David Rockwell, founder and president of Rockwell Group, presented the NeoCon 2016 Keynote on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, in Chicago. Two days after receiving a Tony Award for his scenic designs for She Loves Me, Rockwell unveiled a workplace collection with Knoll rooted in the cornerstones of Rockwell Group's practice: hospitality, user-choreographed experience, and, of course, theater.
Speaking to a full house on Tuesday, David Rockwell presented the ideas that formed the Rockwell Unscripted design brief. Spanning six categories and including more than 30 products, Rockwell Unscripted is the most expansive collection from Knoll to date—a suite of elements from drink rails to powered, creative walls that can be readily deployed, reconfigured and adjusted over all time scales, whether that be a growth year or an hour in the work day.
Rockwell also spoke to the firm's work on public space, playgrounds and parks. The firm's research with Gensler on its Jet Blue Terminal led, for instance, to a particular sensitivity to how people choreograph their own space, and how design can support and aid that spontaneous sense of owned experience, rather than hinder it. The collection's guiding analogy—to set the workplace stage and then let the actors start the show—reflects a powerful shift in work culture that Knoll and Rockwell Group are observing across a variety of industries, Rockwell said. Rockwell Unscripted was designed to support that shift and allow people to thrive.
David Rockwell continued to present Rockwell Unscripted throughout the day in the Knoll NeoCon showroom, welcoming visitors through a series of experience-based planning displays that underscore the collection's intentional mutability and sense of an empowered, inspiring workspace.