This year’s edition of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York was marked by considerate designs and unique collaborations. Following years of serving as a North American platform for European collections already exhibited in Milan, the fair has come into its own and showed real personality; over 700 global exhibitors showcased their latest and most innovative products. Textiles experienced a revival; furniture and lighting received neo-vintage treatments, and craftsmanship was displayed renewed sophistication. There was also a lot of buzz and creative energy generated by the third edition of NYCxDESIGN, the growing 12-day, city-wide design festival that runs alongside ICFF and showcases some of the best satellite exhibitions in the United States. Here, five standouts:
Inverted Spaces by Calico Wallpaper + BCXSY
Rachel and Nick Cope, life partners and the creative duo behind Brooklyn-based Calico Wallpaper, teamed with Amsterdam-based conceptual design house BCXSY (Boaz Cohen & Sayaka Yamamoto) to create Inverted Spaces wallpaper. The unique designs were abstracted from compilations of NASA’s free image bank, and featured Hubble Telescope photos of space, digitally rendered into a repeating mural, in celebration of our ongoing fascination with infinity.
UMA Light by Pablo
San Francisco design brand Pablo combined a soft LED light with a wireless speaker to create a sophisticated portable lantern enhanced by 360-degree light and sound. The interface controls are touch-operated but can also be operated remotely from any mobile device via a wireless Bluetooth connection.
Stardust Sofa by Nika Zupanc for Sé
Winner of this year’s ICFF best furniture design, the Stardust Sofa incorporates strong modernist influences with a nod to Hollywood’s Golden Age. Designed by Nika Zupanc for Sé Collection III, the sofa (and the rest of the collection) was conceived with the Olympics and sports clubs in mind. Visually striking but fundamentally simple, Stardust is a hybrid of past and future, features and function.
Andrew Ludick for Ceadogán Rugs
As part of Irish Design’s year-long initiative to highlight excellence in Irish design across the globe, a collection of striking rugs were presented at Wanted Design in Manhattan. The pieces, part of an exhibition entitled Liminal, are a collaboration between Ohio-native and ceramicist Andrew Ludick (who now lives in Ireland) and Irish label Ceadogán Rugs. The rugs pair Irish craftsmanship with contemporary design, showcasing the nuances of Ludick’s illustrations on his small-scale ceramic work.
Dynamic Sanctuary by the Principals at Sight Unseen OFFSITE
The Dynamic Sanctuary, an experiential installation by New York–based design studio the Principals, blurred the lines between participatory performance art and industrial design. Presented by Ford, in partnership with Sight Unseen OFFSITE, this mesmerizing mirrored chamber was equipped with a finger sensor, to track visitors’ heartbeats and reflect them back via surrounding light. The installation quickly became a meditative sanctuary from the bustle of the fair.
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair is held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 655 West 34th Street, New York, New York 10001. The fair returns May 14–17, 2016.