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Which product trend has had the biggest impact on this fall's trade shows?

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    Different Merchandise at the Mart

    In addition to the usual whirlwind of contract introductions at NeoCon, a "gallery" vibe resonated through Chicago's Merchandise Mart. Commissioned by Wolf-Gordon, for example, Karlssonwilker and the Guild collaborated on the colorful angular sculpture suspended above the Mart's main escalator. The open-source Web site shared-practice.com, meanwhile, curated "Relationship by Design: Exploring the Creative Relationship Between the Designer and Manufacturer." It showcased 14 local talents, among them Shared-Practice cofounder Felicia Ferrone, who have bypassed a traditional licensing model to get their furniture and tabletop products made and sold-instead employing crowd-sourced funding, new processes and materials, and alternate distribution channels.

     

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