{EVENT REVIEW} MINNECON trade fair 2011 – Northland Chapter, IIDA

IIDA Northland’s MinneCon was a fun-filled day of education, new products and networking for the commercial design industry.

This year proved to be another year of growth for MinneCon. A wonderful thing to see after a tough few years . Positive feedback was given by all the participants.


{Trade Show}

This year MinneCon had 439 attendees in the exhibit hall where 87 companies were presenting their products. The Depot is such a great place to hold a venue like this. The beautiful structure and vintage Minneapolis charm makes this place the perfect Venue to showcase all that is new in the commercial design world.


A few products at the show that caught my eye.

This fabulous new product by SEEYOND.  This is a completely customizable system that creates non-load bearing walls, column wraps, and ceiling clouds. The most exciting thing of this new product is that it is local! Yes… made right here in Minnesota.


                                   LEED Points anyone? Steelcase showcased the new “workstation”.                                                It comes with bike storage, a small settee for guests or a nap. 🙂 and open plan work area.


                                   Allsteel had fun showing off their new modular seating/conferencing.                                   Simple, fun and tons of lay-out options, how could you go wrong?


Best Display?

 Formica. I loved the fact that they used the height of the space and really brought some of the Neocon magic to Minneapolis. Now, if they could just sample this large.



On average, 55 designers learned something new at each of the 4 forums and got some credits towards their required CEU’s. I attended Contract Textiles: A Unique View and the luncheon with Suzanne Tick. Both were interesting as well as a bit sad.

Sad to hear how terribly the textiles industry has been hit due to the recession. Not to mention the decline of the garment/textile industry over the years. Mills are closing left and right, the designers  have less to work with because of the lack of new innovation in manufacturing.


Suzanne Tick with one of the pieces that did not make it in her Refuse DC project.

An amazing speaker, Suzanne spoke about her latest project: Refuse DC. She collected 5,000 hangers to make an amazing woven piece that now belongs to the Gates Foundation. As well as a huge team effort in her studio cutting hangers, and preparing them for  weaving.


You can check out more pieces or the process video.

She also spoke about a hospital project combing photography, Skyline Glass, and Imago.

I can’t wait to see the finished project.


Robin Mooney of Herman Miller, Jeff Vredevoogd of Herman Miller & Lona Gayton of Intereum


{Good Karma}

The game drive for People Serving People brought in around 20 games. Sending out more good karma for IIDA and the people who so thoughtfully brought games to share.


The {Designers of Tomorrow} series was also a great success. It brought together about 25  design students from around the state to meet and hear from seasoned professionals.


The day was a smashing success and I look forward to next year!


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