NeoCon is the commercial interiors industry’s most important annual event — bringing together the right people, the best products, and the most innovative ideas.
Haworth Inc. and Herman Miller presented office spaces at NeoCon 2015 that brought the comforts of home into the work space — and both companies earned accolades for it.
NeoCon is the commercial interiors industry’s most important annual event — bringing together the right people, the best products and the most innovative ideas — and it took place in Chicago last weekend.
The Herman Miller showroom of purposeful, real world living offices was recognized by the International Interior Design Association and Contract magazine’s Showroom and Booth Design Competition as the best large showroom for the third consecutive year.
“We’re honored. … It shows designers and editors understood and appreciated our approach,” said Richard Elder, vice president of brand design. “We took a radically different approach to our NeoCon presentation. This year, we created a true exhibit versus simply refreshing our showroom.”
“It was refreshing to find my team’s conversations with customers centered around using Herman Miller as a means to accomplish a strategic objective, rather than looking at furniture as a commodity and focusing on how to get it for less,” said Malisa Bryant, Herman Miller senior vice president, North America Sales and Distribution. “Customers looked to us to help them achieve their business goals, and are seeing the facility and furnishings as tools for their success.”
Haworth designer Patricia Urquiola won an IIDA Titan Award. Its Poppy, a new chair featured in the showroom, and Orla, new lounge seating, won an Interior Design HiP award. Downtown, another new chair in the showroom, won a Metropolis Like award. Lastly, Tuohy, a Minnesota company that is part of the Haworth family, won Best in Show for their Workstyles product.
“We’re very proud,” said Kurt VanderSchuur, Haworth global brand director. “Haworth has done a lot of pushing the envelope in the past five years.”
Haworth has the largest showroom at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, VanderSchuur said. Because of that, Haworth showed a lot of different designs. “I think it was intriguing to people.”
The company had about 300 people come to the preview where it introduced 14 new products, four new concepts and showed off a new company, VanderSchuur said. It also did a lot of custom events with focus groups, dealers and the general public.
The biggest thing Haworth did was launch a new color line and textures. “It was a little departure for Haworth,” VanderSchuur said. The company also launched a line of rugs that were well-received. The rugs were the finishing touch that bridged the comfortable feel of home to the workplace.
Haworth celebrated anniversaries of classic designs, but introduced modifications and new coloring. It was a way of celebrating the past and looking to the future, VanderSchuur said.
“The strongest feedback we got was ‘warm and inviting,’” he said.
“The buzz in the (Herman Miller) showroom was electric and consistently felt from the first day of training with our sales team and dealers, to the moment we had the last customer leave late Wednesday afternoon,” Bryant said.