June 11, 2013
Neocon 2013 announces comprehensive list of awards winners
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.
June 5, 2013
The future of retail – High Street Bladerunners and Apple in Wonderland
by Simon Heath • Comment, Facilities management, Technology, Workplace design
AT&T’s flagship Chicago store
I was going to write this week on the manifesto from MANTOWNHUMAN – subtitled “TOWARDS A NEW HUMANISM IN ARCHITECTURE” but frankly the dystopian visions it conjured up drove such a bulldozer through any human sensibility as to prove thoroughly depressing. You can find it here if you’re that way inclined. I’d be interested in your views. Instead I’m following up on a faintly hagiographic article in Adweek which recently hailed a new frontier in physical retail spaces, building on the success of Apple’s uber-cool high street playgrounds for bored teenagers and husbands. The store in question and an example of what many are hailing as the future of retail is AT&T’s new flagship on the self-styled Magnificent Mile in Chicago.