We started off Neocon 2013 by attending the IIDA Cool Event Sunday Evening at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Chicago- we were invited by Keli Lauric of Mohawk Carpet Industries. (Thanks Keli!) There were mostly residential entries during the awards ceremony, but the winner was amazing; the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum by HGA Architects and Engineers in Minneapolis MN.
Trends this year
The Hexagon was big in both textiles and flooring- it’s looking like the hexagon is the new circle! Colorful felt was huge in a majority of the bigger showrooms such as Steelcase and Herman Miller. It makes me wish we could use felt in healthcare as it has such a nice hand and looks wonderful, adding a richness to the space that many fabrics cannot achieve.
My Favorite Products
The best in healthcare was Steelcase- I think they had more to offer in new products than the other competitors. I thought the new recliner was nice as far as the new features were concerned such as a drop arm side approach as well as nice lumbar support and the attention to detail helped enhance the performance of the recliner. Better casters and a lime green pull on the back added a more contemporary pop.
There were some common trends in the healthcare/education seating – a lot of low back bench seats with privacy panels. And of course cool lounge chairs that offer more privacy in a fun way.
We saw a lot of the major companies offer the marker top coffee table and more low round stools that we tend to use a lot of.
Keilhauer had a neat stool that was new and different for the standard physician stool or other uses in this case
This LED color changing bench was pretty cool.
Desingtex had some fun new fabrics & vinyls that will be available later in 2013.
And of course you can’t help but poke a little fun and some manufacturers who simply try to hard- A faux pas in the pediatric design industry in my book. And maybe this other manufacturer might have taken the outdoor molded plastic furniture too far…
Hayworth deserves an Honorable Mention in exhibit design. Taking a page out of the museum exhibit playbook, we were given headphones so we could have a personal tour at our own pace. This was a wonderful option!
See you next year NEOCON!
Robin Kirkman, Associate IIDA