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Virtual Programs

Today’s rapidly changing world presents major disruption and, at the same time, tremendous new opportunity. There is so much to discuss, evaluate, and learn. NeoCon is thrilled to offer the NeoCon community a series of online programming exploring the many ways we can and should Design Anew.  Please enjoy recordings of recent programs (below) and stay tuned for details for NeoCon programming in October.


AEC Daily Live, in partnership with NeoCon, will deliver certificates of completion via email within 3 business days of the event. Credits will be reported to AIA within 7 business days. If you require IDCEC credit, you will need to self-report. If you have any questions about certificates or credits, please contact AEC Daily Live at or call 1-877-566-1199.

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Past events

  • The Office as an Ecosystem

    Presented by: Gemma Riberti, Head of Lifestyle & Interiors, WGSN, London, U.K.

    Why will we return to offices in the future? While working remotely has proven a success for most companies during the pandemic, people are missing other people: work is getting done, yet collaboration, decision-making and serendipitous creative sparks can prove challenging.

    In the future, the opportunity to work together in person will place the physical office at the center of a new work ecosystem. This office will be less about a place to work and more about a hub for connection and collaboration across both physical and digital dimensions. Together we'll discuss how the physical workplace will need to evolve from an obligation into a destination, and become an integrated ecosystem of flexible spaces designed for multiple activities. Our conversation will investigate the opportunities as well as the challenges in designing spaces and products for this new office ecosystem: provide insight into how the future of the office is taking shape, contextualized within macro lifestyle consumer shifts that look two to five years ahead; show how to build an efficient long-term strategy to engage with the new future workforce that is being delineated; and explore the products that will not only meet but also help anticipate the needs of such a workforce, as well as the key sectors to invest into.

  • The Power of Together: Reimagining Our Future Workplaces

    Presented by: Randy Howder, IIDA, AIA, Managing Director, Principal, Gensler, San Francisco, CA • Natalie Engels, IIDA, Principal, Global Technology Practice Leader, Gensler, San Jose, CA • Eric Kline, Director, Global Workplace Experience, Adobe, Saratoga, CA

    As our hybrid future of work comes into focus, smart organizations are leveraging unprecedented flexibility and choice that will empower employees to design their own experiences. The hybrid workplace represents an entirely new model, requiring different space types, more integration of new collaborative technologies, and an entirely new connection between employees and management. These changes will cause major impacts on company culture and policies that will require new partnerships and tighter synchronicity across internal organizations. This session will explore the benefits, opportunities, and risks of this new era of the workplace and will arm attendees with the tools and insights they need to navigate this bright new future of work. Learn how Adobe, which was in the midst of the largest workplace transformation in its history when the pandemic hit, is planning for a very different future, one where its employees are at the center of everything they do.

  • The Power of Place—The New Next Workplace

    Presented by: Daniel Herriott, LEED GA, ASSOC. IIDA, Director of Design, Interiors, HOK, San Francisco, CA • Gale Moutrey, Global VP, Brand Experience + Workplace Innovation, Steelcase Inc., Toronto, ON • Diana Stanisic, IIDA, ASID, Interior Designer, Associate, HOK, Atlanta, GA

    COVID-19 will not only change the way we work, it will change how we interact with people and physical objects. As we return to the workplace, we will have to not only rethink the way we engage with the space, but how we interact with each other. A new social dynamic will be created with potential for unease, increased anxiety and conflict. Adding that to the fact that we are living in a world where we are constantly connected, and the in-flow of information seems never-ending, the inability to disconnect is causing a dramatic increase in stress levels amongst workers today. We are also living in a time where exponential change is being driven by advances and rapid development of new autonomous technology. Hence, we are seeing the parallel rise of the machine age and the rise of the human factor. These two streams were already converging in the workplace and changing not only the tools we use, but when, where and how we work as well. Going forward we need to create environments that can help accommodate all and address the physical and social challenges we now face.

  • How Other Design Sectors Can Influence the Future of Workplace Design

    Presented by: Eric Yorath, BFA, BCIN, LEED AP, Principal, Figure3, Toronto, ON • Mardi Najafi, MDes Hons, BDes, ACIDO, LEED AP, IDC, Director, Retail Design, Figure3, Toronto, ON • Bob Fox, B.Arch, AIA, NCIDQ, IIDA, LEED AP, Chairman and Principal, FOX Architects, Washington, D.C. • Sherif Ayad, Founder and President, ID & Design International, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    The appetite of today’s workforce to work wherever and however they want continues to grow. The role of the office is quickly changing from a traditional 9–5 mandate, to more of a hub for collaboration celebrating corporate culture and brand identity. Business owners are searching for new, innovative ways to achieve intuitive connection between employees and this new place of work.

    As such, the role of designers must adapt and explore new ways of facilitating these new connections. ONE Global Design is a strategic alliance of best-in-class Architecture and Interior Design firms bringing together industry expertise, talent, and thought leadership. This panel of ONE Global Design members will explore how techniques and strategies from other design sectors can better inform workplace design in the future.

  • Changing Face of Design—How the Design Industry Is Supporting the Workforce Differently

    Moderated by: Ray Ehscheid, RDI, IIDA, Director of Client Services, IA Interior Architects, New York, NY • Presented by: Neil Schneider, IIDA, Design Director, IA Interior Architects, Chicago, IL • Guy Messick, AIA, Director of Design Intelligence, IA Interior Architects, San Francisco, CA • Tish Kruse, RID, LEED AP, Senior Director of Workplace Strategy, IA Interior Architects, Chicago, IL

    In 2020 the world as we knew it shifted. Our roles as designers, architects, technologists and strategists have allowed us to accommodate for this shift by pushing our creativity even further. We are no longer tethered to designing only physical environments for our clients; we are being challenged to rethink the way the virtual and built environments merge into one seamless ecosystem supporting the distributed workforce globally. With the urgency to foster employee engagement, organizations are willing to experiment and reinvent, now more than ever. IA will discuss three fundamental ways it is collaborating with clients through this paradigm shift, and share lessons learned. These include the creation and use of the virtual environment, workplace experience applications, and technology integration into the physical workplace. T

  • Mental Health in the Workplace

    Presented by: Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP (Provisional), Corporate President, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Arlington, VA • Lida Lewis, ASID, WELL AP, WELL Faculty, LEED AP ID+C, Fitwel Ambassador, Director of Interiors, Page, Inc., Baltimore, MD

    The COVID-19 pandemic has put mental health in the spotlight. Employees are contending with environments and cultures that lead to stress, isolation and low engagement. This session will explore how the workplace influences mental health and will outline the range of ways organizations can enhance mental well-being, with an emphasis on strategies in the WELL Building Standard™ v2. It will provide suggestions on how employers can harness design and culture to decrease stress and support a focused, engaged and productive workforce, including key considerations for both a remote workforce and for those returning to the office.

  • In the Next Future of Work, Wellbeing, Engagement, and Collaboration Are Paramount

    Presented by: George Athens, AIA, Fitwel Ambassador, Principal, Workplace Studio Leader, SmithGroup, Detroit, MI • Candice Messing, Program Manager, General Motors, Utica, MI • Nancy Kohout, PE, LEED AP, Principal, Engineering Leader, SmithGroup, Chicago, IL

    Wellbeing, both physical and mental, will become an increasingly important component of the next future of work. The advancing body of science proving how design impacts human performance and behavior will be harder for organizations to ignore. Gone are the days when historical metrics such as cost/square foot and first cost drive decisions. This new era will center on people and focus on engagement, productivity, recruitment, and retention. As employee engagement numbers hover around 30%, organizations that move the needle through wellbeing, resiliency, and flexibility will come out ahead. Attendees can expect to learn about wellbeing, people-centered strategies that drive positive culture and result in greater innovation and enhanced productivity.

  • Bring Your Whole Self to Work: Designing for Holistic Employee Wellness

    Presented by: Caroline Morris, Associate, Clive Wilkinson Architects, Los Angeles, CA • Amber Wernick, IIDA, Associate, Clive Wilkinson Architects, Los Angeles, CA • Megan White, LEED AP+ (BD+C, ID+C, O+M), LFA, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador, Chief Sustainability Officer, Integral Group, Oakland, CA

    The COVID-19 crisis forced the world to undertake the largest remote working experiment in history. Endless video calls revealed our homes, partners, kids, and pets, blurring the line between our work and personal lives. We also experienced suffering, isolation, and cultural disconnection which has had a profound impact on our mental health. This session will explore the pandemic’s transformational effect on wellness and the workplace. We will learn about the many dimensions of holistic wellness and how to support wellness beyond the walls of the office for the hybrid workforce of the future. Together we will discover design strategies to achieve employee wellness and ultimately organizational success because when people thrive, business thrives.

  • Empathy in Practice

    Moderated by: Jennifer Busch, Director, Client Partnerships, Eventscape, New York, NY • Presented by: Verda Alexander, Founder and Artist in Residence, Studio O+A, San Francisco, CA • Kia Weatherspoon, NCIDQ, ASID, President + Design Advocate, Determined by Design, Washington, D.C. • Maya Bird-Murphy, Founder and Executive Director, Chicago Mobile Makers, Chicago, IL

    Design is about everything we interact with, and for interior design, it's about combining beauty and function to enhance how users experience a space. But conscientious designers are recognizing they have a larger role to play. Design has become vital to thinking, to process, to solutions, and to action on so many social and environmental issues we find ourselves collectively facing in the 21st Century. Meet a group of optimistic designers taking their skills and talents to the next level by channeling design for real purpose. These practitioners aren't waiting around for change to happen, they are using design as a tool to enable much needed change.

  • Build Back Better: Redefining a New Normal for Healthy Buildings

    Presented by: Eric Corey Freed, RA, LEED Fellow, EcoDistricts AP, LFA, Director of Sustainability, CannonDesign, Portland, OR

    All of our design institutions (healthcare, education, workplace), were built around assumptions and conventional wisdoms that are no longer true. This session will explore how standard and outdated business practices are holding us back from innovating new solutions needed for a post-COVID world and will examine the ways to engage in an innovation strategy to solve problems often assumed to be unsolvable. Based on insight developed working with Fortune 500 clients, Eric Corey Freed will share how organizations, companies, and municipalities can accelerate their plans for sustainability, climate, carbon, equity, or resilience, while addressing the organizational limitations of waste, inefficiency, and fear.

  • The Role of Research on Climate Change, Human Health and the Built Environment

    Presented by: Dr. Whitney Austin Gray, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research, International WELL Building Institute, Washington, D.C. • Dr. Angela Loder, Ph.D., Vice President, Research, International WELL Building Institute, Denver, CO • Dr. Susan Chung, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Knowledge, American Society of Interior Designers, Washington, D.C.

    COVID-19 has highlighted the link between environmental conditions associated with climate change – such as loss of habitat and air pollution – and infectious respiratory disease. Understanding how regions, cities and buildings can mitigate and adapt to changing climate conditions while reducing environmental impact has created innovative design, construction and policy practices. What is less clear is the exact relationship between human, organizational and community health and building-level climate change and adaptation practices.

    This session will discuss research gaps and opportunities and how building and organizational level practices fit into larger-scale climate change adaptation and mitigation targets. Leaders from IWBI and ASID will discuss how design can further this important work, highlight key areas of research and engage discussion on the broader role of design centered on climate change and human health.

  • Designing Under the Influence - The Impact of Media on Design

    Presented by: Tom Polucci, AIA, FIIDA, LEED GA, Firmwide Director of Interiors, HOK, New York, NY • Mike Goetz, AIA, IIDA, ASID, LEED AP, Senior Project Designer, HOK, Chicago, IL

    Websites like Apartment Therapy and Houzz, social channels like Instagram and Pinterest, and TV networks like HGTV have given the world 24-7 access to design ideas and inspiration. This growing interest in design is a welcome, natural development. People have an innate attraction to beauty, and wider participation in the design process only enriches the result. The challenge is that, while everyone may have their own ideas and opinions about design—and, thanks to the plethora of free design apps and inexpensive software, the tools to practice it—not everyone is a designer. Great design doesn’t emerge from a well-curated Pinterest board or hours of binge watching a show. Instead, it’s the product of education and experience, inspiration and rigor. HOK's workplace design teams have always worked to solve problems and improve the human experience. That will never change. What is changing—even more so as we reimagine aspects of the built environment in response to COVID-19—is our culture’s heightened awareness of design.

  • Living Architecture: How Tech & Interactivity are Breathing Life Into Transformative Interiors

    Presented by: David Tracy, Director of Technology, LAB at Rockwell Group, New York, NY • Dan Marino, Director of Design, LAB at Rockwell Group, New York, NY

    Rockwell Group’s internal experience design and technology studio, the LAB, will discuss recent projects and open a discussion about the role that technology and media play in the built environment. As the demand for interactivity continues to grow, the LAB incorporates technology, strategy, and story to deliver memorable spaces. Their approach borrows heavily from interaction design to place people at the center of the design process, shifting the focus to designing experiences and spaces that change over time.

  • The Race to Drive Experience for Employees

    Presented by: Bonnie Reese, Regional Consulting Practice Area Leader, Gensler, Austin, TX

    As the market embraces “hybrid work,” the reality is we are entering a period of consideration around where we will work. Will we embrace remote work to enjoy the comforts and conveniences of home or return to the office to reconnect with co-workers to collaborate and get out of the house? It's a race for software developers and real estate to prove their value as employees (and tenants) make up their minds about what works best. Today’s real estate leaders have to ask themselves, “What will drive employees to the office?” How can the workplace win them over – is it about amenities, connection or just getting out of the house? How do we design experience-rich workplaces to fully support employee needs and capitalize on business goals. How do we support our “hybrid” reality?

  • Experiences at Work: Spaces That Inspire and Unite

    Presented by: David Schwarz, Partner, HUSH, Brooklyn, NY

    As we assess the effects of the pandemic, some have predicted the death of the workplace entirely. David Schwarz, however, thinks this death has been greatly exaggerated and that the design of the workplace will take an evolutionary leap, not a mere shift in program. A new model of program and value - one based primarily on qualitative brand experiences that leverage the inspirational scale of architecture, and foster employee collaboration through interaction and technology - will be the light that draws us back. The seeds of this are evidenced in his firm’s work with Uber in creating an interactive lobby experience called The Stream for Uber’s new campus in Mission Bay, San Francisco.