We love good design at Precious 7 but I mean, who doesn’t? Craftsmanship, artistry, innovation and aesthetic beauty are so it’s always a treat for us to attend the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).
New York City’s Javits Center hosted the 27th annual ICFF over the past few days, from May 16 through the 19th. For the diehard design lover, this fair is basically heaven on earth. With over 32,000 furniture designers, architects, visual merchandisers, retailers, interior designers developers and distributers in the 165,000 ft space, there is something to excite and challenge even the most learned and discerning design fan.
The contemporary design showcase is packed full of 700 of the most forward thinking, innovative talent from all over the globe, displaying everything from carpet to wall coverings, outdoor lighting to textiles. Designers come from Denmark, Egypt, Mexico, Switzerland, the United Kingdom to name but a few countries represented at the ICFF. It’s truly an unparalleled global representation of the world’s best and brightest designers; a convenient and awe-inspiring one-stop-shop.
Let’s check out ercol Furniture for example. ercol a company that has been around since 1920 when it was founded by Lucian Ercolani, shows the most incredible modern wood furnishings at ICFF each year. Their dining room table with white legs delicately dip dyed in a natural wood shade paired with differently stained chairs is a fresh, simple take on the functional pairing.
On a whole other level, there’s a company like B+N who specialize in creating innovative, welcoming and fun spaces for the hospitality and retail industries. They currently offer 15 different shelving systems that allow their clients to completely customize their space. B+N team members travel the world to study design and different cultures to ensure their designs remain current and ahead of the trends.
Proper lighting is a vital component of design that, when done correctly, can absolutely transform a space. Lighting is one of those things that you know it’s bad when it’s bad - it announces itself (mostly in the form of fluorescent tubing). Good lighting though is often super subtle and un-announcing. The lighting offerings from Pablo Design are organic, functional and stand alone as pieces of art. Pablo was founded in San Francisco in 1993 by Pablo Pardo and has continually produced sleek, modern designs that offer practicality and beauty in tandem.
In addition to the expansive design exhibition, the ICFF hosts the Bernhardt Design and Emerald Expositions team to present ICFF Studio, a scholarship program juried by the industry’s top editors and gives up-and-coming designers the opportunity to showcase their prototypes to the thousands of professionals and enthusiasts attending the event. The winner is chosen out of a pool of 12 candidates and receives a $1,000 American Express gift card. To be eligible, designers must have a working prototype that is not currently in commercial production. It’s such a cool idea, to give these young designers such a huge platform to get noticed. It’s truly a life-changing opportunity and not one any take lightly, for sure.
The entries are judged on commercial viability, marketability, and the promise of easy mass production and include categories in New Designer, Furniture, Seating, Carpet and Flooring, Lighting, Outdoor Furniture, Wall Coverings, Accessories, Textiles, Kitchen and Bath. Studio has been a career catalyst for a number of past participants including Brad Ascalon, Viable London, Chris Adamick and Nolen Niu.
The MoMA hosted an opening night party for the exhibition on Saturday, May 16th in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, Design and Architecture Galleries with an open bar which let’s be honest, never hurt nobody! It was a rager in the way any party could and should be a rager at the MoMA. It was a who’s who of the industry’s brightest stars and was made even more lively by the live music from the band Rough. And let your inner design nerd freak out a little when your read that the band members are all award-winning designers themselves! The band is an ever-evolving roster of different designers but stay grounded with Tom Dixon and Bradford Shellhammer.