Neocon Review 2012 – an international perspective


The temperature in a sunny Chicago on Monday soared to a withering 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius), which encouraged the hoards of first day visitors to Neocon to stay inside the air conditioned Merchandise Mart, rather than venture outside. Although few would admit it, there had been some advance trepidation as to whether this Neocon would generate the excitement of shows gone by. The Merchandise Mart owners denied rumours that the show did not have a long term future by publishing the show dates for each of the next ten years. Pre-announced product launches were rather thin on the ground. An economy which could be stronger, and the uncertainty of an election year combined to cause concern. In the event, there were plenty of visitors genuinely interested in the products displayed and in the companies displaying them, as well as planning on having a good time.


Exhibitors’ responses to the current market conditions differed, but few of the many new products launched were the result of the massive investment in design, development and tooling we have seen in previous years. Instead, following what has been seen in Europe over the past few years, there were many examples of mainstream office furniture companies venturing into soft seating, attracted no doubt by lower development costs and faster times to market. What was termed “collaboration” technology was also exploited by Haworth, Steelcase, Teknion, Izzy+, KI, Tuohy, Vitra, and many others, all of whom showed furniture and devices which allowed people to contribute to, and share the results of, collaborative work, invariably grouped around large display screens.

Please see PDF document below for more information and an excellent review of the Neocon Review 2012.

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