NeoCon 2017 Preview – Part II: Events & Education


NeoCon, North America’s largest design expo and conference for commercial interiors, returns June 12-14 to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for its 49th year. Organizers expect at least 50,000 architecture and design professionals during the three-day event; last year’s attendance was 53,000. Attendees can tailor their conference experience to specific areas of interest, experience level, schedule, and spending goals by choosing à la carte from the menu of nearly 100 CEU seminars and featured programs.

Once registered for NeoCon at (free online registration through Friday, June 9 or $35 on-site), attendees can sign up for My Planner to search exhibitors and new products, create a personalized itinerary, map out custom floor plans, and even send private messages to exhibitors. Also, the NeoCon App is available through the App Store and Google Play.

All of the products entered in Contract magazine’s Best of NeoCon competition are available for viewing at Best of NeoCon Awards. More than 40 jurors – interior designers, architects and facilities management professionals – will review the products over three days before NeoCon begins, and winners will be named at the Best of Neocon Award Winners’ Breakfast on Monday, June 12. Award recipients’ booths and showrooms will be flagged with Best of NeoCon Award signs during the show.

Other awards programs include Interior Design’s HiP at NeoCon (Honoring Industry People and Product), the IIDA/Contract Magazine Showroom & Booth Design Competition, MetropolisLikes, and BUILDINGS magazine’s Product Innovations Awards.

Special NeoCon exhibits and features at the Merchandise Mart this year include:

>Mobius: Presented by 3form x Louis Lim of Makingworks, 1st Floor, North Corridor. Mobius is a captivating art installation with a space-age quality. The interactive circular bench is activated by touch, transforming with light in response. It features Dark Chroma, the next generation of one of 3form’s most dynamic and beautiful products. When lit, the rich and moody material comes to life allowing the full color spectrum to shine through with brightness and clarity.

>ASID Blueprint Lounge, 1st Floor, West Pass-Thru. Designed by the award-wining innovation and design studio, ICRAVE. ASID welcomes visitors to NeoCon 2017 with three full days of activities, discussions, networking and highlights of how design impacts life.

>BuzziLounge, 1st Floor, East Pass-Thru. BuzziSpace, showcasing its legacy of full-suite acoustic solutions alongside fresh furniture concepts, invites NeoCon attendees to enjoy a luxe recharge and relax in the comfort of BuzziCane, a new retro-inspired lounge seating series, under a sea of BuzziChandelier acoustical pendant lights.

>Contract Magazine-Making it a Winning NeoCon, 1st Floor, North Corridor. A digital display of the 2017 Best of NeoCon Winners’ presentation will feature the most important and influential new product innovations in more than 47 product categories. Continue the winning spirit by entering to win Contract’s Getaway-Giveaway trip to Bilbao, Spain.

>Design Center, Floors 6, 14, 15, 16. The Design Center at The Mart is the world’s largest resource for custom home furnishings and interior design, with more than 100 showrooms for luxury furniture, fabrics, floor and wall coverings, lighting, outdoor and casual furnishings, accessories, antiques, art and more. Learn more at

>Extremis: Terrace for Togetherness, 1st Floor, Kinzie/Wells Entrance. Extremis has a mission that is much more than just a furniture line: it’s a lifestyle that brings people together – that lets them enjoy life with each other. Grab a colleague and a coffee and head to the terrace of togetherness to experience the Flemish way of life.

>Herman Miller: Experience the Elements, 1st Floor, South Lobby. With a diverse selection of expressive furnishings from Herman Miller’s family of premium brands, the Elements portfolio debuts at NeoCon 2017. It features 10 modern work settings that showcase the breadth and variety of the portfolio.

>ID Live, Mezzanine Level, the Grand Staircase. For the second year, Interior Design will host ID Live, sponsored by Carnegie. Editor-in-Chief, Cindy Allen will host designer guests at the Rockwell-designed ID Live studio located on the Grand Staircase. The interviews will stream on Interior Design’s Facebook page – Interior Design Magazine/Facebook – and will be projected on the Grand Staircase.

>IIDA DESIGN | DISRUPT | SHAPE | SHIFT, 1st Floor, Starbucks Escalator. Designed by Chicago-based creative agency hk+c, this high-touch installation invites NeoCon attendees to reflect on design’s winding path and encourages designers to shift and shape a vision for tomorrow’s communities.

>Interiors & Sources Materials Pavilion, 7th Floor, 7-1000. Presented by Interiors & Sources magazine, this is the destination for NeoCon attendees seeking more in the area of materials product, ideas, and inspiration. Hundreds of material samples are displayed side-by-side, with details on their origin, makeup and recommended applications. It is curated by the I+S editorial team and designed by the interiors+sources I Like Design student competition.

>LuxeHome, 1st Floor. Many of the boutiques at LuxeHome, the world’s largest collection of premier boutiques for home building and renovation, will host special events during NeoCon. For more information, please visit

>Aspecta™ by Metroflor® is Shaking Things Up with Isocore Technology™, 1st Floor, North Central Corridor. ISOCORE Technology is a revolutionary core layer that makes Aspecta Ten strong, rigid, quiet, lightweight, 100% waterproof and inherently safe – all in an LVT product known for its extraordinary beauty.

>Metropolis Presents ‘T is for Talent!’ in Partnership with NeoCon, 1st Floor, Wells Entrance. An ongoing experiment, a playful sophisticate, and a pair of Shaker-admirers – all are among this class of this second annual New Talent exhibition. The installation serves to preview a potential future for furniture design and its application in the workplace, through the work of emerging and innovative designers. The exhibit is made possible by Milliken and Wilsonart, and is itself a product of emerging talent, designed by Design With Company. It features a selection of work by Norma Studio, Moving Mountains, Studio Gorm and others.

>Mohawk Group – The Lichen Collection, 1st Floor, Kinzie Wells Entrance. Inspired by natural assemblages of multi-hued, multi-textured lichens, Mohawk Group introduces the Lichen Collection, the first floorcovering to achieve Living Product status. Just as lichens play a regenerative role in their ecosystem, so the Lichen Collection actually gives more resources back to the environment than it uses during its entire life cycle. It was designed in collaboration with the founder of the Living Product Challenge, Jason McLennan.

>Arco by Muraflex, 1st Floor, North Lobby. This new freestanding glass wall system curves back onto itself to offer the best sound reverberation attenuation for the utmost level of privacy.

>Snowsound Quiet Zones, 7th Floor, Pass-Thrus. NeoCon attendees are invited to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet on the 7th Floor as they travel between main aisles 6000 and 7000. These acoustic havens are designed with Snowsound Panels to offer an architecturally inspired acoustic haven. Snowsound’s main booth (7-5022) will be serving Italian Espresso and introducing the new Snowsound-Fiber technology.

>Wolf-Gordon Folio, 1st Floor, Center Pass-Thru. Wolf-Gordon’s 2017 pop-up installation, “Folio,” celebrates the company’s 50th Anniversary via a display of its commercial wallcovering and upholstery partnerships with leading international designers and its recently published monograph, Wolf-Gordon: Sample Book. The project presents as a series of three portals, symbolic of the company’s past, present and future.

>Keynotes will be held at the new NeoCon Theater (Motorola, 19th Floor). For more information about registration and locations of other events listed above, please visit In addition, a list of special events hosted by NeoCon 2017 exhibitors will be updated weekly at NeoCon Show Specials

Following is more information on this year’s student activities and our selection of CEU seminars.

Student Activities

The Student Program is designed exclusively for interior design and architecture students. Students are also invited to register on-site for any one-hour CEU accredited program offered on Wednesday, June 14, at discounted a rate of $25, subject to availability. For more information and registration links, please visit Student-programs.

>Tuesday, June 13, 9:00am-5:00pm IIDA Student Design Charette (Charette is 9:00am-3:00pm; Presentations and Judging 3:00-5:00pm), The Mart, 6th Floor, Suite 614. Watch school-nominated IIDA Student Members from around the country team up and compete in this live, onsite competition. Students have less than six hours to develop a design solution, develop a presentation, and pitch their concept to a panel of esteemed judges.

>Tuesday, June 13, 1:30-3:00pm ASID Student Roadmap, The Mart, Meet in South Lobby. Exclusively for ASID student members, this is a curated tour of NeoCon with professional designers. Students will meet with tour leaders and be guided to pick up badges, navigate the show floor, and meet with exhibitors.

>Wednesday, June 14, 10:30am-Noon ASID Career Exchange and Portfolio Review, The Mart, 6th Floor, Suite 614. Students and recent graduates are invited to connect with design professionals and industry representatives for one-on-one networking opportunities. Within 90 minutes, participants will engage in multiple 10 minute conversations with reviewers to learn about the interior design profession, or to receive a resume or portfolio critique. [SP1]

>Wednesday, June 14, 1:00-2:30pm IIDA Career Bootcamp™, The Mart, 6th Floor, Suite 614. Students and recent graduates will learn from a panel of professionals about what it takes to succeed in interior design, the importance of interior design in a changing world, and the future of the industry. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask the panel questions, making this a dynamic and interactive event for young professionals. [SP2]

Educational Seminars

Seminar sessions are priced at $60 each, if pre-registered by Friday, June 9, or $70 each if registered on-site, subject to availability. All are being reviewed for continuing education accreditation for 0.1 CEU or 1 LU each. Some will also qualify for GBCI hours toward the LEED Credential Maintenance Program; LEU credits for the Lighting Certified professional; or EDAC CEU credit for healthcare designers. The complete schedule, available at CEU Seminars, can be filtered online by topics of interest.

New for 2017, NeoCon is debuting “Icons @ NeoCon,” a special series of seminars headlined by seasoned design and business experts including Lauren Rottet, Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO of IIDA; Suzanne Tick, Founder of Suzanne Tick Inc.; Carol Ross Barney, and Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871. These special sessions are included below in our selection of some of the courses offered this year:

>Monday, June 12, 9:30-10:30am Designing for Focus Work. [Intermediate] Dr. Gabor Nagy, research program manager at Haworth in San Francisco, will discuss how a poorly designed and distracting workplace, and one in which collaboration is favored over focus work, often leads to a poor staff performance. Challenging the myth of multitasking, he will show how focus work is crucial even in collaboration. Designing for both includes understanding human cognition and seeing how attention, distraction, flow, and situational awareness play vital roles in focus work. [M100]

>Monday, June 12, 9:30-10:30am Fractal Geometry – Putting the Arch Back in Architecture. [Intermediate] Architects are now embracing fractal geometry – the geometry of nature – to create both interior and exterior designs. Douglas Boldt, senior project architect at Moody Nolan in Chicago, will share some of the many ways that fractal geometry defines our world and universe and show how making a building fractal will connect it more closely to nature through biophilic design. Although the fractal concept is new, it has actually reverberated through the history of architecture, and this session will also look at some of its finest examples. [M105]

>Monday, June 12, 9:30-10:30am Icons @ NeoCon: Hospitality Comes to the Office. [Intermediate] Lauren Rottet, Founding Principal and President of Rottet Studio in NYC, will discuss how office design is taking cues from the great hoteliers in designing comfortable, service-oriented workspaces for today’s office worker, client, and guest. In this special presentation, attendees will discover how the best hoteliers and hotel designers fine-tune every aspect of the design – from the overall plan to the private space and social shared space – to suit the needs of the customer while simultaneously creating a fun, relaxed environment. Ms. Rottet will also share examples of a number of hotels she has designed such as The Surrey on NYC’s Upper East Side, the St. Regis in Aspen, new properties recently completed for Four Seasons and underway with Conrad Hilton, and her work with award-winning Viking Cruises. [M106]

>Monday, June 12, 11:00am-Noon Empathy+Design: When Service Design Meets Interior Design. [Basic] Service design is rooted in design thinking, it emphasizes a co-creative, human-centered approach to designing goods and services. By shifting our focus towards empathy and away from purely product-based solutions, service design uses collaborative, engaging methods; it empowers designers (and clients) to gain an end-to-end understanding of services, fostering meaningful, holistic outcomes. From Gensler’s Dallas office, design strategist Christina Donaldson and strategy director Mike McKeown will outline the basic principles and touchpoints of service design. [M110]

>Monday, June 12, 11:00am-Noon Demystifying Acoustics. [Intermediate] There is a direct link between ambient sound levels and not only productivity but also the mental health and physical welfare of office workers. Daniel Verlooven, head of acoustics at BuzziSpace in High Point, NC, will help to demystify acoustics and educate designers, architects and facility managers about the need to consider acoustics at the start of a project. Looking at popular configurations for open floor plan spaces, conference rooms, and other environments, this session will show how acoustics can be balanced without sacrificing design intent. [M112] (Note: This session will be repeated on Tuesday, June 13, 2:30-3:30pm)

>Monday, June 12, 1:00-2:00pm. Competitive Intelligence: Technology as Both Disruptor and Enabler. [Advanced] Disruption caused by technological breakthroughs is accelerating exponentially, changing the landscape of the modern workplace – and creating new opportunities for employees. At the same time, knowledge work in the age of smart machines is increasingly dependent on human-machine partnerships, creating a blended reality where the physical and the digital have a symbiotic relationship. In this session, Jim Thompson, director of design at Little in Charlotte, NC, and Jeff Gunther, founder of Metaform in Charlotte, NC, will explore the yet-to-be-defined workspace that lies between personal devices and the cloud. [M119]

>Monday, June 12, 2:30-3:30pm The Resilience Factor – Commercial Interiors, Climate Change, and Occupant Well-Being. [Intermediate] This session explores the how and why of resilient design strategies as they relate to real estate searches, space planning and workplace design. These strategies increase occupant awareness of changes in climate and other potential risks, creating a healthier overall environment. Jon Penndorf, senior associate at Perkins+Will in Washington, DC will demonstrate how to assess site-specific risks, outline the key factors in a real estate search, and explore multiple web-based project assessment tools, together with the right project stage in which to employ each. [M123]

>Monday, June 12, 2:30-3:30pm A Designer’s Guide to Product Licensing. [Basic] Presented by Alexander Lamis, partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects in NYC, this seminar is for architects and designers interested in licensing their designs to manufacturers in exchange for royalties. It addresses the basics of product licensing, from developing a portfolio through negotiating agreements and marketing. [M124]

>Monday, June 12, 2:30-3:30pm Rise of Human Factor. [Intermediate] In the new workplace, the incessant beckoning of technology leads us away from efficiency, proficiency and the human factor – each other. This seminar, presented by HOK regional workplace leaders Pam Light (Culver City, CA) and Brad Liebman (St. Louis, MO) will discuss how to design a workplace based on humans, not technology; on movement, not sitting and waiting for the next ping; as well as on space and time devoted to building bonds and engaging with each other. [M126]

>Monday, June 12, 4:00-5:00pm Unoffice the Office: Creating a New Typology Based on Emotional, Intellectual, and Physiological Response to Place. [Intermediate] Presented by Shannon Gaffney, founder/co-managing partner of SkB Architects in Seattle, WA; Jim Brett, president of West Elm at Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco; and Jim Stelter, CEO of Inscape, Falconer, NY, this session will explore seldom-measured factors relating to tactility and the human touch. It will explore the bias surrounding workplace and office building typologies that prevent us from exploring completely new ideas, and recognizing that in fact, the soft aspects of successful design can and should be the hard drivers. It will help participants discover how to achieve the appearance of a hand-crafted aesthetic; create variety and avoid repetition without sacrificing ease of reconfiguration or cost; and to elevate the ordinary in the work environment. [M128]

>Monday, June 12, 4:00-5:00pm The Future of the Smart Workplace. [Advanced] Ryan Anderson, Herman Miller director of commercialization, connected solutions, will clarify the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the context of the workplace. Topics addressed include: As more elements of the workplace become connected, how will they impact the experience of work, and the design and management of the workplace? And just as importantly, how can facilities, real estate and design professionals make sense of these trends to create actionable new strategies? [M131]

>Tuesday, June 13, 9:30-10:30am Quantifying the Impact of Workplace Change – Yes It Can (And Should) Be Done. [Advanced] Would you be surprised to learn that a ten-minute-a-day increase in employee productivity could easily offset the entire cost of a workplace change initiative? Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics in Carlsbad, CA, and Kate North, president of Workplace Evolutionaries in Chicago, will explain the math behind this concept. This session will teach how to use the metrics to estimate and/or measure the ROI of workplace change and apply it to make a business case for projects large and small. The speakers will share a free tool to quantify the impact of workplace change on productivity, efficiency, turnover, absenteeism and employee health. [T201]

>Tuesday, June 13, 9:30-10:30am The Power of Exponential Thinking: Creating the XPRIZE for Healthy Buildings. [Intermediate] The $9 trillion global construction industry is responsible for nearly 60% of climate change emissions, a third of landfill waste, and a shocking array of negative health effects. Yet the way buildings are built has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 200 years. Even the most advanced construction projects continue to use ancient techniques of modular assembly. In 2016, the XPRIZE Foundation established a “moonshot” for construction by creating the XPRIZE for Healthy Buildings. The team approached this unique opportunity to develop a way to literally grow buildings by fusing synthetic biology, genomics, parametric modeling, and 3D printing to shift from a petrochemical world to a biochemical one. Eric Corey Freed, founding principal of organicARCHITECT in Portland, OR, will explain more about these visionary ideas. [T202]

>Tuesday, June 13, 9:30-10:30am Icons @ NeoCon: Livable Cities: The Role Urban Design and Architecture Play. [Intermediate] Carol Ross Barney, design principal, founder, and president of Ross Barney Architects in Chicago, will show how the elements that stitch a city together – schools, cultural institutions, public transportation, and public spaces – are what brings value to dense urban living. In this seminar, attendees will learn about the livability of cities through the design of essential infrastructure, and how urban rivers, ports, and industrial spines, can become economic, social, and environmental engines. [T206]

>Tuesday, June 13, 11:00am-Noon Knowledge Worker Productivity and the Adaptive Workplace. [Intermediate] Jan Johnson, vice president, design and workplace resources at Allsteel in Chicago, will present factors proven to correlate with knowledge worker productivity and show how to apply them to the workplace. She will explain the rationale behind the adaptive workplace – a system predicated on being easily modified in response to rapid change. [T207]

>Tuesday, June 13, 11:00am-Noon Culture, Neuroscience, and Design. Designers can increase user well-being by applying the current research of culture to inform the selection of specific, culturally appropriate design elements. This session, presented by Dr. Sally Augustin, principal of Design With Science in LaGrange Park, IL, will examine case studies from Europe, Asia, and the Americas to illustrate how place form should recognize and respond to users’ national cultures. [T208]

>Tuesday, June 13, 11:00am-Noon The Sense in Design. [Basic] Experts have ascertained that the most memorable or exciting experiences, positive or negative, affect all five senses in the highest degree. Susan Suhar-Phillips, interior design director at HDR in Pasadena, CA, will present compelling data that reveals how people rate their sensory experiences of several types of interior environments, and explore the implications of the findings in designing space. This session will look at the correlation between senses and emotions, show how different spaces and/or markets may require a greater reaction in one sense than another, and also how to evaluate space and sensory reaction. Participants will begin to think in multisensory terms when designing – including the effect on balance, temperature and body awareness. [T210]

>Tuesday, June 13, 11:00am-Noon Icons @ NeoCon: Designing for the 50%: Hospitality for the Savvy Traveling Woman. [Intermediate] Women are earning more, spending more and influencing all levels of the travel industry. This panel – featuring Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO of IIDA, Chicago; Suzanne Tick, Founder of Suzanne Tick Inc., NYC; Meg Prendergast, principal of The Gettys Group in Chicago; Mari Balestrazzi, vice president of design for Hyatt Hotels Corp. in Chicago; and Jessica Zweig, founder and CEO of The SimplyBe Agency in Chicago – will focus on hospitality design for the 50% of the population that’s in charge of 80% of the travel decisions made today. Attendees will encounter examples of successful and creative solutions to items that are often overlooked, while learning how to design universal spaces that speak to this growing trend in the industry. [T213]

>Tuesday, June 13, 1:00-2:00pm Future Color Trends: The Concept of Time and Change. [Basic] Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in Bainbridge Island, WA, will show how Pantone future color forecast captures the many facets of time: Looking back to the more conventional mixes and although anchored in the past, they move on, ticking through the season like a metronome, crossing the past and present towards more futuristic and changing color expressions, with colors ranging from classic formats through to fully saturated, punchy narratives. It’s a balance between the familiar and the new, dark and the light, nuanced and neutral. [T214]

>Tuesday, June 13, 1:00-2:00pm Designing a Brand Through Art and Architecture: A Tale of Two Hospitals. [Intermediate] In today’s healthcare market, designers are expected to enhance brand recognition in addition to designing physical space. From HDR in Minneapolis, senior interior designer Julie Robertson and healthcare planner/women’s services leader/architect Alena Sakalouski will hone in on a recent successful case study: One of the first facilities in the country to use art and architecture to create a complete brand identity that carries through in three locations while maintaining a unique identity for each. [T215]

>Tuesday, June 13, 2:30-3:30pm Don’t Fence Me In: Smart & Connected Building, Spaces, Products, and People. [Intermediate] From Gensler in Houston, principal Dean Strombom and strategist Sven Govaars will discuss where the world of work is heading, what the Internet of Things will mean for facilities technology and design, as well as how to help clients achieve greater choice, innovation and well-being through mobility. [T221]

>Tuesday, June 13, 2:30-3:30pm The Regulation of the Interior Design Profession. [Basic] While many think the job of an interior designer involves aesthetics alone, an interior designer with the proper qualifications can do much more. Besides all the furnishings, fixtures and finishes, the designer bears responsibility for the analysis and application of correct building code and fire code requirements. He or she must also apply the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This seminar, presented by Anna E. Dow, Attorney at Law in Gonzales, LA, will examine the role that regulation, licensing and required education play in the profession of interior design, and their impact on consumers’ health, welfare and safety. [T224]

>Tuesday, June 13, 2:30-3:30pm Demystifying Acoustics. [Intermediate] Presented by Daniel Verlooven, head of acoustics at BuzziSpace, this is a repeat of seminar M112 to be held on Monday, June 12; see description above. [T226]

>Tuesday, June 13, 4:00-5:00pm Livable Space Efficiency: How Dense is Too Dense? [Intermediate] As we approach the limits for livable, useful office space, at what point does an increasing density cause decline in user engagement and performance? What are the human factors we must consider for fully effective and efficient space? Ellen Keable, principal at Jacobs in Amherst, NY, and Amy Manley, national director, workplace strategy at Jacobs in Philadelphia, will address these questions and more through the presentation of environment-behavior research to highlight the psychological and social effects of office-space density and the implications for human health, performance, and organizational culture. [T228]

>Tuesday, June 13, 4:00-5:00pm From Concept to Completion: Repurposing a Warehouse Into a 330,000-SF College Campus. [Intermediate] From Stantec in Philadelphia, associates Deborah Knast and Jill Sirota will join designer Emily Wylie to present a recent case study of a project with a tight deadline for an allied health college relocating and repurposing buildings. A campus master plan, interior fit out documentation, furniture, site work, and construction were all completed in 18 months. The discussion will also include how to repurpose a building to fill it with light, as well as the benefits and challenges of alternative project deliveries. [T230]

>Tuesday, June 13, 4:00-5:00pm Fifty Shades of White: A Field Study – Dynamic White Lighting, Color Preference and Employee Environmental Satisfaction. [Intermediate] While we may know that the varieties of white lighting impacts both office spaces and employee satisfaction, this seminar will present findings of the first study on this phenomenon. Stuart Shell, project manager at Forte Building Science in Omaha, NE; Paul Anderson, director of well-being at OFS Brands Huntingburg, IN; and Dave Pfund, president of tambient, The Lighting Quotient in West Haven, CT will offer attendees an overview of the science of circadian lighting and health, the features of dynamic white lighting, and occupant environmental satisfaction and business outcomes tied to the use of dynamic white light in the workplace. [T232]

>Wednesday, June 14, 9:30-10:30am Icons @ NeoCon: 1871 – Lessons Learned Building the Largest Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in the U.S. [Basic] This program offers attendees an up-close and personal presentation from a renowned expert in the arena of high tech start-ups. Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871 in Chicago, along with Barbara Pollack of Barbara S. Pollack & Associates, will discuss the lessons learned from designing and building the expansion phases of 1871, which has made it the largest startup incubator in the U.S. With an initial open office concept, now expanded to more than 150,000 sf, and with more than 2,000 entrepreneurs visiting the space daily. Mr. Tullman is the founder of more than a dozen high-tech companies and advisor to Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel, as well as dozens of innovative startup organizations and government entities. [W300]

>Wednesday, June 14, 9:30-10:30am Innovate in Place: How to Use Research to Stimulate Creativity in Your Office and Distinguish Your Firm in the Marketplace. [Intermediate] According to Senior Principals Michael Hickok and Yolanda Cole from Hickok Cole Architects in Washington, DC, the pipeline approach to great design work has run dry. In its place, designers who wish to stay ahead of the competition are enlisting research platforms. In this seminar, they will share insights into accessing affordable research that will enhance a firm’s ability to attract new talent, establish a basis for marketing, and foster innovation. [W303]

>Wednesday, June 14, 9:30-10:30am Global Textile Design Trends. [Intermediate] Catherine Counsell, design and development manager at Camira Fabrics in West Yorkshire, GB, will zero in on four new theme trends: quest, visionary, habitat and co-create. The discussion will refer to color evolution, plus combinations and textile palettes; examine how these trends can aid future collaborative design; review, with insights, current color directions; and finally, find inspiration for developing palettes across textiles and finishes. [W304]

>Wednesday, June 14, 9:30-10:30am Designing a Workplace for Non-Profits. [Intermediate] The abiding challenge of designing the non-profit workplace is to keep overhead low while retaining a high return on investment. In fact, every dollar spent represents the non-profit’s investment in growing its organization and broadening its reach to the community it serves. Presented by Jim Kales, CEO of Aspire in Hillside, IL; Marc Adelman, principal at Perkins Eastman in Chicago; and Jennifer Sobecki, CEO of Designs for Dignity in Chicago, this seminar while show how to translate this challenge into specific fiscal responsibilities, how to seek out organizations that help provide non-profits with the right materials and furniture, and how to link the non-profit’s workplace to its brand and mission. [W305]

>Wednesday, June 14, 11:00am-Noon Activity-Based Design for the Healthy Workplace. [Basic] Our lives have been affected by a renewed interest in wellness, and this rethinking has now permeated the office. What if our workplaces supported our well-being on multiple levels, and didn’t just aim to be ‘less bad’ but were truly regenerative, healthy environments? How do we, as an industry, design interior environments that support the physical and psychological wellbeing of the people who inhabit them? Activity-based design is an important part of the answer. From Teknion in NYC, vice president, A&D Jennifer Busch and senior designer, Product Application Sean McKenney promise a vibrant presentation addressing the concepts and value of activity-based design in healthy planning for the modern office and illustrating real project challenges and applied solutions. [W307]

>Wednesday, June 14, 11:00am-Noon Integrating Ergonomics for Peeps’ Sake: Building Standards Up Their Game on Health and Wellbeing. [Intermediate] Lucy Hart, certified ergonomist with Global Furniture Group in Toronto, will talk about recent developments in building standards that focus on human wellbeing. One of the system goals for LEED v4 is enhancing individual human health and wellbeing. And the WELL Building Standard raises occupant health to a whole new level by focusing solely on what the human body needs to maintain health in the built environment. Discussion topics include the application of ergonomics in the design process; comparing the steps for LEED ergonomics Pilot Credit 44 for a BD+C project to those of an O+M project; and identifying how the WELL building standard lends itself to integrating ergonomics into the design/build process. [W312]

>Wednesday, June 14, 1:00-2:00pm Designing for Innovation: The Role of Serendipity in the Workplace. [Intermediate] More than half of all firms on the Fortune 500 in the year 2000 were no longer on the list in 2016. Clearly, success in today’s business environment demands an innovation-driven culture, one that’s highly resilient to the disruption that has become commonplace across multiple industries. Workplace design may be an organization’s greatest tool for driving the innovation culture that’s required to succeed. Research suggests that creating chance encounters between workers improves communication, breaks down silos, promotes cross-pollination of ideas and increases speed to market. This seminar, by Lise Newman, director, workplace practice at SmithGroup JJR in Detroit, and Arnold Levin, principal, workplace at SmithGroup JJR in Chicago, will explore workplace strategies that foster such environments. [W314]

>Wednesday, June 14, 1:00-2:00pm Big Data, Big Insights. [Basic] Can big data, with its insights into our movements, habits and preferences, drive a “pre-design” process to increase understanding of how we behave and use space? Case studies demonstrate how simulation models may be used to produce workplaces that increase productivity and optimize space use and cost by responding to behavioral dimensions and user preferences. Houston-based interior designer David Euscher will discuss the distinction between conventional space programming and programming enhanced by predictive analytics; show how new workplace behavioral measurement tools provide data to operational modeling and simulation; and explain how predictive analytics clarified the relationship between physical space, equipment, movement patterns and work processes. [W317]