NeoCon 2020 to Debut New Partnerships & Programs

Chicago, IL, October 29, 2019-The 52nd edition of NeoCon, taking place June 8 to 10, 2020 at the Mart in Chicago, will introduce new partnerships, programs, and experiences that address broader currents of design and reach expanded audiences. These efforts are built on NeoCon’s commitment to inspire and engage the commercial, hospitality, and residential design communities, as well as c-suite executives and other design decision makers, design professionals and creatives from other industries, and the design-savvy public.

Two major new partnership entities launch during the week of NeoCon 2020: Confluence Chicago, a multidisciplinary design ideas platform created in tandem with BIFMA (the notā€for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers), and Designing a Better Chicago, a partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Specials Events (DCASE) and the Design Museum of Chicago, created to highlight, leverage, and support Chicago’s vast design legacy, talent, and resources.

Confluence Chicago is BIFMA and NeoCon’s collaborative effort to elevate and amplify the conversation about design and design thinking in its many forms. Programming for 2020 will focus on “the intersection of design and our world” and include a large-scale, high profile, design forum at the Harris Theater, several salon-type design experiences throughout Chicago, and a Confluence seminar track hosted at theMART. Programming details and registration will be available in January.  

NeoCon’s new city partnership Designing a Better Chicago is aimed at elevating the visibility of Chicago’s design legacy, assets, talent and community, and at supporting civic good through design. For its 2020 launch, Designing a Better Chicago will include a large-scale commissioned design installation on Chicago’s Riverwalk, a grant award program recognizing individuals or organizations using design for civic good, and related special programming. The selected Riverwalk design will be announced in November along with details about the grant award program. 

The NeoCon Plaza, the popular outdoor amenity space spanning The Mart’s South Drive, will return in 2020 with Gensler Chicago back on board as the design partner. NeoCon 2020 will also debut a danishdesign Makers exhibition featuring the work of 20 designers with strong ties to the Danish design culture.