If it’s 90+ degrees in June, and I’m walking across the Wells St. Bridge, and there’s a scrum getting into the elevators, that can mean only one thing: Neocon! Yes, that yearly extravaganza/mosh pit of commercial interior design at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Even when I’ve read up on the latest product trends, I’m always blown away by the sheer number of products... the palpable energy of the crowds... and how much my feet hurt.
This year had an added element: live Instagramming my nerdy fan girl reactions to the products I saw. Can you spell MORTIFYING? Luckily, the Snapchat-like Instagram Stories (like the video of me wearing a virtual reality headset at Steelcase) have disappeared and only a few photos have been captured for posterity on the ASID Instagram account. Here are a few other Neocon highlights taken from my iPhone that were not from my chaperoned showroom visits:
Bernhardt Design’s Terry Crews collection inspired by Egyptian design motifs was a huge hit this year, winning awards left and right. Who knew that the former NFL player and actor (I loved his Julius dad character on Everybody Hates Chris!) went to school for graphic design and loves furniture design?!
Rich fabrics in shades of purple, plum, and wine were the rage. These are photos of HBF’s Japanese-inspired multilevel Kanso bench, a palette from Allsteel, and customizable pillows from Allermuir (available in an assortment of fabrics and quilting patterns).
Felt acoustic solutions were everywhere, from screens (ICF’s Airbloom) and wall treatments (Filzfelt’s Scale) to suspended ceiling elements (Buzzipleat).
ASID always sponsors a thought-provoking keynote during Neocon and this year’s session was no exception. TED Senior Fellow Dr. Jessica Green described the fascinating and rather disconcerting world of invisible microbes that surround all of us, and how interior design can enhance or inhibit their healthy attributes.
During all the craziness, it was wonderful to be able to hang out at the ASID booth, located once again in a prime location on the ground floor, just off the Grand Staircase. This year’s booth, designed by ICRAVE, featured articles from both ASID ICON and IDC’s D magazines, to celebrate the merging of the two publications into a joint North American design publication. We also announced that our D.C. headquarters is the first double platinum LEED & WELL space in the world, woohoo!
This year’s Neocon was definitely a showstopper and will be hard to top next year. But stay tuned because our ASID Board and staff are hard at work, forging ahead in our efforts to show that Design Impacts Lives. Next stop: The Leadership Experience in La Jolla next week. Hope to see you there!
The companies and products listed in this e-mail are not endorsement by ASID.