NeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
PARTICIPANTSFrom June 13-16, 2015, several members of MOI attended NeoCon’s annual gathering at theMerchandise Mart in Chicago. On the following pages is a summary of our findings and observations.MOI NeoCon 2015 participantsDavid NoelChris KelliherSusan LeeDebbie SachsShereen WoottenClint WagnerSteve LabasJennifer LeeChris GrovesAlex SchultzBecky PippengerBrandi FosterHeather BesselJason DittrichNeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTSSMART kappSMART kapp integrates atraditional whiteboard surfacewith technology to allow realtime information sharing anddocumentation. As users write onthe whiteboard, the informationis stored and shared on mobiledevices, such as your laptop or cellphone. It integrates with Androidand iOS devices. The product isavailable in a variety of dimensionsand is ideal for multiple settings,including commercial officeenvironments and highereducation.Scale 1:1 Dual-sided BenchingWinner of a NeoCon Silver Award, Scale 1:1 introduced a dual-sidedbenching application that caught Jason Dittrich’s attention. As part ofits G Series, the dual-sided table creates more direct collaboration inthe open plan environment. Individual end users can focus while easilycommunicating and sharing their work in a more transparent and flexibleway. The solution comes in a variety of heights, as well as it’s mobile onlocking casters and the worksurface is constructed of 100% markerboard.Scale 1:1 offers a uniquedual-sided benchingapplication that comes in avariety of heights, is mobileon locking casters, and theworksurface is constructed of100% markerboard.NeoCon 2015 Wrap UpWith SMART Kapp, as userswrite on the whiteboard, theinformation is stored and sharedon mobile devices, such as yourlaptop or cell phone. It alsointegrates with Android and iOSdevices.
Kimball Office Height Adjustable Table within PanelWhile the open plan concept is here to stay (at least for the foreseeable future) we have not yet seen thedeath of panels. Manufacturers are all now all on board with height adjustable work tables. Most of themintegrate technology, power, and data through a traditional wire management tray or trough underneath theworksurface. The challenge is still aesthetics: what to do with all of those wires?Kimball’s solution addresses both function and aesthetics. However, this panel is still in development and is notcurrently available for specification.Kimball Officeintroduced a newheight adjustablesolution that isintegrated within aworkstation panel.NeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
DIRTT TechnologyEvery year DIRTT impresses us and this year was no exception. DIRTT introducednew technological advancements for commercial, residential, and highereducation environments. The iMirror application imbeds the DIRTT technologywall behind a mirror, allowing for a cleaner, hidden aesthetic, while stillproviding touch screen technology integration. This solution has been popularin the hospitality industry and DIRTT is looking to expand it into other verticalmarkets. For Chris Kelliher, DIRTT’s upgrades to the backend support of itsproprietary software, ICE, will allow us to further differentiate our architecturalsolutions. But most impressive was the new virtual reality version of ICE, whichallows users to walk through a space using VR goggles.NeoCon 2015 Wrap UpDIRTT Technologywall demonstrated ina higher educationenvironment.
OkamuraThe manufacturer, Okamura, was the highlight for many of us at MOI. Winner ofa NeoCon Gold award for its conference table solutions, Okamura offers a varietyof products for different types of applications, from conferencing to open planbenching and seating. The Traverse conference table was especially impressive.Designed in coordination with HOK, the finish details, thin worksurface profile, andsleek architectural aesthetic captured a lot of attention. A unique feature was itsuse of technology integration. Concealed within the design, technology is locatedunderneath and out of view in order to avoid cables at the worksurface and toprovide more conferencing space.Okamura and HOKintroduce Traverse —engineered simplicity inconference tablesNeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
INDUSTRY TRENDS“Resimercial” or “Homing from Work”At WORKTECH 15 New York, Tracy Wymer, VPof Workplace for Knoll, discussed the need forhumanization of the workplace. One change wasfor the workplace to look more similar to placesof hospitality, like a hotel lobby, where people canmeet in more causal settings to collaborate. Tracyalso talked about “homing from work” for a richerwork-life balance. In other words, when we bringmore comforts of home into the workplace, peoplefeel more relaxed and productive, which are someof the main reasons people prefer to work at home.Flash forward a few weeks later and this trendwas in full display at NeoCon. Every majormanufacturer’s showroom was displaying vignettes,zones, neighborhoods – you pick your terminology– that offered a home-like atmosphere in theworkplace. Others took the concept one stepfurther by bringing more residential finish palettesto traditional office furniture like workstations andprivate offices. Look no further than the entrance ofWest Elm into the contract furniture industry.This trend didn’t go unnoticed. Amanda Schneider,writing in “NeoCon 2015: The Year of the Work-LifeBlur” concludes: “The furniture industry is answeringthe call beyond seeking a work-life balance tomanifesting a true work-life blur [ ] the work lifeblur has officially arrived.”Height Adjustable EverywhereIn case there was any doubt about the trend of the height adjustableworkstation, NeoCon 2015 put that debate to rest. Height adjustablesolutions were on display in practically every major manufacturer’sshowroom. It could be found from the open plan workstations to privateoffices and even in conferencing and teaming rooms.At NeoCon 2014, Knoll introduced Telescope, a height adjustable benchingsolution. This year, practically every manufacturer responded with theirversion, including Haworth, Herman Miller, and Teknion. Casegoodsmanufactures like Gunlocke, Nucraft, and Halcon already offered a heightadjustable solution in the private office. This year, other manufacturersfollowed.NeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
Bernhardt premiered Compositions, a sleek andmodern modular casegoods line attractive for theprivate office and open plan. It features a thinnerprofiled high adjustable table base imbedded inthe credenza. Knoll got on board in the privateoffices, introducing a height adjustable table baseas part of its Reff Profiles line. Nucraft displayed amore functional solution by showcasing a heightadjustable application on the return worksurface.There were also height adjustable conferenceand media tables. Nucraft showed off a heightadjustable conference table as part of its newTwo4Six Office line. Teknion presented a heightadjustable media-scape like teaming table.Height adjustability is nothing new to Humanscale.At NeoCon 2015, they introduced Office iQ, astanding desk solution that alerts users when it’stime for them to stand up, sit down, or just takea walk around the office. A small box that can beinconspicuously placed beneath any worksurface,Office iQ uses motion-sensor technology tomeasure an end user’s movements. It collectsemployee statistics from around the office andreports the aggregated data for an organization’swellness and other healthcare purposes.Left: Height adjustable conference tablefrom NucraftTop Right: Height adjustable conferencetable from NucraftBottom Right: Okamura’s heightadjustable benching solutionNeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
Privacy within the Open PlanEvery manufacturer practically has a solution foran office space’s “retreat” or “enclave.” Severalsolutions introduced this year stood out, asmanufacturers attempt to better integrate privacywithin the open plan.Steelcase’s BrodyWork Lounge resembles aminiature private office, providing users with a desk,seating, lighting, storage space, and technology.The fabric surround creates shelter from visualdistractions and a sense of psychological security.While marketed as part of Steelcase’s highereducation vertical market, it can definitely apply toa commercial workspace, as well.Knoll Pop Up, created by Antenna Design, allowsusers to add privacy to spaces simply through theintroduction of flexible screens. It can be appliedas an individual desk accessory or a much largerboundary when end user’s desire focus or privacy.Knoll Pop Up createsimpromptu privacysolutions through the useof flexible screens that arefreestanding or can beattached to workstations,as shown.NeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
By far the most creativeapplications came fromBuzziSpace. Its acoustical andpartition solutions, alongsideits furniture designs, showcasedvarious ways of creating privacywithin any office environment.NeoCon 2015 Wrap Up
Knoll Pop Up, created by Antenna Design, allows users to add privacy to spaces simply through the . introduction of flexible screens. It can be applied as an individual desk accessory or a much larger boundary when end user’s desire focus or privacy. Knoll Pop Up creates . impromptu privacy