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IIDA Looks to “The Future Of…” the Industry at 2023 Neocon Conference in Chicago

Furniture World News Desk on 5/19/2023

With a focus on futurism, IIDA returns to this year's NeoCon with an exciting lineup of keynotes, panels, roundtables, and celebrations that aim to empower its global membership – and the commercial interior design industry at large – to actively shape the future of the built environment. The NeoCon conference is held annually at theMART (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza) in downtown Chicago, with IIDA programming starting Sunday, June 11, leading into the three-day conference taking place from Monday, June 12 to Wednesday, June 14.

“As an organization, we are molding the next generation of humanity-focused industry leaders, and NeoCon provides an ideal platform to explore how design is driving change, breaking boundaries, promoting diversity, and serving as a conduit for connection,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “By staying curious about new technologies, methodologies, and community engagement, we can make the future of placemaking less about the fear of the unknown and more about the excitement of what's to come."

Those attending NeoCon have a range of IIDA events to take part in, while certain events will be held primarily for its members. Programming includes:

Sunday, June 11:

  • IIDA Showroom and Booth Design Competition: Shown onsite at NeoCon, all winning exhibition spaces from the competition will be reviewed and selected by a jury of influential design leaders to be displayed during the conference. The competition recognizes outstanding and innovative corporate branding initiatives in showrooms as well as temporary booths and pop-ups, with an emphasis on the innovative use of materials, space, color, texture, product, and environmental graphics. Submissions close June 3.
    Time: Winning spaces will be exhibited throughout the show
  •  IIDA Annual Meeting: IIDA members and guests will kick-off NeoCon by gathering to honor the 2023-24 International Board of Directors, 2023 College of Fellows inductees, IIDA Foundation Honorees, as well as the Member, and Student of the Year. Space is limited.
    Time: 12 – 3 p.m. Central
    Location: Venue SIX10, 610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

  • Revel in Design: IIDA’s Black-tie Event: The organization’s annual black-tie event marks the celebration commencement to NeoCon, inviting the industry’s top international interior designers and global design manufacturers for an evening of networking, dinner, and dancing. The event honors the winners of two of the most prestigious competitions in the interior design profession—the annual Interior Design Competition and the Will Ching Design Competition. Limited tickets are available for purchase.
    Time: 7 – 11 p.m. Central
    Location: The Ritz-Carlton at Water Tower Place, 160 E. Pearson St., Chicago

Monday, June 12:

  • NeoCon Keynote: Designing a Way Forward: A keynote presentation with world-renowned Futurist as well as Future Today Institute Founder and CEO, Amy Webb will provide strategic foresight and forecasting crucial for organizations to ensure sustained success as they navigate today’s era of unprecedented transformation, while preparing for the complexities of the future. Amy will lead an extraordinary exploration into the emerging trends and technologies turning industries on their heads. Q&A will be moderated by IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. Registration is required.
    Time: 10 – 11 a.m. Central
    Location: The NeoCon Presentation Studio, FL2 and streamed live on the NeoCon Hub
  • Collective Design Live: Beyond Futurism: Future Today Institute Senior Foresight Manager Mark Bryan will moderate a panel of futurists and design strategy leaders to break down the essential components of thinking and working like a futurist, starting today. Program attendees will learn how to adopt and apply futurism, and further learn how the built environment helps us be more connected, engaged, and collaborative with a clear vision for personal and professional growth.
    Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Central
    Location: The NeoCon Presentation Studio, FL2 and streamed live on the NeoCon Hub
  • IIDA + OFS Student Roundtable: IIDA and OFS will host an intimate conversation with design students and emerging designers by bringing together a panel of designers and thought leaders to discuss sustainability – a topic the next generation of designers are passionate about. This event is invite only.
    Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Central
    Location: OFS showroom, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza #1132
  •  DYW Screening and Discussion: IIDA members and Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA will host a discussion and screening of a short film featuring the IIDA Design Your World program—an education initiative designed to provide early exposure to interior design careers for diverse high-schoolers. 2023 marks the Design Your World’s third iteration with programs in Chicago, Miami and now St. Louis launching this summer. The programs provide opportunities and pathways for students that may otherwise not be exposed to careers in design, with the goal of promoting equity and diversity in the industry.
    Time: 3 – 3:45 p.m.
    Location: Marshall’s Landing Grand Staircase, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza

Tuesday, June 13:

  • IIDA Student Design Charette: Educator and IIDA member-nominated IIDA Student members from around the country will compete in this live, annual design competition during NeoCon. Students will have just a few hours to determine a design solution, develop a presentation, and pitch their concept to a panel of design leaders, with an awards celebration to follow. The event’s presenting sponsor is MillerKnoll, with Behr as hospitality sponsor and the Wallcoverings Association as supporting sponsor.
    Time: Charette: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Presentations and Judging: 3 – 5 p.m.
    Location: The IDEA Studio, IIDA Headquarters, 111 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 222, Chicago
  • IIDA Student Design Charette Awards: Charette participants, judges, and IIDA at the Charette Winner’s Reception where the winners of the Student Design Charette will be announced. Light bites and beverages will be served (valid ID required). The event’s presenting sponsor is MillerKnoll, with Behr as hospitality sponsor and the Wallcoverings Association as supporting sponsor. NeoCon attendees may observe students by RSVP’ing here (limited space available).
    Time: 5 – 7 p.m. Central
    Location: To Be Announced

For more information on IIDA programming during NeoCon or to register for select events, visit: www.iida.org/program-pages/iida-at-neocon.


About IIDA
IIDA is the commercial interior design association with global reach. We support design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through our network of 15,000+ members across 58 countries. We advocate for advancements in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that enhances business value and positively impacts the health and well- being of people’s lives every day. For more information, visit IIDA.org.