| Jun 2, 2014 |
Chicago is abuzz with Neocon, Guerrilla Truck Show
Boh staff
By Staff

Next week (June 9 – 11), thousands of innovative products and resources for corporate hospitality, healthcare, retail, government, institutional and residential interiors from more than 700 exhibitors will be on display at NeoCon in the Chicago Merchandise Mart. On June 10, the streets of Chicago will come alive with the 10th annual Guerrilla Truck Show, which showcases the work of emerging designers and furniture makers at a low cost—a truck rental.

Neocon tapped its advisory committee of top commercial design firms to share their insight on what’s hot right now in office design, hospitality and healthcare, and what to look out for at this year’s show.

Speakers such as Kimberly Marks, ASID president; Alexander Lamis, partner at Robert A. M. Stern Architects; Kirsten Richie, director of sustainable design at Gensler; Richard Riveire, principal of Rottet Studio; and Mike Turner, attorney at Neil Gerber & Eisenberg LLP will cover topics such as office design and working well, best business practices, hospitality design, green building and more.

“Finally, Baby Boomers and Millennials have found a passionate meeting of the minds on a topic that is also very personal: health and wellness,” said Workplace Strategist, Priyanka Agrawala of the New York-based design firm Mancini Duffy. “Green design and LEED principles have always passively contributed to wellness by creating good indoor air quality. Now we’re seeing circadian lighting; sit-stand desks; ergonomic lounge seating that also accommodates mobile technology; biophillic design elements like ‘live walls’ and plants and gardens that bring the outdoors inside added to the mix, in addition to more active design concepts.”

“Millennials have such an impact on the hospitality market that chains are now creating branded hotels especially geared toward this generation,” said Julia Monk, senior VP and director of hospitality design at HOK. “These spaces call for interactive, open floor plans with multiple areas to congregate, as well as special niche spaces like libraries and small cafés. When it comes to products for these environments, designers are selecting pieces that are well-made, flexible and sustainable. These attributes suit the tastes of this younger group, which is accustomed to high-quality, personalization and eco-consciousness.”

As eight million new Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollees have access to healthcare, the industry is responding by providing expanded and new ways of receiving care, according to Tammy Duffy Day, health and wellness director at Gensler. “Health systems are increasing their coverage and new players are moving the industry toward retail health," she said. "Designers are shaping these clinical experiences in every way—from brand recognition and consumer-driven first-impression appeal, to efficient clinical floor plans in support of increasing the patient and provider interactions. Given this significant and fast-moving change in the industry, products need to keep up with the demand—for example, mobile small-scale technology carts, exam tables that can also be a chair, technology integrated into white boards, and spaces that can be used for telemedicine.”

Neocon is open to the trade only. Show hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily. On-site registration is $25, keynote presentations are free and CEU seminar pre-Registration is $55 per course and $65 on-site.

This year, in an effort to expand community support and awareness for the Guerrilla Truck Show, DIFFA/Chicago’s Auxiliary Board will act as the event beneficiary and will help gather truck sponsors to support local artists. In its 10 years, the event has grown from 13 to 62 truck exhibits and attracted crowds of over 5,000 attendees.

Participating artisans include SOLO Home Design, Gray Workshop, Black Haus Furniture, Architecture for Humanity Chicago, Bader Art Metal & Fabrication, Metal Magic Interiors and Workroom Couture Home, among others.

The show takes place on Tuesday, June 10, from 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. at the corner of Aberdeen and Fulton Market streets. Twitter users are also encouraged to tweet before, during and after the event using the hashtag #DIFFAGTS2014.

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