July 2016 //

The Top Five Trends from NeoCon 2016

By Natalie Schultz


Min Jae Kwon and I recently attended NeoCon 2016, which is the largest architecture and design expo and conference focusing on commercial, healthcare and hospitality interiors.


At the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, hundreds of exhibitors displayed the latest interior products, from furniture to fabric to lighting. Throughout these exhibits, displays and seminars, we noted five trends:

1. Industrial Chic + Color

*We loved seeing the convergence of industrial-looking products combined with saturated pastels in apricot and teal along with the 2016 Pantone colors of the year, serenity and rose quartz.

2. Workplace + Café

*System furniture has come a long way. This year’s pieces featured reclaimed wood and marble finishes merged with touches of medals mixed in, which really gave you the sense you were working in a café or a residence rather than your work office space.

3. The Sky is the Limit with Digital Images

*Art and interior design meld together to create immersive installations. Reminiscent of assemblage, vendors are really pushing boundaries with digital imagery. For example, a 3D coat hanger collage was digitized and creates a new material.

4. Out of the Box Task Seating

*Huge strides are being made to make task seating adaptable and more ergonomic – really focusing on the individuals who use the product.

5. The Sound of Silence: Acoustical Felt

*As designers create open work spaces, they need to address basic needs of ensuring everyone can have quite moments to work on projects or take a private phone call. This year, we saw a lot of acoustical felt in a variety of colors, which help to dampen office sounds.


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