SEATTLE, WA October 2021—Contract furnishings provider, Hightower received multiple awards at NeoCon 2021, including IIDA’s ‘Best Small Showroom’, ‘Best of Competition’ for its newly designed Chicago showroom as well as a Metropolis Likes award for the Adapt Collection. It is the second time Hightower has come away with these prestigious honours during commercial furniture’s largest annual US-based trade show. IIDA, the International Interior Design Association’s Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA commented, “…an exceptional use of thought and creativity that humanised the way we think about design.”
For their 2021 redesigned showroom, Hightower again partnered with Interior Designer Casey Keasler and her team at Casework, a Portland, OR design studio, transforming the 3,500 sf Chicago space giving visitors a provocative new way to interpret the Hightower brand, frequently associated since it’s 2003 founding for modern, Scandinavian contract furniture and accessories.
“I think we could all use a little optimism right now and I certainly leaned into that collaborating with Hightower for their 2021 showroom design,” shared Keasler. “Visitors will see dramatic touches like trompe l’oeil wallpaper, rich velvets, and wools in an unexpected partnership with botanicals. We embraced deep garnets, blush velvets, and soft beiges, contrasting them with details of brass, rich browns, and textured creams.”
Co-founder & CEO Natalie Hartkopf shared her thoughts about the Chicago redesign saying, “An introspective look at how we’ve spent the last two years reinforced what we’ve always believed at Hightower: the importance of creating places where people desire to be, to linger within, and feel it worth their time and effort to be there. Our inspiration for the new showroom focused on an expectation that workplaces, hotels, places of education, or any public space should give something back, leaving us feeling better at the end of the day than we were at the start.”
“We want to remind people of the energy, creativity, and curiosity that can only be experienced in shared environments—that feeling of excitement,” added Jessica Ahlering, Hightower’s Director of Marketing & Product. We’re taking back shared spaces where socialisation and collaboration are optimised; recognising where we’ve been but igniting optimism and challenging people to look at new ways of coming together.”
Hightower’s showroom design team member and company Design Director Shawn Sowers was on hand at NeoCon to guide visitors through the nearly 60 products on display and commented, “What we’re showing here is breadth and diversity in design voices; the brands in our portfolio coming together, speaking in a shared language. The experience we’ve created for NeoCon 2021 illustrates our offerings but more importantly, how those pieces can work together in compelling ways so that the furniture becomes secondary to the feeling of place. Simply put, it’s delight.”
Hightower also received a Metropolis Likes award for the Adapt Collection, a unique seating collection designed in Australia by Ross Gardam and manufactured at Hightower’s North Carolina facility. Metropolis Magazine honours commercial designs each year at NeoCon which “represent the height of innovation, creativity, utility, and sustainability.”
Designed in Australia, manufactured in North Carolina, Hightower Studio Adapt Collection, Winner of Metropolis Magazine’s Metropolis Likes: Adapt marks the first partnership of Hightower Studio and Melbourne’s Ross Gardam Studio. The aesthetic of Adapt is casually sophisticated, inspired by the open, genuine lifestyle of Australians. Adapt’s simplicity focuses on 5 key elements: frame, seat cushion, back + arm cushions, privacy panels, and tables. Adapt’s installation and setup require minimal onsite time and effort.