Months of hard work and preparation came to fruition last week as CARVART opened its doors to 50,000 design professionals at NeoCon 2017. From the official launch of our first permanent design studio at the Merchandise Mart to unique giveaways and the emergence of new design trends, the show was one for the record books.
CARVART started the show with a quartet of industry honors. Our CARVART by Soema commercial bath interiors collection won Contract Magazine’s Best of NeoCon Silver Award in the architectural products category. glassCUBE won a #METROPOLIS likes Award in the materials category and was also a finalist for the Interior Design HiP Awards and Buildings Magazine’s Product Innovations 2017 Awards.
As one of the largest gathering of workplace experts in the world, the Chicago Merchandise Mart is a crucial investment for our company. The CARVART brand specializes in architectural and contract glass solutions for a wide variety of facilities, and connecting with designers and architects in Chicago each year provides unique insight into their needs. It also fosters new relationships and builds awareness for CARVART and our array of innovative, award-winning products.
A New Home at the Merchandise Mart
Part of building awareness was securing a lease on the last remaining permanent showroom on the 11th floor of the Merchandise Mart. Centrally located in Suite 11-136, the new Studio opened on the eve of the show and represents our dedication to one of America’s leading design cities. It also cements CARVART’s place as a leader in architectural and contract glass products for commercial interior design.
The Chicago Studio comes on the heels of our new 7,500 square-foot Manhattan studio and global headquarters. This new showcase incorporates many of the same products and design motifs as our headquarters, but on a smaller scale. Like in Manhattan, nearly every single surface and touch point, from walls to doors to cubicles, are finished with CARVART glass solutions. A product library with architectural and contract samples will also take center stage, providing designers with a variety of tools and opportunities to interact with the full line of CARVART products.
A highlight for CARVART employees and show attendees was our collaboration with lighting designer Stephen Pikus. Known for his use of recycled, repurposed and renewable materials like sea glass, he provided us with 500 pieces of “found” glass in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors for the show. Attendees and studio guests were invited to make necklaces with the recycled glass pieces, which will serve as a unique keepsake with an important, socially driven backstory.
This special NeoCon giveaway stood out among the typical bags, umbrellas and stress balls found at booths and showrooms. Thanks to the powerful design story and a unique look and quality, we ran out of product in less than two days. If you would like to learn more about Stephen Pikus and his dedication to recycled materials, click here.
Increased Traffic, Packed Parties and New Trends
To say NeoCon 2017 was busy is an understatement. It’s been years since the halls of the Merchandise Mart were this packed, and we are happy to say the traffic was present across the entire show. From top to bottom, elevator lines were long, food lines were longer and the energy of 50,000 attendees made the days fly by.
In the CARVART Studio on the 11th floor, we hosted a cocktail party on the first night of the show. This special event brought hundreds of guests into the space and served as an encouraging welcome to The Mart.
Walking the show, we were immediately drawn to vibrant colors, automation, and natural, zen-like spaces. We also noticed a renewed focus on experimentation and innovation. While grey felt and acoustic solutions dominated the seventh floor, there seems to be a renewed energy at NeoCon that has raised the stakes and created a more competitive atmosphere.
However, at the end of the day NeoCon 2017 was all about creating healthier, happier and more ergonomically friendly workplaces that look great and are built to last. We’re happy to report that CARVART is at the forefront of the next generation of the American commercial interior design market, and we have more than a few trends up our sleeves for 2018. See you in Chicago!