NEOCON 2012, the amazing furniture trade show, held in Chicago, pleasantly greeted visitors with products showcasing bright palettes and innovative multi-use features. The exhibition annually presents designs for commercial and institutional settings like schools, hotels, hospitals and offices with furniture typically designed in color palettes of oatmeal and gray, and made out of functional steel and laminates.
This year, Neocon veered away from the usual and cheered visitors hearts with innovative concepts that not only delved into comfort but also gave emotional satisfaction to the owner.
Take the Hosu chair, for example, with its bright yellow, quilted design that can fit easily at a workplace or a home office. Designed by Patricia Urquiola for Coalesse, it evolved from research suggesting that wherever people commune with their hand-held digital devices, they like to lounge close to the floor and even sprawl a bit.
Toboggan, by Antenna Design for Knoll, has a curved backrest when you sit on it one way. Turn it around, and the backrest functions as a small desk that can support a tablet computer.
Herman Miller showed AGL, Leon Ransmeier’s group of streamlined aluminum worktables with compartments for charging electronic gadgets. Close the compartments and, voila, you have an uncluttered surface for dining. There were several other cool pieces that converted domestic settings into workspaces.
Overall, the exhibition displayed smart thinking; adaptability to changing times and technology; easy accessibility, and fun designs to match the evolving needs of the new mobile work force generation.