Sean Corcorran – Steelcase Education Solutions

This year at NeoCon, the Education Solutions group at Steelcase were welcoming visitors into their own showroom, just down the hall from the main Steelcase showroom at the Merchandise Mart.

Taking a few minutes to walk us through their space, Sean Corcorran, the group’s Director, highlighted the soon-to-be-released enhancements to the popular Node chair and the exciting integration of media:scape into the LearnLab environment.

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Jim Abraham – Turnstone

Rounding one of the corners on the 3rd floor of the Merchandise Mart, you couldn’t help but notice the buzz surrounding one of the most energized showrooms I visited – Turnstone by Steelcase.

Joined by Jim Abraham, Product Marketing at Turnstone, we took an in-depth look at their newest product called Bivi – which also happened to win a “Best of NeoCon” Gold Award for Benching.

Developed based on research of small to mid-sized companies, Bivi was created to offer a modular desking system that could be moved on demand, support quick or gradual growth and be easy to specify, order and install.


But Bivi isn’t the only thing from Turnstone creating a buzz in the industry – check out our photos on Facebook to see the rest of the Turnstone showroom.

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Caroline Kelly – Nurture by Steelcase

I had the pleasure of spending a large part of the morning in the Nurture showroom with Caroline Kelly, Senior Design Researcher with the Steelcase Workplace Futures group.

As we walked through the showroom taking a look at the new products and how they were applied in the different healthcare settings, it was the insight on the research and design elements shared by Caroline that really showed the commitment Nurture has to creating efficient yet welcoming healthcare environments.

For a more details on the products shown in the video, check out Nurture’s virtual tour or see the photos we captured posted on our Facebook Page. And for an ongoing look into the trends taking place in healthcare environments, be sure to stop by the Nurture Blog.

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to Hilary Messink from Nurture’s Marketing Communications department for making this happen! Thanks Hilary!

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Anthony Minite – Bentley Prince Street

Joining us for a few moments in the bustling Bentley Prince Street showroom, President Anthony Minite shared the theme of their launch for this year – L.A. Story | Art Culture Fashion – and the companies continued commitment to designing high quality products while maintaining an environmentally and socially responsible business.


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Robert Arko – Coalesse

Next up from our series of videos from NeoCon 2011 is Bob Arko, Creative Director at Coalesse, a Steelcase company that designs products dedicated to the integration of lifestyle in professional work settings.  Bob introduces us to the six new product collections this year that reflect the theme of “social spaces” and that are aimed at supporting collaboration and inspiration across multiple work settings.

Watch as we are given a look at these new products, which include both a Gold and Silver Award in the Best of NeoCon Occasional Table category!

As a bonus, check out the end of the video for a quick message from Coalesse President, Frank Merlotti.



For more videos and photos from the Coalesse showroom, check out their Live from NeCon page.

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Kimberle Frost – Designtex

I had the great pleasure of meeting with Kimberle Frost, Vice President of Design for Designtex which offers fresh, innovative and performance-tested environment enhancement surfaces and solutions.  Founded in 1961, Designtex is celebrating their 50th Anniversary and is showcasing three new collections this year in addition to their already extensive product offerings.  Check out the video as Kimberle takes us through their showroom and gives us insight into what’s new from Designtex.

And a special thanks to Caroline Vaughn, Director of Marketing at Designtex, for her support in making this possible!

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Wow! What an Event!

Hi Everybody! Thanks for checking back in with us!

NeoCon 2011 is turning out to be a fantastic showcase for the commercial interiors industry and we are doing our best to capture as much as we can.

In an effort to be completely transparent, we haven’t been able to upload the great pictures and insightful video interviews that we already have for two reasons. One, we’ve been busy meeting with some amazing people to share their NeoCon story and two, we can’t find an Internet connection reliable enough to upload what we’ve captured!

So stay tuned and we promise you’ll love what we have coming your way!

All the best from Chicago!

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All Aboard!

Tangram’s NeoCon adventures officially start today with a brunch cruise aboard the Odyssey for an architectural tour of Chicago!


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Welcome to

A personal welcome to from Director of Marketing, Tim McDonald

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Game Face

The first quarter of 2011 provided many opportunities for investors to react emotionally to unexpected and disturbing events, and another example of the dangers of doing so.
-Richard Gershen, City National Bank

What a great quote. I read it today after attending a lunch hosted by City National Bank. 

A recent subject of conversation around our offices is the idea of presenting a confident and poised demeanor to our customers. As our company, like so many others in the current economy is doing more with fewer staff, the notion of an overworked workforce is no longer just a notion; it is reality. Fed statistics support the idea of hours per worker increasing, while unemployment persists at higher than desirable levels. Undoubtedly the system is stressed, wherever you look.

I was on a sales call recently and watched the reaction of the customer to someone talking about how they were buried with work. It led to questions, voiced concerns and raised doubts about the quality of service. Customers who perceive their sales and support staff as frazzled, harried, on the edge, over the edge or burning out are likely to take on some of that agita and become more high maintenance to compensate for their shaken confidence. Presenting that kind of an exterior to the world does two things; it creates concern (and thereby, more work!) and spreads the disease. Adopting the I’m Stressed attitude is highly contagious. If you engage in it, you will find yourself surrounded by people saying and doing the same things and feeding off each other. This is documented to result in increased stress, diminished vitality, greater exposure to infections and stress-related conditions and depression. It will sap physical health.

So, Game Face.

Urban Dictionary describes it so:
#1) a confident swagger you bring out when you are about to get ready to tackle something difficult, or when you are about to take on a challenge. Or when you are getting ready to get down to hard business.
#2) When you are ready and pumped up to party really hard.

#1) Person1: “Tomorrow’s your job interview, right? Are you ready?” Person2: “Yea son, I’m bringin’ out my GAME FACE.”

Keep Calm and Carry OnDuring World War I, the slogan Keep Calm and Carry On appeared on subway posters in London as the monarchy tried to enforce calm under fire in the city. Literally. Today, seeing the logo of the crown and those stately words can have the same effect. As contagious as paranoia and stress may be, the opposite is just as contagious. Exhibiting a demeanor that is cool, calm, confident and to go a step further, smiling or inspirational is highly contagious as well.

In calming stressful situations, the idea of pacing and leading disturbing behavior is highly effective. Watch the dog whisperer. You can match the voice tone, level and cadence of a person (or pet) going off and bringing that down to normal levels by demonstrating the changed state. It is used widely in conflict resolution with great success. If you act with calm, you will create a climate of calm.

Let’s create more of this and less of the other!

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