Design Days + NeoCon 2023

We just had Design Days + NeoCon, the giant trade show held every year in Chicago. This is always a valuable experience for clients, designers, and dealers alike to see the latest workplace design trends, innovative furniture solutions, and commercial interior concepts.

NTO DD2023 46267 2048w

This year brought together a diverse range of trends and observations, but here are a few that stood out to us:


One standout trend at NeoCon + Design Days was the abundance of mobile furniture pieces. From height-adjustable desks and credenzas to planters on wheels, the show was buzzing with designs that emphasized mobility and adaptability. We loved seeing the integration of mobile planters allowing greenery to be easily introduced and nurtured throughout the workplace. This trend highlighted the importance of flexibility and the need to anticipate the ever-evolving nature of work. We’re glad to see this because having furniture that can keep up and transform should be a top priority for design-forward workplaces.

2. Sustainability is Back in a HUGE Way

A prominent area of focus at Design Days + NeoCon was an increased awareness and implementation of sustainable materiality but done in a unique way. Designers and manufacturers showcased eco-friendly materials such as cork, woven fibers, and cane, incorporating them into furniture and interior design elements. There was also a strong attention to detail, with vibrant pops of color, unique hardware choices, and stitching techniques that created sustainable yet eye-catching pieces.

3. The Boundaries Between Work and Home Have Officially Been Blurred

It’s more evident than ever that office spaces are evolving, with a noticeable shift towards creating environments that look more like living rooms than cubicle farms. This trend reflects a growing desire to foster cozy and welcoming atmospheres at work. We’re talking soft, warm, earthy color palettes and plenty of “biophilia” through the inclusion of plant life. Adding layers of patterns and unique textures added that extra little touch of personality and charm.

4. Nature Is the Office’s Best Friend

Another big trend was incorporating the outdoors as an extension of the workplace. Natural elements, like plants and moss, brought a refreshing touch of greenery indoors to promote well-being. This year was all about integrating biophilia into existing furniture, like modular seating pieces. We also noticed a lot of softened edges, arch motifs, sustainable materials, and organic acoustical solutions that support sustainability and functionality while being easy on the eyes.

5. Leveling Up Human Connection and Equity

This show gave us a prime opportunity to explore how workplaces can help foster human connection and bridge the gap between hybrid, in-office, and remote workers. Advancements in audio-visual (AV) technology aimed to create equitable experiences by enabling seamless collaboration and communication for all. In addition to exploring the future of office hybrid work models, companies like Framery showcased their Contact teleconferencing booth that took remote communication to the next level.

NeoCon + Design Days 2023 brought together so many unique perspectives from the furniture and design industry, but sustainable materiality, the blurring of home and office, the integration of nature, and the promotion of human connection were definitely the main themes. As workplaces evolve, we think these trends will be critical in promoting productivity and well-being, aiding in the success of businesses and organizations overall. Let us know what you think!

Want Even More Insights?

Want to get an in-depth presentation on NeoCon +Design Days? Hit us up below!

Schedule Today