NeoCon 2016: A Celebration of People and Design

by Andrea Reynolds

Ah, NeoCon. It seems like every year goes by in a blur. Between the new collections, familiar faces, fantastic parties, and beautiful design, it can be difficult to take everything in just three short days. So, in case you didn't make it to Suite 394 or NeoCon 2016, we created a quick recap to share our experience.

For the second year, GR Chair teamed up with Detroit-based interior design firm Patrick Thompson Design (PTD) to create a showroom as unique as the people and products of GR Chair. PTD took a dramatic turn from the 2015 showroom, which featured color-blocked pastels that mimicked a Lake Michigan sunset. This year's showroom featured stark black and white, pops of earthy jewel tones, classic patterns, and a fantastically fun mural.

NeoCon 2016: Modern Restaurant Furniture

Mural, Black, and White Make Showroom Standout

PTD commissioned Mike Prewitt, a graphic designer from Detroit, to create a very unique mural. Through interviews and images, Prewitt managed to effortlessly capture the spirit of the company, creating employee caricatures engrossed by Grand Rapids landmarks and company history. It playfully celebrated our people, city, past, and future.

Mary Eskin, interior designer of PTD, says, “We envisioned our design as a way of portraying the company's history by showcasing the process and the people who make it all happen. From the factory floor to the restaurant tables, and everything in between.”

Eskin continued, “We use the striking contrast of white on black to emphasize the true beauty of each piece, mixing that simplicity with a few strong pops of color exposes the aspects of what Grand Rapids Chair is all about... performance, functionality, and a genuine love for design.”

Classic black and white restaurant chairs on display

A mix of standard and new products were sprinkled throughout the showroom, honoring tradition while welcoming the new. New products included Harper, Hugh, Reece, and Tilly.

new featured products

Entrance to our showroom

Harper, designed by Joey Ruiter, is an expansive and strikingly simple wood or laminate shell collection, featuring multiple base styles including an X-base, four leg, and a stacking A-frame. Taking cues from Windsor style chairs, Hugh is an all wood dining chair with a spare and modern silhouette. Reece, designed by John Kaloustian, is a factory-inspired chair featuring a separate wood seat and back, steel frame, and exposed mechanisms like bolts and fasteners. Tilly, designed by Robert Stadler, is a modern, lightweight bistro chair with a unique offset backrest which combines visual interest with structural integrity.

Until next year, NeoCon!