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NeoCon announces 2013 keynote speakers

CHICAGO - NeoCon, the annual design exposition and conference for commercial interiors, has unveiled the keynote speakers for the 2013 show, to be held June 10-12 at Chicago's Merchandise Mart.

Show organizers have lined up Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG; Michael Vanderbyl, principal of Vanderbyl Design; Holly Hunt, president and CEO of Holly Hunt; and Lauren Rottet, FAIA, FIIDA, interior architect and founder of Rottet Studio. Keynote programs are free to attend for trade professionals only.

Bjarke IngelsBjarke Ingels
Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG

8 a.m. Monday, June 10

Presented by IIDA

Bjarke Ingels founded BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Ingels has developed a reputation for designing buildings that are as programmatically and technically innovative as they are cost and resource conscious.

Ingels has received numerous awards and honors, including the Danish Crown Prince's Culture Prize in 2011, the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2004 and the ULI Award for Excellence in 2009. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal awarded Bjarke the Architectural Innovator of the Year Award. In 2012, the American Institute of Architects granted the 8 House its Honor Award, calling it "a complex and exemplary project of a new typology."

Alongside his architectural practice, Ingels taught at Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University and Rice University and is an honorary professor at the Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen.

Michael VanderbylMichael Vanderbyl
Michael Vanderbyl, principal of Vanderbyl Design

8 a.m. Tuesday, June 11

Sponsored by Teknion and presented by ASID

Michael Vanderbyl has gained international prominence in the design field as a practitioner, educator, critic and advocate. Since being established in San Francisco in 1973, his firm, Vanderbyl Design, has evolved into a multidisciplinary studio with expertise in identity, print and digital communications, interiors, showrooms, retail spaces, signage, textiles, fashion apparel, packaging, furniture and product design.

Printed work by Vanderbyl has gained recognition in every major design competition in the United States and Europe. His work is part of the permanent collections of several museums and is featured in national and international publications. Vanderbyl's showroom and product designs have also earned numerous awards and distinctions.

Holly HuntHolly Hunt
Holly Hunt, president and CEO of Holly Hunt

1 p.m. Tuesday, June 11

Presented by the Design Center at The Merchandise Mart

A native of Texas, Holly Hunt describes her design-centric business of showrooms and product for interior designers as a business of 10,000 details. Hunt leads Holly Hunt, the company, as president and CEO and is intimately involved in design and creative work.

In 1983, Hunt began in the interior design business by buying a small showroom in Chicago's Merchandise Mart, which she filled with the best-of-class luxury designer collections. She subsequently expanded her reach into all major U.S. markets.

The Holly Hunt brand has become the premier design and distribution entity for high-end interior furnishings in the country. She has often been credited with raising the bar in interior design showrooms. Home & Garden magazine recognized Holly Hunt as the Top Showroom in its Best of the Best awards three years in a row.

Lauren RottetLauren Rottet
Lauren Rottet, founder of Rottet Studio

Noon Wednesday, June 12

Sponsored by Decca Contract and presented by AIA Chicago

Lauren Rottet, FAIA, FIIDA, interior architect and founder of Rottet Studio, is equally known for her expertise and leadership in the design of office environments, hotels and now residences. In particular, she is cited for her expertise in advancing office design to reflect a current approach based on technology, contemporary methods of working and bringing a more relaxed hospitality approach to the office.

Among her extraordinary record of awards, publications, juries and honors, Rottet recently became the only woman in history to be elevated to Fellow status by both the American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association.

Other events

This year's NeoCon continues to offer a variety of continuing education and professional development opportunities. The schedule includes nearly 100 CEU-accredited seminars and industry association forums, giving trade professionals the opportunity to discover the newest trends and techniques from some of the top names in the industry.

Visit for a complete listing of seminar descriptions, tours, association forums and special events.


Registration is available at NeoCon attendees are encouraged to pre-register by June 3. As part of a new effort to increase online pre-registration, attendees who register online by June 3 will be admitted into the show at no charge. Attendees who wait to register on-site will be charged $25 for a show badge.

Show hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., June 10-12. For more information about NeoCon, visit or call (800) 677-6278 (MART). Outside of the United States call (312) 527-7600. NeoCon is only open to trade professionals with proper credentials.

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