22 June 2016
Wellness, Privacy, Comfort & Technology = Healthy Office Furniture Market
Show infused with healthy attitude & positive outlook for market growth.

 

hfmmagazine.com, with its focus on health care, reported that the multitude of commercial interior products and technologies on display at NeoCon consistently emphasized three primary themes: designing for resiliency, sustainability and creating spaces that support healthy behaviors. "Amid the scores of showrooms, many of the health care-focused products were designed to make environments safer, more energy efficient and more responsive to consumer needs - including everything from flexible and durable furniture to touchless hand-hygiene stations to at least one hard surface material (DuPont Corian) that can be fabricated with embedded transmitters to faciltate recharging smartphones, tablets and more." 

 
contractdesign.com covered NeoCon's keynote speaker, Spanish designer and architect Patricia Urquiola.  Celebrated for her forward-thinking and innovative product, interior, architectural, and conceptual designs, the designer told the audience, "You have to find a language between yourself and others to defend your work," adding, "Be dimensional.  If you're not a curious person, you'll lose out on a lot of fantastic things."
 
Michigan Live assessed "four workplace trends;" (1) "Pockets of Privacy" - compact office pods; (2) "Standing Meetings" - shorter, more productive, less zoning out; (2) "Home Sweet Office" - informal, comfortable, residential-like; and (4) "Smaller (shared) Executive Office" - while the boss is away, someone else works in there that day. 
 
Despite the health and wellness focus of the trade fair, Monday Morning Quarterback'sRob Kirkbride, noted, " . . . ironically, most of the stairwells were empty of the same proponents of well-being."  Where were they?  Riding the elevators!  His quotes from industry leaders, however, emphasize the health of the market itself. "Everyone is talking about what's coming next . . . . about the future of the work." (KI President Brian Krenke) "Major competitors in our industry are going to the market quite differently  . . . customers can discover the differences at NeoCon." (Jim Keane - CEO Steelcase).  Others noted "palpable excitement," dealers being "fired-up" and the "largest crowd ever" reported on Tuesday.  The show is likely to have been the largest show in NeoCon's history.