We’re looking forward to a new year serving our amazing clients in the commercial architect and design industry.  As we look ahead, we can’t help but reflect on the top news from 2021.  Here’s what caught our eye last year.  

Return of NeoCon – The industry’s premier event was canceled in 2020. So with NeoCon’s return in 2021, there was a constant buzz leading up to the show in October.  Although Covid prevented the kind of NeoCon we’re all used to – packed elevators, jammed showrooms, long lunch lines – it was great to have a sense of normalcy again. And for friends and colleagues in the industry, it was a time to learn, build relationships and reconnect again.

Herman Miller’s Acquisition of Knoll – This was a blockbuster. Two mega companies with the most iconic and well known brands, including the enduring Eames Chair, coming together under a new name: MillerKnoll.  How the new organization will manage its contract, residential, online and retail efforts in one seamless strategy remains to be seen.  Major kudos to Business of Furniture and MMQB for covering this news with detail and perspective.   

Metropolis Magazine Positive Planet AwardsMetropolis Magazine is on a mission. It consistently seeks to shine a spotlight on A&D firms and manufacturers who are bringing new solutions to create healthier, more sustainable and more equitable environments. Our hats are off to the 2021 winners in all the sections for their innovative work to improve our world.   

Passing of Art Gensler – An industry titan who founded what is now the largest architectural design firm in the world. Interior Design magazine paid tribute by saying, “he and Gensler the firm forever changed the profession by elevating the practice of interior design and inviting client collaboration.”  From his awe-inspiring buildings, like the twisting Shanghai Tower, to his “we” over “me” philosophical approach, he will be dearly missed.  

“He and Gensler the firm forever changed the profession by elevating the practice of interior design and inviting client collaboration.”

Back to Work Design Discussion – A constant topic in 2021 for sure. The industry explored such questions as: When will employers bring employees back to the office?  What will the “new” workplace look like?  How has the meaning of work changed? How has the pandemic changed the role of interior design?  HAT Collective (a client) wrote a thoughtful piece on this topic in Interiors + Sources, just one of many voices contributing to where we will go in the future.  

So what will 2022 bring?  We don’t know.  But we sure are excited to find out.

The work-from-home discussion took center stage for much of 2021

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