5 Findings From NeoCon 2016

WRITTEN BY rightsize

NeoCon is an impressive commercial design trade show that the Rightsize team looks forward to attending every year. NeoCon 2016 took place at The Mart in Chicago from June 13 to 15 – and it didn’t disappoint.

Over the course of three days, our team tried to take in as much as possible (no small feat, considering there were three floors of showrooms, more than 500 companies showcasing products, and close to 1 million square feet of exhibition space); here are five of our top takeaways from the show.

  1. “Resimmercial” is the word of the day.

No, that’s not a typo; “resimmercial” is a new concept that signifies the blurring of lines between residential and commercial spaces. Workplaces are getting more of a personal touch, as they’re being designed with a warmer, more residential feel. We’re seeing this in materials such as natural woods and flooring applications like LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile). This growing trend combines the comforts of home with polished, professional spaces.

  1. Flexibility is essential.

Modern workspaces need to be adaptable to a variety of needs, and NeoCon 2016 offered a lot of excellent examples of this demand for flexibility.

“Sit/stand desking systems are getting better and better every year,” said A&D Specialist Mitchell Obstfeld. “It’s a trend most likely here to stay as they become more flexible in the workplace, and can be integrated into workplace systems with ease both aesthetically and practically.”

Obstfeld noted that Friant’s My-HITE sit/stand systems are among the smoothest and quietest he’s seen; they integrate seamlessly with private office furniture and Friant Open Plan solutions.

  1. Workspaces are getting more active.

Office interiors and business trends are also going beyond just flexibility to promote more active workplaces that can adapt to changing circumstances.

Obstfeld was impressed by both the Novello Chair (designed exclusively for Global Furniture Group by Alessandro Piretti).

“The Novello chair is an innovative and dynamic expression of material science that synchronizes the seat and back with every movement,” he said. “It features a one-piece seat and back shell that can flex and bend, so that it can glide in a smooth synchronized movement on a concealed suspension system.”

The nesting chairs in the Arcadia showroom also caught his attention.

“[It] had some of the most comfortable and best looking nesting chairs we saw at NeoCon. Named the Flirt Collection, whether meetings are planned or impromptu, include many participants or only a few, Flirt changes and adapts to the need at any given moment.”

  1. Virtual reality (VR) is becoming more real.

We often think about virtual reality as a part of the gaming or tech world, but it also has a place in the commercial design industry. A few companies brought VR products to NeoCon, introducing innovative possibilities for designing spaces with more visualization and collaboration.

Configura launched a software called CET Designer Virtual Viewer Extension, which allows users to have an immersive VR experience in a designed space, making alterations and seeing them change in real time.

DIRTT has also been experimenting with VR in its ICEreality software; it allows designers to see a real-time video of a space they’re working on, and overlay it with a 3D illustration of elements they want to add. They can experiment with installing new construction elements and furniture to see how the space will look.

  1. There’s a lot to get excited about.

The Rightsize team attends NeoCon every year, and each time, we leave enthusiastic about what we can take with us. We love bringing back this new industry knowledge of trends and products, and finding creative ways to design solutions for our clients.

Learn more about how you can PLAN your ideal workspace.

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