim That Helps Tiles Defy Gravity

By their very nature, suspended ceiling systems float free of a building structure. Many designers exploit this property by leaving their ceilings short of the wall. But then they run into a problem: The blunt edges necessary to conceal the…

A Go-Get-‘Em Seat

Fixtures Furniture claims that its Fetch chair is “your new best friend.” If so, you had better prepare for a lonely summer, since the company won’t be fielding orders for Fetch until September, and won’t be delivering it before Oct.…

Abacus Lamp is Honest, Elegant

Nessen’s Abacus table lamp takes a visual cue from the ancient counting instrument; that’s fitting, because the fixture is as graceful and pure of form as its namesake. The 24” lamp, which is comprised of three solid wooden beads joined…

Contessa Charms with Curves, Frills

Inspired by the forms of the human body, Teknion’s prototype for the Contessa was a tough seat to get into even during the quieter times at NeoCon. It always seemed as if the hoards needed to rest their weary feet…

Split Forms, Uses for 50:50 Chair

Allermuir’s 50:50 chair has a cleverly cleft seat that can be adapted into a side chair, high stool, or low stool. The piece’s unremarkable, four-legged tubular steel frame supports a fascinating, origami-like seat that seems most appropriate when rendered in…

Artoleum’s Impressionist, Pointillist Tiles

For Denis Darragh, president of Forbo Flooring North America, sustainability is not a marketing issue: It’s a socio-economic responsibility. While Forbo’s linoleum products have been green since that term was only a color, the company doesn’t see this as a…

Thonet’s Genus Defines the Company’s Vision

“Bentwood” furniture has been synonymous with Thonet since the company’s inception in 1830. So it’s appropriate that the firm’s new Genus chair—which features a slick bent plywood seat and back—is a distillation of the elements that helped establish Thonet’s reputation.…

Spot Chair: A Fusion of Old and New

Los Angeles-based designer David Dahl has fused several motifs in his Spot lounge chair, created for Carolina Business Furniture. The piece has the chunky solidity of a ’50s club chair yet floats above the floor on a quintessentially ’80s arched…

Liquid Keeps Work, Style Flowing

A response to the constantly evolving workplace of today, the Liquid Workspace is an assortment of kidney-shaped elements that add up to an extraordinarily flexible product with a highly contemporary look. Unlike typical systems workstations, the Liquid solution utilizes lightweight…

A Quiet Place to Sit

The Silencio chair looks like a cross between an egg and Volkswagen’s updated Beatle. Even without its optional acrylic side panels, it’s a virtual cocoon whose plush upholstery really does cut down surrounding noise—just as its name promises. Launched last…

A Fiberboard That Favors the Environment

Verde Interior Products boasts that furniture made with its materials is “green to the core.” That’s because Verde’s core product is the innovative SONOBoard3D honeycomb fiberboard, a 100% post-consumer waste paper fiber that can be used as a substrate for…

Swirling Beneath Our Feet

As a preview to its forthcoming collection of carpets, Atlas is showing Spyro—a prototype pattern that’s reminiscent of your old Spirograph, because that’s exactly what Atlas’ designers used to create its swirling motifs. The sample utilizes a new interloop, full-repeat…

Sports Technology Influences This ProActive Chair

Snowboarding, biking, and other technology-driven sports inspired the design of Christophe Marchand’s first chair. “Sports have intelligent systems that aren’t used in business,” explains the Swiss-based Marchand when describing the unusual assortment of materials he sculpted into the ProActive chair.…

Flexible Office Furniture for Working—or Relaxing

Metro extends its Bix line with a series of pieces specifically created to encourage office-wide collaboration. The podium and bench coordinate with the original lounges for intimate—and flexible—work areas that can start to resemble the seating found in an upscale…

USG’s TOPO Ceilings

If you’re looking to set sail on a tossed and rolling ceiling, the new TOPO system can make it happen, at least within the constraints of a typical 2-by-2 lay-in tile. TOPO is available in an 8- or 12-inch depth…

Geiger’s Settings

Settings brings the modularity and flexibility of systems furniture to the private office. Changeable panels mount to conventional partitions and provide the backdrop for a large selection of worksurfaces, storage units, and accessories. Finishes vary from wood to paint to…

SMED International’s Mimic Task Light

The Mimic task light is clear plastic evidence that Apple’s i-Mac-inspired designs are still with us. It features a “glow ring” touch-sensitive dimmer that allows the user to choose either 60 or 100 percent power output, depending on need. Its…

Niels Diffrient’s Freedom Saddle Seat

You can sit high in the saddle all day long according to the makers of this equine inspired stool. It’s touted as one of the most comfortable and healthy ways to sit, but bridle and stirrups are not currently available…

NeoCon Winds Down

Wednesday is the quiet day at NeoCon. That’s not to suggest that it is an uncrowded place, but it is possible to find space on elevators and even the hottest showrooms can be casually strolled without the crush of rush…

Niels Diffrient’s Task Light

Light in color and design, the Diffrient Task Light moves with just the slightest touch of the finger. Available as a base, clamp, or wall mount, the elegantly designed frame has just enough of a skeletal feel to remind one…

USG’s Tough Hide

Tuff-Hide is a spray-applied product that eliminates the usual two-step skim coat and primer coat process necessary to achieve the highest level five gypsum board finish. As designers ask for more sculptural qualities from gypsum board, Tuff-Hide promises to translate…

Johnsonite’s New Psychedelic Flooring

Resilient flooring is going back to the 1960s with the tie-dyed patterns of Johnsonite’s new Olio. Designers can mix colors, patterns, and textures online at the company’s web site to produce an endless series of psychedelic floors. Custom production capabilities…

The nxt Chair from Arconas

The nxt (pronounced “next”) chair is an Italian design that hangs a squarish back (kind of resembles a window shade) and a contrasting oval lumbar support from a single central support column. The best (or should I say “bst”) version…

Mannington Goes Green

Early press literature promised that NeoCon’s Tuesday afternoon Green Walk would mean dozens of manufacturer’s reps wearing “Ask me why I’m green” buttons. I was concerned that this promotion might spring an army of eco-friendly alien creatures on an otherwise…

Izzydesign’s Graceful Gracie

The Gracie is a simple design that doesn’t look or feel like a stacking chair, though it is stackable. It’s a hefty piece, though its weight belies its pleasing lines and makes it feel more expensive than it is. It’s…

Ki Seating’s New Piretti Chair

The prototype Piretti Dance Chair is like so many new chairs already available—extremely light and capable of being folded, nested, or stacked for easy storage. But its playfully colored, dimple-patterned plastic back has a notch that allows the chair to…