CHICAGO, IL -- Registration is now available for NeoCon 2020, scheduled to take place from June 8 to 10 at theMART in Chicago, IL. The world’s leading platform and most important event of the year for the commercial design industry will celebrate its 52nd edition with the latest ideas, products, and experiences to inspire, connect and engage.

Registration for NeoCon programming is also open and show management is pleased to announce a stellar lineup of charismatic keynote presenters set to take the show stage. Amanda Williams, artist and founder of AW Studio; Frans Johansson, author and CEO of The Medici Group; Jeanne Gang, architect and founding principal of Studio Gang; and Markus Dochantschi, architect and founder and principal of studioMDA, will headline, complementing a comprehensive CEU seminar offering.

“Our 2020 keynotes are next-level visionaries,” said Monica DeBartolo, director of programming. “Pioneers in their respective fields and beyond, each keynote is shaping the future of design and its surrounding disciplines in new and progressive ways. We are thrilled to have them be a part of this year’s design dialogue.”


The 2020 keynote presentations include:


The Business of Color: Amanda Williams, in conversation with Cheryl Durst, Illuminates Design’s Impact on Purpose, Profit, Culture and the Future

Amanda Williams, artist and architect, AW Studio

Monday, June 8 at 8 a.m.

Presented by: IIDA


Amanda Williams is a visual artist, architect and TEDtalk speaker. Williams blurs the distinction between art and architecture through work that employs color as a way of examining the complexities of race, place and how value is assigned to space in cities. The landscape in which she and her creative practice, AW Studio, operate is the visual residue of the invisible policies and forces that impact most major US cities.

Williams is a member of the Obama Presidential Center's Museum Design Team and sits on the boards of the Graham Foundation, Garfield Park Conservatory and Hyde Park Art Center. She has been recognized as a Joan Mitchell Foundation grantee, a USA Ford Fellow, an Efroymson Arts Fellow and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.

Williams’ installations, paintings and works on paper seek to inspire new ways of looking at the familiar, and in the process, raise questions about the state of urban space and citizenship in America. She has exhibited widely, including in the Venice Architecture Biennale, the MCA Chicago, and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, and is in several permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago and the MoMA.

Amanda Williams in conversation with IIDA executive vice president and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, will discuss design’s impact on cities and share insights on the intersections of design that shaped her career.


The Medici Effect: Innovation at the Intersection

Frans Johansson, author and CEO of The Medici Group

Tuesday, June 9 at 8 a.m.

Presented by: ASID


An author, entrepreneur and acclaimed international speaker, Frans Johansson has inspired readers and audiences worldwide with his ideas on leadership and success, innovation and diversity, while his practical insights have empowered thousands to take action. In his role as a thought leader and CEO of The Medici Group, Frans has advised executive leadership at Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, IBM, Nike and Mastercard. His firm recently launched the world’s first team coaching subscription service, which leverages diversity and inclusion to drive business outcomes, ultimately helping teams accelerate their innovation capacity, become more agile and collaborative, and better able to experiment.

Frans is the author of The Medici Effect (Harvard Business Press, 2004 & 2017), which innovation legend Clay Christensen described as “one of the most insightful books on managing innovation that I have ever read.” His follow up book, The Click Moment (Penguin Portfolio, 2012) was hailed by Fast Company as the book that challenges traditional business-school thinking and has been charged with destroying the 10,000-hour rule. The Medici Effect has been translated into 21 different languages and become the definitive book on diversity driving innovation, influencing numerous industries and fields such as architecture, design, economic development, education, and investing.

Raised in Sweden by his African-American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Frans has lived all his life at the intersection. He has been featured on ABC, CNN, CNBC, the PBS Newshour and National Public Radio, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the New York Hall of Science. He has spoken to audiences on six continents, in virtually every industry, and across disciplines, from creatives to engineers, financiers to scientists, and politicians to humanitarians. Frans founded a software company, an international healthcare firm, and a hedge fund. Frans holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Keynote Presentation by Architect Jeanne Gang

Jeanne Gang, Architect and Founding Principal of Studio Gang

Tuesday, June 9 at 1 p.m.

Presented by: AIA Chicago


Architect and MacArthur Fellow, Jeanne Gang, FAIA, Int. FRIBA, is the founding principal and partner of Studio Gang, an internationally renowned architecture and urban design practice headquartered in Chicago and with offices in New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, and Paris, France. Her award-winning designs arise from a distinctive approach that expands beyond architecture’s conventional boundaries to foreground relationships between individuals, communities and their environment. Her diverse portfolio ranges from smaller-scale community and cultural projects to major work throughout the Americas and Europe, such as the expansion of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the new United States Embassy in Brasilia and Aqua Tower in Chicago. A Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, recent accomplishments include being named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine in 2019 and winning her largest commission to date, the new Global Terminal at O’Hare International Airport.



Markus Dochantschi, architect and founder and principal of studioMDA

Wednesday, June 10 at 11 a.m.

Presented by: AIA Chicago


Markus Dochantschi is the founder and principal of studioMDA. studioMDA was founded in New York City in 2002 with the mission of challenging the boundaries of design. Before starting studioMDA, Dochantschi ran the office of Zaha Hadid Architects for seven years and was head project architect on the Rosenthal Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, OH.

He has taught an Advanced Studio at Yale University with Zaha Hadid, Stefan Behnisch and Gerald Hines (2003), and an Advanced Studio at Columbia University’s Graduate School for Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) from 2008 until 2017.

Dochantschi has also served as the director of the Global Cities Architecture Program (GCAP) at GSAPP. He has been a Guest Lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and a guest critic at the AA London; Columbia University, NY; The Cooper Union, NY; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Princeton University, Princeton; the ETH Zurich, Switzerland; the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst Vienna, Austria.


NeoCon is open to trade, media, C-Suite executives and other industry related professionals. The NeoCon 2020 website and registration is live at To attend the expo for free, online registration must be completed by June 5. On-site registration is $65 per person. Keynote presentations are free. Online registration for CEU seminars are offered at a discounted rate of $65 per seminar; onsite registration is $75 for each seminar.