Where Science Meets Muse

A Look at Different Approaches to Innovation via NeoCon 2012

Posted by Plish on June 14, 2012

Yesterday, I was at the NeoCon 2012 Design Expo.  While many, if not most,  of the companies touted themselves as being innovative, there were a handful that caught my eye for different reasons.

People need people to heal, so anything that helps family and friends¬†be with¬†a sick person is most welcome in patient care settings.¬† The “sleepToo”¬†is an amazing piece of furniture.¬† While the¬†addition of features is often antithetical to innovation, this combo¬†¬†gets kudos for eliminating multiple other pieces of furniture and ultimately saving space in¬†all too often cramped, patient rooms.¬†¬†¬† Want to sit and look at your laptop?¬†Go ahead.¬†¬†Put your feet up? No prob.¬† And, if¬†you¬†get tired, a quick press of a button deploys a¬†bed so you can “sleepToo.”

Then there’s the GymyGym.¬† This is another attempt at eliminating mulitple¬†pieces of exercise equipment to save room.¬† It’s a great idea and everything you need to get a workout is right there on your chair and you don’t need benches and weights lying around your office (or house).¬†¬†As the salesman¬†told me, “You’ve got¬†a Bowflex¬†in your chair!”¬† I agree, it’s not as elegant as the “sleepToo.”¬† It’s straps and elastic cables are, even at their best, tangled looking.¬† The organic, sci-fi¬†look to this makes me feel a little uncomfortable to take a seat as it looks like it has a life of its own.

This LED task light from Jake Dyson¬†is really a beautiful piece of design.¬† Simple to move and control, it casts a beautiful even glow onto your tabletop.¬† What I really like is that this is also wonderfully thought out.¬† LED lights create heat, and just like their incandescent ancestors, heat is their downfall.¬† The CSYS¬†has a built-in¬†heatsink that pulls heat away from the LED’s meaning a lifetime of over 37 years!!!¬† I compared the temperature of the light emitting heads¬† of various task lights at the show, and indeed, this one¬†felt coolest to the touch.¬† I would love to see this with a webcam for capturing/projecting documents during presentations, etc.

Tripp’s interactive, immersive, Virtual Reality design tool is just plain cool.¬† I wish they had a better demo of it on their website as this really does need to be seen in person.¬† The ability to manipulate any object –¬†large, small, light, heavy –¬†in 3D space, can only help with the design of interior spaces.¬† This technology isn’t new, but it’s being applied in a way that can really help with the prototyping and visualization of interior spaces.

NunoErin is about emotion and interactivity (take note: their webpage thoroughly reflects their products/brand!) The temperature sensitive couch I put my hand on is just one example.¬† It’s provocative and conversation starting, not to mention fun!¬† The use of innovative materials really helps redefine what we see and use as furniture and to define space.

In venues like concert halls, space is at a premium.¬† Sedia¬†Systems’¬†“JumpSeat” is a minimalistic seating solution¬†at its best.¬† This wood seat snaps back courtesy of hidden, spring steel slats.¬†¬† Beautifully done.¬† (Maybe the Sedia folks and Wieland can work together on something?)

You can see that¬†a¬†common theme is the desire to save space.¬† It’s also great to see innovative uses for old materials be just as at home with innovative new materials.¬† Overall, it was a stimulating experience to soak in.¬† If you’d like to see a few more pics of some designs that made me smile, check out this page at Plishka Design.

What do you think about these?

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