This week is NeoCon, the annual commercial interior design expo, and Hanson’s own Craig Hagenbuch and Chris Pollum are hoofing their way around the Chicago Merchandise Mart to give us a report. They’re checking out the thousands of new interior design products for the corporate, hospitality, healthcare, retail and residential sectors, and keeping an eye on how all these innovative companies are using digital.
One presentation cited that 78 percent of architects and designers turn to the web first when looking for products. And 52 percent of architects and designers who research on their mobile phones are comfortable purchasing on a mobile site – which seems to be supported by the fact that almost everyone walking around the show is carrying and using a mobile device. Many of the exhibitors are using tablets to present the features and benefits of their products.
A theme we’re seeing at the expo is the integration of technology in design, like video conferencing suites that use facial recognition software. Another common thread among exhibitors is “the cubicle is dead”; standing desks and open workspaces that facilitate collaboration while providing privacy for working on a laptop or tablet are everywhere.
In addition to all the cool products, another reason thousands of architects and designers attend NeoCon is for the continuing education. This year’s seminars recognize how much the industry has embraced digital, with topics like using Pinterest for your resume, social media best practices for the architect and designer community, and even how to incorporate the great outdoors into your mobile workplace strategy.
The innovators in commercial interior design are definitely embracing digital. Thanks, Craig and Chris, for sharing a bit of the NeoCon 2013 experience with us!