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Product Design
Published: 23 May 2016

North American Design: ICFF 2016

Boasting record attendance and 130 new exhibitors, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) remains North America’s leading platform for commercial domestic design. Contemporary lighting brands continued to dominate innovations, while a number of locally manufactured brands made their debut. We select the homegrown highlights.

In the Best Light

  • New York lighting studio Rich Willing Brilliant debuted its creative partnership with US architect David Rockwell. The minimalist collection includes Witt, a geometric interpretation of a chandelier made up of modular brass cubes; and Phase, a glass sconce inspired by the last quarter of the moon – half brightly lit, and half with a reduced glow caused by a smoked chrome coating.
  • Brooklyn-based Pelle has extended its Pris modular range to include a polished brass floor and table lamp. Meanwhile, NY studio Apparatus presented its Circuit series, which creates a visual rhythm by multiplying a simple oval shape throughout its 10 hanging variations.
  • Brooklyn lighting designer Rosie Li and Montreal studio Lambert et Fils both debuted sculptural pendants. The former presented a snaking line of brass “bubbles” inspired by cluster patterns found in nature, while the latter combines opalescent glass spheres with an Art Deco-inspired semi-circle in chrome and acrylic.

 For more attention-grabbing lighting, see Milan 2016: Furniture & Lighting.

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Rich Willing Brilliant
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Rich Willing Brilliant
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Pelle
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Apparatus
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Lambert et Fils
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Rosie Li

Portable & Flexible

  • Winner of the ICFF Best Portable Design Award, Champ is a reimagining of the utilitarian stackable stool, designed by NY industrial design studio Visibility for Manhattan store Matter Made. Available in an array of colours, when stacked, the steel and wood stools form a rainbow-like graphic spiral. 
  • The Re-Configure Collection by Philadelphia-based Mio features small tables and stools that consist of multicoloured powder-coated spun steel bases and ash-wood tops, which can be assembled into hundreds of functional configurations.

 For more on portable and flexible furniture, see Neocon 2015 and The Living Workspace.

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Visibility for Matter Made
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Mio
Custom Comfort

  • Winner of the Best Seating category, Mellow by French designer Océane Delain for US manufacturer Bernhardt Design is a deceptively simple-looking customisable seat. Featuring memory foam atop a wooden base, buttons are incorporated into an adjustable cord system, which allows the user to change the shape of the sofa. Similarly adjustable, Norwegian designer Caroline Smedsvig’s Ask double seat has two adjustable tilted back panels, allowing two people sitting together to achieve customised comfort. 
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Bernhardt Design
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Caroline Smedsvig

Made in the USA

  • Winner of the Best Newcomer Award, New York brand Coil + Drift debuted its contemporary Scandinavian-inspired Sylva Daybed, which is made in the US from White Oak. Similarly designed and made in the US, Volk’s St Charles series features a daybed in bleached or blacked solid and veneer ash wood and marble, with a cork or antique mirror inset.
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Coil + Drift
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Volk
Flexible Lifestyles
 
  • The Triplet wood and coated steel shelving unit by Toronto-based design company Umbra Shift features a moveable back panel for configuring multiple units as temporary room dividers. Similarly adjustable, Mio’s Slide ash wood and steel shelving system is designed to fit into a world where consumers’ storage needs constantly evolve as objects become increasingly digital.

Modern flexible and clutter-free lives are further explored in Milan 2016: Lifestyle Trends. 

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Mio
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Umbra Shift
Beautiful Imperfection
 
  • A highlight of the show was New York-based Calico Wallpaper’s Satori collection, which explores the ancient Japanese craft of Kintsugi. Damaged pottery is rejoined using a lacquer technique and finished with gold gilding to highlight the repair as part of the object's history. 
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Calico Wallpaper
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Calico Wallpaper

Homegrown Collaboration 

  • California-based cult ceramics brand Heath debuted its first geometric wallpaper collection, designed in collaboration with US-based wallpaper design studio Hygee & West.
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Heath Ceramics + Hygee & West
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Heath Ceramics + Hygee & West
Mixed Materials
 
  • Florida-based product design studio Yield showcased its US-made Duotone coffee-table series, which is built on a modular hardware system that holds two customisable surfaces, available in smoked glass, leather and Birchwood. Volk also presented its St Charles Cocktail table, which, like the daybed, is available in bleached or blacked ash wood and marble with a cork or antique mirror inset. 
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Yield
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Volk
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