Highlights from NeoCon 2016
NeoCon’s annual national conference in Chicago is arguably the largest, most comprehensive look into North America’s commercial interiors industry. A must-attend event for commercial designers each June, NeoCon brings together the leading manufacturers, designers and thought-leaders to discuss new trends and emerging ideas. Just weeks after this year’s event, The Huffington Post has published a round-up summary of the event entitled – NeoCon 2016: The Year the Cubicle Disappeared – and turned to Mark Hirons for his thoughts and reactions. The Huffington Post piece sets the stage early by recognizing that, “as technology untethers us from a set work location, in recent years we have seen a great shift in the allocation of floor space. New types of collaboration spaces and individual work spaces are emerging that account for a much larger portion of the overall square footage, and furniture spend. But, don’t be fooled – the cubicle has not yet disappeared. In many jobs, systems furniture still is a major components, at least for now.”
Hirons is the first designer to weigh in with his own personal thoughts and comments on the emerging diversity of choice becoming available for workplace environments.
“Overall what you’re seeing is the major manufacturers repositioning themselves to be able to capture a broader spectrum of informal settings – that are increasingly growing as a percentage of the floor space. It has been interesting to see smaller, innovative and aggressive companies come into play to respond to the market need…and likely where more major manufacturers were realizing potential vulnerability. For that reason, many of the largest players are boldly proclaiming their capability in the ancillary space. That said, perception vs. reality of cultural changes for clients and the resultant degree of ancillary furniture’s impact within spaces will continue to be a balance of the increasing array of choices.”