NeoCon 2011

June 14, 2011

“Discover thousands of innovative products and resources for corporate hospitality, healthcare, retail, government, institutional and residential interiors from more than 1,200 showrooms and exhibitors.”

Neocon, the continent’s largest exhibition of contract furnishings, made its way to Chicago yesterday, filling the halls of the Merchandise Mart with innovative designs and an upbeat atmosphere made possible by the thousands of people in attendance. We stopped by for a few hours to check out what cool new furnishings companies are being offered this year.

One of the more interesting chairs we saw was by a Japan-based company, Okamura. Their Luce design had a forward-leaning seat form with a smart relaxation seat mechanism that relaxes and absorbs most of the impact to your body when you sit down. After trying it out, it’s actually a really comfortable chair that is perfect for those that sit and stand often throughout the workday.

Okamura Luce Chair

Mannington Commercial, the only U.S. manufacturer to make both carpet and hard surface flooring for the contract market, showcased their carpet inspired by the matrix bar codes of Quick Response (QR) technology. It was developed in collaboration with Korean industrial design firm Ryan Harc and allows for revolutionary functionality on the floor.

Mannington Commercial QR Carpet

The S-Chair, a Cappellini chair from the Haworth Collection, looks like it can’t be that comfortable to sit in, but it has a very unique form. We couldn’t help but take notice.


Davis Industries Soft chair has a very modern design. Its molded foam seat rests in a base, which was displayed fully upholstered or in a hard plastic shell.

Soft Chair

The Diffrient World chair marks Humanscale’s first foray into all-mesh task seating. The major innovation is its mechanism-free recline action, which leverages two parts of the chair’s frame and provides automatic, balanced support throughout the full range of recline. It received a “best of the best” red dot award this year.

Diffrient World Chair by Humanscale

Humanscale’s Horizon LED task light was another cool product. Using a series of high-intensity LEDs surrounding several layers of polycarbonate and optical films, it provides excellent lighting for any environment. In addition, its built-in dimmer control provides both energy savings and adjustable levels of illumination.

Horizon LED task light by Humanscale

This table by Davis Industries had a small opening in the middle of the table with outlets inside. This is an ideal piece of furniture for those who need a convenient place to plug in laptops or other electronic devices.

Davis Industries, Inc. Table

These stools by Humanscale are extremely comfortable and versatile. They encourage you to sit in a saddle seating position, which automatically conditions you to adopt a healthy open seating posture. These are ideal for those in the healthcare industry.

Saddle/Pony Saddle Stools by Humanscale

By far the most unusual and eye-catching space we saw was Antron Carpet Fiber. They had cotton fibers hanging from everywhere, both inside and outside their space. You couldn’t help but check it out.

Antron Carpet Fiber Space

Overall, we saw a great variety of color—most notably greens, reds, and purples. We know there are so many more products to see, but with the limited time we had to walk the show, these are the key things that captured our attention.

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