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    The Future of Work

    As one of North America’s most significant gatherings of commercial interior design experts, NeoCon has long driven conversations about healthy workspaces and their ideal ergonomic finish. As such, it is fitting that at the upcoming relaunch of the convention’s physical programming in October, conversations about the “future of work” will be central in discussions and events. Through its virtual programming and in-person events at theMART in Chicago, NeoCon is set to examine product and design solutions that contribute to the inclusive, efficient, and user-focused workplaces critical to the well-being of, and retention of, today’s workforce. “For more than 50 years, NeoCon has helped launch product solutions that meet, and even…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Form

    Empathy in industry

    A reusable epinephrine auto-injector; a minimalist household composter; an eco-friendly and contemporary ceramic and glass toaster: there’s no lack of innovation within University of Cincinnati alum Mary Friedl’s expanding portfolio. The industrial designer graduated from the university’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning last May 2020 and promptly won a competition for designing an eco-friendly toaster as a part of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s Sustainability Deep Dive 2020 conference. With an overarching goal for creating empathetic and impactful design work, Friedl has delved into design research and work that promotes health and sustainability, whether through products purposed for medical environments or those of which simply bring people…

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    Herman Miller’s next chapter

    Once a warehouse district home to Chicago’s meatpacking operations, Fulton Market’s current neighborhood has become defined by its tech, entertainment, and burgeoning restaurant scene within the approximately 74-acre expanse in the Chicago’s West Loop. As of March 2021, one new tenant of the district is experiencing a modern transformation of its own. Last month, Herman Miller Group announced a new multi-brand, multi-use, five-story retail and contract destination that signals an entrance of its global brands into off-the-sidewalk retail space. The standalone location is 45,000 square-feet, occupying a historic 1920s brick building and an adjoining five-story new build with a rooftop and outdoor pavilion. The design and showroom experiences indoors are…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    NeoConnect

    Since 1969, NeoCon has punctuated each June with its eagerly awaited, three-day showcase of all things cutting-edge design in the commercial interiors industry. International design enthusiasts and design firms—specializing in everything from workplace textiles to ergonomic tech gadgets—converge in Chicago for three days of robust educational programming, informative and engaging keynote presentations from industry leaders, and the latest innovations and emerging talent in the industry.  Though this summer’s NeoCon has been cancelled, returning to Chicago in 2021, its organizers have filled its space with a content-rich virtual hub that will connect the design community for the entire month of June 2020, and beyond. The interactive online platform, called NeoConnect, launches…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Green design

    A modular partition and trellis made from regenerated resin; a Puerto Rico-based, non-profit organization repairing hurricane-affected communities with solar power; and an entire city district in Dubai designed by the Chicago-based firm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP: these are all projects from 20 different nations unified by the new GREEN GOOD DESIGN awards.  GREEN GOOD DESIGN awards are a special edition of the nearly 70-year-old GOOD DESIGN™ awards, which was founded in Chicago by Edgar Kaufmann Jr., Eero Saarinen, and Charles and Ray Eames, and organized by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. In…

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    Infusion showrooms

    For plumbing products distributor ETNA Supply Company, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, brainstorming and selecting the various plumbing fixtures needed for residential or commercial design projects are anything but dull. Faucets one can talk to, in-wall water filtration, instant hot or cold sparkling water—these are just some of the abilities of products offered by Infusion by ETNA for designers, contractors, plumbers, and others to creatively utilize one of the most important natural resources.  ETNA Supply and Infusion by ETNA have been in place since 1965 to curate and circulate the latest and greatest advancements and trends in plumbing—decorative and unseen—to hit the market, and its work can be found in…

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    Focal Point 

    From bettering focus in the workplace and classroom to quieting libraries and helping hospital patients sleep, acoustic controls play an important part in the experience of a built environment. Architecturally, measures to distribute natural resources like light and sound are as relevant as ever, as many markets address a growing need for ergonomic and holistic design solutions focused on emotional, physical, and mental comfort.  In Chicago, lighting manufacturer Focal Point LLC has been on the forefront of these architectural accent materials for more than two decades, releasing many products that can be found in office, education, hospitality, and medical spaces alike. Recently, its acclaimed Acoustic Solutions Portfolio has been joined…

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    Oji Masanori x Mjölk

    Solid brass and soft light are the main ingredients in this delicate light fixture created by the Japanese industrial designer Oji Masanori. The Diamond Pendant lamp was conceived for the Toronto-based lifestyle shop and gallery, Mjölk, as part of an exclusive collection, and it was handcrafted by artisans in the city. Fundamentally, the pendant recalls Masanori’s careful attention to form, proportion, and even utility in housewares design. A solid brass pulley and counterweight matching the light’s conic cover plate allows the nine-foot cord to be moved and adjusted vertically, and the fogged casing emits a diffused, calming glow. Masanori, who is CEO of the studio Oji & Design, is largely…

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    Builders resource

    In Traverse City, Michigan, a local building materials and solutions showroom is leveraging its national footprint to offer customers a diverse portfolio of products and services. Spanning approximately 17,000 square-feet and set next to its own lumber yard, Builders FirstSource’s local Traverse City showroom offers a diverse selection of pre-built designs that showcase only a sliver of the company’s capabilities.   Every redesign or new project needs good bones, and Builders FirstSource intends to deliver them. Founded in 1998, Builder’s took advantage of the late 1990s housing boom that saw more than 1.6 million private homes built. The company expanded steadily until 2008 during the peak downsizing of lumber yards…