If you didn’t make it to NeoCon this year, you missed something quite surprising and lovely – a stately “green oasis” sitting serenely alongside the truck convoy at the Merchandise Mart. It was a startling break from tradition (major manufacturers always line up their semis at the Mart), and it all started with an idea…that grew…and grew…and grew…
“It was disruptive, but in a very positive way,” states Sheila Warfield, Director of Presence Marketing for Herman Miller about the flower, plant and tree-lined display. Which is exactly the reaction she and her group hoped for when the idea sprouted to do something different at this year’s show.
“It was a way to express who we are as a company in a manner that was not only literally green, but that showed we think differently. We wanted to send a subtle signal to people that Herman Miller is always the first to step outside the box and do something fun and innovative.”
As she further explains, “At NeoCon, we only have three days to show and tell a lot. Our environmental message is typically woven throughout the story of our furnishings and our long-standing commitment to sustainability. This display allowed us to send that message in a quiet, way, with grace and humility.”
And charity. Because what’s even cooler is that Herman Miller partnered with Designs 4 Dignity, a non-profit group based in Chicago, to donate the entire display to Madonna House, a homeless and domestic violence shelter serving women and children.
More about the planting day next week.