October 23, 2014

NeoCon East

Collaborative Workspaces on the Agenda

  • open work space
  • open workspace boardroom
  • free form office
  • open office design
  • open office
  • ECCO Collection
  • Zero Lighting

NeoCon East kicks off in Baltimore, Maryland, next Wednesday and we spotted a number of seminars with forward-thinking themes. This is no surprise given the event bills itself as showcasing top trends and products for vertical markets that include office, government, healthcare, hospitality, retail, and education. The show also offers educational credits, which is excellent for professionals hoping to stay ahead of the CEU curve. Irena Savakova of AECOM and Shashi Caan are the keynoters of the two-day lineup that presents opportunities to earn more than 40 CEUs at the hands of interior designers, architects, landscape designers, workplace specialists and exhibiting companies across twelve educational tracks.

Kimball Xsede

The Kimball Xsede, adroitly delineating a free-form office space.

On Wednesday morning, October 29, from 8 to 9 am, Thurmond Alford (also famously known as the guy with a 7-hour commute) will discuss one of the trending topics that caught our attention. Titled “Collaborative Workspaces Need Balance Too,” the hour-long seminar will help attendees discover key elements of collaborative work spaces. Points such as creating balance in office environments, as well as future demands of technology, sound, light and sustainability are on the docket. Alford is the senior program manager at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, so we’re betting he will have a unique perspective on the tasks that will result in a mastery of collaborative workspace design.

The subject of open office design has been of particular interest to us at Global Lighting since we realized our European manufacturers from which we source lighting were sending us such sophisticated installation shots of their fixtures in free-form office interiors that we weren’t seeing here in North America except in the tech sector. It dawned on us then that we were on the cusp of a trend that we now notice is sweeping across the Atlantic Ocean to become more of a norm in the United States and Canada. The slideshow above is an example of those office spaces that clued us in, featuring fixtures by Zero Lighting, several of them in our ECCO Collection.

Another seminar on the list exploring office spaces is “The Immersive Workspace: Creating a Trans-Disciplinary Learning/Working Environment,” led by Jim Thompson, AIA, IIDA, and Tomas Jiminez-Eliaeson, AIA, both directors of design at Little in Charlotte, NC. Monica DeBartolo, the director of programming, says, “Our conference programming this year offers tremendous educational value from start to finish. In addition to our keynotes, we have added two fantastic morning presentations in the theater that will conclude at the start of each day’s show.” This will be the 13th year for the tradeshow, which runs from the 29th through the 30th at the Baltimore Convention Center. Over 250 exhibitors will bring new products and projects to the show floor.

We’ve heard particular buzz about the Opening Day Breaking Boundaries breakfast, sponsored by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). The speaker is Helen Marriage, the co-founder of the London-based firm Artichoke; and proceeds from the breakfast benefit “Health Care for the Homeless.” The following day, Kevin Salwen, a journalist and author, will present findings from the recent Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) and IIDA workplace study that explores how the smartest players in corporate America are parlaying their work spaces into a competitive advantage. The show sounds jam-packed with informative experiences; if you go, let us know your favorite event. After all, inquiring minds want to know!

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