Many of the firms showing at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair also have showrooms in SoHo or other areas downtown from its site, the Javits Convention Center. But while Vitra, Artek and many others chose to take space at the fair as well, American stalwarts Herman Miller and Knoll were not to be found. Such absences suggest that despite some 600 attendees, the fair celebrating its twentieth fifth anniversary is somehow still not yet mandatory attendance.
The ICFF and attendant events all over town were packaged this year as NYC X Design, which meant official city support for the idea of a design week promoted in previous years. The idea of a Milano Manhattan style remains elusive however.
parabola chair | carlo aiello | 2013
Even before the show opened, Carlo Aiello’s Parabola chair has emerged as the ICFF’s star: it suggests a cerebral cousion of Harry Bertoia’s diamond chair, mapping out the space time continuum for Star Trek. Or is it Mr. Spock’s shopping cart?
At ICFF, Molo’s stand, all of brown paper, caught attention. Inside were some of the company’s cloudlike, pleated paper lighting elements.
In an era dedicated to innovation, the classics face a challenge in mixing novelty with durability… Artek offered up new editions of its Aalto stool, much as Converse keeps producing new graphics for the Chuck Taylor All-Star. Carl Hanson celebrated the anniversary of the Wegner Shell chair with new fabrics. (Wegner is 93, the chair is 50.)
stool 60 | mike meiré | 2012
In addition to ICFF, several smaller gatherings and many open houses, parties and panels were part of the event.
Wanted 2013 is the name of a rival gathering of designers in the huge, solidly build brick warehouse downtown near the river called rather ominously Terminal Stores. It showed a more experimental and informal air than ICFF.
Intramuros magazine showcased a homage to Cappellini, who would otherwise be expected on the floor of ICFF at the Javits Center. Bright red examples of Cappellini products sat isolated silver lined booths with a vaguely pornographic mood to them. The Istanbul and South American delegations were impressive.
hai lounge chair | luco nichetto | one nordic furniture company | 2013
Some eyes were caught by One Nordic Furniture Company, from Helsinki, with its lovable Bento chair. Also at Nordic was Luca Nichetto’s Hai chair, which channeled the spirit of Gio Ponti. (Ponti, was also evoked at Vitra, with the Repos wing back chair by Antonio Citterio. Ponti also seemed an inspiration for Toshiyuki Kita’s “@” chair for Ligne Roset. Gio Ponti is the subject of a show to come this spring [ Living “Alla Ponti” ] at Molteni in SoHo.
In this, its second year, it hosted talks and such events as the School of Visual Arts Products of Design program’s meta design interpretation of the show. (url.)
pixel chair | valerie chin | 2013
There was student work, as at ICFF. The Rhode Island School of Design dispatched the alumni show originally curated by its chief, John Maeda, for the Milan fair. One witty example was Valerie Chin’s “Pixel” chair.
The curatorial group Sight Unseen produced a showcase at The Standard Hotel. This year, the American Design Club returns to Noho with its ninth group showcase, entitled Trophy: Awards We Live With. The group’s organizers explain: “A trophy is a memento, token, or symbol, used to commemorate an achievement or victory. Whether they are awarded, stolen, or created, trophy objects can come in many forms.”
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