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NeoCon 2018 Wrap Up and Emerging Trends

Constant Technologies

A dizzying number of showrooms and elevator lines that snake around corners: these are trademarks of attendance at NeoCon, the biggest event of the year for the commercial interior design and architectural industry. More than 50,000 people squeezed into Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for the event’s first day on June 11. But the overwhelming array of people and products signifies something important about NeoCon: namely, it is THE event of the year for the industry, and attending is a great opportunity that no one should pass up. Since its inception, NeoCon has been the commercial design industry’s main event for innovation and networking.

In addition to offering a dazzling array of exhibition spaces, NeoCon gave attendees educational and recreational opportunities.

NeoCon The Future Is PARTY

To celebrate “50 Years of Tomorrow’s Design,” the NeoCon community kicked back at the event The Future Is PARTY on June 12, presented by Mohawk Group. Constant Technologies representatives attended the event, which featured fresh summer food and drinks as well as live performances in a designed environment that spanned the MART’s entire South Drive along the riverfront.

NeoCon is the best place for trend spotting in commercial design.

Trends we saw at NeoCon:

Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is all about bringing the outside in, and it’s kicked off in recent years after studies have shown it improves happiness and productivity in the workplace. Biophilia can include everything to mimicking organic shapes, using natural materials, and letting in plenty of outdoor light to more on the nose interpretations such as moss details or living walls within an office space. NeoCon’s exhibition space included a variety of biophilic ideas such as Polarmoss, who featured multiple applications of dried moss in both natural and colored finishes.

Acoustic Solutions

The open office trend of recent years has highlighted the need for privacy and sound-absorbing spaces in a workspace. Many NeoCon exhibitors offered acoustic solutions including acoustic panels in all manner of shapes and colors such as those offered by Snowsound USA, and acoustic ceiling solutions such as those offered by Turf.

Other acoustic solutions included modular soundproof booths that can be used for meetings, phone calls, and even naps. Primary exhibitors of these cutting edge pod solutions included Framery and Zenbooth.

Adjustable Height Desks

More evidence of the commercial design world’s increased focus on a healthy workspace can be found in the continued prevalence of adjustable height desks. While this is by no means a new trend, it continues to gain traction and experiment with new aesthetics. Adjustable height desks at NeoCon featured mechanical components with pops of color or wood-look laminates for a more comfortable, residential feel. Constant’s custom operations center furniture has long included the option for sit/stand command center consoles, and each operations center desk at Constant can be made exactly to client specifications. While metallic and clean, bright-white finishes continue to be popular for command center desks, Constant is proud to offer a variety of luxury finishes for all aesthetic tastes.

Innovative Laminates

NeoCon was not only a great opportunity to seek out new trends, it also served as a venue for Constant to get in touch with various vendors we use to build our completely custom command center furniture and learn what new features they have planned. Two of these vendors include Wilsonart and Formica, who Constant uses for high-quality finishes on custom command center desks. Formica gave visitors to their booth a sneak peek at their Specialty Collection and also offers the option to custom print images onto panels of laminate. Constant also visited Wilsonart, whose new features include a soft touch finish and a Design Library of high pressure laminates which feature cutting edge aesthetics paired with commercial performance standards. If you are interested in using any of these unique and innovative laminate choices for your custom command center furniture, contact Constant today for a design consultation.

Laminate for command center furniture

We had a great time attending NeoCon 50 and while it was a whirlwind, we’re sad it’s already over. We look forward to what next year brings.

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About Constant

Constant Technologies, Inc. is a premier mission critical systems integrator providing customized audiovisual integration and console furniture solutions worldwide. With over three decades of experience, Constant’s team has experience with sensitive environments in both the public and private sectors and has implemented turnkey solutions all over the globe. Constant designs, installs and services projects of all scopes and sizes to create solutions with the highest levels of security, aesthetics and functionality in mind.


June 14, 2018