Celebrating the Future of Design at NeoCon 2022

That’s a wrap!

After another incredibly successful event, it is time to close the book on NeoCon 2022. This show always brings a high level of anticipation, and it always measures up to our excitement. We are honored to support NeoCon and contribute to its platform for innovation and inspiration.

This year’s event held a special appreciation for our team. In addition to showcasing some of the latest products developed with ECONYL® nylon, we also shared NeoCon with the winners of our Designing for the Future award and recorded a webinar with Metropolis live from their Sustainability Lab.


ECONYL® x Parsons: Designing for the Future

Aquafil recently had the privilege of partnering with the MFA Textiles program at Parsons School of Design in New York City. As the program is focused on sustainability, we challenged the students to create a piece using ECONYL® nylon that could be disassembled and recycled at the end of its original use. We were in awe of their creativity and talent, and selected the top three designers to showcase their products in our exhibit at NeoCon.

In attendance were Preethi Gopinath, Director of the MFA Textiles program at Parsons, and the three winning Parsons students: Xinyu Wang for her Zori-inspired sandals, Jason Greenberg for his production of 100% natural dyes and Hannah Kim for her ocean-inspired LED lamp.

While at the event, Xinyu, Jason and Hannah were able to present their winning products to the commercial design community, share their passion for sustainable design and explore showrooms throughout theMART. Preethi joined our panel for the Metropolis webinar in the Sustainability Lab to share her thoughts on material innovation from an educator’s perspective.


Live from the Sustainability Lab with Metropolis

The Metropolis Sustainability Lab, a NeoCon exhibit focused on innovative products, initiatives and resources that make a positive impact on people and the planet, hosted a live panel discussion on the importance of material innovation in driving the circular economy. The panel of experts included Maria Giovanna Sandrini, Communication Officer of Aquafil Group, Preethi Gopinath, Director of the MFA Textiles program at Parsons, Kate Cave, Lead Designer for Delos and Kent Parker and Paul Wilkinson, Co-CEOs of Formway design studio and designers of the award-winning noho move™chair.

Our conversation focused on how we as educators, designers and producers are leading the charge for the circular economy by using innovative materials. The designers celebrated the progress of responsible materials. While they were once limited in access to quality recycled materials, designers like Kate, Kent and Paul are now excited about the variety of textures and colors available from brands like ECONYL® nylon.

From an educational perspective, Preethi shared how she is able to introduce her students to new, sustainable materials in an open learning space. Students can start with the ingredient, getting to know its function and versatility before finding inspiration for design. They will bring this knowledge into their careers and lead the way for using recyclable ingredients.

Maria Giovanna shared her point of view from the production end, asking designers to not only consider the sustainability of the ingredients they use, but also the ability to separate those ingredients at the product’s end of life. This will make it much easier to continue recycling and regenerating materials and push us closer to a circular economy.


The Latest in ECONYL®-based Designs

The designers who feature ECONYL® nylon in their pieces continue to amaze us with their creative use of innovative ingredients. We were proud to display the latest designs by Delos, Interface®, alcarol and others in our NeoCon showroom this year.

Capturing your attention as soon as you walked into the room was the beautiful coastal inspired wave rug, designed by Kate Cave as part of the new Azure Capsule Collection. We asked designers to interact with and be inspired by the collection, creating individual mood boards based on coastal colors and textures.

We were excited to feature many new carpet collections by several top designers, all created with ECONYL® nylon. One of which was the new Beaumont Range™ carpet tile collection from Interface® inspired by nature, reflecting the ever-changing beauty of mountain trails. As part of the collection, the Zera™ companion carpet tile captures the infinite elegance of marbled stone, bringing the outdoors in to create a beautiful space that improves well-being.

The Daytripper™ Collection by Bentley features four carpet styles inspired by our collective desire to be swept away for hours at museums and galleries, while the Delos-crafted Room & Board Piran rug incorporates a timelines graphic pattern inspired by the softness of nature and comes in three color options.

Milliken’s Coastline collection is inspired by natural transitions of land and water – ocean waves, sandy beaches, grassy marshes and rocky cliffs. Whether you want a relaxed atmosphere or vibrant energy, these subtle gradients will allow you to create spaces that organically connect and flow.

Our showroom also displayed products beyond carpets and rugs. alcarol previewed their Wave Screen, the latest piece from their Ocean Networks Collection to represent one of the main problems submerged in our oceans: ghost nets. By melting colorful fishing nets with ECONYL® nylon, alcarol created an elegant room divider with a surprising marbled effect.

The noho move™ chair, 2021 Best of NeoCon winner, held a more prominent position this year as part of our designer workstation. This seating area enabled visiting designers to experience ECONYL® nylon as both an ingredient and a finished product.

Until Next Year

It is always an honor to participate in the commercial design community’s greatest event. Every year always seems to be better than the last. This year, we experienced a heightened excitement for the future of sustainable design. Many of the NeoCon attendees asked technical questions to dig deeper into the true meaning of sustainable design while being inspired by the variety of consumer products that can be created with ECONYL® nylon.

As always, we are inspired by the incredible, beautiful work being done in this community and are proud to be part of it. We are already counting down the weeks until next year!


Author: Gaëlle Merlin, Design & Development Manager - Aquafil Group