Published October 11, 2021
Our Most Memorable from NeoCon 2021
Elevator lines and stairwells weren't as crazy; Starbucks still was. While NeoCon 2021 was smaller than previous years, it's hard to deny the joy of being mask-to-mask with the industry's best.
By Jen Levisen
Mortarr and the Forum were just in Chicago for NeoCon, and even though the "Design A New" show was smaller than previous years, there's something to be said for being up close and personal with the products and having face-to-face conversations — regardless of masks. Plus, the elevator lines and stairwell traffic weren't as crazy ... Starbucks, however, was as busy as ever.
While there were many favorite products and moments throughout the three-day event, below are the ones our team is still talking about. So, to kick off our recap coverage, I give you our most memorable.
Big Talk was the NeoCon showstopper! Designed to stand-alone or grouped, Big Talk offers a range of sophisticated pairings to accommodate a variety of interior spaces. When joined, the lounge chairs create a modular love seat in a beautiful spectrum of colorful bands. Snaking in an intriguing arrangement, both the seat and backrest are shaped out of molded foam and are available in various shades of velvet. This piece was inspired by textile swatches and the fanning blocks of color created when sampling.
After a morning of chairs, booths, partitions, and then more chairs, booths, and partitions, Vestaboard was the right amount of different this editor needed. NeoCon's seventh floor is good for that. Vestaboard is a mechanical yet digitally-controlled split-flap display. The board's "bits" produce lively, fluttering sounds when the letters are spinning, alerting those around to a new message or composition. The 132 Bits display letters, numbers, punctuation, and all the colors of the rainbow. A phone app and web interface allow you to post messages and designs easily — and just as easily impress your kids.
Kudos to the DIRTT team on Connext 2021. Our teams started Monday at the annual event held in their Chicago experience center (DXC) — conveniently located across Wells St. from the Merchandise Mart — and they set the bar high. Really high. DXC acts as a framework for all that DIRTT can create. Through vignettes built throughout the space, DXC and the team beautifully, and more importantly effectively, demonstrate how their modular construction and technology solutions integrate with architecture to create purposeful spaces to work, heal and learn. Their work, and their passion for it, are impressive to say the least. VR tours of their ICE software were the icing on the cake.