I remember walking into The Merchandise Mart to experience NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair for the first time almost nine years ago and feeling overwhelmed at the scale of it. Yet at the same time, I felt energized by the amazing new products and all of the activity happening on every floor.
It seems each year as I sit down to pen this editorial for our NeoCon issue, however, I find myself searching for a fresh perspective on one of the industry’s most significant events, and I try to imagine my first visit—with eyes wide open to an unfamiliar world buzzing with the coolest furniture, design innovations, interesting people and new ideas.
Fortunately, despite any bout of writer’s block, I know the moment I arrive in Chicago, the electricity will begin to flow as I embark on the busiest show in my increasingly hectic schedule. If our annual NeoCon Preview is any indication, the product introductions this year will be plentiful, beautiful and inspiring. We’ve devoted 10 pages in this issue to our preview because, as you’ve told us repeatedly in the past, sourcing new products is at the top of your priority list, as is understanding the environmental impact of those products.
As a result, we’ve also included our annual Green Guide to NeoCon as a special section in this issue. Here you will find valuable information to make informed choices when identifying and specifying green products. We asked the experts at Scientific Certification Systems to give you a glimpse into the future of EcoLabeling and to help you better understand and discern between often confusing (or misleading) environmental product claims. Next, Cliff Goldman from Carnegie offers some common sense guidelines to help evaluate textiles and wall coverings for interior spaces. We are also proud to feature the winners of our second annual Bloom Awards that we produce in partnership with ASID to recognize the best in green product manufacturing. Finally, you will find the latest version of our popular EcoLibrary Matrix—a critical tool for A&D professionals to evaluate the various third-party certification programs in use today, with a special emphasis on life-cycle considerations—which has been updated by The Green Standard.
We hope you find the content in this issue practical and informative; but we also hope that it inspires you to see your world anew … to tap into that creative spirit that pushes the boundaries of new horizons.