ICFF 2013

I attended the International Contemporary Furniture Fair this year, held every year at the Jacob Javits Center. Apparently, the last time I attended ICFF was in 2011. You can view what interested me during ICFF 2011, here.

It was in 2011 that I first saw these corrugated pendants by Graypants. I like the idea and look of the fixtures. The light is filtered/obscured through the corrugation, which provides an ambient quality of lighting. The design makes it a great feature in a room, whether ganged in a group of three or more, or as a single unit. I can easily see these fixtures in a conference room of an upstart or earth friendly or tech company.

Corrugated pendant fixtures

Corrugated pendant fixtures

Compared with my last attendance of ICFF, my focus seemed to be on lighting fixtures, and less on furniture although there was one chair that stood out. A couple of materials and accessories also caught my attention.

Iacoli & McAllister designed these attractive geometric fixtures. I especially like the clustered boxed lights in copper plated frames and the way the light is intensified by the reflection of the polished finish. Very modern and a great feature over a highly lacquered black colored dining table – perhaps one that is elliptical in shape.

Cluster lighting

Cluster lighting

While walking up and down the aisles, this spherical shaped lighting fixture by moooi caught my eye. It reminded me of an allium flower. The fixture made me smile. The fixture is lit by peg-like light bulbs – kinda like twinkle lights wound into a ball but with intention. The black backdrop accentuated the brightness, making the fixture illuminate like a bright star.

Pendant lighting

Pendant lighting

Pendant lighting

I was surprised upon realizing I liked these decorative lighting fixtures by Serip (organic lighting). The fixtures are very ornate, and not something I would normally give a second glance at but as I began to walk away, my eyes stayed fixated on the organic lighting structures that either hugged the wall or suspended from above.

Serip: organic lighting

Serip: organic lighting

Serip: organic lighting

Serip: organic lighting

Serip: organic lighting

The chair that caught my attention as well as other attendees is the Parabola Chair. The web-like chair is designed by Carlo Aiello. The general structure is comprised of geometric shapes, a triangle and a square, which are slightly manipulated.

Parabola Chair

The two dimensional “square” has a wire-frame, which is then pulled back to create the seat as well as the rear leg support. The chair is fabricated with metal rods that are welded to the main “square” frame. I sat in the chair and thought it was comfortable – in the sense that I was only sitting in the chair for a few seconds. I’m not sure how well the chair will sit with me over a longer period of sitting in a hard net. What I did appreciate about the chair is it promoted an upright seating position as opposed to a chair for lounging – in my opinion.

Parabola Chair

Parabola Chair

Parabola Chair

Parabola Chair

A couple of finish materials stood out for me at ICFF, and those are the ceramic tiles by Stonepeak and the mosaic woods tiles by Materials, Inc. I thought these materials are exceptional because they are an interesting alternative to typical materials used in a given project or space. For instance, Stonepeak offers an alternative to stone with their ceramic tiles that are fabricated to look like stone without the associated cost. One of the Stonepeak reps informed me that high quality photos of stone slabs are captured, and then printed onto ceramic tiles. Some of the ceramic tiles are also fabricated with textures typical of stone. The faux stone ceramic tiles looked very convincing as stone especially when polished! It’s only when you look close up that you realize it’s not stone.

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles

Ceramic tiles

Wood is typically not used in areas like the kitchen or bathroom until now*. As I was finishing up my walk through of the booths at ICFF, I came upon these mosaic wood tiles by Materials, Inc. The sales rep explained the mosaic wood tiles were designed for application in wet areas. He added that the wood pieces are laminated to a resin back with mesh, which allows the mosaic wood pieces to be used as a wall and floor finish in wet areas. The resin backer helps to reduce movement of the wood pieces in wet locations. (Wood tends to expand and contract in humid and wet locations.) An epoxy based adhesive and grout is used to install the mosaic wood sheets, which also allows the wood pieces some flexibility.

Wood mosaic

The best booth at ICFF is Jan-Kath’s oriental rugs made by hand in Nepal and Turkey. The rugs are beautiful! The designs of the rugs are such that it appears to look like antique oriental rugs that have been worn away by centuries of foot traffic. Silk and wool are used to create these luxurious rugs. The areas of the rug that appear to worn away are knotted with silk because of its inherent sheen.

Rugs

Rugs

Rugs

Rugs

If you attended ICFF 2013 feel free to leave a comment. It can be your thoughts about the show. Perhaps there was something that you liked at the show that I should take a look? Looking forward to next year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and sharing my thoughts with you.

http://www.graypants.com/

http://iacolimcallister.com/

http://www.moooi.com/

http://www.serip.com.pt/

http://www.carloaiello.com/

http://www.stonepeakceramics.com/

http://www.materialsinconline.com/

http://www.jan-kath.de/

(*)This product may have been around before I learned about it during ICFF 2013.

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International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2009

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.

Muni Carpet
www.muni.co.jp 

*****
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.  

Belbien
http://www.belbien.net

*****
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.

posted with vodpod

PARO: Therapeutic Robots
www.parorobots.com

*****

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.

Phenomena screen by Sang Hoon Kim

Phenomena screen by Sang Hoon Kim

To see more products by Sang Hoon Kim, click here.

 

Cascade by Ango

Cascade by Ango

Cascade by Ango

Cascade by Ango

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.