The design team with Scott Rice Office Works made our annual trip to Chicago for NeoCon, the largest trade show for the contract design industry. As we toured endless manufacturer showrooms, several trends emerged.
- Personality – manufacturers were showcasing new ways for people to personalize their workplaces in order to show off individual personalities or a company culture; most of the focus was on brighter color offerings for desking, seating and accessories.
- Authenticity – no matter where you look these days, you’ll see or hear ads and tag lines declaring one thing or another as “authentic.” Furniture manufacturers took the authenticity trend and ran with it. Funky shapes, no-holds-barred textile patterns and even “tattooed” furniture were prominently on display. Everyone was trying to showcase how creative, unique and current their products could be; David Bowie’s image even showed up on a whiteboard. Unconventional materials were also explored (take a look at the manhole-cover table!
- Earthy Accents – there was a decidedly nature-centric approach to how manufacturers chose to accent their furniture. Almost every showroom used succulents, moss, stones, copper, sand, light oak veneers and felted wools to one degree or another. It lent a southwestern/hipster residential feel to each space.