ICFF New York 2012

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Image from Design Milk

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), held yearly in New York City, is North America’s leading showcase for contemporary design, particularly in the field of home and commercial furnishings. Much like the Salone at Milan Design Week, the event allows designers, both established and emerging, to showcase their works, as well as offer a range of programming related to the objects on display.

This year the fair definitely had a sense of brightness to it, which appropriate for season as the region begins to embrace the summer. Here are a few highlights and interesting features in this year’s fair.

Photo from Inhabitat

Virginia Tech presented a blossoming facade system that “blooms” throughout the day to control light levels. It reminded me a little bit of the screen system the school team did a few years ago for their award-winning solar house, LUMENHAUS.

Her Majesty dolls wave in the sun

Image from Kikkerland.com

Similar to VT’s flower facade but definitely more on the quirky side is the Solar Queen designer by Chris Colicott for Kikkerland. When she is placed in sunlight, Her Majesty gives a subtle, graceful wave that follows the direction of the daylight.

Image from Design Milk

I’m a sucker for creative shipping container usage – so it goes without saying that I loved Kohler’s neon-green (or electric yellow, if you will) container booth. Through their hyper but tasteful use of color, the company prominently featured their collaboration with designer Jonathan Adler.

The ICFF also has its Editors’ awards, which are handed out each year by a panel of leading industry editors for design excellence. There are a number of categories, including acheivements in craftsmanship, textiles, deisgn accessories, materials and lighting.

Minimalistic metal containersChazutsu

Images from ICFF.com

The award for craftsmanship this year was given to Kaikado. Kaikado is a Japanese company that has made the same airtight metal containers originally since 1875 in their Kyoto studio. The containers, known as chazutsu, were originally made for storing teas but can be used to store practically anything that needs to be kept fresh. The simplicity and timelessness of this product is a testament to the excellence and practicality of Japanese design.

Although it is labeled as a furniture fair, the ICFF is really more of a contemporary design showcase that pays tribute to design excellence, and how excellent design can enhance our daily lives. I’m looking forward to next year!

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