NeoCon 2005: A Fair to Remember

Now that NeoCon 2005 is history, let’s take a moment to pick apart the blur of showrooms, sales pitches, and stairs. As for trends, we spotted a few, including the integration of green design into products and business models, and the development of office furnishings that look more residential than corporate.

A number of fair exhibitors reaffirmed that sustainable design is not just a passing phase. This commitment was shown in numerous ways. Sometimes it was evident through choice of materials: KI’s Daylight chair, for example, is made from recycled car batteries and seat belts, while Vera Za’ Arour’s rugs utilize hemp, an earth-friendly resource. Sometimes the commitment was reflected in the product’s design: Bruce Mau’s L7 modular tiles for Shaw Contract are meant to be used for years, then re-arranged and used some more. And sometimes the commitment was evident in the company’s business model: The resin coverings in 3form’s Full Circle collection feature regenerated natural materials and are made by local artisans, who receive fair-trade pricing for their efforts.

Another notable NeoCon trend was office furnishings that address workplace basics like ergonomics, flexibility, and privacy, but which look anything but corporate. For instance, Jofco’s Collective Motion and Collective Presentation lines of furniture and media systems take their cue from the residential market, while the Embrace Family collection of healthcare furniture would not be out of place in a hotel lobby. Contract textile companies were getting in the act too, creating patterns like The Story of My Life, made by Maira Kalman for Maharam, and the Tattoo collection, by Carnegie Fabrics, which seem more appropriate for the home than office.

At every trade fair, there are hidden treasures; click on the links below to see some of ours. In the next few days, we’ll also be adding to our NeoCon coverage party and showroom pictures, as well as the transcript of Metropolis’s “Technology Transforms Art and Design” event, which featured Asymptote co-founder Hani Rashid.

NeoCon, Day 1: Surveying the Field
NeoCon, Day 2: Eco Gets Entrenched
NeoCon, Day 3: Interior Design at Work

To see the full coverage of NeoCon 2005, click here.

Categories: Healthcare Architecture, Uncategorized