June 11, 2013
It might sound like a Republican convention but in fact Neocon is the annual workplace exhibition at the giant Merchandise Mart in the centre of Chicago. And when we say ‘workplace’, we mean largely ‘office furniture’. It attracts around 700 exhibitors and 40,000 of visitors from all over the world and so can help to disseminate ideas that spring up in the US to influence design on a global scale. Many of the themes apparent at this year’s show will be familiar around the world. As well as the fact that everybody is talking about the environmental credentials of the products, the themes are direct reflections of the concerns and priorities of office occupiers and specifiers. By custom, the first day of the show is when they dish out the awards.
This year’s awards offered the usual mix of major gongs going to the North American office furniture giants as well as recognition for the ideas of smaller manufacturers. What is evident regardless of the scale of the supplier is that the office is no longer primarily about workstations. It is about meeting and public space, whether as meeting rooms, foyers, cafes, break out spaces or touchdown areas. It is about ergonomics. It is about acoustics. And it is about technology. Leading the field in this regard for 2013 was Haworth who showcased their already much talked about Bluescape digital wall, which won the gold award for workplace technology as well as the overall Best of Competition prize. Haworth also picked up an award for their Harbor Work Lounge collaborative seating range.
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Another American giant that was well represented was Steelcase which took home five awards in total including awards for the Gesture chair, which we mentioned as part of a story here, and the Buoy stool.
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The judges couldn’t leave out the third company in the great American furniture triumvirate and so Herman Miller won the award for Best Showroom as well as five products awards including a gold for the Metalform Portfolio furniture system and a new generation of Eames classics.
Nucraft followed up last year’s Best of Competition Award with three awards this time around including for their Agility table.
Other notable North American winners included Allsteel who won the Gold Award in the furniture systems category for Create and a Gold in the Software Category for their Square Foot Budgeting Calculator.
…and Teknion who won four awards including a Gold for their Fractals seating group.
It isn’t all about furniture however, so the Gold Award winner for Task lighting was the Mosso Pro LED Desk Lamp by Koncept Technologies Inc.
Winner of the Gold Award in the modular flooring category was MODULAR ART MEDIA by Milliken.
European firms were conspicuously thin on Awards although Spanish firm Andreu World won no less less than four awards including a Gold for stacking chair New Sit.
…and Vitra won an Editor’s Choice Award for Workbay.
Later this week we will publish a full review of the show from designer David Fox who will no doubt offer an eclectic mix of products that may have not got the attention they deserve.
The full list of Awards winners are as follows:
Silver: Olivia by Joel Berman Glass Studios
Gold: V.I.A. by Steelcase
Silver: Presage by Tandus Flooring
Gold: Shibori Collection Broadloom by Atlas Carpet Mills Inc.
Silver: Hexagon by Shaw Contract Group
Gold: MODULAR ART MEDIA by Milliken
Silver: Merino Collection by Nucraft
Silver: Element Collection by Thos. Moser
Gold: Catalyst Phase II by Geiger International
CONFERENCE ROOM FURNITURE
Silver: Slate by OFS
Gold: Span by Davis Furniture
Silver: Zero9 by Borgo
Gold: Bloom Collection by VANERUM STELTER
Innovation: Metaform Portfolio by Herman Miller
Silver: Abre Collection by TUOHY Furniture Corporation
Gold: Create by Allsteel
FURNITURE SYSTEMS: ENHANCEMENTS
Silver: Interpret by Teknion
Gold: MILLENNIA by HALCON
Silver: Locale by Herman Miller
Silver: Oxygen by AIS
Gold: Eleven Work Space by OFS
HARD SURFACE FLOORING
Silver: Design Catalyst by Patcraft
Gold: Narrative by Tandus Floorig
HEALTHCARE FABRICS & TEXTILES
Silver: Drift by Pallas Textiles
Gold: Funnybone by cf stinson
Innovation: Narrative by Tandus Flooring
Silver: Chordinates by Shaw Commercial Hard Surface
Gold: Grasscloth Collection by Tandus Flooring
HEALTHCARE FURNITURE (non-seating)
Silver: Terra Infusion by Nemschoff
Silver: Mile Marker by Carolina
HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS/TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
Gold: TouchPoint T7 by Humanscale
HEALTHCARE: GUEST/LOUNGE SEATING
Silver: JumpSeat Wall by Sedia Systems
Gold: Regard by Nurture by Steelcase
Innovation: Lightfalls by 3M Architectural Markets
Silver: Seeyond Lighted Wall Facing by Seeyond Architectural Solutions
Gold: Tono LED Mood Light by Koncept Technologies Inc.
Silver: Knoll LED Lighting Series by Knoll, Inc.
Gold: Mosso Pro LED Desk Lamp by Koncept Technologies Inc.
Silver: Newhouse Footrest by JRB Studio, a Baker Manufacturing brand
Gold: Guardian by Neutral Posture, Inc.
Silver: Q5 by Davis Furniture
Gold: Lagunitas by Coalesse
Silver: Harbor Work Lounge by Haworth
Gold: Fractals Seating Group by Teknion
Silver: Webb C2 by Davis Furniture
Gold: Juxta by Keilhauer
SEATING: ERGONOMIC DESK/TASK
Silver: muvman by aeris-Impulsmobel GmbH & Co. KG
Silver: Impulse by BOUTY partner of viasit germany
Gold: Gesture by Steelcase
Innovation: Buoy by Steelcase
Silver: Lineal Corporate by Andreu World
Gold: Eames Molded Wood Side Chair by Herman Miller
SEATING: SOFAS & LOUNGE
Innovation: Armchair and Pouf01 by Pellizzoni Usa, Inc.
Silver: Agora by Andreu World
Silver: Manfred by Andreu World
Gold: Asa by HBF
Silver: Opt4 by KI
Gold: New Sit by Andreu World
SIGNAGE & WAYFINDING
Gold: Vivid, Image-Intense Signage by Takeform
Silver: DesignFlex Visualizer by Mohawk Group
Gold: Square Foot Budgeting Calculator by Allsteel
Silver: CARVART Metallic by CARVART
Gold: Skyline Digital Glass Portfolio by Skyline Design
Silver: Aja by Nucraft
Silver: HUGO by HALCON
Gold: Quiet by Bernhardt Design
TABLES: TRAINING & WORK
Gold: Agility by Nucraft
Silver: VARIDESK by VARIDESK
Gold: Cegano Smart Table by CP Furniture Systems Inc.
Innovation: Fit by Polartec by cf stinson
Silver: SUNO Collection/Upholstery by Knoll Luxe
Silver: Sheila Hicks Collection by Momentum Textiles
Surface Tension Collection by Teknion
Innovation: Biobased Xorel by Carnegie
Silver: NappaTile by Concertex
Gold: Skyline Digital Glass Portfolio by Skyline Design
Silver: Optos Low Profile by Teknion
Gold: Seeyond Collaboration-Space Movable Walls by Seeyond Architectural Solutions
Silver: SUNO Collection / Drapery by Knoll Luxe
Gold: MagnaShade by MechoSystems
Gold: Bluescape by Haworth
Hopper Picnic Bench by JANUS et Cie
Slam Beam by Leland International
Cliffy 6000 by SIXINCH
Workbay by Vitra