By: Catie Sterling
I was very fortunate this year to have the opportunity to go to NeoCon for the first time with IDO. As a new interior design professional, I tried to take in as much of the convention as possible. Dozens of manufacturer’s reps informed us on their innovative new products, new directions of their companies, and allowed us to collect countless free product samples, bags, and other miscellaneous items. It was awesome to be around hundreds of people who appreciate interior design and have a passion for interior design as much as I do.
From walking the showrooms individually or getting a tour, I was impressed by how well our industry adapts to the changes and trends in the work environment. Here’s a list of things I picked up on from my first NeoCon experience:
- Inspiration from nature – for years, the design industry has stressed the importance of incorporating as much natural light and views as possible as well as incorporating natural elements into a space. This year, there were many carpet and textile patterns that were designed to look like textures from nature to stay consistent with a natural design concept.
- Resimercial – a new term we learned this year. The concept of making a commercial space feel more residential. Softer fabrics and cozier furniture especially in a lounge or lobby setting would be an example of this. Many corporate offices are wanting to feel more at home while at work.
- Privacy in an open environment – Updated office spaces have shifted towards a more open concept, however people still need to have private conversations whether it’s with a co-worker or on the phone with a family member. Several new privacy booths were showcased this year that can be easily set up and taken down in an open office area.
- Health and ergonomics – there are now smart chairs and desks that can track your sitting and standing patterns…the desks can even raise automatically if someone has been sitting for too long. The corporate world is becoming more and more health and ergonomically aware and furniture is keeping up with it.
It’s amazing how commercial interior design products and materials have evolved over the years to fit our client’s wants and needs. These products are allowing designers to create healthier and more functional spaces in a very impressive way!