FROM THE ARCHIVE: Macramé is often considered campy, not classy (blame those strange owls with the off-putting wooden eyes). Sally England, a Michigan-based fibre artist, is helping to revive and modernize the knot-based craft in a way that even the most discerning design lover could appreciate.

On the front windows of Whitman Emorson, a strategic design consultancy in Toronto’s west end, dozens of paper stars cascade across the panes. From the street, the celestial bodies look like origami.

As far as furniture makers go, Andre Jr. Ayotte (who simply goes by Junior) and Mackenzie Duncan, co-founders of the Toronto-based studio JM&Sons, each have odd resumés for the job. They both hand-make excellent condo-sized tables, chairs, and shelving. But neither of the friend ever studied carpentry or woodworking or industrial design.

The utter abstractness of a Mark Rothko canvas or the shocking sparseness of a Donald Judd installation may seem like odd inspiration for a modular kitchen system. Minimalist art, after all, is by its very nature impractical. Our cook spaces, on the other hand, have to perform a multitude of hard, fast, and often messy functions.

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is held every spring during NYCxDesign (New York’s design week). It’s a dizzying spectacle that draws almost 30,000 visitors. After sitting on, treading over, and just plain admiring the collections all weekend, here are six of our favourite highlights.