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Special Programming

2021 special programming was presented onsite at NeoCon and was also available for viewing via livestream. 

Special Programming
You’ve Got to be From the Future to Design a Resilient Workplace: From the Sketchbook of a Workplace Futurist, Design Thinker, and Agility Researcher
Marti Konstant, Workplace Futurist, Konstant Change, Chicago, IL

Konstant Marti BW

The future is flexible. In response to the significant changes of the past year, the shape-shifting of the workplace is in motion. As Steelcase reflects in their research, "Be prepared to experiment." The future of work combines the tectonic plates of workplace trends, human behavior, and technology development to form the next generation of the distributed work environment. The pandemic accelerated the creative work arrangements and distributed teams that were already in place on a smaller scale. Flexible systems and an agile mindset that reframe design and workplace behavior preferences will accommodate individual and organizational needs as they continue to shift. The presentation covered multiple trends that impact the future workplace and strategies to usher in the big shift: employee behavior; employer assumptions; emerging workstyles; the distributed workplace; technology; and learning, presentations and meetings. The mandate for future relevance and flexing with change has never been stronger.


Marti Konstant is a workplace futurist and the best-selling author of “Activate Your Agile Career.” She has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is a former technology executive that has worked in Silicon Valley. As a Top Career Influencer, she has been featured in media outlets such as NBC Chicago, Forbes, and The Muse, and has worked in companies like Samsung, Dow Jones and Apple. Marti is an expert in applying agile principles to workforce development.

Special Programming
Expanding Your Practice: Designing for the Residential Market
Lauren Rottet, FAIA, FIIDA, Founding Principal and President, Rottet Studio, Houston, TX

Rottet Lauren Cropped

As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial architects and designers are facing a new evolving landscape. In this special presentation, the award-winning architect and interior designer Lauren Rottet, FAIA, FIIDA, discussed how commercial designers and manufacturers can embrace the opportunities of expanding into the residential sector. What designs translate and work in different residential settings, and what are the challenges and opportunities in designing for a range of residential typologies, whether it be for single family or multi-housing residences? How to work with developers and individual clients and their needs. From the big picture shifts that designers need to think about in this market segment to the tactical actions that will ultimately strengthen your firm, Rottet's talk presented key ideas you need to consider in this growing design opportunity.


Lauren Rottet is a highly accomplished architect, interior designer, furniture designer and art curator with an extraordinary record of awards, publications, lectures, juries and honors. She is the Founding Principal of Rottet Studio, an international architecture and interior design firm, and is the only woman in history to be elevated to Fellow status by both the American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association. She also holds the titles of Interior Design Hall of Fame, Interiors Designer of the Year, Boutique Design’s Designer of the Year, and Hospitality Design Platinum Circle inductee. Ms. Rottet’s furniture and product designs have earned her four gold medals for Best of NeoCon and a Chicago Athenaeum Award. Her new furniture company, Rottet Collection, was introduced in 2017 and was met with rave reviews garnering significant awards including an Interior Design Best of Year.