The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) at New York’s Javits Center in mid-May was a showcase of design concepts from all over the world. Diverse styles and innovative techniques were represented from such countries as Spain, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Japan. A celebration of color, form, light and texture was on display, with materials ranging from handcrafted leather and diverse species of wood to decorative glass and concrete.
Pol Art out of Mexico presented high-pressure molded polyurethane indoor and outdoor furniture in a rainbow of colors. New-comer AKKE Functional Art, from Long Island, N.Y., featured one-of-a-kind furniture designs, including its Pingtuated Equilibrepong dining room table. Made of nine species of wood, steel plumbing fittings and Edison light bulbs, this playable ping-pong table was a show-stopper.
Horgan Becket offered a warmer feel for a loft-type environment with its Mesh Series, an eclectic grouping of parsons tables, benches and lighting fixtures made with maple and walnut wood combined with industrial references, such as brightly colored metal grids.
Mexico’s Peter Glassford uses two species of scrap wood – parota and rosa morada (which are indigenous to Mexico and Central and South America) – to form wall panels. Mounted to a plywood substrate, the components of this sustainable surface treatment are kiln dried, color lacquered and waxed to produce a buff look.
Cosmopolitan Glass, working out of Brooklyn, N.Y., produces shimmering architectural glass panels. Made out of recycled pieces, including gradient, painted and crystallized glass and antique mirror, these original panels come in sizes up to 6 by 15 feet.
Hellman Chang was a returning favorite. With a workshop in Brooklyn, this young and innovative company produces sleek contemporary furniture using maple and walnut woods. Their signature Elise cocktail table was featured in a powderwhite polyurethane finish with a glass reveal.
Japanese culture and design were well represented at the show. The Tatami Factory displayed natural and synthetic tatami mats, while Tanihata presented handcrafted cedar, fashioned into decorative geometric panels. Shiborian demonstrated the traditional Kyokanokoshibori technique of handcraft leather, featuring 3-D designs imparted into leather using this long-practiced tying process.
Several industry events ran concurrently with the ICFF. Saks Fifth Avenue and Amuneal, a custom fabrication company out of Philadelphia, collaborated on the design of Saks’ six main show windows on Fifth Avenue. “They are a company of creative thinkers and their concepts were a perfect fit to complement the designer fashions in the windows at Saks Fifth Avenue, says Harry Cunningham senior vp, store design and visual merchandising for Saks.
Additionally, Pucci Intl. staged a showroom exhibition featuring the work of renowned artist and fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo, and large scale surreal landscapes by Brooklyn artist Jeff Quinn. Toledo’s illustrations graced the surfaces of Pucci dining tables, side tables, and chairs, while Quinn’s work transported the viewer to new places in time and imagination.
In 2013, VMSD is partnering with George Little Management, operators of ICFF, to launch SPACE (Strategy, Product and Architecture for Consumer Environments) New York. The show will feature an edited selection of 150 exhibitors covering fixtures, visual merchandising, lighting, flooring, decor and props, architectural materials, wall coverings, technology, signage and graphics and more. Visit vmsd.com as more information becomes available.