Design Trends: Neocon 2017 Edition

Neocon conference dictates design trends for 2017

North America’s most well-known commercial design conference, dictates design trends in the field each year. So now that the 2017 show is over, what’s on tap?

Flexibility for Privacy      

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It’s an increasingly common trend for various reasons in the workplace and we’re finally getting it right – flexibility for the sake of privacy.  All the praise hands!  With a rise in benching systems and open collaboration spaces, we’ve seemed to have forgetten that we all need a little time to ourselves.  The smallest amount of privacy provides the space we need to refuel and be productive.

Steelcase’s Creative Spaces The Focus Studio, a flexible glass enclosed room, acts as an office, but can easily be transformed into a collaborative room for two.  Included in Creative Spaces are also the Duo Studio and Respite; both enclosed glass rooms are designed to provide flexible spaces to accommodate a private space for ever-changing needs.

In the benching category, West Elm’s Conduit Benching System introduces benching with more frequent and higher height panels.  We still get the open feel and efficiency from benching, but with a greater sense of personal space.

Various manufacturers rolled out high back designs including chairs, sofas and entire nooks.  Privacy and comfort for those head down moments?  Yes, please.

Bringing the Outside In

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Outdoors indoors was everywhere.  Mohawk Group’s Lichen Collection, a carpet line resembling [you guessed it] lichen and Interface’s Human Connections Collection, including a carpet that resembled pavers with moss, were personal favorites.

The exhibit design themselves did not disappoint.  Living walls and grassy floors were common sites among various booths.

Playful Workspaces

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Why go to work if it’s not fun?!  I know, I know, you have to pay the bills, but can’t it be both?  Buzzi Balance and izzy Dotti both light-heartedly marketed themselves as core engaging stools.  Are you going to have abs of steel at the end of the day?  Probably not.  But, would it be fun to laugh when your coworkers lose their balance?  Absolutely.

If you’ve always wanted to break out in a round of ping pong during a meeting, get to practicing.  Ironically, Coalesse created the ping pong version of their Potrero415 Table solely as a showpiece for NeoCon 2017.  After an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, Coalesse will manufacture and sell this as an option.


To tie it all together, upcoming design trends are focusing more on our personal health and well-being.  Offering access to privacy, a connection to nature, and a playful environment that refuels us to be more productive and happier individuals.  It’s a win win!

Some of the Interior Design crew at Neocon 2017


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