By Scott Hierlinger, design director and managing principal, Nelson
During NeoCon’s 50th anniversary this year, everything from residentially inspired furniture to bright hues (think pink and emerald green) and retro weaves were on display. Indeed, as industries continue to blur, products that reinforce innovation, flexibility, and functionality will always pique our interest. Here are the top six products our designers found that will undoubtedly have an immediate impact on retail, hospitality and corporate environments:
Lori Kolthoff, vice president and managing creative director, FRCH Design Worldwide
AXES from Maars Living Walls
The challenge with retail is reimagining the brick-and-mortar environment to make spaces feel more personalized and experiential. One way to do this is using adaptable products such as AXES from Maars Living Walls. This invisible access wall system allows for a flexible approach to the built environment, permitting individual store formats to transform at a moment’s notice. In addition, the product has a beautiful minimalistic design and excellent acoustic performance.
Digital Wallcovering from Carnegie
Retailers are looking for ways to embrace unique visual opportunities to represent their brand’s identity. These statements need to make a large-scale impact. Carnegie’s Creative Studio brought a 10-foot-wide digital format wallcovering to NeoCon to project a horizontal image on walls with no seams. The installation of the custom wallcovering can be done in an astounding 36 minutes.
Kyler Burroughs, interior designer, FRCH Design Worldwide
Modio Audio from K.R. Moeller Associates
Modio Audio has revealed a solution for those restless hotel nights. Producing white noise to drown out the sound, the user has 10 levels of control, producing different decibel strength. With a simple turn of the dial, a hotel guest can have complete control over the humming of the HVAC or the horns just outside the window. With this device, simply concealed on the back of the guestroom TV, customer complaints will plummet while guest satisfaction increases.
Leo and Cleo for Hotel EMC2
Chicago’s Hotel EMC2, designed by New York firm Rockwell Group, has found a clever solution to minimize the need for hotel staff for room delivery and answering amenity requests. Enter Leo and Cleo, a sort of R2D2-esuqe robot duo who are ready to service any guest request. Leveraging voice-activated Alexa support, Leo or Cleo log the guest request, follow an infrared path in the corridors, and arrive with a door chime and voiceover “You have a delivery” connected into the guestroom TV audio.
The Albert restaurant inside Hotel EMC2, with high ceilings and dramatic light fixtures
Scott Hierlinger, design director and managing principal, NELSON
Rock from Allsteel
Taking a note from residential design, that Allsteel upright Rock chair is a variation on the rocking chair theme. Many of the introductions were light scaled, comfortable, and easy to move, making it a perfect product to be used in a variety of work environments.
Myne from Nucraft
Nucraft introduces Myne, battery-operated training tables that allow training or meeting rooms to be free of floor-based electrical devices or whips. This concept bolsters flexibility in both the layout and usability of office space.