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For more than four and a half decades, NeoCon ® has remained a premier platform for connecting, learning and conducting business in the commercial interiors industry. With more than one million square feet of exhibition space, the show serves as a launching pad for thousands of new products and covers a spectrum of vertical mar- kets including workplace, healthcare, hospitality, retail, environmental, government and education. The exhibition is complemented by an equally impressive educational program, which features more than 100 accredited seminars, association forums, keynote pre- sentations and special events. Headlining this year's fair are four of the best and bright- est, a carefully selected group of forward thinkers and innovators who push the bound- aries of design, fashion and the cognitive mind. While they hail from very different backgrounds, they each bring a humanistic approach to their work. Monica DeBartolo, Director of Programming, remarks, "More than just a 'tradeshow,' NeoCon has become known as an incubator of ideas and a lively sympo- sium for the industry. Our keynotes help us kickstart this important dialogue and keep the intellectual energy going across the three days of the show. This year, these keynotes are both fresh talents and stalwarts of design. Patricia Urquiola has been responsible for some of the most iconic designs of the past decade, while Martin Leskaj and Anastasija Sugic's 2-year old studio 13&9 is one of the industry's hottest rising A LOOK AT THE CREATIVE MINDS HEADLINING THE CONFERENCE PROGRAM By James Kasschau, CEO & President, ICF Group German designer Konstantin Grcic used plywood's light- weight properties to develop a simple and versatile chair for the northern Italian company, Plank. Remo merges Plank's artisanal heritage with the latest manufacturing technologies. The company has been produc- ing wooden furniture since it was founded in 1893, and Remo evokes this legacy of craftsmanship through its treatment of a noble and famil- iar material. "Design only offers strategic advantages when you put all your effort into the development of a product and when you're really innovative – that also makes it hard- er to copy," said Michael Plank. Remo's defining feature is a sophisticated interlocking joint that attaches the curved shell of the seat and back to a horizontal backrest. This two-piece construction combines mechanical production with hand finishing and results in a strong and excep- tionally comfortable seat. "The shell we have actually made in two parts and that's kind of special," said Grcic. "It could be cut out of one, but by gluing the backrest to the spine it gives the Furniture innovator and manufacturer BDI debuts Format Office, an office collection designed specifically for smaller spaces. Engineered for small office functionality and optimization, the Format Collection includes the Format 6301 Desk, the 6307 Mobile File Pedestal and the 6320 Mobile Credenza. With satin nickelplated drawer handles and legs, Format is available in two finishes: a combination of Natural Walnut/Satin White or a classic Black Stained Oak finish. Format will debut at NeoCon in BDI's booth #7070. The Format 6301 Desk is slim enough to fit into small office areas, but still has ample surface area for all your office needs. The desk includes a flip-down mul- tifunction drawer for a keyboard, mouse and/or storage of rechargeable items and two side drawers lined with black neoprene to keep contents in place. Innovative front and back panels keep wires out of sight and tilt for easy access to wiring and wall outlets. The Format desk can act as a standalone wood-topped desk, or as a complete office collection with the coordinating mobile file pedestal and mobile credenza. The 6307 Mobile File Pedestal fits neatly under either side of the Format desk, or can be used on its own as a printer stand. The top drawer is great for supply stor- age while the file drawer can hold letter or legal-sized hanging file folders. It rests on locking inline casters for security and mobility. A fifth wheel under the file The media has been buzzing for years with articles about furni- ture flammability. Everyone acknowledges that most uphol- stered furniture is highly flammable. Residential furniture fires are responsible for nearly 600 deaths each year. Government agencies including the CPSC, NIST and NFPA are actively studying the need for additional regulations to make upholstered furniture safer. There has also been substantial resistance to the increased flammability regulations by environ- mental groups. Since the mid 1970s, halogenated flame retardants have been incorporated in the polyurethane foam used to make residential furniture comply with CAL TB 117. Changes were made in California to modify CAL TB 117. The new regulation, CAL 117-2013, removes flame retardant from the polyurethane foam and uses a cigarette for the ignition source of the burn test. Environmental groups and some medical researchers have studied the bioaccumu- lation effects and health effects of one class of halogenated flame retardants, PBDEs. These researchers question the need for additional furniture flammability regulation beyond CAL TB 117-2013, considering the potential human health risks. There are passionate arguments on each side. Do we risk more fire deaths by Continued on Page 13 Continued on Page 13 Continued on Page 13 Continued on Page 13 REMO CHAIR DEBUTS AT NEOCON BDI INTRODUCES OFFICE COLLECTION IDEAL FOR SMALL SPACE DESIGN FURNITURE FLAMMABILITY REGULATIONS VS. ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT/HEALTH CONCERNS O s e r C o m m u n i c a t i o n s G r o u p C h i c a g o Tu e s d a y, J u n e 1 6 , 2 0 1 5 AN INDEPENDENT PUBLICATION NOT AFFILIATED WITH NEOCON

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