Top 4 Design Trends at NeoCon 2016
NeoCon, one of the most recognized commercial tradeshows featuring furniture, surface materials and lighting, has been a yearly trek for me since starting in the industry. NeoCon showcases current design trends from top companies and emerging businesses looking to gain traction in the marketplace. This year’s design theme was undeniably the presence of vignettes. Sometimes called “ancillary” furniture or “third spaces,” vignettes are residential and warm, bringing the feeling of home into the workplace.
Here are some other characteristics of vignettes as shown at NeoCon16.
- Vignettes of collaborative spaces arranged and furnished with soft seating, decorative lighting and wood finishes. These furnishings are finished with soft fabrics with pops of vivid colors. Providing a comfortable space encourages us to let our guard down and make it easier to share ideas and be creative.
- Vignettes of semi-enclosed spaces furnished with freestanding and moveable acoustical dividers. There were also high back seats and sofas and booth seats with roofs in lieu of moveable dividers. Enclosed pods meant to look like single-person phone booths and pods accommodating up to four people drew interest from visitors. Both address the need for privacy in an open plan workplace by creating “rooms within rooms,” but pods are categorized as a furniture for easy reconfiguration.
- Vignettes of spaces that incorporated living plants addresses the idea of biophilia and wellbeing. Potted plants are used to accessorize these different vignettes, as is decorative lighting designed to compliment the mood and ambiance of the space. Carpet patterns drew inspiration from nature and further developed the nature connection by playing with pixelation and scale.
- Workstations have multiple cubbies and functions, including a spot for phone charging and surfaces available in a variety of colors. Turnstone’s new Bivi desk provides both seated and standing height surfaces simultaneously without a touch of a button or a mechanism to adjust the height.
There is a lot to see at Neocon, and there are so many product offerings from each manufacturer. However, these vignettes have something in common: they all adapt to the current trend in addressing comfort, the need for sound absorption, sound blocking, visual privacy and wellbeing through biophilia.