r.o.i. Design recently visited ICFF New York 2015. While it has only been three years since we last visited Design Week in New York, it was long enough for the Citibikes and the Uber cars to appear on the streets of the Big Apple. The innovation in transportation wasn’t the only thing that impressed us. Our visit to Wanted Design and ICFF (The International Contemporary Furniture Fair) gave us an eyeful and here are images and notes on products we think are important to share.
- Led Tubes found their way into suspended 2×4’s, cleverly attached to each other to create patterns and shapes.
- Not only tube, but also LED and compact fluorescent lights in cages, sculptures and assemblies
- And the return of brass as a finish is undeniable.
- Custom graphics aren’t new but now the sophistication of the technology in printing wall graphics has born a generation of graphic designers who are reinventing “wall paper”
- Felt, Cork and Paper (Cellulose) are being offered in tiles and panels in a variety of shapes and textures, offering us ways of creating wall interest, art or acoustical treatments. (artwork)
- The show displayed a wide range of materials in furniture, reclaimed materials, reclaimed furniture, concrete, polymers, and paper. Technology and imagination has also created new possibilities in surface detail.
- ICFF originally was a venue focused on new furniture designs and lines even from the grass roots studios around the world. Today the show has evolved to be a place of introductions but cannot claim to be the premier place for furniture style invention.
- There were several companies introducing a functional product to the American market that might be called an “appliance”.
- Sense+: the intelligent air purifier from Sweden always seemed to have a full booth of visitors. Their story was compelling to all of us personally as we wanted “better air” appliance by a group who valued good design.
- NISSHA: a Japanese company who is connecting products-information technology in furniture, lighting, appliances, equipment. They demonstrated a wall tile that had been imbedded with LED’s and touch pads that allowed you to change the temperature of the water in the shower by touch. (Just one example)
- Cycloc: A British company that is launching a product called “Hero” caught our eye. They make a range of elegant products for today’s cyclists.
Of special interest were groups who combined design with a social & cultural goals. The products were creative and their inventors endearing.
- Pepe Heykoop for Tiny Miracles Creations: Dutch designer Pepe Heykoop operates a workshop in the red light district in Mumbai, India – the Pardeshi community. There they produce his designs which he told us are sold in over 300 stores in Europe. His exhibit at ICFF was his first time pursuing an American distribution. Pepe’s goal is to pull the 700 people of the community out of poverty within 10 years, 2020.
- PIVOT is a social enterprise a mission driven business in Dobbs Ferry NY where they train people who need a second chance in furniture making. All of their designs are sustainable, only using recycled materials and entirely made in their workshop.
Manufacturers that we purchase and place in our designs showed us some new things:
- MIO: Most recently we created office dividers from their NOMAD product. Now they give us acoustical wall panels and cardboard light shades.
- Lights Up: Affordable and simple light fixture manufacturer out of Brooklyn New York has provided for our clients a variety of solutions and they continue to ride the wave of current designs.
- Astek and Wolf Gordon: Did not disappoint us with patterns and designs that will continue to draw us to their collections.
- Global Lighting: Introduced its newest line, a Finish product “Secto Design” which demonstrated a gentle precision and grace using form-pressed Finish birch.
- B&N Store Fixture Design, typically seen at Global Shop, the retail show, was there to show their ability to customize any product, any surface, any light.