Striking products and innovative concepts were aplenty at NeoCon 2016. Chicago’s Merchandise Mart was filled with impressive offerings for the annual contract furnishings show, including these standouts from Humanscale, BuzziSpace, Carnegie and others.
1 Vessel Light by Humanscale
The health- and well-being-focused company ventured into the architectural lighting category for the first time with this sleek cylindrical number. Designed by Todd Bracher, the quartz crystal tubes utilize engineered optics to conceal the light source, which downcasts a glare-free, uniform circle of white light. Hung as a single pendant or in clusters of multiples, the overhead light offers a softer layer to common task lighting. The elegantly simple and versatile form was awarded a Best of NeoCon Gold award at the show.
2 Mellow by Bernhardt Design
The simple shape of Océane Delain’s sofa belies an intricate system for customization. Wanting to bring flexibility to a traditionally fixed piece of furniture, the French designer created a cord, button and lock mechanism, integrated in the solid maple base. The hand-operated device can manipulate the tension of the multiple internal foam layers at different spots along its plane. Its medical-grade upholstery allows for complete memory retention, and ability to be stretched equally in all directions while maintaining elasticity.
3 BuzziJungle by BuzziSpace
Installed on the lobby level of the Mart, Belgian designer Jonas Van Put’s jungle gym invited attendees to revisit the playground by climbing, sitting and lounging in a concept environment that blurred the boundaries of a traditional workspace. The antithesis to a formal boardroom, the bright yellow playscape featured multiple levels that aimed to encourage movement and social interaction, even in a meeting scenario. A second model was set up in BuzziSpace’s 10th floor showroom and proved just as hard to resist, as guests took turns clambering through the woven galvanized structure.
4 Xorel Artfom by Carnegie
Expanding on its popular series of easy-to-install acoustical panels, the textile manufacturer debuted nine embossed and embroidered patterns in four tile shapes with an artful display in its showroom. Made from a proprietary PVC material, the pieces come in three scales and more than 50 colour options, and they can be adhered in practically any arrangement using “Quick Grab” adhesive or Velcro.
5 Translucent Color Portfolio by 3form
To introduce its new colour system, 3form transformed its showroom into an inviting gallery-like space, a pleasant respite from the crowded, bustling hallways at NeoCon 2016. Floating within a backdrop of white walls and pale wood floors, colourful large-scale, multi-material circles were used to showcase some of the 250 hues available for commercial interiors. The palette launch was a result of the company’s multi-year study that looked at the working relationships designers have with colour and how they consciously use it to create a space. All the colours can be applied to Varia, Ecoresin, Chroma Struttura, Pressed Glass and Koda XT.
6 Customizer App by Coalesse
Designed to work with the LessThanFive chair by Michael Young, this app brings an interactive element to the client, letting them decide on and apply colours (infinite hues are available), patterns and graphics to the incredibly lightweight carbon fibre chair. Further customization options include gradient effects, personal artwork and even logos.