NeoCon 2022 Marks a Return to Pre-Covid Crowd Levels as Industry Professionals Get Back to Business
NeoCon 2022 was hot this year, literally and figuratively. The Chicago summer sweltered outside, but inside The Mart, it was cool and busy as ever, as the high attendance marked a return to pre-Covid visitor levels. At the Formaspace Showroom, there was a broad spectrum of furniture industry professionals, including DSRs, members of the A&D community, and end-users – plus great interest in getting down to business to discuss project-specific opportunities and plans.
Flexibility is the Challenge. Modularity is the Solution.
“How can we ‘future proof’ our contract furniture environments?” has been a long-asked question throughout the industry – and the Covid pandemic has proved to us all that we can’t ever know exactly what the future will bring. Dealing with change and mastering flexibility is the new challenge of our times. In response, modular furniture solutions that can change with the times (without extensive renovations) have emerged as a key trend at NeoCon 2022.
Formaspace Contract announced a new partnership with the Chicago-based industrial design firm “Q Design” to collaborate on creating and manufacturing a new series of modular furniture designs to address the new landscape of the hybrid office and flexible work environments.
The first fruits of this collaboration were on display in the Formaspace Contract showroom at #11-124: The MKR line is a modular desk solution that leverages the industrial chic that Formaspace is famous for. Thanks to its robust construction and heavy-duty materials, including powder-coated steel frames and durable surfaces, MKR modules will feel right at home in the office, in an outdoor setting, or within either hospitality or residential environments. Complementing the MRK modules is the new SHLTR offering, also from Q Design, which features a built-in trellis system for enhanced privacy as well as added protection from the elements when used outdoors.
Also on display at NeoCon 2022 was Formaspace’s DiversiForm Modular Wall System, which can be can be configured – and customized – for any type of commercial space. Customization choices include writeable glass or traditional whiteboards, wooden screen partitions, integrated shelving and cabinetry for extra storage, and even the addition of live planters to add a welcome touch of greenery to your work environment.
Work from Anywhere is Here to Stay, as Workplaces opt for Hybrid Work Settings in the Office, at Home (WFH), or ‘Third Places’
The ‘work from anywhere’ trend was on display at this year’s NeoCon, and one of the premier examples of this trend was the eye-catching ZigZag multipurpose bench seating design from Formaspace Contract. ZigZag incorporates a built-in planter, seating, and table for standing or seated work, making it an ideal solution for individual work, informal meetings, or as a place to relax. Thanks to its extra-durable construction, ZigZag is at home either inside or outside, so it also is a great addition to “third places,” such as resi-mertial and hospitality environments, where people congregate to work and play. Also on display was an adjustable side table, which compliments the ZigZag multipurpose bench.
The ‘Work From Anywhere’ trend is helping to erase the lines that separated the office and home environments. The Hairpin Desk/Table helps bridge the gap. This Mid-Century Modern-inspired design features brass powder-coated hairpin legs, a smooth gray laminate top, and a birch edge which delivers a timeless look that’s equally in the office, at home, or in a hospitality setting. And the infinite customization options, from sizes and shapes to a range of heights (from coffee table to a seated desk, to bar height, to standing desk height), make it an ideal solution for every environment.
Growth in Life Science Projects Continues its Upward Trajectory
Biotech and Life Science projects have been one of the bright sectors in the commercial real estate market that have emerged since the onset of the Covid pandemic. Consequently, there was great interest among furniture professionals attending NeoCon 2022 to see the latest solutions geared toward this market, which includes laboratories, testing facilities, clinical healthcare diagnostics, and more.
At NeoCon 2022, Formaspace demonstrated its latest solution for laboratory design, the Formaspace FLX Back-to-Back Workbench, which is specially designed and engineered to address the most common issues in the lab environment (including life sciences, laboratories, research facilities, and classrooms.)
The back-to-back configuration of the FLX system not only provides for greater workbench efficiency for space utilization but also helps reduce configuration and installation costs by incorporating all the necessary connections down the central spine, including all services, such as electric, water, networking gas lines, etc. out of the way in hidden utility troughs. The FLX system also ships from the factory in Austin, Texas, in a knocked-down, flat-pack configuration to reduce shipping costs, an important consideration in these times of expensive expediting costs. FLX benches can be assembled with only 6 bolts, and they can be easily disassembled and moved to new locations as needed, which helps protects your long-term investment.
While many new laboratories are electing to install flexible modular furniture solutions, others prefer the classic look-and-feel of traditional casework laboratory installations. Formaspace also offers comprehensive solutions for these traditional lab environments that feature many configuration options, including chemical-resistant countertops, upper and lower cabinetry, easy-to-integrate fume hoods, and other lab equipment.
NeoCon 2022 Validates the Continued Influence of Mid-Century Modern Aesthetics on Modern Furniture Design
Many of the Formaspace executives and independent reps attending NeoCon 2022 commented that Mid-Century Modern design aesthetics remain very popular, with designers mixing and matching different style elements, such as bold, playful pop-art colors on round, curvaceous seating forms in combination with hard-edged, rectilinear wood and metal shapes whose roots go back to industrial factory design.
One such example of these recognizable Mid-Century Modern-inspired curved shapes (and pop-art colors) is the Amelia 4 leg from Boss Design, recipient of a Gold Award in the Seating: Sofas & Lounge category at NeoCon 2022.
Claire Redsun, the Vice President of Sales at Formaspace Contract, also took note of the museum-like showroom presented by TURF. Many of the company’s ceiling, wall, and screen designs feature repeated rectilinear forms (primarily wood and metal) that mix well with Mid-Century Modern furniture elements.
Formaspace also showcased its solutions inspired by Mid-Century Modern design trends –combined with our longstanding heritage as a manufacturer of genuine factory furniture used on the production lines of major Fortune 500 companies. At NeoCon, visitors got a chance to see our newest custom Conference table design with its heavy, brass inlay walnut top paired with unique, low-profile geometric stool seating. Also on display was a new credenza design that features book-matched laminate doors in a herringbone design, providing a unique balance of high style with an industrial edge. These furniture pieces can be customized to meet your exact needs, including specifying unique sizes, shapes, and heights.
Formaspace Contract is Your Partner for the Way We Work Now
We’d like to thank everyone who stopped by our showroom at NeoCon 2022. It was fantastic to catch up with old colleagues and business partners, as well as to make new connections after a couple of difficult years!
In case you are wondering who was the lucky winner of our E-Bike giveaway, it’s Gregg Bochat. Congratulations, Gregg! Be sure to take a picture and tag us when you receive your electric bike. #NeoCon2022 #Formaspace #formaspacecontract
If you haven’t already done so, today is a great day to connect with your local nationwide manufacturer rep – use our handy online map to find who represents Formaspace Contract furniture in your area and give them a call today.