I attended the ICFF 2009 at the Jacob Javits Center. It’s held every year since I started going back in 2000. It’s free to the trade as long as you have proper credentials.
This year they’ve added a new pavilion called Japan by Design. It was a separate pavilion that showed various designed products made by Japanese designers. It was interesting to see what the Japanese were doing design-wise. There wasn’t that much in furniture. It was mostly designed objects. A couple of things caught my attention.
There were some beautiful carpets produced by company called Muni Carpet. The designs of these carpets are based on Classical Chinese carpets and are in fact produced in China under the art direction of owner Kenji Kusudo. To read more about the company and view samples of their carpets, please visit their website.
This one was interesting. The company is called Belbien and they make decorative film adhesives that can be applied to almost any surface. What really got my attention were their samples of what I thought was wood veneer wrapped around an aluminum tube but it wasn’t. It was a film adhesive printed to look like wood veneer. I was impressed.
This next one was pretty cool. As you may have read or heard in the news, the Japanese are developing robots. The last bit of news I heard about robots in Japan is that they developed one that can teach young children and express dismay if students misbehave. At one of the booths, there were two stuffed animals that looked like baby harp seals. One was white and the other was in a cream color. Both had pacifiers in their mouths. Their fur is soft and is antibiotic. What was amazing about these toys were they were “alive”. They move when they see you and especially when you pet them. They also make cute little sounds like a baby cooing. These are therapeutic robots called PARO. To learn more about this product, please visit their website.
Now check out the video I recorded at the show of PARO – pretty amazing!
Vodpod videos no longer available.
PARO: Therapeutic Robots
I can’t say there were any ground breaking designs in furniture this year. There were some interesting things presented. I took some pictures of some of the furnishings that caught my attention. You can see them below. I have also provided links to each of the designers if you wish to learn or see more of their designs.
To see more products by Sang Hoon Kim, click here.
To see more products by Ango, click here.
I also stopped by the booth of Pratt Institute – their Industrial Design program. The theme of their presentation was titled: Design for a Dollar. The students were asked to create something that cost one dollar. There were some interesting interpretations of the theme. One of the objects that caught my attention were orange votive candles, which were made with soy based wax and discarded orange peels.
The International Contemporary Furniture Fair ends May 19, 2009 so get yourself over there. It’s always worth a visit to see what is going on in the design industry.