Connecting the design community

Welcome to NeoConnect, a series of online resources, programming and events from NeoCon, our exhibitors and our partners designed to virtually connect the NeoCon community now through Fall 2020.

NeoCon has brought the commercial design industry together in Chicago every June since 1969. Although we can't convene physically this year, it remains important for us to continue to conduct our businesses, share ideas, learn from one another, support the greater community and celebrate where and when possible. We look forward to connecting with you!

Read more


NeoCon exhibitors

Explore Exhibitors

Search game-changing new products, virtual events, video and more from 500 leading and emerging companies.


Exhibitor Spotlight

Exhibitors in the News

Work Design Magazine

In partnership with NeoConnect, Work Design digital magazine is carrying forward the educational aspect of NeoCon through thoughtful collaborations with carefully selected experts from the originally planned NeoCon CEU seminars 2020 line-up. Beginning in June and going through the fall, Work Design will publish a monthly piece with a thought leader(s) based around the most highly relevant issues driving workplaces forward.

Defining And Designing A Successful Fourth Place

Business of Furniture, NeoCon: Products, Projects and People

For the rest of the summer, BofF will highlight NeoCon exhibitors in a weekly special section that explores what these great companies are doing.

This week's issue: SnapCab

officeinsight NeoCon 2020 Product Preview

Join officeinsight for a weekly virtual walk-through of NeoCon 2020 by floor.

June 29th issue: More NeoCon 2020 Product Previews

Archiproducts' Special NeoCon Online Showcase

Archiproducts presents a special online showcase of NeoCon 2020 exhibitor product launches.

Explore products

Floor Coverings News

FCNews' 2020 NeoCon Guide puts the spotlight on flooring products and trends.

Read the guide

Design Milk

We’re posting weekly content throughout the month of June on our @designmilkworks instagram account, which exclusively features NeoCon exhibitors new products, projects and collections. #DMWxNeoConnect

Check it out

Floor Focus Previews New Products for 2020

We are not able to gather at NeoCon 2020, but we’ve got your peek at new flooring products and programs coming this year.


Sixtysix Magazine

Rethinking the Future of Office Design


From the community

Guest Blog: Silver Linings

Throughout this summer, members of the design community will share ways they hope the current crisis might ultimately impact design—and life­­­—for the better.
More info

Design Stands Together

We share highlights from Novita PR’s online campaign to unite the design community with creative inspiration.
More info

Designing a Better Chicago

Ext block promo dbc square

Learn more about NeoCon’s new partnership with the City of Chicago and meet the 2020 Design Impact Grant Recipients.

More info

Virtual programs & events

Upcoming events


Forging the New Frontier of the Workspace’s Next Normal

Wednesday, October 7

The intersection of design, wellness and psychology all meet in the workspace. The workspace, by circumstance, has now expanded from the office to our dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. While work life balance has been a trending topic in recent years, it has now been thrown into the maelstrom of working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists’ dialogue will touch on the challenges and opportunities this moment in the workspace revolution has exposed. Attendees will enjoy an animated discussion about how what we continue to learn from the current situation will influence the design and definition of workspaces of the future. Join us for this complimentary program in partnership with Work Design Magazine. CEU credit pending.

Presented by Moderator: Elise Friedman Shapiro, ASID, IIDA, Contributing Editor, Work Design Magazine, Washington, D.C. Panelists: Eric Yorath, BCIN, LEED AP, Principal, FIGUR3, Toronto, Canada, Jamie Feuerborn, LEED AP, Senior Associate, Director of Workplace Strategy, Ted Moudis Associates, New York, NY, Kari Leibowitz, Health Psychologist, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Sylvia Kowalk, LEED AP, ID+C, Principal, Director of Interior Design, Legat Architects, Chicago, IL


Raising the Bar as We Rethink the Workspace

Wednesday, October 14

Panelists will build on part one’s dialogue about the future definition and context of the office. Attendees will join leading minds who are actively researching why communal work is more critical to organizational success than ever, and who are developing the ground-breaking products and environments that will allow employees to safely return to the workspace. While the office we return to won’t be the office we left, the experts behind the scenes at Allsteel, Mohawk, and Steelcase are generating cutting-edge design elements to enhance the workspace experience—a critical component to making sure the return to work (no matter when and where it will be) is as safe, productive, and innovative as possible. Join us for this complimentary program in partnership with Work Design Magazine. CEU credit pending.

Presented by Moderator: Elise Friedman Shapiro, ASID, IIDA, Contributing Editor, Work Design Magazine, Washington, D.C. Panelists: Jan Johnson, FIIDA, ASID, CoreNet Global, IFMA, Vice President, Workplace Strategy, Allsteel, Chicago, IL, Royce Epstein, LEED AP, A&D Design Director, Mohawk Group, Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Tracy Brower, Principal, Applied Research and Consulting, Steelcase, Grand Rapids, MI


NeoConnect Program Library

Designing for Purpose


In an age where anyone can work from anywhere, and companies offer more amenities than ever as a way to attract and keep employees, how can workplaces be designed to be customized and flexible spaces so that they create work environments that allow individual employees to be truly happy, have purpose, and still be productive. New workplace models such as designing for serendipity and non-linear working are becoming embedded in new workplaces. This seminar will discuss the needs of designing for a new workforce that will attract and retain employees. Using recent case studies--such as Slack Headquarters in San Francisco—in addition to projects on the board, the panel will illustrate how these models can become new possibilities for designing new workspaces. It will also discuss rethinking workspaces in a post-pandemic world. [INTERMEDIATE][OF]

Presented by Paul Makovsky, Moderator, editor in chief, Contract Magazine, New York, NY • Primo Orpilla, co-founder and principal, Studio O+A, San Francisco, CA • Jonathan Webb, LEED AP, vice president, sales and marketing, workplace strategy, KI, Green Bay, WI


Wisdumb: How Embedded Stupidity is Destroying Your Business


The level of conformity in any organization is in inverse proportion to its creative ability. The success of your design firm depends on your ability to provide bold, creative solutions and ideas. But what if the conventional wisdom you’ve been following is actually blocking your pathways to innovation? We call it wisdumb, which best describes outdated and ineffective business standards in a changed world, standards that can ruin your business and practice. In this session, we’ll explore how to drive the wisdumb out of your business and, in its place, devise an innovation strategy using our four innovation agreements. We’ll identify these institutional blocks to creativity and show you how to transform the components of your organization and team that are lagging. Also, we’ll explore the ways that traditional business thinking and industry standards are holding you back, losing you customers and destroying your competitive advantage. By attending this talk, attendees will learn how to identify the top obstacles to their business, their blockages to growth and change, as well as how to develop a path forward to innovate and transform their business or projects. [ADVANCED][GR][PD]

Presented by Eric Corey Freed, RA, LEED Fellow, LFA, EcoDistricts AP, director of sustainability, CannonDesign, Portland, OR


Surface Materials Influence on MRSA Contamination


This session reveals a health danger in materials that designers should fully understand, so as to minimize the danger. We’ll amplify a study designed to determine and combat infections on hospital surfaces. One essential and alarming statistic is that contaminated environmental surfaces, furniture and equipment have been associated with outbreaks of hospital acquired infections (HAIs). In fact, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) accounts for more than 50% of all hospital acquired Staphylococcus aureus and can remain viable for up to 14 days on a variety of surfaces. Often, studies evaluating surface contamination do not specify the material composition of the surface. Our study helps to remedy this shortcoming by focusing on the following materials: 1) stainless steel; 2) solid surface; 3) high-pressure laminate; 4) copper sheet; and 5) cupron-enhanced solid surface. Our study’s objective was to compare common surfaces used in healthcare and other institutional indoor environments to determine which material may have advantages in minimizing risk of HAIs. [INTERMEDIATE][FM][HC][HSW]

Presented by Debra Harris, associate professor, Baylor University, Waco, TX


Collective D(esign) | Episode 10: The Global State of Design | Presented by IIDA

Looking to the future, it's clear that designers and design thinking will be hugely impactful, leading the charge on changes to healthcare, workplace, institutions, education, and of course the home. We may not yet have all the answers, or even the questions in terms of “what's next,” but we do know that design is forward and future-facing. It is imperative that design is at the forefront of the brave new world. Global leaders in design join IIDA to discuss the current state of the industry several months into the crisis, and to consider what is still to come. This webinar has been approved for one IDCEC CEU.

Presented by Moderator: Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, executive vice president and CEO, IIDA, Chicago, IL • Collin Burry, FIIDA, design principal, Gensler London • Nicolai Czumaj-Bront, design leader – International Studio, Haworth • Virginia Lung, founder & design director, One Plus Partnership • Marco Sabetta, general manager, Salone del Mobile, Milano


Creating a Strategy for a Cohesive Future: at the Intersection of Real Estate and Design


This session pivots on complex design challenges, as outlined in a comprehensive case study. The study involves a corporation seeking to not only gain efficiency in real estate, but also to create better alignment between business, people and workplace design. To meet this host of challenges, the design team had to also look at real estate as an asset aligned with the corporation’s brand and culture to ultimately better position the corporation attract and retain top talent. Attendees can expect to learn about the process and strategies to develop agile workplaces that support its employees—and gain insight into real estate strategies that improve the company’s overall bottom line. [INTERMEDIATE][FM][OF][PD]

Presented by Mark Adams, IIDA, vice-president, studio leader, SmithGroup, Phoenix, AZ • Andrew Cheney, CRE CCIM, SIOR, principal, Lee & Associates, Phoenix, AZ • Alexis Kim, IIDA, principal/design strategist, SmithGroup, Detroit, MI


The 21st Century Classroom: a Case Study in Collaboration


With a new generation of students on campus, innovations in classroom design are supporting new ways of learning and teaching. Join us as we do a deep dive into a prominent case study focused on a design that combines a multitude of learning spaces all designed to foster student engagement and collaboration. You’ll learn how a holistic approach integrating architecture, interior design, sustainability, technology and furniture led to a new academic environment. [GR][INST]

Presented by Gail Wozniak, NCIDQ, LEED AP, associate, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Chicago, IL • Monica Willemsen, AIA, LEED AP, associate, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Chicago, IL


Diversity In Design Panel Discussion

Presented by Novità PR

Join us for a panel and open discussion where we will be addressing the diversity problem in our industry. The panel will be moderated by seasoned public relations, marketing, and branding leader Joseph Cephas (SVP, Novità, previously VP, Communications & Brand Experience, ASID), who will be joined by black design industry leaders: Angelita Scott, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Georgia Southern University), Maya Bird-Murphy (founder, Chicago Mobile Makers), and Ronnie Belizaire, IIDA (Corporate Real Estate Manager, Daimler). This powerful panel will examine the role design plays in solving social justice issues as well as the lack of diversity and representation in the profession. The second half will be an interactive Q&A with the audience. This will provide a forum to listen, learn, and grow together.


Design Speaks Editorial Webinar | Presented by Contract Magazine

As the COVID-19 pandemic eases, the world will not return to business as usual but will instead accelerate and evolve in a number of strategic shifts, creating new design landscapes. Join the editors of Contract, Healthcare Design, Hospitality Design, and design:retail for a special webinar highlighting key global design trends and opportunities in their respective markets, followed by a Q&A panel discussion. Covering the major architecture and design market trends, how different sectors in workplace, healthcare, hospitality and retail will look like in a post-pandemic landscape, and what strategic thinking you should know to help grow your business.

Presented by Paul Makovsky of Contract, Jennifer Silvis of HCD, Alissa Ponchione of Hospitality Design, and Jessie Dowd of design:retail.


Neurodiversity and Workplace Inclusivity


How can we design space that can help accommodate all and enable the neurodiverse and inclusive workforce? Our session will help answer this question for designers. We are living in a time of increased numbers and awareness about individuals with neuro-sensitivities and special needs, such as ADHD. But these individuals can be high energy, risk-taking, good in a crisis and bold problem solvers. In our session, we’ll share opportunities to rethink the physical design of workplaces to improve the experience for neurodivergents. We’ll also explore the benefits of inclusive organizational and workplace design. [INTERMEDIATE][OF][WE]

Presented by Kay Sargent, ASID, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, WELL AP, director of workplace, HOK, Washington, DC • Pam Light, FIIDA, LEED AP, regional leader of workplace, interiors, senior principal, HOK, Culver City, CA


Experience: Art, Culture, Design | Presented by IIDA

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed almost everything about our daily lives—the way we shop, work, exercise, and even spend time with our loved ones. But how has it changed artistic expression and the ways that we experience art and design? Art is critical in spurring conversations on justice and equity, and artists play an important role in the narrative around our response to a global crisis. Now more than ever, society turns to visual culture in an effort to translate our current challenges and the visions of a better tomorrow. Join moderator IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, and participants Amanda Williams, renowned Chicago-based artist and architect, and Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, for an enthralling discussion on art in the time of COVID; how museums, galleries, and DIY spaces will continue to adapt for the future; and the ways we can let society know that creativity can’t be canceled.

Presented by Moderator: Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, Executive Vice President and CEO, IIDA, Chicago • Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago • Amanda Williams, Artist and Architect, AW Studio, Chicago


Healthy People, Healthy Planet | Presented by Metropolis Sustainability Lab

In recent years, the need for sustainable manufacturing as well as the broader wellness movement have encouraged designers to pay closer attention to the materials and products that they design with, and the systems and spaces that they create. Now, thanks to the global pandemic, 2020 is a watershed moment for wellness and sustainability. How can designers navigate this challenge and create healthier, more sustainable spaces?


Ready to Reoccupy? Assessing Workplaces for Ourselves and Our Clients


How will we feel safe going back to work in our office? Three designers discuss what their firms are doing for themselves and for their clients to create an environment and an attitude that supports staff safety and comfort. These issues are not limited to furniture plans and high-touch surfaces but address the culture of the business and its understanding the concerns of those who work in it. In the short-term, how do designers develop a strategy, and work with their clients to implement that strategy, how critical both physical and emotional wellness are at this time? Is it too early to assess the longer-term implications of remote working? Will greater flexibility and empathy be the outcomes of this period of unlooked-for experimentation? [Intermediate][OF][HSW]

Presented by Michelle Osburn, NCIDQ, ID+C, associate principal, workplace strategy practice leader, Perkins & Will, Chicago, IL • Tom Zurowski, AIA, founding principal, Eastlake Studio, Chicago, IL • Matthew Dumich, FAIA, principal and workplace strategy leader, SmithGroup, Chicago, IL


Get to the Point: a Rapid-Fire Discussion About Careers in Design | Presented by IIDA

Join IIDA and a panel of industry veterans, human resource specialists, career counselors, and recruiters as they answer your questions about the state of the industry. Panelists will participate in a rapid-fire Q&A and respond to video submitted questions from students and emerging designers. Submit your questions here by Friday, May 29 for your chance to be on screen. [link for above:]

Presented by Bill Bouchey, FIIDA, ASID, Director of Design, Interiors, HOK, Los Angeles • Brian Graham, Founder and Creative Director, Graham Design, New York • Tara Headley, Assoc. IIDA, Interior Designer, Hendrick, Atlanta • Sarah Kuchar, Owner, Creative Director, Kuchar Studio, Chicago • Angie Lee, AIA, IIDA, Partner, Design Director-Interiors, FXCollaborative Architects, New York • Greg Silk, Principal, API Partners, New York • Suzanne Tron, Senior Vice President, The Viscusi Group, Miami


New Lighting Design Trends in Wellness and Hospitality, Los Angeles

[DC010] • Presented by the Design Center

This session should appeal to both architects and designers, particularly those interested in lighting and spaces. We’ve built this program, so it lets the attendee see the lighting design process with the eyes of a hospitality design architect. In fact, new design trends are utilizing lighting as a tool to create ambiance in built experiential environments and is key in supporting new brands and concepts. We’ve found that in the search of attractive, functional and exciting built environments, architects and designers rely on the versatility and quality of current lighting technologies to emphasize the elements of new trends on retail, wellness and hospitality projects. The attendee will also understand the power of lighting design in brand and ambiance creation. Ultimately, attendees will learn a new approach to the use of lighting design with natural light in harmony for hospitality projects. [INTERMEDIATE][HOSP][LT][WE]

Presented by Jose Antonio Gonzalez, AIA, principal, Jagar Architecture and Design, Los Angeles, CA


Your Goldilocks Moment: Getting Amenities Just Right!


In this session, we’ll explore how optimizing employee experience is at the forefront of innovative workplace design now and in the future. Post-COVID-19, additional consideration must be taken to address employee health and safety when planning workspaces and providing amenities that increase collaboration and engagement. Given these new challenges, how do you quantify and plan these types of spaces without overdoing or underestimating? Hear from a designer, a building developer, and a real estate broker as they share their perspectives on the changing landscape of work and what changes we might see in the workplace to enhance experience in a post-pandemic world. To conclude, they will share quantitative and qualitative analyses that form the basis of 21st century decision-making in an industry that still references 20th century programming data and methodologies. Join us to see how this fairy tale has a happy ending. [INTERMEDIATE][OF][FC/R][FM]

Presented by Cheryl Duvall, CID, FIIDA, LEED-AP, NCIDQ, regional consulting practice area leader, Gensler, Baltimore, MD • Laurent Myers, executive managing director, Savills USA, Washington, DC • Tom Kelley, director of development + design, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Baltimore, MD


Collective D(esign): Women Lead Design | The NeoConnect Edition | Presented by IIDA

Sponsored by Interface

Join IIDA CEO and Executive Vice President, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, for a special edition of Collective D(esign) in dialogue with female design leaders, to discuss the urgency of this current moment, what’s next for design, and how a diversity of design thought is more crucial than ever. Hear what they have to say about the importance of mentorship, inspiration, and the future of the profession.

Presented by Moderator: Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, executive vice president and CEO, IIDA, Chicago, IL Panelists: Robin Klehr Avia, FIIDA, regional managing principal, Gensler • Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, IIDA, principal, Director of Global Diversity, Perkins&Will • Sarah Kuchar, IIDA, creative director, Sarah Kuchar Studio • Angie Lee, AIA, IIDA, partner, Design Director–Interiors, FXCollaborative


From Ocean to Office: a New Path for Plastic


In this session, experts will explore how design can provide a solution to the issue of ocean plastic. As we continue to shift from a linear to circular economy, reframing waste plastic as a resource is vital. Doing so in new product manufacturing allows conscientious designers to specify products that can directly help reduce ocean plastic. That said, keeping plastics in the economy and out of our oceans is easier said than done. It takes a change of mindset. It takes a company-wide commitment. It takes internal and external communication. And, it takes collaboration across diverse sectors to develop a supply chain to source ocean plastic at scale. Our session will use case studies to outline how sourcing ocean plastics actually happens, and what the impact is on local communities. Attendees will walk away with new concepts about how to source materials and the social, environmental and economic impact of designing with sustainability as a foundation. They will be able to identify a variety of sustainable design approaches and techniques, as well as describe how using sustainability as the source of innovation can yield measurable positive impacts. [INTERMEDIATE][GR][PD]

Presented by Kendall Starkman, director of NextWave Plastics, Lonely Whale, Oakland, CA • Mikhail Davis, director, technical sustainability, Americas, Interface, San Francisco, CA • Jane Abernethy, chief sustainability officer, Humanscale, New York, NY


We Need to Talk… About Materiality and Wellness (Part 1 of 3) | Presented by Contract Magazine

In this three-part series, Contract talks to leading experts who offer concise and optimal insight on how we will redesign interior spaces around us in a post-pandemic world. Discover the new opportunities on how to design better spaces, as we examine everything from anti-microbial surfaces, non-touch interfaces, and how personal spaces will evolve. Part One: Learning from Healthcare: Adapting to a post-pandemic world-- We look at the expert knowledge and practices in healthcare that we can apply to other sectors like workplace and hospitality. Sponsored by Kwalu.


Using Creativity to Spark Creativity


Creativity, like other skills, should be strengthened and nurtured. Design requires us to look at space and problems and imagine things that have never been done before. How can we use creativity outside of the workplace to spark the creativity required to design the unimaginable? How are the challenges of this current crisis driving innovative solutions for our personal and professional lives. This panel of visionaries will discuss how they use creativity in their everyday lives to guide their revolutionary work. [INTERMEDIATE][PD]

Presented by Moderator: Chris Abbate, president, Novita Communications, New York, NY • Giona Maiarelli, owner, Maiarelli Studio, Brooklyn, NY • Elizabeth Von Lehe, ASID, design & brand strategy principal, HDR, New York, NY • Gareth Brennan, founder, Eventscape, Toronto, Ontario • Mike Johnson II, AIA IIDA, LEED AP, senior associate, Perkins and Will, Washington, DC


We Need to Talk… About Materiality and Wellness (Part 2 of 3) | Presented by Contract Magazine

In this three-part series, Contract talks to leading experts who offer concise and optimal insight on how we will redesign interior spaces around us in a post-pandemic world. Discover the new opportunities on how to design better spaces, as we examine everything from anti-microbial surfaces, non-touch interfaces, and how personal spaces will evolve. Part Two: Rethinking materials in a post-pandemic world Is it time for a fundamental rethink of how we specify materials? Experts weigh in how materials need to work in our interior spaces. Sharkskin, anyone?


Introduction to Regenerative Design: Your Role as a Designer for a Thriving Future


As design professionals, we are in the unique position of influencing natural and human environments. Therefore, we have a responsibility to make sure our influence fulfills its potential for sustainability and a thriving world. Attendees to this presentation will discover how regenerative design and the practice of systems thinking focuses on building their capacity to embark on that exploration. We’ll start by introducing regenerative design and its relationship to sustainability; next, we’ll explore how best to shift mindset for your practice and clients. Our session will also rely on examples of how regenerative design has been put into action and the tools to help you implement it in your own projects. Attending this session will help you bring regenerative design to the forefront to ensure that your design strives towards a sustainable and thriving future. [BASIC][GR][PD]

Presented by Susanne Angarano, ASID, principal, Ashley McGraw Architects, Syracuse, NY


Putting Carbon to Work | Presented by Metropolis Sustainability Lab

The most important way that designers can combat the climate crisis is by bringing down carbon emissions. While every building or space may not achieve carbon neutrality, every bit of reduction counts—whether in interiors or architecture, in embodied or operational carbon. What tools and strategies can designers use today to better evaluate and reduce the carbon emissions of the spaces they create? How can they leverage the strategies of carbon-neutral design to deliver better spaces and experiences for clients and end-users alike?


Gender Neutral Design: Restrooms and Beyond | Presented by AIA Chicago

Gendered Design spans histories and cultures, visible in the language and classifications within building components, and in how we conduct business and address each other as colleagues and friends. As society becomes more aware of our gender non-binary nature, designers must tailor their techniques to design without bias and understand how “gendering” can adversely affect our global culture by impacting participation, inclusion, and emotional wellbeing. Inclusion is not difficult. In fact, in many cases it involves a simplification process making things easier! As with nearly everything, education and awareness is key. Presented by leaders in gender-neutral design, this virtual program will provide historical context to gender neutral design, real-world project examples for how gender neutral design has taken shape, inspiration for how gender neutral design looks to future designers to provide an inclusive built environment as a cultural platform for society to mirror, and a panel discussion on the process of educating and bringing awareness to the advantages of Gender Neutral Design in our industry.

Presented by A Elizabeth Ortner, AIA, LEED AP, architect and assistant director, Project Management - Architecture for the Office of Planning, Sustainability and Project Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL • Heidi Neumueller, AIA, LEED AP, senior associate, Cuningham Group Architecture, Minneapolis, MN • Joel Sanders, FAIA, founder, MIXdesign and studio JSA (Joel Sanders Architect), New York, NY • Seb Choe, co-cirector, MIXdesign, New York, NY • Grant Ullrich, Assoc. AIA, deputy commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Buildings, Chicago, IL


Contradictions: Inclusive Design for All Generations


In light of the current health crisis we will examine the inherent challenges designers face when dealing with five generations in the workforce to provide choices of where, how, when and with whom they work to enhance user experience and performance. In this panel discussion, our experts will present generational similarities and differences. From that perspective we will consider post-Covid generational expectations for the workplace, from dedicated and shared individual workspaces; formal and informal meeting spaces; and community spaces and quiet spaces. With the added emphasis on physical and psychological safety and security. [INTERMEDIATE][OF][PD]

Presented by Moderators: Sven Govaars, principal, Steelcase, San Francisco, CA • Dean Strombom, FAIA, principal, Gensler, Houston, TX Panelists: Scott Phillips, senior director, Global Workplace Services, Salesforce, Chicago, IL • Cristina Banks, director, Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces, Berkeley, CA • Drew Jones, author, The Fifth Age of Work and founder, OpenWork, Austin, TX


We Need to Talk… About Materiality and Wellness (Part 3 of 3) | Presented by Contract Magazine

In this three-part series, Contract talks to leading experts who offer concise and optimal insight on how we will redesign interior spaces around us in a post-pandemic world. Discover the new opportunities on how to design better spaces, as we examine everything from anti-microbial surfaces, non-touch interfaces, and how personal spaces will evolve. Part Three: Reshaping the healthy workplace in a post-pandemic world We’ll look at how the workplace will evolve and be redesigned to make employees happier and healthier.


Proof in Design: ASID Outcome of Design Awards 2020 Winners | Presented by ASID

Celebrating the power of design, the ASID Outcome of Design Awards highlight new tools and processes in design, strategy, technology, and research. The 2020 winning projects, the Sensory Wellbeing Hub by HKS and M Moser Associates Living Lab by M Moser Associates, successfully demonstrate the measurable effect of projects on people in spaces. Hear from the winners in a candid, interview format that will explore their processes and provide actionable approaches to put into practice. The 2020 Outcome of Design Awards are presented by ASID, in partnership with Herman Miller and Mohawk Group, with Metropolis as media partner.


How to Talk to Your Clients About Going Green

[DC017] • Presented by the Design Center

As our clients increasingly want to go green, we designers need a strategy to talk with them about how best to do so. Join us as we employ evidence-based design, which reveals how materials and products used in interior spaces directly impact health/wellness of people, pets and the environment. You’ll learn to compellingly inform your clients with accuracy. Also, you’ll learn how to navigate the latest industry resources to ensure you have the knowledge, tools and foresight to make sustainable, healthy and informed decisions for building occupants, as well as to provide documentation for project accreditation submissions. Finally, you’ll discover how to become your client’s most trusted advocate by enhancing well-being through the use of healthy, sustainable materials. [INTERMEDIATE][GR][RES]

Presented by Joan Kaufman, FASID, LEED AP, director of design and project management, Interior Planning & Design, Inc., Naperville, IL


The Next Level of Physical Space - Multi-Sensory Experience Design


When we hear the word connected environments, we tend to think about how we can control things with the touch of a button. However, how can good design drive experience—by disconnecting us from technology? Our session will provide exciting answers and solutions to this counterintuitive question. We’ll pivot off several design case studies, such as the design for an interactive wall of water, or a ceiling that simulates the sky, even syncing to music or your own heartbeat. We’ll discuss how these design elements would affect your experience of physical space and promote digital detachment. Our session will offer attendees the chance to rethink how they can incorporate these design tenets to stimulate creativity, honor mindfulness and digital disconnection, as well apply these ideas to the modern workplace. [INTERMEDIATE][PD]

Presented by Noah Waxman, founder & head of strategy, Cactus, New York, NY


Healthcare Facilities Post-Pandemic: Programming and Design


Healthcare institutions, architects and engineers reacted and adapted to the COVID-19 crisis, and their stories are being shared around the world. From converting existing facilities to building temporary solutions to an increased utilization of telehealth, we realized most healthcare facilities were not designed to handle the demand and care needs of those affected by the pandemic. In this session, panelists will speak to what designers can do moving forward. We will touch upon how our design process can change to include risk assessment programming while also looking at lessons learned from the facility adaptations during COVID-19. [INTERMEDIATE][HC][FC/R][HSW]

Presented by Douglas King, AIA, principal, healthcare practice, Stantec, Chicago, IL • Victoria Navarro, MBA-HCM, regional director of planning, design & construction, North Wisconsin Advocate Aurora Health, Milwaukee, WI • Camilla Moretti, AIA, ACHA, LSSGB, LEED AP BD+C, senior Medical Planner and vice president, HKS, Detroit, MI • Alison Faecher, IIDA, NCIDQ, EDAC, LEED AP, principal & Interior designer, SmithGroup, Boston, MA


Diversity in Design Panel Discussion: Part II

Presented by Novità PR

Due to an overwhelming response and the need to continue the candid conversation addressing the diversity problem facing architecture and design, Novità will be hosting Part II of the Diversity in Design: The Time for Change Is NOW panel, led by Joseph Cephas (SVP, Novita). Black design industry leaders will return on the panel to discuss critical topics and further to examine the role of design in social justice issues and the importance of black representation in firms. Part II will be a Town Hall style format that will rely heavily on audience participation. The panel will answer questions to build an understanding of the problems facing African Americans both in society and in the design industry.

Presented by Josepha Cephas, senior vice president, Novità Communications, New York, NY • Ronnie Belizaire, IIDA, corporate real estate manager, Daimler • Maya Bird-Murphy, Associate AIA, LEED Green Associate, SEED, founder, Chicago Mobile Makers, Chicago, IL • Angelita Scott, Ph.D., Allied ASID, IDEC,assistant professor, Georgia Southern University


Attributes of Contract Furniture


What drives furniture decisions in the commercial-built environment? At the outset, we designers know the importance the eight key attributes: aesthetics, quality, craftsmanship, safety, performance, health & wellness, sustainability and verification. In this session, we will dive into each of eight attributes to explain their influence on the decision-making process for furniture in contract environments. The session’s content will also include the importance of original design, an overview of wood and upholstery manufacturing construction methods, impacts on the health & wellness of the user, the sustainability of commonly used materials, as well as the role of certification schemes and other evaluation tools to verify each attribute. [BASIC][GR]

Presented by Jennifer Wammack, director of outreach, BIFMA, Grand Rapids, MI • Martin Flaherty, consultant, Pencilbox, Inc., FL


In Conversation: Product Intros and Perspectives | Presented by ASID as part of the 2020 Virtual Internship

Ever wonder how designers navigate through new products and materials as they consider what is best for their clients and projects? Listen in on a series of conversations between designers and reps as they review new products. You will leave with an understanding of the questions to ask when evaluating products, how to navigate relationships with product reps, and fresh insight on what’s up and coming from manufacturers.


Proactive Leadership and Future-Proofing Your Business


After ten years of industry growth, what comes next? One of the greatest challenges facing any Principal is to proactively plan, improve and evolve – especially when business is good, and your team is busy. David Solomon will share practical ways to help you better prepare, protect and future-proof your business to capitalize on whatever comes next. You’ll learn the importance of consistently making evolutionary changes, key indicators to watch, strategies to both mitigate risk and uncover growth opportunities, and actions to take to build a stronger sustainable business that delivers better returns now and in the future. [INTERMEDIATE][DS][PD]

Presented by David Solomon, principal, Solomon Coyle, LLC, Bluffton, SC


Designing with Tile

[LH023] • Presented by LuxeHome

Join us as we unveil some of the recent trends and changes in tile design. We’ll address design and installation requirements for both conventional and large format tile, including substrate preparation and floor flatness standards. Attendees will also develop an understanding of the various types of tile, setting methods, system components, as well as quality assurance methods as outlined in the ANSI A108 standards and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Handbook. Furthermore, our session will examine ANSI requirements for mortar coverage, grout joint width, allowable lippage, layout and bonding, as well as other aesthetic and functional criteria. Our program will also look at the new standards for thin Gauged Porcelain Tile (GPT) panels, as well as the recommended specification language for installer qualifications appearing in the TCNA Handbook and MasterSpec. [INTERMEDIATE][FC/R][INST]

Presented by Scott Conwell, FAIA, FCSI, LEED AP, director of industry development, International Masonry Institute, Bowie, MD


Designing Resilient Spaces | Presented by Metropolis Sustainability Lab

Resilient design is commonly understood as being related to disasters like fires or floods, but it actually stands for creativity informed by long-term thinking. Adaptability and flexibility are the core tenets of resilience—aspects that have become a concern for everyone, because of COVID-19. Indoors and outside, how can designers create spaces that will endure short term shocks and have a long-lasting positive impact on people’s lives?


Workplaces Can Be Places for People, Organizations and the Planet


Join us to discover how to avoid the pitfalls, in order to design a sustainable future workplace that benefits the organization and its people. The first misstep often involves possible hidden costs—to both the organization and its people. In fact, our session will help you uncover how better design can result in benefits like improved job satisfaction, stronger organizational commitment and improved work performance. This concept is particularly important as we struggle to improve work environments to support well-being at the same time as meeting sustainability or greenhouse-gas-reduction targets. Both goals often require more than the minimum investment, which can be difficult to justify without a comprehensive view. To help make these complex concepts more concrete, our session will rest on the hard evidence of field studies, surveys and comprehensive reviews. [INTERMEDIATE][OF]

Presented by Dr. Jennifer Veitch, principal research officer, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, ON • Dr. Sally Augustin, APA, principal, Design With Science, LaGrange Park, IL


The Pulse of the Industry: ASID Research on Industry Resilience

Presented by ASID

How are we navigating through COVID-19 and what is its impact on the economy, interior design industry, design professionals, and their businesses? ASID has been conducting a series of “pulse surveys” every two weeks since March 31, 2020 to capture snapshots of how interior design companies and practitioners have been responding to this unprecedented time and practicing resilience. Dig into the results of the industry-wide survey to understand the impacts on projects and business performance, identify the challenges professionals are facing, and gather insights for advancing the profession. Additionally, learn what ASID is planning next and how to become involved as we support professionals, business, and industry.


2021+ CMG World Color Forecast™ - From Beyond the Telescope to Under the Microscope

[DC024] • Presented by the Design Center

This webinar will provide an in-depth analysis of macro drivers influencing the 2021+ CMG World Color Forecast™ including an insight of the latest developments affecting our changing society’s color consumption. CMG’s color design professionals will examine their global color forecasts microscopically to reveal the societal and cultural forces impacting 2021+ color directions. Designers and product development teams know the power of CMG’s 64 color, multi-industry World Color Forecasts to their product’s success and are challenged to interpret the World Color Forecast from within our new chaotic and uncertain world. The chaos of the evolving “new normal” will impact how color directions are applied, mature, and evolve. CMG Key Color stories from North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific will be in the spotlight during the presentation with the aim of supporting product design decisions for 2021 and beyond. [INTERMEDIATE][PD]

Presented by Peggy Van Allen, President Color Marketing Group, designer and color anthropologist with Colorfuel, Cary, IL • Montaha Hidefi, vice-president color forecasting, Color Marketing Group, color archeologist with Color Landing Studio, Guelph, ON, Canada


Survival of the Fittest 2.0: Embracing and Thriving While Re-Imagining Everything


As individuals and as organizations, how do we balance – especially in a crisis - who we are and what we’ve historically been known for with the urgencies of now and the musts of tomorrow? If you haven’t given it thought, you’re already irrelevant. For organizations to survive, it’s becoming increasingly imperative to master current demands while anticipating and planning for future innovation in an “innovate or die” world. With new technologies disrupting industries faster than ever before, we’re faced with finding a balance between thriving in the now and continuously reinventing ourselves and our organizations. Those who win the survival game are agile and adaptable, with ultimate success depending on how comfortable we are stretching ourselves in new, uncomfortable and disruptive ways while adjusting to rapid change. [INTERMEDIATE][PD]

Presented by Tomas Jimenez-Eliaeson, AIA, LEED AP, design principal, Little, Charlotte, NC • Jim Thompson, AIA, LEED AP, design principal, Little, Charlotte, NC


Strengthening Campus Communities Through Food Service Design

[LH025] • Presented by Luxehome

Food has always played a vital role in cultivating and building communities, especially within campus environments. And further, the design of such spaces where students, faculty and families meet regularly to break bread together is more involved than the selection of table and chair. This seminar will zero in on several crucial questions, such as how do we create spaces that support daily meals as well as food-centered activities/events for students, faculty, alum and visitors? And further, how can their interior design reflect each institution’s unique community, mission and identity while strengthening our connection with food, each other and our environment? This seminar will provide attendees with thoughtful, workable answers. Through case studies, we will explore the different ways to design for food service in campus settings and how each serves a specific function(s) while reflecting the communities they serve. [INTERMEDIATE][FC/R][INST]

Presented by Daniela Holt Voith, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, IIDA, founding partner, Voith and Mactavish Architects, Philadelphia, PA • Sennah Loftus, LEED AP BD+C, associate principal, Voith and Mactavish Architects, Philadelphia, PA


Hospitality’s Next Breakthrough is the Workplace


Join us as we dive into a new trend in design, the intersection where the hospitality industry meets other kinds of workplaces. This trend’s driven by a younger generation seeking experiences that align with their values, and the desire to have authentic interactions that speak to each person’s individuality. From restaurants and hotels, to healthcare spaces and even our workplaces—the hospitality industry has influenced the way we design for the end-user. All indications, too, are that this trend will continue to expand, so astute designers will want to better understand the trend and its future implications. In this presentation, a panel of experts will discuss what we can do to meet new challenges in demographics, mobility and technology. [INTERMEDIATE][HOSP][OF]

Presented by Suzette Subance Ferrier, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP, managing executive, studio creative director, TPG Architecture, New York, NY • Shay Lam, IIDA, managing executive, studio creative director, TPG Architecture, New York, NY


A Discussion with Designing a Better Chicago’s 2020 Grant Recipients

The Design Impact Grant Program offers annual project-specific grants to individuals and organizations using design or design principles to directly address pressing issues in Chicago communities. Tanner Woodford, Founder and Executive Director of the Design Museum of Chicago , speaks with the program’s inaugural recipients about their outstanding efforts to “Design a Better Chicago”: Maya Bird-Murphy, Founder of Chicago Mobile Makers, and Kathy Gregg, Chief Development Officer of Maplewood Housing for the Visually Impaired.

Presented by Tanner Woodford, Design Museum of Chicago, Maya Bird-Murphy, Chicago Mobile Makers, Kathy Gregg, Maplewood Housing for the Visually Impaired


The Creative Provider


This webinar has been developed by IDCEC and examines the changing landscape of learning. It explores presentation strategies to keep learners inspired, engaged, and motivated to learn for life. Attendees will discover a variety of tools for continuing education, and realize how to innovate and create positive change in the face of social distancing. Attendees will also build a collective fellowship in the design industry, and gain knowledge on how to operate in a cost- efficient manner in the new normal. This program is geared to CEU providers or potential CEU providers and is approved for .5 IDCEC credit. [BASIC][PD]

Presented by Brynell D’Mello, CHRL, Hon. FASID, chief executive director, IDCEC, Toronto, ON • Michelle Boolton, director, IDCEC Board of Directors, Toronto, ON • Joanna Tiffin, director, IDCEC Board of Directors, Toronto, ON


The Design of Community - Senior Living Trends


As designers, we are faced with the challenge of incorporating the essence of senior living into the overall design of a community—at all scales. Our session will build on the current concept of senior living: their desire is to be part of a multigenerational community supporting the engagement of active, purposeful and meaningful living. The designers’ goal is to provide environments that encourage all individuals to maximize their abilities and positive outcomes. Our session will update the trends and provide the direction for senior living and the related healthcare marketplace from the following perspectives: health and wellness, sustainability, programming, care population, as well as the utilization of inclusive design principles. [INTERMEDIATE][SH][HC][WE]

Presented by Jane Rohde, FIIDA, ASID, AIA, CHID, ACHA, LEED AP BD+C, GGA-EB, principal, JSR Associates, Inc., Catonsville, MD


No Place Like Home: Catalyzing Creativity With Resimercial Design at Home and Work

[DC030] • Presented by the Design Center

The migration of work to home during the Covid pandemic has accelerated the longstanding erosion of boundaries between workplace and domestic environments. One consequence of this erosion has been the emergence of resimercial design. A synthesis of commercial and residential elements, resimercial design is purported to boost occupant creativity and innovation, among other benefits. But what is the evidence for this claim? Have specific characteristics of home environments been proven to enhance idea flow? And is resimercial design applicable to home-based workspaces as well? This presentation explores the science behind the new philosophy and how building professionals can advocate for a resimercial approach on an informed rather than intuitive basis. Topics explored include furnishings, lighting, artwork, materials, planning, and programming. [BASIC][OF][RES]

Presented by Donald Rattner, AIA, principal, Donald M. Rattner, Architect, New York, NY


The Pandemic is Portal | Presented by Metropolis Sustainability Lab

In the months before COVID-19 struck, the climate crisis was at the top of many people’s minds—from teenagers protesting in the streets, to large corporations pledging to become carbon neutral. In the A&D world, we saw growing awareness of embodied carbon and significant commitment from firms and clients alike. How can our learning from the current health crisis help us take the sustainability movement to the next stage?

Show more

Metropolis Sustainability Lab

0001 the kendeda building for innovative sustainable design 49086728532 o

Explore and gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening in the areas of sustainability and wellness. As a community, we can further our commitment to the future of humanity and make a huge impact now.

More info

INSPIRE by interiors+sources

Inspire by interiors+sources

interiors+sources and a group of very talented SCAD students are taking would-be NeoCon exhibits and creating unique hand sketches overlaid with technology to provide designers with the latest product introductions. #getinspired


NeoConnect partners

NeoCon 2021

We look forward to bringing the NeoCon Community together physically June 14-16, 2021 in Chicago!

More info