Best of NeoCon winner breaks new ground

The annual, and much coveted, Best of NeoCon Awards were presented at a celebratory breakfast ceremony this morning at THE MART, and for the first time in the awards 34 years a entrant in the Wall Treatments and Textiles categories took home the top honors.

This year, a total of 126 awards were bestowed upon products in 50 categories for Gold, Silver, Sustainability, Innovation, Business Impact, and the coveted Best of Competition. The winners were selected by a distinguished group of 53 architects, designers, specifiers, enterprise clients, facility managers, and top business media who judged the products on-site at THE MART over the weekend. This year, Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering’s colorful collaboration with British-Nigerian artist Yinka Ilori received the coveted distinction of Best of Competition.

“Best of NeoCon 2024 shines a spotlight on industry innovation. Manufacturers are finding ways to solve the market demand for collaborative, connective spaces, as well as furniture to improve hybrid, remote working,” said Best of NeoCon Director Eileen McMorrow of The McMorrow Reports.

McMorrow said that products like case goods and furniture systems are becoming more scalable for flexibility and adaptability. She added that bold and happy colors are gaining in prevalence as workplaces become more relaxed and inviting to encourage employee recruitment and retention. 

"An emphasis on designing for neurodiversity was also evident as manufacturers presented inspiring solutions for the workplace, education, and healthcare environments that promote well-being and productivity for all," McMorrow said.

According to a design description, Yinka Ilori x Momentum’s Best of NeoCon award-winning collection brings the "vibrant, modern design language of Ilori's artistic vision to the commercial built environment. Its infusion of color, playfulness, and narrative elevates interior spaces beyond functionality, transforming them into immersive experiences that inspire, captivate, and build community.

According to a Jury statement, “This collection is designed so exquisitely. One’s mood and outlook is instantly changed as soon as you see this product in use. Bright and colorful, it brings joy and happiness. It’s definitely a statement.”

The four companies bringing home the most awards this year were:

Andreu World with nine:

Andreu World won a Gold Award in the seating category for this entry.

Haworth with 7

Haworth won Gold with these office chairs.

Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering with 7

In addition to its Best of Competition Award, Momentum Textiles took home several other awards include a Silver for this Circon silver wallcovering.

 Davis Furniture with 7

One of Davis Furniture's awards was the Ottana, which won a silver in the Conference Seating category

. The five Best of Competition finalists included nienkämper for Vox Community, Isomi for Layer, Haworthfor Poltrona Frau Squash armchair, Tuuci for Meritage Collection, and Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering for Yinka Ilori x Momentum.

“Having the opportunity to hear directly from the designer and manufacturer allows the jury to better understand the story behind these innovative products that are shaping the commercial market. It was truly an incredible experience,” said first-time Best of NeoCon juror Sherry Banaei, Partner + Creative Director, Studio Alliance. “As we evaluated each of the Best of NeoCon entrants, several common themes emerged, including connectedness, whimsy, and versatility. The designs we observed this year aim to solve the challenges of today while addressing the aspirations of tomorrow.”

Returning this year, the Business Impact Awards recognized innovation among business- and workplace-oriented NeoCon exhibitor solutions. Pre-vetted by a jury of facility end-users, real estate planners, and specifiers, 22 finalists were selected for additional on-site evaluation by a jury of business media including contributors from publications such as Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg CityLab, Entrepreneur, Success, and Forbes as well as enterprise facility managers from Walgreens and NetJets. 

The teams assessed the finalists based on the degree to which they enhance business operations and environments. The Business Impact Winners are Ally by OFS; Unity Table Collection by Mantra Inspired Furniture; Circon by Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering; Smart Pod Product Family by Framery; Silen Space 1.5 by Silen OÜ; Folding Surfaces Table by HOWE; Vox Community by nienkämper; Edison Workbench by    Watson Furniture Group; Ambi by Stylex; and 4SPACE Fronts by Haworth.






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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).