NeoCon Preview: Workplace Seminars and Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Brace yourselves. Photo via Wikimedia Commons / © 2008, Jeremy Atherton
Brace yourselves. Photo via Wikimedia Commons / © 2008, Jeremy Atherton

NeoCon 2014 is upon us. Here’s a pared-down list of the 100+ seminars and events happening next week that we think will cover workplace issues in the most compelling ways. For a full rundown of NeoCon events and seminars, as well as details on seminar pricing and continuing education credits, please click here.

Monday, June 9

“Finessing Workplace Design For A Tech-Rich World”
Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, Sauganash Ballroom, 10:00 AM

Metropolis Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Susan S. Szenasy sits down with Studio O + A principals Primo Orpilla, Verda Alexander, and Denise Cherry, to continue the conversation they started recently in the magazine. The San Francisco designers, with an abundance of high-tech, start-up clients, discuss how they translate gamechanging company cultures into environments for some of the most innovative companies in the country. Attendees will learn how they push boundaries through innovative uses of materials, spaces, and furnishings, and be able to examine the outcomes. Event is free. Register onsite.

“Happiness by Design: A Capital Idea”
Merchandise Mart Room M120, 1:00-2:00 PM

Realize the value of human capital and why workplace design can impact the bottom line. Companies are investing in ways to measure and affect employee happiness. Why? There seems to be a strong correlation between employee happiness, productivity and talent retention. So let’s explore how, specifically, the workplace itself contributes to attracting, cultivating and keeping happy employees. Evaluate the workplace’s influence on networks and a sense of purpose. Identify the ten specific areas in which design can make a difference to employees’ wellbeing. We will enumerate the ways to measure employee happiness, so you can make your own evaluations. Apply this view and your new skills to your next workplace design project for great results. Presented by Dean Strombom, AIA, LEED BD+C, a principal at Gensler, and Sven Govaars, a strategist at Gensler, both of Houston, Texas. Register onsite.

“Information Symmetry: What is it, and How Can it Yield Better Results in Workplace Design and Facilities Management?”
Merchandise Mart Room M135, 2:30-3:30 PM

Too often, design projects are planned and executed without sharing valuable people, behavioral and facility information among the project team. Discuss the importance of symmetry — what it is, how it strengthens innovation, and how teams can leverage it to create an open, balanced information system. Get a basic definition of information symmetry and its use in the traditional sense (economics). Learn to properly apply information symmetry to the planning and execution of your projects. Weigh the value of this practice for facilities managers, corporate executives, designers, architects, and the entire project team. You’ll leave with a renewed zest for team communication, and the steps you have to take to apply this invaluable practice to your own work. Presented by Kelly Funk, LEED AP BD+C, IIDA, Associate AIA, a senior workplace strategis at IA Interior Architects in Washington, D.C. Register onsite.

“The Immersive Workspace: Creating a Trans-Disciplinary Learning/Working Environment”
Merchandise Mart Room M146, 4:00-5:00 PM

More than ever, “work” is a process of learning, sharing, and harnessing knowledge and information. And the workplace of today is almost a dinosaur because of its inability to adapt to current and changing needs. Let’s discuss learning environments that can evolve to support collaboration, innovation, transparency, and technology. Define what an immersive workplace, focused on a social, knowledge-sharing, intersectional approach to work would look like. How could that radically change the landscape as we know it? We’ll discern how the culture of work is changing, and how the workplace can be treated as a learning environment designed specifically to encourage engagement, interaction, discovery, and technology. See how to blend the physical environment seamlessly with the digital world to create a more meaningful and useful experience for individuals and corporations. Presented by Jim Thompson, AIA, IIDA, a director of design at Little, and Tomas Jimenez-Eliaeson, AIA, a director of design and community at Little, both of Charlotte, N.C. Register onsite.

Davis Furniture Cocktail Party
Merchandise Mart Showroom 3-115, 4:00-6:00 PM

Join Davis for cocktails in their showroom where they’ll debut a series of new products including the Rox rocking chair and the Zia barstool, profiled last week on our site.

Cocktails and Live Music at Kimball’s New Showroom
325 Wells Street (across from the Mart), 4:00-7:00 PM

Join Kimball and the Gold Coast All Stars (“the hottest band in town”) for cocktails and live music in their brand new showroom, designed in collaboration with Studio O+A.

Tuesday, June 10

“Alternative Workplace Strategies: Integrating Data, Research, Design”
Merchandise Mart Room T255, 9:30-10:30 AM

Leading corporations are employing alternative workplace strategies (AWP) to adapt to changing business processes. Learn how the Lexus Eastern Training Facility project team helped establish a user-centered engagement process integrating data, behavioral research and design strategies to successfully implement a new workplace model for Toyota Motor Sales. Learn to gauge an organization’s readiness for change using filters and data. Develop the method that allows clients to construct the process for change themselves. Apply several concrete management techniques that will result in successful transition to AWS, including how to link business objectives with design decisions, and how to create partnerships with HR, IT and Real Estate & Facilities. See how to engage leaders to act as change agents and to lead by example. Presented by Ted Heisler, IIDA, principal, interior architecture & design, Ware Malcomb, Irvine, CA, Kurt McCullough, applied research consultant, Steelcase Inc., Grand Rapids, MI, and Dawn Riegel, studio manager, Ware Malcomb, Oak Brook, IL. Register onsite. 

“Working Well/Well Being”
Merchandise Mart Room T262, 11:00-12:00 PM

Get the wisdom of experts who have held symposia across the country about workplace design and wellbeing. Hear their analysis of what they’ve discovered about working well and sustainable environments. Learn the influence of people on centric design. Expand your concept of integrated design to include more disciplines. Explore the fascinating ecosystem of building, people, culture and process. Develop a business case that maximizes space and return on investment. Renew your vigor for creating spaces that enrich and support users. Presented by Susan Szenasy, the editor of Metropolis Magazine inNew York, N.Y.; Stephanie Douglass, LEED AP, a workplace strategist at Teknion in Washington, D.C.; and Tracy Backus, LEED AP, ID+C, the director of sustainable programs at Teknion in Washington, D.C.

ASID Panel Discussion, “The Future of Workplace and Wellness”
Merchandise Mart, Interiors & Sources Materials Pavilion, 8th Floor, 1:00 PM

Companies today are working to enhance employee performance. The impact of a thoughtful workplace design is key to supporting, engagement, retention, efficiency and ultimately wellness. Through this session hear from design industry leaders as they discuss the impact of on wellness in the workplace and strategies used today to enhance employee experiences: from the ways we work and interact in a space to the materials that surround us. Panelists include Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, FASID, CID, LEED Fellow, a senior associate at MS&RTracy Bower, Ph.D., the director of performance environments and living office placemaking at Herman MillerGrace Jeffers, a design historian and materials specialist; and Jason Ornberg, the facilities manager at Aimia, Inc. The talk will be moderated by Erika Templeton, the editor of Interiors & Sources. Register onsite.

“A Case Study for Building a Smarter Workforce Through a Smarter Workplace”
Merchandise Mart Room T280, 2:30-3:30 PM

The near-term expiration of several large leaseholds provided Thomson Reuters with an opportunity to restructure its real estate portfolio and deploy a new, more efficient workplace model. Thomson Reuters sought opportunities to maximize occupancy and space utilization given typical vacancy levels of 40-45%. In addition, the company’s new workplace strategy needed to enable effective recruitment and retention across the very diverse business. The primary goals of the Thomson Reuters workplace strategy are to improve how they do business, to enable their people, and to provide tools and work environments that support their work. In this session you will gain insights into the program’s strategy, successes, and lessons learned so far. Presented by Rachel Casanova, an associate principal at Perkins+Will in New York City, and Sarah Corbett, a project coordinator for global design analytics at Thomson Reuters in Eagan, Minn.

“How Will We Work in 2020? Furniture and Design Considerations”
Merchandise Mart Room T290, 4:00-5:00 PM

Earlier this year, architects and designers submitted designs for the “Workplace of the Future” competition. The innovative concepts spanned a range of original and inventive ideas, from the re-imagining of office furniture to managing employee health through temperature and light to maximizing multifunctional space. Come discuss with panelists — including the competition winner — the winning design itself and myriad future workplace trends. We’ll identify various forces like telecommuting, technology advancements and co-working, and discuss how these will ultimately shape the future workplace. Identify what other specific trends will emerge by taking cues from the entries to the competition. These include ideas like hyper-collaboration, employee-centric design and reclaiming urban space. Explore how demographic shifts in the workplace have influenced furniture and design, and how these trends will continue to have impact. Presented by A.J. Paron-Wildes, LEED AP ID+C, Associate ASID, Associate IIDA, Associate AIA, a regional architectural and design manager at Allsteel in Oak Park Heights, Minn.; Joseph Filippelli, a project architect at Olsen Kundig Architects, in Seattle, Wash.; and Dan Lee, AAHID, the national design manager for Business Interiors by Staples in Irving, Texas.

Wednesday, June 11

“Acoustics in the Workplace”
Merchandise Mart Room W307, 9:30-10:30 AM

Investigate the effects of the latest space planning trends on acoustics in the workplace. Consider the contention of 60% of occupants who think noise interferes with their ability to get their job done. Learn to correctly identify sources of sound and noise. Then, we’ll discuss approaches for combatting that office noise and creating optimal acoustic environments. Get specific strategies like how to encourage “non-intrusive privacy” by absorbing, blocking, covering and more. Get your toolkit ready for the next client who needs guidance or mentions acoustic issues. Presented by Devorie Brown, ASID. LEED AP ID+C, a principal at Commerical Studio of Interior Design in Vail, Ariz.

“Flexible Working in the Current Economy: Fourth Biennial Global Benchmarking Study on Mobility”
Merchandise Mart Room W310, 11:00-12:00 PM

This session will review a global benchmarking study of flexible work programs, involving 169 organizations, representing 1.6 million employees. Speakers will demonstrate how leading companies stay ahead of the flexible work change curve and will discuss business drivers, values and benefits of, and barriers to flexible work, as well as leadership implications for CRE executives. The study in its sixth year, allows presenters to reveal trends on what the future workplace will be. Presented by Dr. Gabor Nagy, an ideation manager at Haworth in San Francisco, and Dr. Jim Creighton, the director of New Ways of Working in Los Gatos, Calif.

For a full rundown of NeoCon events and seminars, as well as details on seminar pricing and continuing education credits, please click here.

Tags from the story
More from Natalie Grasso Cockrell

Not Your Average Spec Suite: The Explosion of Tech Suites in Chicago

BOX Studios Ferdinand Dimailig on the influx of tech suites in the...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *