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Neocon- Busy!! Health Care!!

June 17, 2010

The Neocon market in Chicago may not have broken the records for attendance, but it was very busy nonetheless.  It was gratifying to see so many people out visiting showrooms and poring over new introductions.  Herman Miller and Steelcase were very busy as was Knoll.  Interestingly enough, so was the Donghia Showroom (us).  Brentano, Boyd and Pollack all had commercial collections that received favorable attention from lots of designers.

Of interest to me was something I noticed only because I have been to 20 or so Neocons.  In the 80’s, Neocon was all about large systems, task seating for corporate, banking, and trading desks for the investment community.  Hard corporate desks, credenzas, steel systems and heavy filing stuff.  In the late 90’s it was all about open plan, community offices with hubs and gathering points and more of a village feeling.  Now it is health care and more health care.  Signs of the times, and more to come.  Is there anything that isn’t Nanotexed?  I would predict that the AAHSA Show as well as Neocon as well as others will be consumed with our industry’s health care and assisted-living offerings over the next 5-10 years.  Then, the next trends will surface.  I can’t wait to see what they will be!   “Cloud computing” non-static work environmental solutions, possibly.  The next generation of the i- tablet might replace the workstation and cloud-based i-tablet communities might become the new office community.

Anyway, our industry is definitely trying hard to come back from this recession.  There are now signs of life everywhere.  Chicago as a market is picking up.  Florida is picking up.  Texas is picking up. California is busy.   But, picking up does not mean return to the old days.  It means busy but within the new parameters of our business, as discussed on this blog and many others.

Next week I have the chance to give lectures in both San Francisco and Denver, and I am looking forward to seeing the changes in those markets since I was last there.  I will also have the chance to give small talks at Gensler and BAMO, opportunities that are both an honor for me.

Things are picking up- at last!

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