{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.

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{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.

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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.

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                                   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.

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

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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.

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{Forums}

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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{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.

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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.

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

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