Posts tagged with "NeoCon":

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Product> Work This Way: A Preview of NeoCon Debuts

Getting excited for NeoConAN is. In fact, AN product editor Emily Hooper was so eager to see the latest design products for commercial interiors that she prepared this preview of some of best chairs, casegood systems, and acoustical panels that will be on view this year in Chicago. Lagunitas Coalesse To meet the needs of the nomadic workforce, Coalesse tapped Milan-based Toan Nguyen to design the Lagunitas line. Made to accommodate a solitary task session, a working lunch, or a brief touchdown to check emails, the collection features more than 50 combinations of seating, tables, and privacy screens perfect for laidback productivity. Lineal Corporate Andreu World America The Lineal Corporate line of seating for public and office spaces presents function and elegance in proportional dimensions. Originally available only with a cantilevered chrome base, the collection’s 2013 update offers a star base, with or without wheels, that facilitates a swivel return system on a central adjustable base. Engaging KI The challenge of crafting flexible and individual work zones in an open concept office is met nimbly by Engaging, a freestanding screen with writable surfaces. A lightweight aluminum frame on swivel castors or glides facilitates easy repositioning by its users while providing strength to support up to a 50-inch display monitor. Ace Lazer Cut Hi-Res Wood 3Form High-resolution photographs of authentic wood grain create compelling visuals for the Lazer Cut Hi-Res Woods collection. Layering images between the panels of 3Form’s Varia Ecoresin creates varying degrees of translucency that are unachievable with real wood. The product is GreenGuard certified for building materials, finishes and furnishings, and children and schools. Us Chair Wood Base American Seating Company Industrial designer Jeff Weber and renowned colorist Laura Guido-Clark co-designed the Us Chair Wood Base for corporate, educational, hospitality, and healthcare environments. More than 430 fabric offerings are available on 15 shell colors, and the base is available in Ash or Walnut variations. The chair measures 33 15/16 inches high and 19 inches wide. Hopper Bench JANUS et Cie The Hopper bench features a twist in the frame of the legs that makes the picnic table-style design more user friendly, as well as suitable for ganging. Constructed from Iroko wood on a galvanized steel frame, or an aluminum frame with a red, white, or earth powder coat. It comes in four sizes, with or without a solar shade, and seats up to 10 people. Gesture Steelcase Informed by a global workplace study of 2,000 people in a wide range of postures, the Gesture chair facilitates ease of movement between multiple technology devices. A synchronized motion system for the back provides consistent support as the user transitions from the desktop computer to mobile device and a flexible seat accommodates multiple positions. Eames Molded Wood Side Chair Herman Miller Technology has finally caught up to the vision of Charles and Ray Eames. Three dimensional veneer processes have made it possible to fabricate the design duo’s iconic Molded Chair, previously only available in steel and molded plastic, in a single, curved wooden shell. Santos palisander, white ash, and walnut looks are available on a wire, dowel, or four-legged base. Moov Acoustic ICF Group Designed by Andrew Cliffe for ICF Group, the hyperbolic curves of the Moov Acoustic wall system facilitate maximum sound absorbency with strong visual appeal. And with an integrated sound chamber, the system absorbs sound at multiple frequency levels for a 90 percent NRC rating. It is available in 15 colors. Float Decca Contract David Ritch and Mark Saffell of 5d Studio designed Float to embody the principles of modern sculpture, while handling the functional demands of the workplace. The line incorporates a light and airy casegood system with a full-height workwall balanced by lower level cabinets and a peninsula desk that rests on a thin stainless steel base. Refined Collection Mannington Commercial New York City–based architecture firm Corgan Associates has reimagined houndstooth patterns and boucle textures in the Refined Collection of carpets. Classic patterns are layered in unexpected combinations for a fresh look, while variations in gradation lend a polished feel. Available in both modular and broadloom weaves, the collection features between 10 percent and 40 percent recycled content. Metallic Yarns Robert Allen Contract A partnership between Robert Allen Contract and DwellStudio resulted in the Metallic Yarns line of the Modern Couture textile collection. Plaids, stripes, checks, and ikats are rendered in a broad color palette with metallic flecks and accents. Sunbrella Contract fibers make the collection perfect for a range of indoor and outdoor applications, from upholstered walls to wrapped panels.
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FabriKator: Wolf-Gordon's Escalator Canopy

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How a boutique Brooklyn design-build collective strung up NeoCon's first major installation.

Attendees of NeoCon in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart rode the escalators and ascended towards Wolf-Gordon's large crystalline canopy hanging overhead. Though NeoCon has come and gone, Wolf-Gordon has just begun using the tessellated, prismatic structure for an ad campaign that, for the company's new Chief Creative Officer, Marybeth Shaw, signifies a renewed approach to design and a willingness to take risks. To announce Wolf-Gordon's new face to the world, Shaw enlisted the help of advertising agency Karlssonwilker, who has created campaigns for Adobe, the New York Times Magazine, BMW, Vitra and MTV, among others, and The Guild, a Brooklyn-based design and build collective whose clients include Dior, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Hurley and Diane von Furstenberg. It's a bit of an unexpected mix of talents, to be sure, but Shaw wanted to shake things up. After developing a concept with Karlssonwilker that was inspired by Bruno Taut's 1914 Glass Pavilion, Shaw turned to The Guild, where Creative Manager Graham Kelman translated her idea into a spiky, crystalline form onto which Wolf-Gordon's fabrics, textiles and wall coverings could be displayed. Kelman's first design had between 650-700 prismatic faces with an area far too small to show off the fabric, so Kelman decreased the amount of faces to around 250 while also increasing their individual size. "I increased the largest spike from three to six feet by using a sheet of material per spike side," Kelman said. He was able to decrease "the total number of faces by two-thirds and still retain the aesthetic impact, volume and material" he wanted. Guild_Wolf-Gordon To decide on how to position a combined total of 500 yards of fabric as well as the pieces of mirror used throughout the installation, Kelman "assigned the most dynamic components and mirror panels to the most prominent views within the space." He and Shaw collaborated on the placement of the fabric swatches and then passed their design onto The Guild's Lead Fabricator, Jorge Parriera, who made a prototype he then used to refine CNC cut-files and tool path depths, finessing it "to maximize the bending of the aluminum panels and shear strength that would accumulate as the piece became assembled," Parriera said. "With every component that was added to the structure, new stress points would arise and others would subside. The structure only gained full strength when it was completed." One of the original goals was for the structure to be self-supporting, so The Guild developed a technique of CNC routing and folding aluminum panels like origami to form rigid components. Once fabrication was completed, the entire installation was rigged from a truss in the shop to test its weight, balance and stress points. It was then broken down into eight separate pieces for transportation to Chicago. Guild_Wolf-Gordon "We attempted to develop an 'open crate' system, we spoke about the crutches in Salvador Dali's paintings and about suspending the structure in the truck," said Parriera. "Ultimately, we obsessively protected each point on each spike and turned each segment until it sat naturally. Then we extensively padded the floor of the truck and ratcheted the structures to the wall.  When we got onsite there was no damage." Everything went according to plan during the two-day installation process. Parriera and his small crew simply repeated the trial run they made in their shop back in Brooklyn. All in all, Marybeth Shaw estimated that the canopy cost under $100,000. That's money well spent from her perspective. Not only is she, The Guild and everyone at Wolf-Gordon exceptionally pleased with the outcome, the 40,000-person crowd at NeoCon got the message that Wolf-Gordon is up to something new these days.
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Review> IIDA Explores the Client-Designer Relationship in "What Clients Want"

At NeoCon this year, IIDA (International Interior Design Association) presented copies of What Clients Want, the first-ever study of the client/designer relationship told from the point of view of the client, written and edited by Melissa Feldman, IIDA's executive vice president. IIDA CEO Cheryl Durst called it "a groundbreaking account of how some C-suite executives have been able to alter their companies' destinations through design [by] firms who got inside their corporate DNA and pushed them to be better." Durst is referring to companies like Autodesk, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the Cowboys Stadium, and Facebook, which enlisted the services of Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander of Studio O+A, a husband and wife duo who have designed interiors for a roster of "techie brands" like Aol, eBay, Microsoft, and PayPal. In 2008, O+A was commissioned to consolidate Facebook's spread of ten office buildings in Palo Alto, California, and merge them into Hewlett Packard's former HQ. Studio O+A credits the extensive research they conduct on potential clients prior to any design work for landing the gig.
We want to learn what our clients are about and understand their sensibilities, because if our end result doesn't reflect them, it's not going to be successful or meaningful. Sometimes it's just a matter of talking to the entrepreneurs…other times we observe them for a while.
So what did they learn? Facebook, with its well known, humble beginnings in a college dorm room, is not about flash or excess. The primary goal was to create a collaborative, flexible, and comfortable space for the company's "scrappy and entrepreneurial" employees, as Facebook's communication designer, Everett Katigbak, described them. That meant a lot of repurposing existing pieces and spaces so that "nothing is deigned as a pristine or precious moment…Overall it's pretty raw and industrial with more of a garage or laboratory feel." O+A responded with nooks equipped with chessboards and by converting a loading dock into a skateboard ramp. Both Katigbak and O+A agreed that the design process went smoothly, but by the time What Clients Want was published, Facebook had already outgrown their facility and relocated to Sun Micro System's former campus in Menlo Park. They hired Gensler for the renovation, not Studio O+A—a testament to Facebook's hyper-evolution and obsession with "the new," or evidence that perhaps the road to design was a little more rocky than either side will admit? Either way, it's not included in the designer/client conversation Melissa Feldman chronicled in What Clients Want. There are thirteen more, which IIDA's Durst said is the first in a series of limited edition books that will focus on "key vertical markets, starting with hospitality." For What Clients Want, 3M donated their DI-NOC Architectural Finish Material for the cover designed by the NY-based design firm, Pure+Applied.
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Trendspotting at Neocon

As North America’s largest interior design conference, Neocon is a great place to scout interiors trends. Here are a couple themes AN spotted during this year’s opening days. Video conference calls are an integral part of day-to-day office work for a growing share of businesses. Elegant office design and high-tech compatibility seemed to dovetail in many of the new products on display at Neocon. Steelcase’s media:scape software plugs into a new mobile monitor stand and whiteboard from Coalesse designed to integrate high-tech furnishings into clean, open plan office design. Workware from Haworth strikes a similar balance, stashing media connections and electrical outlets inside sleek media wells that are a welcome departure from plastic, flip-top openings on the conference room floor. Nucraft’s Passport won a gold award for conference room furniture. Media displays track smoothly across a bowed panel of whiteboards, opening up conference table sessions to customization without compromising the clean, high-design office aesthetic. The products merge software and hardware solutions for virtually hands-free high-tech conference capability. Elsewhere in Neocon, we saw our floors come alive. Mohawk Group tried to strike a balance between custom-order textiles and off-the-shelf products with a collection of DIY-inspired patterns. An organic color palette undulates across the catalog of modular tiles. Transitional tiles are designed to let customers create larger patterns themselves at a price point far below a traditional custom order. Camira makes fabric from UK-grown-hemp and wool, as well as recycled polyester. The result is a wide swath of colors with a reduced environmental footprint. Green flooring was a common thread among this year’s fabricators. Interface’s Urban Retreat gracefully incorporated the warm glow of moss on cement into its sustainable flooring. And we continued to tread lightly on natural resources with Chilewich's BioFelt tile, which is Velcro-anchored and PVC-free.
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Seeyond's Parametric Building System

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Self-supporting tessellations can take almost any form.

“People are pretty burned out on the office cubicle and panel systems,” said Nat Porter, general manager of Seeyond Architectural Solutions. The company, which launched this month, aims to give architects an alternative to standard space dividers with its new user-controlled parametric design and digital fabrication building system. Seeyond’s history goes back ten years, to sculptor and designer Jonas Hauptman’s experimentations with folded materials. For a class he was teaching, he turned for materials to Liberty Diversified International (LDI), whose roots are in the corrugated fiberboard industry. Hauptman teamed up with Paul James, a mathematician, economist, and industrial designer already working with LDI (now Seeyond’s parent company). They presented their business proposal in 2009 and the new fabrication system was born.
  • Fabricator Seeyond
  • Designer Seeyond
  • Location National
  • Status Ongoing
  • Material Flat stock
  • Process CNC cutting and scoring
“There was a big gap in what you could envision on a computer and what you could build,” said Porter. “The business idea was to close that gap.” The company supplies its own specification tool, called Tess, to architects and designers (an iPad app is available). From there, the user selects a type of feature—wall-mounted structure, non-loadbearing wall, ceiling cloud, column wrap, or partial enclosure—then modifies its size, shape, and tessellation before choosing other options like relief patterns or lighting. Because Tess is a parametric design tool, any change of one geometric variable modifies all dependent variables as well. Once the design is finalized, 3-D modeling data is converted to 2-D CAD information before being exported in machine code for fabrication. The fabrication technique can be applied to any cold-formed material that can be cut and scored with a CNC machine, then folded into shape. Each tessellation within the design is a monocoque, or self-supporting shell. The company says a designer should know within hours of creating a model what a feature will cost and how it looks rendered into a space. Base pricing ranges from $50-$85 per square foot and manufacturing time, from design to installation, is expected to be four to six weeks. Most structures are assembled in a few hours (watch a video of the process here), and none require any tools. Once CNC cutting is complete, flat pieces are folded; then, modules are aligned with high-performance, rare earth magnets. For early projects, the company will build sub-assemblies in its 5,000-square-foot Golden Valley, Minnesota, facility and ship them to the client, but in the future structures could be flat-packed and assembled on site. Freestanding structures are anchored to the floor with a heavy base plate or bolts. The system is so new that the company is only now beginning its first commissioned projects, including a freestanding enclosure for a PR firm and an illuminated restaurant wall, but it has built several of its own installations. These include a cable-hung cloud, a curving, wood-veneered shell, and a wall with an interior matrix that comes into high relief when illuminated. Along with LED modules, acoustical modules and designs for outdoor structures are also in the works. “I think our challenge is that the possibilities are infinite, but infinity overwhelms people,” said Porter. “So a lot of our job is going to be showing traditional applications, but our real goal is to give power back to the architects and designers. It’s going to be really interesting to see where they take it.”
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iPad 2 Giveaway: And The Winner Is....

We're back from NeoCon in Chicago, where we had a fantastic showroom crawl with designers passing through Hafele, The Fine Line, and Toto. People had drinks, took in the fantastic products, and stretched their legs after a long day at the Merchandise Mart. Now that we're back at the office, we drew a card for the winner of an iPad 2. And the winner is... Lynn Boutross, ASID, of Blutter/Shiff Design Associates! Congratulations from everyone at The Architect's Newspaper!
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NeoCon Preview> Diamond Mesh by Vitra

Diamond Mesh Vitra Vitra’s new ID Chair Concept by Antonio Citterio will include a mesh backrest option called Diamond Mesh, a 3-D pleated textile that allows for the air circulation of a standard mesh seat but with the comfort of an upholstered chair. Backrests are available in several heights, with optional head or lumbar supports. A complementary Silk Mesh seat upholstery is also available.
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NeoCon Preview> Ink by KnollTextiles

Ink KnollTextiles KnollTextiles recently introduced its new Ink collection, a collaboration with Pentagram partner Abbott Miller. The collection is a study in ink on paper and features three patterns: Drip, a series of interconnected letters; Drop (pictured), a striped ink-dot pattern; and Run, a “modern toile” created by guiding small ink drops across a page. All three patterns are 52 inches wide and made with 70 percent vinyl and 30 percent recycled polyester (backing).
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NeoCon Preview> Red Carpet Collection by InterfaceFLOR

Red Carpet Collection InterfaceFLOR InterfaceFLOR’s new Red Carpet Collection includes three floor patterns designed for a range of corporate interiors. The Reduce pattern (pictured) is a linear design, while the Redesign and Redeliver have sheared and carved motifs that add dimension. Each is available in 32 neutrals in addition to bold red. Tiles contain up to 38 percent post-consumer recycled content and are installed with glue-less TacTile connectors, which prevent tile movement and curling.
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NeoCon Preview> New Meteor Colors by Carnegie

New Meteor Colors Carnegie To celebrate its 30-year anniversary, Carnegie is rolling out 71 new colors to diversify its classic Meteor fabric panels, which are also suitable for upholstery and wall coverings. Panels are woven of inherently flame retardant yarns and are Cradle-to-Cradle Silver certified. The new color options are grouped into four categories: primary brights (pictured), dusty hues, deep darks, and new neutrals.
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NeoCon Preview> Clodagh′s Natural State by Bentley Prince Street

Clodagh's Natural State Bentley Prince Street In collaboration with design partner Clodagh, Bentley Prince Street will introduce a new version of its 80 percent wool flat weave carpet. Called Natural State, the basket-weave pattern incorporates Protekt soil and stain protection and is available in ten colors. All of the company’s standard broadloom products are certified to the NSF 140-2008 Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard at the Platinum level.
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NeoCon Preview> Crypton by Kravet

Crypton Kravet Kravet has added its eco-friendly high-performance Crypton line to its new Guaranteed in Stock program. More than 145 fabrics will be shipped within 24 hours of an order, ensuring project timelines stay on track. Made with 50 to 100 percent recycled fiber content, all fabrics pass a 50,000 double-rub durability rating and are engineered to resist stain, moisture, mildew, bacteria, and odor.