An Inside Look at Creative Spaces

Interior Design highlights the Steelcase showroom at NeoCon. But, the story doesn’t end there.

Each year during NeoCon, architects and designers from all over the world converge on the Merchandise Mart in Chicago to see new trends, themes and solutions for commercial interiors. But, what happens when the cameras turn off, the lights dim and everyone goes home?

Creative ideas don’t start or stop in a NeoCon showroom. The creative process is far from linear with a clear beginning, middle and end. Instead, it’s an iterative process that ebbs and flows as people come together, break apart and come together again.


Prior to NeoCon, Steelcase and Microsoft unveiled five Creative Spaces in New York. The interrelated collection of technology-enabled spaces is designed to support idea generation, collaboration, focus, making and respite. As the team began to prepare for a new showcase in Chicago, the spaces were reinterpreted to demonstrate an even broader range of products and features to foster creative work.

Making of NeoCon

When designing to boost creativity, embed authentic design elements and materiality to create emotional connections.


At NeoCon 2017, IIDA and Contract Magazine awarded Steelcase best large showroom.
Since then, Steelcase researchers and designers have continued to garner learnings and generate conversation around the theme of creativity. Interior Design recently released a video in which the magazine interviewed Steelcase CEO Jim Keane and other senior executives to capture the energy and excitement around the award-winning showroom at NeoCon.


Following NeoCon, Creative Spaces were once again adapted for the Steelcase showroom in London. Steelcase and Microsoft unveiled its research around creative work at London Tech Week revealing how the merging of people, place and technology can enhance creative behaviors.

Creative Spaces

A Focus Studio supports the alone time required for creative work, enabling focus while also allowing quick shifts to two-person collaboration with the use of a height-adjustable desk.

Creative Spaces

Working in pairs is essential for creativity. The Duo Studio is a shared space designed for paired co-creation as well as individual work on individual devices.

Creative Spaces

An Ideation Hub supports generative collaboration sessions and promotes the fluid interaction between people, ideas, tools and technology.

Creative Spaces

Socializing ideas and rapid prototyping are essential parts of creativity. The Maker Commons includes spaces that encourage quick switching between conversation, experimentation and concentration.

Creative Spaces

A Respite Room offers a place for the brain to rest, form new connections and access spontaneous thoughts.

More Creative Spaces are being developed right now around the world. While they will contain similar design principles, each will be unique, reflecting their location and the people who work there. By bringing the digital and physical together, organizations are discovering how they can harness the creativity of their people and their teams. And with each installation, the creative process continues.


The Creativity Ideabook provides key insights and information around planning for creativity in the workplace.


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