In mid-May, design took center stage across the entirety of New York City as thousands of creatives gathered for ten days to celebrate NYCxDESIGN. In its tenth year, the festival included hundreds of events across all five boroughs, the largest of which was ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan. This anchor event of NYCxDESIGN brought the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and WantedDesign—two of the city’s largest design organizations—together under one roof for a buzzing, three-day exhibition of products and projects from both emerging and established designers. Here are AN Interior’s picks from the show:
A number of notable architects debuted products at ICFF, including a rug collaboration between Deborah Berke Partners and Warp & Weft that took home the ICFF Editors Award for Carpet & Flooring. Another strong product line from Houston-based Rottet Studio encompassed a variety of furnishings, including a stunning series of hide rugs designed in collaboration with Kyle Bunting.
Polish hardware manufacturer Laga Products made its ICFF debut with a bold display of rounded handles, knobs, and pulls in bright colors. In the furniture department, Tomoki Design contributed a crafty wooden chair as part of ICFF Studio, a partnership with Bernhardt Design that promotes emerging designers. The dining chair, titled on·bin, took home the ICFF Editor’s Award for Seating.
Known internationally for its luxury outdoor furnishings, Dedon made a splash at ICFF with Spirit of Place, a series of scintillating, large-scale renderings that positioned the company’s latest designs in a number of dreamy landscapes. The booth’s knotted wares took home the ICFF Editor’s Award for Outdoor Furniture.
More star-studded collaborations debuted in the outdoor department where Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens partnered with Luca Nichetto of Nichetto Studio to produce CUBE, a modular kitchen concept that went on display in a bright pink and red color scheme. Another notable designer, Daniel Germani, teamed up with Danver to create Urbane, a customizable kitchen that blends traditional stainless steel with powder-coated panels.
Closer to home, Brooklyn-based biophilic design studio Opiary debuted Spolia Wall, a system of stackable, geometric concrete blocks that can be arrayed into freestanding walls or screens or affixed to existing walls. Spolia Walls have integrated planters which can be irrigated and configured to accommodate fire places, lights, shelving, sinks, and more.
At ICFF, Canadian lighting company d’Armes debuted Hyphen, a three-piece modular lighting collection that includes both pendant and table applications. The central design consists of two curved luminaries that can be adjusted to accomplish a range of lighting conditions.
Another Canadian group made a strong impression at WantedDesign Manhattan. Taking home the Editor’s Award for Lighting, the Anony booth turned heads with a central, spidery Node chandelier.
ECO Solidarity was a collaborative project by the European Union National Institutes for Culture at WantedDesign Manhattan that showcased the work of nine EU designers around the theme of intervention by design in response to the global climate emergency. This initiative bore a series of sustainable seating solutions: Sorgi by AHA Objects uses recycled construction waste to pay tribute to the historic Malta buildings being demolished to accommodate for the nation’s construction frenzy; crafting plastics! studio debuted a series of stools made from bioplastics; MOYA capitalizes upon the sustainable technique of birchbark harvesting to create a naturally soft, durable, antibacterial recliner; and SUSDESIGN presented the FOREST CHAIR, which integrates natural materials derived from Portuguese forest ecosystems while also achieving circularity through lifecycle extension and longevity strategies employed in product conception and design.
Bold and Bright
The bright blue accents at the Zachary A. Design booth were not the only statement-making elements on display from this Chicago design studio. The Paper Collection uses large, folded pencil drawings as molds to create sturdy furniture that looks as light as crumpled paper. When the casting material is poured into the paper mold, it absorbs the graphite, therefore immortalizing the drawing in a new, functional object.
At WantedDesign Manhattan, another bright blue moment captured our attention. Emerging Designer NJ Roseti displayed a series of rich wooden side tables with contrasting, bright block bases. Simple but striking design moves brought these expertly inlayed pieces to the forefront of the show.
Debuting its first collection of wall coverings, Los Angeles’s Block Shop Textiles also brought some brightness to the show floor by creating a three-walled bedroom draped, upholstered, and covered in various Block Shop prints. The Block Shop representatives were even outfitted in the company’s textiles—custom robes affixed with a QR code to the Block Shop press kit.
(More) Wanted Winners
Our roundup wouldn’t be complete without recognizing these two award-winning booths from WantedDesign Manhattan. Claiming the title for best furniture overall, East Bolton, Quebec–based designer Simon Johns uses aluminum and concrete to communicate a clash of old and new in the Future Fossils Collection. Flowing gypsum forms contrast orthogonal aluminum elements to create a cohesion across shelving, cabinet, seating, table, and mirror.
Founded by Cuban-American artist Natalie Shook, Brooklyn-based studio Piscina stole the show with its Ledoux modular shelving system. The unit is comprised of a tall, boxy wall-mounted column that supports a variety of curvilinear shelves. Available in ten different shapes, the shelves slide in and out of column with ease for effortless customizability. The only booth to take home two Editors Awards, Piscina was awarded Best New Designer and Best in Show by the editor’s jury.