NeoCon 2019 brought into sharper focus many of the themes we first saw emerge in 2018. Almost all manufacturers highlighted a variety of settings across focus and collaboration, the blurred line between work and play and the importance of hospitality, wellbeing, flexibility, and access to power.

We may be biased but Knoll’s new showroom in Fulton Market blew it out of the park when it came to showcasing best-in-class planning strategies along with vibrant, enduring and elevated design – or as Florence Knoll called it “total design”.

Below were our key takeaways from this design convention.

Image courtesy of Kimball

BOTH/AND One big “aha” from our visit was how spaces are no longer limited to either/or but rather promote both/and resulting in endless choices. It challenged us to change our thinking from open or closed to open and enclosed, from work or social to work and social and private or shared to private and shared. Try it and see how it changes how you think about your space.

Image courtesy of Knoll

ADAPTABILITY The best planning optimizes the needs of the individual and groups, small and large. At NeoCon2019, we saw a range of classic and contemporary products that blended together to work in harmony to create adaptable and flexible settings for one and many.

Image courtesy of Haworth

GOT THAT FEELIN’ Ever walk into a space and say “this feels just right”. People want to spend time in places that make them feel good. Things that contribute to that feeling – warm woods, lots of light, varied textures, and colorful textiles help bring the feeling of outside in.

Image courtesy of OFS

VISUAL AND SOUND PRIVACY As space become more and more open – the need for space refuges with visual and sound privacy increases. We saw many new creative products ranging from lounge seating, freestanding barriers and walls providing endless ways to create a space within a space.