What's New at NeoCon 2019
NeoCon is the world’s largest convention for the commercial design industry. Furniture dealers, manufacturers, architects, and designers all gather for three action-packed days on the show floor to exchange ideas that drive the contract furniture industry and share the culture that shapes the future of the modern office landscape.
NeoCon 2019 brought a newfound vibrance and energy that celebrated community and collaboration. Meanwhile, even amidst all the collaborative working environments, private booths, or “pods”, and private meeting spaces were ubiquitous across the show floor. So, there seemed to be a yearning for finding that balance between respecting personal privacy and still promoting open work spaces, which tended to involve a lot of felt as a solution. Wide open spaces in the modern office present a new set of challenges sonically. To remedy this unwanted noise pollution, felt-lined sound proofing panels were shown that can be used around work desks and strategically placed on walls and ceilings to dampen white noise and ambient chatter. Barricades for work desks that were tall enough to block incoming noises from shuffling on the floor and to block incoming reverberations coming from the ground up, but short enough to keep open sight lines and maintain an awareness and attentiveness of general office surroundings are an effective tool for personal desks in an open floor plan. Also, wall panels can protect the sound integrity of isolated areas, like meeting spaces, and ceiling tiles can dampen echoes in booming open spaces. The felt options are getting more sophisticated in form and fashion with better alternatives for integrating with your furniture to address the noise, and the work desks themselves are becoming more sophisticated ergonomically.
The relationship between personal and public office space is finding a more agreeable balance. There is a certain vulnerability in being exposed in the vastness of the office arena, but these concerns are being alleviated by providing even more comfort in the personal space. Since private work desks are smaller, it is important to maximize the potential of each inch of real estate by keeping the work surface clean and clear of clutter. Wire Management is still as important as ever to ensure a functional work space by keeping your cables out of sight. A thoughtful design considers the motion of the desk and the flow of the space. With more sit stand desks in motion, having the ability to corral cabling with enough slack to move up and down with your desk as it moves is key. And for offices in motion where tables are reconfigured routinely, having quick connect desks with wire harnesses underneath the desk can make the process a cinch.
Another component of the collaboration concept involves having comfortable furniture in key community areas. Open spaces create opportunities to run into team members as they move through the office, and comfortable seating areas allow them to sit and discuss operations or ideas for a few minutes at a time. These seating areas are not designed to be lounge spaces for long-term relaxation, but rather functional meeting spaces disguised as inviting work parlors. Located just off the beaten path for limited privacy but close enough to main thoroughfares to prevent workers from getting too comfortable and relaxed, these clever spaces are the perfect way to stay focused on the topic at hand but still have a lively refresher to interrupt the personal work routine. In order to provide a space that promotes collaboration, there are a couple of essential tools that every space needs: intimate chairs or couches, end tables or coffee tables that are sufficient for note taking, or even standing bar height tables to gather around, and most importantly, power grommets or wireless chargers to let you plug in and connect.
NeoCon 2019 was very exciting, building on the modern office concepts of previous years, but providing a more lively and refreshing take on the challenges of the new landscape. An invigorating look at the future of office design. We hope you enjoyed the show and our display, and we hope you will come visit Mockett at NeoCon 2020 to see all of our tools that allow these unique new office spaces to function. Mockett’s unique blend of “Fine Architectural Hardware for Your Fine Furniture®” allows you to make your furniture functional. Come see Mockett to see how you can outfit your office with some easy retrofit hardware options to transform your space to promote community and collaboration.