NeoCon Presents "Designing in a Digital World"

Four programs will discuss the innovations and challenges within the rapidly expanding digital sphere of design running from May 19–20

30/04/2021 - NeoCon’s spring virtual programming series continues: a two-day of talks with the theme of “Designing in a Digital World”, running from May 19–20

The four online sessions will address the innovations and challenges within the rapidly expanding digital sphere of design. A precursor to the live event at theMART in Chicago October 4-6, the series builds off of NeoCon’s 2021 theme “Design Anew” and delivers valuable opportunities for the community to discuss the latest developments and changes impacting the commercial design world.

“From demonstrating how to leverage technology to create meaningful interactions at work to discussing the pros/cons of our 24/7 widespread access to design via digital media and platforms, the May installment will explore relevant issues and provide actionable insight into how to incorporate technology in the most sustainable, effective and beneficial way,” comments Vice President of Marketing for NeoCon, Lisa Simonian.

The May programming details and schedule are listed below. All programs are complimentary and have been submitted for accreditation. For more details and to register, visit the official web-site.

Designing Under the Influence - The Impact of Media on Design
May 19, 2021, 1:00 PM—2:00 PM CDT

Websites like Apartment Therapy and Houzz, social channels like Instagram and Pinterest, and TV networks like HGTV have given the world 24-7 access to design ideas and inspiration. This growing interest in design is a welcome, natural development. People have an innate attraction to beauty, and wider participation in the design process only enriches the result. The challenge is that, while everyone may have their own ideas and opinions about design—and, thanks to the plethora of free design apps and inexpensive software, the tools to practice it—not everyone is a designer. Great design doesn’t emerge from a well-curated Pinterest board or hours of binge watching a show. Instead, it’s the product of education and experience, inspiration and rigor.

Tom Polucci, AIA, FIIDA, LEED GA, Firmwide Director of Interiors, HOK, New York, NY
Mike Goetz, AIA, IIDA, ASID, LEED AP, Senior Project Designer, HOK, Chicago, IL

Living Architecture: How Tech & Interactivity are Breathing Life Into Transformative Interiors
May 19, 2021, 3:00P PM—4:00 PM CDT

Rockwell Group’s internal experience design and technology studio, the LAB, will discuss recent projects and open a discussion about the role that technology and media play in the built environment. As the demand for interactivity continues to grow, the LAB incorporates technology, strategy, and story to deliver memorable spaces. Their approach borrows heavily from interaction design to place people at the center of the design process, shifting the focus to designing experiences and spaces that change over time.

David Tracy, Director of Technology, LAB at Rockwell Group, New York, NY
Dan Marino, Director of Design, LAB at Rockwell Group, New York, NY

The Race to Drive Experience for Employees
May 20, 2021, 11:00 AM—12:00 PM CDT

As the market embraces “hybrid work,” the reality is we are entering a period of consideration around where we will work. Will we embrace remote work to enjoy the comforts and conveniences of home or return to the office to reconnect with co-workers to collaborate and get out of the house? It's a race for software developers and real estate to prove their value as employees (and tenants) make up their minds about what works best. Today’s real estate leaders have to ask themselves, “What will drive employees to the office?” How can the workplace win them over – is it about amenities, connection or just getting out of the house?  How do we design experience-rich workplaces to fully support employee needs and capitalize on business goals. How do we support our “hybrid” reality?

Bonnie Reese, Regional Consulting Practice Area Leader, Gensler, Austin, TX

Experiences at Work: Spaces That Inspire and Unite
May 20, 2021, 3:00 PM—4:00 PM CDT

As we assess the effects of the pandemic, some have predicted the death of the workplace entirely. David Schwarz, however, thinks this death has been greatly exaggerated and that the design of the workplace will take an evolutionary leap, not a mere shift in program. A new model of program and value - one based primarily on qualitative brand experiences that leverage the inspirational scale of architecture, and foster employee collaboration through interaction and technology - will be the light that draws us back. The seeds of this are evidenced in his firm’s work with Uber in creating an interactive lobby experience called The Stream for Uber’s new campus in Mission Bay, San Francisco.

David Schwarz, Partner, HUSH, Brooklyn, NY

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