Interior Design: What do you expect to get out of Neocon this year?
Lauren Rottet: I'm happy to see all of my friends and I expect to see a lot more friends and people that I haven’t seen in awhile. Everyone knows that the office market is changing and that technology has made a huge wave. Everyone is kind of asking what that means. Everyone has been trying to embrace technology but I think we all realize there is a huge paradigm shift happening, and no one's exactly sure what that means. So I'm interested in seeing how people are going to embrace this and what trend will begin coming out of this.
ID: How much - if any - business will you actually transact here?
LR: There is always a lot of business. I design products and a lot of people have been talking to me. I'm also personally looking to buy things for a house I bought. I saw some great fabric at Herman Miller. I'm looking for carpets for some projects. I don't think there's anyone who's in a position like a workaholic who just parties for three days. I am definitely on a mission. I'm going to find a carpet for this, a wall covering for that... you're always on a mission.
ID: Based on prior years, what are the must-see booths?
LR: Everybody always wants to see the big people. I've been so pleased that the third floor is so interesting now. There used to not be that much there and of course Steelcase is in that corner and now JANUS et Cie, Decca, Bernhardt, and Mohawk around the corner. So that's become a good floor but I'm going to go hit all of them. Somebody may be advertised more than somebody else but really you need to go around and see all of them. Even if they don’t have a big launch but they may have something amazing in there that triggers another design concept or triggers what's happening in the market. I try to go everywhere even if it's just for a nano second.
ID: Is there anything you are especially looking forward to?
LR: I think for a lot of us you catch up with people you haven’t seen in a year, they're from all over the nation and you get to understand what's going on with their business. Talk about an education that you can't get in your everyday life. That's what I look forward to. I also look forward to getting the snap shots and understanding where their markets are going, where my markets are going. So I look forward to the conversations. As far as products go, I think that the interesting missing link goes back to the technology. Everyone knows wireless is taking over the world and I think what most people want to see is what people are doing with that. How are we engaging? How have they looked at the office market and said, my furniture is going to be like this because I don't have to plug everything in. I don't have to have walls between everything. What will close out the next ten years of office furniture?
ID: Is it all work once you're here, or do you get to do/see some things just for fun?
LR: It's all fun! It's really fun. I was at DIFFA last night and I didn't recognize a lot of people which is fun because you realize that things are changing and it's new. It is ALWAYS fun.