Here at NYIAD, students of our interior design classes love to watch the interior design and furniture industry come together... The interior design and furniture industry come together once a year in New York for the ICFF — International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Excitement and anticipation always run high, as both professionals and the public get the opportunity to view the latest trends in furniture, lighting, and accessories. This year's ICFF at the Javits Center, held from May 15-18, offered original furniture concepts as well as some whimsical takes on the standard furnishings.
Laurie Beckerman introduced her version of a bench, the Ionic, inspired by the classic Greek Ionic capital. To shape the curving scroll Beckerman steamed 1" thick Baltic birch plywood and then laminated the slices of plywood so that its layers are exposed on top of the furniture. The plywood is then coated with acrylic for a smooth finish. The result is sensuous, unique and very strong. Another design of hers is the Filing Tree. If you're tired of the old filing cabinet and want to make a design statement of your paperwork, the Filing Tree holds and organizes papers as well as magazines or books. Once you're done organizing, you can wheel it away into a corner, where it can stand as a sculptural element.
The partner duo of Hellman and Chang presented a sculptural console table, the Xie. Available in espresso walnut, the Xie combines Eastern aesthetics — through its classic Oriental tabletop — and modern sensibilities through its sculpted legs. The Xie can grace a foyer or provide an occasional table for the living room. Hellman Chang also offers their Z side table, great for placing next to the sofa or the bed. These tables can also be made from sapele, cherry, maple or oak.
British designer John Reeves launched his 2010 Sketch collection this year at the ICFF. Reeves created the Sketch furniture using an organic, curvaceous form — a contemporary piece with an Art Nouveau feel. The Sketch Vanity table has an attached mirror and is available in a patinated aluminum finish or in a polyurethane finish as seen below. He also showed his Louis Zinc line — a side table pictured here is inspired by the Louis periods. The Louis Zinc line includes dining tables, benches, and stools, also available in bright polyurethane finishes.
Have you ever wanted to know how to make a dining room more functional? Most people "visit" their dining room only for holiday dinners but most of the year, the room lies unused. Aramith came up with an entertaining solution they displayed at the ICFF: the Fusion table. Aramith understands that families and friends come together now for many different reasons — not just for a sit-down dinner. People socialize for cocktail hour, a buffet, game day, or to play pool or casino games. For these occasions, Aramith designed the multi-purpose Fusion table — a combination dining table, pool table, and casino table. When the top cover is in place, the Fusion looks like an ordinary dining table, but when you lift the top, underneath lays a pool table. The dining table even has a lift mechanism that raises the top from the standard dining height to optimal pool-playing height. The Fusion tabletop can also be outfitted with a craps or other game cloths for casino night.
Furniture dealer Asian Art Imports fuses a rustic aesthetic with a contemporary style. They take advantage of recycled woods, scraps, leftover tree roots from Asia and transform them into striking pieces of furniture. The Stitch chair, below, uses recycled acacia wood and forms a Bauhaus-inspired style chair. The cabinets are made of different scraps of wood and are laminated together in an interlocking pattern.
For the consummate party host in need of an occasional chair for his guests, these small but beautiful seats are perfect. The British design studio Deon Ludeman Design produced their furniture from one sheet of aluminum that has been cut and formed to create floral shapes. Pictured are the Orchid chair and the Rosa chair, inspired by deep red velvet roses. The chairs are powder-coated aluminum with a suede-like finish. Since these aluminum chairs are weather-resistant, they could also be used as garden furniture.
The selection of furniture at the ICFF is as diverse as their creators, using a wide array of materials and production techniques. But those mentioned here is just the tip of the iceberg, as even more are displayed on the Javits floor. If you're planning to visit New York next year, you may want to schedule your trip to coincide with the 2011 ICFF, where there are sure to be more interesting innovations in furniture design.