We ventured to the City of Brotherly Love to see the latest commercial interior furniture at the 15th installment of NeoCon East. There, 200+ brands showed furnishings for workplace, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, education, and public space in the Pennsylvania Convention Center on November 15 and 16. We were impressed by various acoustic solutions, integrated ergonomic design, and nature- and craft-inspired aesthetic accoutrements. You’ll find six of our favorite products from the show below. Bower Lounge Collection ICF The Bower Collection is inspired by the rambling-style nests created by the bowerbird of the designer’s birthplace, native Australia. Adam Goodrum designed this collection of work pods, lounge chairs, and adjustable screens that support visual and acoustical privacy. Entirely modular, the Bower range of products is designed for ease of assembling on-site in work places. Cern Collection Nienkämper The Cern collection addresses contemporary office furnishing needs with multifunctional elements that allow for seemingly endless combinations and configurations, from individual offices and workstations to teamwork areas for more collaborative projects. The table range includes modular tables and bench desks, all with height-adjustable options. Continuous Arm Bench Thos. Moser Contract Nodding to the aesthetic and handmade traditions of the American Arts and Crafts, this bench incorporates a laminated arm construction, elbow rest, and curvilinear design that also characterizes the matching arm chair. It is offered in dark and light stain, as well as a combination of both (shown). Framery Q Framery Framery Q meeting pod allows people to have meetings, brainstorming sessions, and important one-on-one conversations in private without disturbing the whole office. It has four layout options and is available in various color and accessory options. Standing Desk Movi Workspace This bamboo bench top is easy attached to an existing desk. It stands up with the press of a single button and a quiet, high-speed, electric motor does the heavy lifting for you. The memory saves your precise standing height to quickly move from sitting and standing. Off The Grid Shaw Contract Drawn by a desire to disconnect from technology, Shaw Contract envisioned a range of carpeting, tiles, and other flooring inspired by grandiose landscapes. The patterns themselves are explorations of micro and macro photography, abstractions of elements from various outdoor journeys the design team took during the research and development phase.
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Enhancing acoustics, elevating comfort, and offering an attractive shot of color underfoot—carpeting can impact an interior in both subtle and obvious ways. Kick off your shoes and see what we’ve discovered. Tatami Nanimarquina The new Tatami collection by Ariadna Miquel and Nani Marquina are the first color pieces to be part of Nanimarquina’s Natural Collection. Inspired by Japanese straw tatami mats, Tatami is made with a combination of soft, New Zealand wool and bright, structured jute. These complementary fibers are hand loomed together to create the perfect marriage of style and comfort. Available in several colors. Cell Lama Cell carpet is not produced in a traditional way. No loom, knitting machine, or tufting technique is used; neither is it printed. The material creates its own pattern. The carpet is made of industrial woolfelt, which is pressed and then cut into strings. The strings are put together randomly, so an organic, cellular-like pattern evolves, along with a playful finishing of the edges. If damaged, the strings can simply be replaced with new ones. A natural product, woolfelt is non-flammable, soundproofing, water-repellent and breathable. Cell is available in 32 colors. The accent stripes are in black or wool-white; the dots are always wool-white. Hem Carpet Concept When designing the new Hem collection, Ben van Berkel of UN/Studio drew his inspiration from the lively structures of natural and urban landscapes. The collection is based on non-directional patterns of colored dots, which appear in ever-new graphic images and are perceived in various ways when viewed from different angles and distances. Van Berkel explains that part of the intention for the designs and the patterns was to give them more complexity through the use of different colors and the directionality. This creates a spatial layering which is unusual in a two-dimensional surface, but can often be found in the architect’s work. Hem combines the playful lightness of varying pixel-like patterns with an extremely hard-wearing and durable woven carpet suitable for offices and hospitality projects. Breaking Form Mohawk Group The Breaking Form Collection pushes past tradition, giving designers new approaches to color, shape, scale and movement via modular carpet planks. This collaboration with Mac Stopa of Massive Design explores bold lines and geometric patterns that transform the floor, a two-dimensional surface, into a seemingly three-dimensional plane. The 12-inch by 36-inch planks are available in three patterns and nine colorways. Cut & Compose Shaw Contract Group Letters, numbers and abstract elements are cut, rotated, deconstructed, and recomposed to graphic effect in this new collection of floorcovering. Transforming learning environments into motivational spaces, education makes a bold design statement in tile and performance broadloom. Offered in three 24-inch by 24-inch tile styles and two broadloom styles, Cut & Compose is easily installed in any configuration, and the unique color patterns, layered textures, and gradations allow dye lots to blend imperceptibly. Manufactured with Shaw Solution Q Extreme 100% solution dyed nylon on EcoWorx Performance Broadloom and EcoWorx backing, this carpet is Cradle to Cradle Certified at the Silver level. Common Theme Interface Skinny plank carpet-tile modules measuring 25cm x 1m are new additions to the Common Theme collection of squares, creating a series that can yield uncommon and distinctive flooring design for a variety commercial and workplace spaces. Featuring clean lines and a neutral palette, the trio of additions includes: CT111™, a seamless look with grids of varying scale that form a collage of latticework; CT112™, a diffused design that produces a marbled effect; and CT113™, a style that delivers a strong punch of geometry. Easy to configure into a customized design statement, Common Theme planks and squares can be combined through color, contrast, and complementary styling, all with the benefits of simple, glue-free installation and selective replacement.
With the rise of evidence-based design, comfortable spaces are eclipsing clinical environments in healthcare facilities. These new products satisfy both the aesthetic and performance demands of the medical community. Regard Nurture by Steelcase This system of waiting-area furniture is designed to adapt to a wide variety of spaces, and has features—flexible power locations, integrated tables, privacy booths—that allow people to connect or retreat. True Wood Rite Door Assa Abloy/Adams Rite Dual levers inset on either side of the door activate the top latching mechanism, allowing each leaf to function on its own, doing away with additional parts such as floor strikes, center latches, flush bolts, astragals, and coordinators. Dart Designtex This woven upholstery has a finish that provides high-level stain resistance and limited bleach cleanability. The patterned textile is offered in nine colorways. Flop Sofa, Palisade Collection Nemschoff For round-the-clock use, this sofa converts to a sleeper simply by adjusting the back cushion; there is no finger-pinching, heavy mechanism to maneuver. Lighting and power ports options. Designed by Jess Sorel. ICU 300 Dorma With single, bi-parting, or telescopic operation, these manual sliding doors allow for continuous observation of patients while providing quick and easy access in emergency situations. Programma 400 ALU pba This full collection of grab bars, shower seats, and other bathroom accessories is fabricated of anodized aluminum with nylon elements. Collective Time Shaw In tiles and broadloom, this carpeting collection takes design cues from circadian rhythms, translating data into color and texture patterns. Lifetime commercial warranty; Cradle-to-Cradle Silver certified. VitalSign 2/90 Sign Systems This signage system relies on a magnetic tool—instead of human hands—to change medical alerts and icons, reducing the transmission of infectious disease in healthcare facilities. ProLine Drain Quick Drain USA Fabricated of 304 stainless steel and measuring 1.5 inches wide, this linear drain features an integrated flange, easing the installation of barrier-free showers. A sloped interior trench eliminates standing water in the drain. Color Select USAI Lighting The first architectural LED downlighting fixture to offer independent control of both color temperature and intensity, this technology effectively mimics natural daylight and satisfies the needs of healthcare workers and patients alike. Plus System Pressalit Horizontal and vertical wall tracks and brackets allow bathroom fixtures to be repositioned as needed, with ease and precision. Fabricated of strong, lightweight aluminum and polystyrene, lifts are offered with a choice of manual, pneumatic, and electric power. Corning Med-X Glass McGrory Glass The high barium and lead content of this glass is designed to shield against 80-300kV X-rays while providing an optically neutral appearance. With plates measuring up to 54 inches by 108 inches, it maximizes views for medical technicians.
Nearly 42,000 architects, interior designers, facilities planners, furniture dealers, and distributors converged on NeoCon, the A&D industry's largest exhibition of office, residential, health care, hospitality, institutional, and government design products. Held from June 10–12, the show included education components and keynote presentations from Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG; Michael Vanderbyl, principal of Vanderbyl Design; Holly Hunt, president & CEO of Holly Hunt; and Lauren Rottet, interior architect and founder of Rottet Studio. AN was present to cover a handful of educational seminars and sessions (see our live tweets from Ingels's presentation on our Twitter feed), and we scoured the showrooms in search of 2013's new product trends. Following are a few we saw at the show. COLOR Manufacturers touted a vibrant range of colors across their new product collections. Some say this is indicative of a sustainable economic upturn, while others are just sick of playing it safe. The Us Family American Seating Company A collection of adaptable seating and tables for education environments from American Seating Company was designed with the help of color expert Laura Guido-Clark. As an expert in the color, material, and finish of consumer products, she helped select a palette of 15 colors and 450 fabric options in colorways that improve the learning environment. Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chair Herman Miller Thanks to advances in sustainable manufacturing technology, Herman Miller reintroduced the molded plastic Arm and Side chairs in fiberglass. A reformulation of the collection's color pigments have also facilitated a commitment to the original nine color options envisioned by the Eameses. Both models are available with a wire, dowel, four leg, stackable, or rocking base. Soon KnollTextiles The Alejandro Cardenas–designed collection of bright colors and graphic patterns was inspired by a song from one of the designer's favorite bands: My Bloody Valentine. The song's rhythm was translated to texture on a textile of 100 percent cotton. The collection exceeds 60,000 Wyzenbeek rubs. PARAMETRICS Design complexities are increasingly achieved via digital design and fabrication methods, and that trend was very much present at NeoCon this year. From furniture to finishings, parametric design visuals were everywhere—and not only in the abundance of hexagonal designs we saw on each floor of the Mart. Off the Wall Mohawk Group Street art finds its way to interior finishes with Off the Wall, a pattern from artist Aakash Nhihalani, who uses neon painter's tape to create illusions of depth in urban environments. These dimensions were translated algorithmically to a linear pattern in Off the Wall, part of the Street Thread Collection, and can be reconfigured to suggest way finding, define an area within a room, or recreate classic textile patterns. Hexagon Shaw Contract Group Bold portrayal of the hexagonal trend was exhibited in Shaw Contract's aptly named carpet tile collection. Developed in collaboration with Chris Heard and Stephen Wells of Atlanta-based design firm Hendricks; John Peterson of Public Architecture; and Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group, six-sided geometric patterns are generatively configured across each tile to continue the pattern in any direction. Cliffy 6000 SIXINCH At nearly 20 feet in length, the curvilinear Cliffy 6000 is part of SIXINCH's U.S. debut of contract-ready, three-step foam-coated furniture. Designed by Rainer Mutsch, repeating sections of the bench curve smoothly along both planes for back-supported seating, lounging, and perching. MATERIAL RESPONSIBILITY Sustainability commitments are not the differentiating factor they once were but manufacturers went beyond predictable promises with their 2013 product launches. In addition to the burgeoning use of rapidly renewable materials, companies looked beyond land masses and focused on preserving the ocean's ecosystems. Blazer Camira Available in 60 new shades, Blazer is made with Laneve-branded wool that features a trace code to identify the material's source in New Zealand. For every yard purchased, Camira donates to the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust to help protect the endangered Hector's Dolphin population off the nation's Banks Peninsula. 2013 Collection with TerraStrand Chilewich Chilewich has substituted petroleum-based plasticizers for TerraStrand, a phthalate-free fiber made from renewable vegetable compounds. Combined with its PVC-free BioFelt backing system, Chilewich products now boast lower greenhouse gas emissions and a lower carbon footprint than traditional vinyl products. Net Effect Interface Designed by David Oakey to convey the movement of water, the yarn fluff on both 20-square-inch tiles and 10- by 40-inch planks is made of 100 percent recycled content from Interface's ReEntry program. Carpet fibers will eventually constructed from nets gathered from the Net-Works project, a joint venture in the Danajon Bank area of the Philippines with the Zoological Society of London that collects and repurposes the discarded fishing nets from some of the world's poorest fishing communities. TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION The effect technology has had on the workplace is undeniable. The ability to work anywhere at any time has changed not only the way we work but where we work and the new corporate environment accommodates everything from advanced integration to stylish simplicity. Bluescape Haworth Developed with Obscura Digital, Bluescape is a cloud-based software and surface that can be accessed on multi-panel high definition touch screens, laptops, and mobile devices simultaneously from anywhere in the world. More than 160 acres of visual data can be stored within the system and does not require a WiFi signal to function across long distances. Element Desk Moser Contract Taking a low-tech approach to workplace technology integration, Adam Rogers's design for the Element desk's classic lines are uninterrupted by cord management strategies. Made from solid, domestically sourced hardwood, hollowed desk legs hide desktop wires and a keyboard drawer with a collapsible front conceals multiple power and data ports. V.I.A. Steelcase Vertical Intelligent Architecture, or V.I.A., makes use of the most underutilized real estate in the office: the walls. Video conferencing capabilities, writable and tackable surfaces, multiple display screens, and acoustical privacy are integrated into a modular system of walls that can be reconfigured and adapted to automatically meet the way people work with embedded sensors, activators, and microprocessors.