The 50th edition of NeoCon saw an overall commitment to a softer, more comfort-based approach to workspace design. The workplace solutions exhibited a people-centric approach where wellbeing took centre stage. From privacy solutions to biophilic design, the top trends included sustainability, materiality, integrated technology and acoustical performance.Here are some of the highlights:

Noise-dampening cone
The Cone from DARRAN Furniture is an overhead acoustic solution designed to create privacy for users in an open-space area by significantly reducing noise and creating a balanced sound environment. The ThinkingQuietly Cone design entails a tapered round solid oak frame with acoustic walls and an open top (www.darran.com).

Spherical and cylindrical acoustics
A love of texture and sculptural forms led Icelandic artist and designer Bryndis Bolladóttir to develop Kula and Lina, a range of colourful spherical, hemispherical and cylindrical products made of Icelandic felted wool that is layered over mineral wool and flexible polyurethane foam. The result is maximum sound absorption with minimal coverage requirements.

Textured walls
Chilewich’s Dart collection of wall textiles and window coverings has a basket weave design that brings lively, yet subtle texture to the vertical surfaces in a room (www.chilewich.com).

Metallic geometrics
The geometric design and matte metallic colours of DecoMetal® Labyrinth were created in response to industry-leading architects’ and designers’ strong desire for patterned and large-scale drama in a wider range of coloured metals. The newest additions include bronze and rose gold (www.formica.com).

Glass is the canvas
Skyline Design introduced Linework, a versatile collection of linear patterns developed in collaboration with architecture firm Gensler. The Linework patterns vary in density, scale, direction and colour, and may be executed as opaque, translucent or transparent. This versatility allows for a wide range of aesthetic and privacy needs in applications ranging from building facades, canopies and railings, to interior space dividers, feature walls, elevator cabs, stair guards, wall cladding and wayfinding (www.skydesign.com).

Privacy pods
Unika Vaev’s SpeakSpace™ Collection of freestanding privacy pods and meeting rooms dampens outside noise and sound originating from within the meeting space by targeting mid- to high-range sound frequencies.

Air-purifying acoustic moss
Scandinavian Spaces has partnered with Nordgröna to deliver natural, acoustic solutions. A lichen species grown in the woodlands and mountain ranges of Northern Scandinavia, Reindeer Moss is sustainably hand-picked and transformed into functional wall art. The square or circle panels are fire-resistant, hypoallergenic and completely maintenance-free. The unique moss purifies the air by removing airborne particles through a cycle of absorption and release of humidity. When the humidity falls below 35%, the moss dries out but returns to its soft appearance when above 35% (www.scandinavianspaces.com).

Quiet zone accessory
The Terrarium, a new ThinkingQuietly Workstation accessory, is a centre-mounted box made from a plywood wrap frame and acrylic flower basin. The Terrarium brings a natural colour tone and a touch of life to the workplace, while creating privacy between stations (www.darran.com).

Chevron wall and ceiling tiles
With its chevron design inspired by architectural fretwork of the art-deco period, Unika Vaev’s ecoustic® Torque Collection is a functional, low-level reverberant acoustic tile suitable for both wall and ceiling applications. Subtle and directional patterns can be created by altering the colour and orientation of the tiles to create formations that articulate light and shadow.

Thanks and acknowledgement are given to Chilewich, Darran, Formica, NeoCon, Scandinavian Spaces, Skydesign and Unika Vaev for the information and photos provided.

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for our newsletter: http://www.buildinganddecor.co.za/register/.
Subscribe to our free magazine on www.freemagazines.co.za.
Or join other discussions on http://www.facebook.com/buildinganddecor, http://www.twitter.com/buildingdecor and https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/10172797/.