Designing for Contract Trends

Date : 08/07/2015

ASPECTA's Robert Langstaff reviews NeoCon 2015 from a design perspective...

It was good to see that the show was busier than last year with over 45,000 registered attendees, which was reflected by a very good flow of traffic on our booth. This year, we featured our new Abstracts from ASPECTA FIVE - which were very well received, I am pleased to say! There are five designs in the line that were based on what we are seeing as key influences in the contract market, those being: digital imaging and pixilation that created the images seen in Fracas (link) and Hexi (link); textile effects and textures evident in Careen (link); the effects of nature and time on materials in Tarnish (link); and the pure abstraction of hand painted wood in Piermont (link) that becomes an all over design not a woodgrain.

For flooring, the biggest trend I saw in Chicago was more Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) being featured by carpet manufactures. LVT has become a product of choice for many designers and architects and the market is reflecting that. It is a product that offers many solutions for a good price. It is easy to install, lends itself to customization, it continues to improve in construction and quality, and it looks great!

A few other quick observations from NeoCon 2015:

-          There is a European design cross over seen in seating with "cacoon" seating. This seating envelopes you in a small self-contained space that offers quite and privacy.

-          Wood finishes and colors are showing in ranges of grey from warm to cool rounding out the browns and naturals that are still prominent in furniture. Flooring wood grains reflect the re-purposed trends in materials for hospitality and fewer knots for the corporate markets.

-          Eco and green concerns are still an important consideration for all who are involved in the contract market.

-          A focus on creating work environments that promote productivity, comfort, flexibility, interaction and creativity.

-          Ergonomics to promote more movement for those who spend too much time at a desk on computers. Before computers and emails one had to move around more to get things accomplished. Today it is not so and furniture producers are featuring adjustable height tables, better seating, more common spaces, and flexible furniture for impromptu meeting.


So that was NeoCon 2015 in summary. I was really pleased to see ASPECTA gaining such traction and momentum with the A&D community but I would love to hear your thoughts too. Please email me at rlangstaff@metroflorcorp.com.