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Rawan Abusaid
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A Great Way to Start

NeoCon is the commercial interiors industry’s most important annual event. It brings together the right people, the best products and the most innovative ideas. Attending NeoCon again with my Lawrence Group coworkers was so rewarding and just the inspiration boost we all need every once in a while. I had attended once before with coworkers from a previous employer, but since I’m still pretty new here attending with other designers at Lawrence Group was a great way to start off my work here.

I knew I wanted to be a designer my freshman year of high school when I noticed how inspired I was to design by everyday things in nature. Even just the shape of a rock had my wheels turning with ideas for future work. I acted on my instinct to pursue my passion by studying interior design at Maryvillle University in Saint Louis.

Now that I am new at Lawrence Group, I am so excited for what amazing projects the future holds. NeoCon15 was the perfect opportunity to really ramp up that excitement and get inspired. My style has always been organic with an edge of sophistication. I love mixing textures and styles to create an unexpected and eye-catching look while maintaining that organic style that makes you feel calm and comfortable in a space.

When we arrived at NeoCon15, I was immediately excited by the trends I saw emerging in the first few exhibits we walked through. The Merchandise Mart was filled to the brim with beautiful textures, fixtures, furniture, and talent. I loved feeling so inspired along with other designers there. You could feel the space buzzing with ideas and excitement over new products and the potential the pieces mean for interiors in 2015 and years to come.

Rawan and Danielle

Me and Danielle Krueger snapping a selfie with a friend at NeoCon15 in Chicago, IL

The shift in workplace trends was very evident in the furniture showcased at NeoCon15. New products were aimed at keeping employee’s minds active during meetings. We saw many standing height conference room tables shown with bar stools that allow the user to choose between standing, sitting or switching between both as needed. I liked the tables that were adjustable in height, allowing them to move to standard table height if needed for longer meetings. Across the board, the brands clearly had convenience in mind.

Another trend I noticed in workplace furniture was small, private workspaces like the Brody WorkLounge by Steelcase, a brand I was very excited to see again this year. Spaces like this help make use of otherwise wasted space in an office building and give employees access to a quieter, more secluded space when needed.

The Brody by Steelcase caught my eye right off the bat because it is very much my style. I love the organic, clean shape and textures paired with bright pops of colored panels (especially red, my favorite color to work with)! This is definitely a space I’d love to work in on a day when I’m having trouble focusing.

Brody Worklounges

The Brody WorkLounge by Steelcase

Herman Miller also reflected a style I’m consistently drawn towards with their office furniture and accessories aimed at encouraging a space for every purpose and a purpose for every space. Their new products took efficiency to the next level, something I constantly strive for when designing for my own projects.

Herman Miller

The Herman Miller Showroom at NeoCon15

Lighting, lighting, lighting! I couldn’t wait to see what the brands at NeoCon had to offer in terms of lighting products and fixtures this year. I’ve always thought that a lighting fixture can save a space or break it. Below are some of the interesting lighting fixtures I saw there. They really pull the space together, creating a focal point.

Lighting Trio

When we were breaking from NeoCon, we also enjoyed the treats and sights of Chicago:

Sights of Chicago

Some of the LG crew enjoying the sights of Chicago from the Architecture Boat Cruise

Sights of Chicago 2

The treats and good company we enjoyed on our trip

The best part of NeoCon? Leaving the Lawrence Group mark on the showroom boards:

Leaving LG Marks

I couldn’t have asked for a better trip to Chicago with my new Lawrence Group co-workers. Our trip to NeoCon was the perfect balance of work and play. Can’t wait to see what next year has in store.

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