June 16, 2020

NeoCon Now: Week 1 on DesignTV by SANDOW

Here’s a recap of NeoCon Now week 1 of 2 on DesignTV by SANDOW where each day is packed with programming about innovative products and the inspiring people behind them.


Monday’s episode began with a Design Giants segment hosted by Cindy Allen and starring IIDA CEO Cheryl Durst. In her leadership position, Durst knows that it is important for her “to uplift, invigorate, nudge a little bit… and sometimes tell our community what has to be done,” she says. “We all have an activist living inside us,” Durst continues, “the tools of activism are used in design everyday.”

Watch the “Design Giants” segment with Cheryl Durst here:

Next, Helene Oberman, Managing Director at Interior Design, hosted Product LIVE, a new segment that delves into the products and trends grabbing the industry and offers an in-depth conversation with those behind them. Oberman was joined by Interface‘s Mindy O’Gara and Anna Web who spoke about Launchpad, the brand’s new program that allows designers more freedom during the specification process. “The general spirit of this program is we want it to be collaborative without account executives,” Web says, explaining how Lunchpad makes searching and sourcing products more accessible.  

Watch the “Product Live” segment with Mindy O’Gara and Anna Web of Interface here:

Following one Product LIVE was another; this time Chris Gnadt of SurfaceWorks joined Oberman for an interview. As Gnadt spells it out, “SurfaceWorks is a table company,” with high standards that match those of their clients. As a family-owned business in its third generation of leadership, SurfaceWorks has brought a lot of innovation to the table game. One of their newest products, Dax, is a multi-purpose training table—suited for the conference room or the classroom—and its designed for maximum convenience. Made from anti-microbial materials, Dax moves smoothly on wheels and nests together with a compact four-inch density. 

Watch the “Product Live” segment with Chris Gnadt of SurfaceWorks here:

Oberman then interviewed David King, residential and design manager at Frövi, a British craft furniture brand that specializes in personal and thoughtful interior solutions. “As designers… we have to have a real thought process in the materiality, the recycle-ability of our design from the ground up,” King says of Frövi’s core principle. 

Watch the “Virtual Product Tour” segment with David King of Frövi here:

Capping off Monday’s programming, Oberman spoke to Natalie Jones and Reesie Duncan from Shaw Contract, a leading commercial carpet and flooring company. “We know that design affects place and that place affects behavior,” Jones says about Shaw Contract’s rugs, which are designed to enhance a room’s aesthetic and acoustic values by way of natural and sustainable materials. 

Watch the “Virtual Product Tour” with Natalie Jones and Reesie Duncan from Shaw Contract here:


On Tuesday’s programming Allen embarked on a virtual product tour with SnapCab, which designs elevators with a patented interlocking panel system and sophisticated pod workspaces, joined by CEO Glenn Bostock and Sales Manager Jack Burkom. The brand created the prototype for a pod workspace that garnered the 2017 Best of NeoCon award. As Bostock put it, the pods are “designed specifically to be remodeled” and “to be flexible.” And the flexibility of SnapCab pods certainly has proven to be an asset during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Watch the “Virtual Product Tour with SnapCab” with Glenn Bostock and Jack Burkom of SnapCab here: 

Up next, Allen and Amy Gath, VP of marketing at Formica Corporation, unveiled the top 10 winners of Formica’s 2020 FORM Student Innovation Competition—a pool narrowed from more than 175 submissions across the U.S. and Canada. Each standout design incorporated Formica’s SurfaceSet 2020® Collection and, as Allen notes, many young designers “played with the idea of nature and technology.” The top three designs will be showcased at NeoCon 2021. 

Watch the “1on1” with Amy Gath in partnership with Formica here: 


Kicking off DesignTV by SANDOW’s Wednesday programming, Allen hosted an Interior Design Roundtable with HMTX Industries joined by Harlan Stone, CEO, Jeff Collum, president of Teknoflor, Marcel Kies, president of Aspecta, and Russell Rogg, president of Metroflor. Stone shared with Allen how he got his start in the design realm and helped grow the family business. “Design was kind of in your DNA and you found a different way to express it and use it to benefit the whole industry,” notes Allen. 

What the “Interior Design Roundtable with HMTX Industries” with Harlan Stone, Jeff Collum, Marcel Kies, and Russell Rogg, in partnership with HMTX Industries here: 

Up next, Oberman hosted a Virtual Product Tour with Belwith Keeler, a hardware company with more than a century of expertise. “We’ve been involved in every facet [of design],” notes Knikki Grantham. OEM sales channel manager & design trend forecaster, joined by David Warmenhoven, leader in design & innovation. “As the world shifts and changes, we’ve also been able to manufacture things that the world needs,” she adds. The brand works to stay ahead of the curve, often by attending runway shows, even if virtually, to examine where trends are born, monitor their evolution, and compile reports on industry impact. 

Watch the “Virtual Product Tour” with Belwith Keeler here: 


Thursday, Interior Design Executive Editor Annie Block introduced Teknoflor, a high-performance commercial flooring company trusted by elementary schools and senior homes alike to create clean, cool, and environmentally conscious spaces. The Icon Tile, Teknoflor’s new collection, is designed with “high-traffic, high-performance, as well as high-design,” in mind, explains Nicolette Grieco, VP of sales at Teknoflor. 

Watch the “Virtual Product Tour” with Teknoflor with Nicolette Grieco and Ellie Priester here: 


What better way to start a summer weekend than attending a virtual awards show, especially when we cannot celebrate in person at theMART in Chicago for NeoCon this year? On Friday’s DesignTV by SANDOW episode, Allen hosted the 2020 HiP Product Awards via a virtual ceremony. Tune in this Friday, June 19, for the HiP People Awards ceremony. 

Watch the Virtual HiP Product Awards Ceremony hosted by Cindy Allen here: 


Read next: Watch DesignTV by SANDOW Programming and Schedule

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