The best design debuts from NeoCon 2024


colorful chairs and patterned backdrop by Momentum and Yinka Ilori for NeoCon

Another tradeshow, another whirlwind of soirées and showrooms to visit. At Chicago’s annual show for commercial design, NeoCon, the schedule was no less stacked with attendees flipping back and forth from Merchandise Mart and the ever burgeoning Fulton Market Design Days. What was the most coveted design at the show? It wasn’t a product on the market per se, but the small tote from Momentum using the new patterns made in collaboration with designer Yinka Ilori. Lines for the elevators and bathrooms at The MART may have been long, but the line waiting to get into Momentum at 9 a.m. sharp to secure the bag was even longer.

Beyond merch, the showings in Chicago proved thoughtful with many manufacturers demonstrating, not just talking about, their commitment to sustainability. More and more products were 100 percent recycled or compostable, and more and more brands showcased their B Corp certifications.

It was also refreshing to see more considerations for accessibility throughout the show. Showrooms displayed more options for ADA accessible work booths and banquettes. The age, and thus needs, of users were taken into consideration for different seating options. Even the ergonomics of a chair, the ways it can trigger medical issues like sciatica or back pain, were the key factors in some designs.

Out of the 14 floors at The MART and the many showrooms at Fulton, here are the best new designs debuted at NeoCon 2024.

green couch with planter
The Tejo comes with an option to cover or expose the cork base (Courtesy Isomi)

Tejo by Isomi

The British manufacturers created a modular and flexible seating system by repurposing cork waste from wine stopper production. Cork, foam, and natural latex replace a plywood frame while natural wool and hemp make up the upholstery. The curving sofa can wind around the space as needed, and it’s made without wasting any offcuts.

Circon is the first bio-based, carbon-neutral wallcovering (Courtesy Momentum)

Circon by Momentum

Momentum’s booth wasn’t all about the latest collaboration with Illori. The very end of the showroom was dedicated to Circon, the first bio-based, carbon-neutral wallcovering. It’s truly sustainable with an algae base that helps sequester carbon during its production and a proprietary bio-base material that is 100 percent renewable that amounts to a fully recycled product with a reclamation program. It’s durable enough for healthcare, hospitality, and workplace applications while also being compatible with customized designs. Even more impressively it’s priced similarly to that of conventional vinyl.

lounge furniture collection by Kubi
KUBI is designed by Barbara Barry (Courtesy HBF)


Longtime HBF collaborator and design veteran Barbara Barry showcased KUBI, a modular seating series defined by pure and minimal geometry. The system’s wood frame and linearity hit the sweet spot between soft and hard seating, masculine and feminine styles—a balance easily overlooked in contract spaces. It will be available later in the summer.

Anthros office chair
The Anthros chair features a patent-pending double back (Courtesy Anthros)

Anthros by Anthros

Led by Steven Dufresne, new seating company Anthros uses its team’s background in wheelchair design and development to create a chair that offers back support and comfort. The namesake task chair features dual back pieces that can each be adjusted to accommodate different individuals’ posture and prevent slouching, helpful in lessening pain or exacerbations of certain back conditions. Adjustable armrests ensure there will be no bumping into the office desks here.

tables shaped like lily pads
The lily pad design ensures the tables are stackable (Courtesy Pavillion)

Lirio by Pavillion

These outdoor side tables from Pavillion bring a fresh sense of whimsy to outdoor commercial spaces. Lirio, which is Spanish for lily, takes it shape from lily pads with the distinctive cut-out offering a functional upgrade: It allows the tables to be stacked or easily carried for commercial and hospitality settings.

green banquette seating with high back and a black table in the center
The Ambi is ADA accessible (Courtesy Stylex)

Ambi by Stylex

Stylex introduced a bolder rebrand at their showroom at The MART. This includes a collaboration with Gensler on a modular banquette solution. Ambi is made with panels zippered onto a metal frame. It can be configured as a booth for private work, a collaborative workstation, or media lounge and integrates a monitor or TV, varying employee needs, and ADA accessibility.

wall partition workstations
A single outlet can power up to 12 workstations (Courtesy BOLD+)

Bold Select by BOLD+

Bold Select is an efficient kit of parts for workstations. The main innovation is centered around proprietary power and data distribution technology that, through one outlet, can power up to 12 workstations. Wires can be hidden in a wall, bench, or screen option with privacy partition options available in an architectural gallery screen, a modesty screen, or desks shrouds. They can encircle one or more of their desking options: a height-adjustable table with two leg choices, and a four-post Parson’s-style table in a fixed or height-adjustable option.

chairs with deep cushions and curved arm rests
The tubular chair was inspired by furniture in a doctor’s waiting room (Courtesy NaughtOne)

Percy by NaughtOne

Designer Nicole Marion created this lounge chair after being inspired by 1970s furniture spotted in a doctor’s waiting room. The result is a tubular steel frame encasing contradictory, plush cushions. Available in endless bold and neutral colors, Percy brings a graphic style to commercial interiors. Equally groovy is the fact the chair’s entirely recyclable.

sofas with curved profile
The collection was made in collaboration with architect Anne Boysen (Courtesy Hightower)

Toward by Hightower

Designed in collaboration with architect and designer Anne Boysen, Toward is a modular seating solution that consists of 17 modules and three tables that honor the growing flexibility needs within live-work spaces. Back pitch, tufted seat cushion, seat height, and depth provide added comfort and an ease of getting in and out. These considerations and welcoming design make it right at home within Hightower’s furniture lineup.