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Bright Chair at The Merchandise Mart
"Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular." -Aristotle
At times, I experience predictable or perhaps just one of those déjà vu moments when attending design trade shows. Trying to conceal any personal negative moods, I attend the shows with no expectations. However, with an up-swing mood in the industry, designers like me are eager to be inspired after two years of depressing energy. Therefore, I took this hopeful power with me this year when attending NeoCon.
Birthed in Chicago, NeoCon is one of the successful corporate design trade shows for the industry. The Merchandise Mart, where it is housed, performs well as both an event venue and a retail outlet.
NeoCon started this year with the consistent tradition of Interior Design magazine's fun kick-off Giants party. It is always an effortlessly well-planned and thoughtful party hosted by Cindy Allen and Mark Strauss. I get a sense of excitement for NeoCon during the Giants party when greeting other industry friends. It is always nice to compare the lists of places and products to learn and visit during the show.
With a short list of showrooms to visit during this year, I was especially impressed with my visit to the Bright Chair showroom on the 6th floor of The Merchandise Mart. Every time I attend the show, I make my routine stop at this showroom. It is always neutrally inviting and somewhat symbolically universal, both culturally and chronologically. The warm neutral background accentuates the subtle and graceful art pieces and wall coverings, all carefully designed by the talented Douglas Levine, the creative director at the Bright Chair, who successfully revitalized the brand as a globally recognizable and most copied furnishings company in the industry.
This year, once again, I found surprises. There were many hidden details and layers of rich living styles: wood finishes, complex layers of curves, effortless simplicities, balanced collectives, and blends of neutral hues. Moreover, this showroom is not only representing Bright Chair but also carefully assembling other designers and artist works. I am inspired that corporate and other designs can crossover and provide us with a variety of lifestyles that can co-exist next to each other, very much like in my hospitality design world.
Please visit the Bright Chair showroom in-person to experience the welcoming crossover designs to inspire your future design projects when visiting The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.