The 2009 ICFF – International Contemporary Furniture Fair
The 2009 ICFF – International Contemporary Furniture Fair – is the event of the year architects and designers wait for to view the latest, the avant-garde, and the best that the furniture industry has to offer. Held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, the ICFF hosted several exhibits showing original and unusually-made furniture pieces. Designers approached their work in whimsical style or with wild exotic colors or materials, maybe in defiance of the lackluster economy.
Portugal, a growing force in the furniture field, brought in several furniture firms including Mytto and Boca do Lobo. Mytto uses luxurious and exotic materials to build their storage pieces including the Sotto armoire and the Mirtillo sideboard. The Sotto armoire shown here is in a mauve high-lacquer finish with polished mosaic tiles as trim. The Sotto can also be made from leather, stamped in a crocodile pattern. The Mirtillo sideboard comes in a gradient raspberry lacquer finish or in a lemon-citron finish. [See Below]
Another Portuguese firm, Boca do Lobo, or Mouth of the Wolf, wowed the crowd with some furniture “bling”. Their designs are not meant for the shy nor for the zen method of designing. Boca do Lobo displayed a sideboard, shaped into gemstone facets in a magenta lacquer finish. If that wasn’t enough brilliance, capping the sideboard legs were bronze lion feet. [See Below]
Studio Cochineal from Massachusetts also created sculpted cabinet pieces. Their credenza is made from cast urethane and molded into bright lemon wave patterns with lime trim. Designer, Bart Niswonger, carved an ash wood mold to create the wave patterns that eventually becomes the plastic panels of the credenza. The play of light and texture on the cabinet surfaces inspires a hypnotic effect. [See Above]
On the darker side, Ted Nemeth provided leather-clad furniture with a “bad attitude”. Designed for the rocker crowd or those who just want to live on the wild side, he personalizes each piece with motorcycle motifs, Asian art, poker symbols, and even outfits them with bottle-opener handles. The drawers can be lined in various leathers, including snakeskin, ostrich, or alligator. Special touches such as brass knuckles, cross-stitching, and even some carved insults can be added to the decoration. [See Below]
Besides providing functional furniture, ICFF also displays concept furniture. This year, the laminate company, Wilsonart, sponsored a furniture design competition among design students with the caveat that they use laminates to create their furniture. The winner, Aodh O’Donnell from Philadelphia University, created an organic-shaped armchair covered in wood laminates. Similar to an armadillo’s body, the laminates cover the curving chair with mini panels of laminate chips. [See Above]
Another winner, Julianne Magliaro, created the Imperial Chair. Taking her inspiration from Chinese pattern designs, Magliaro created a throne-like chair in an interlocking maze of laminate shapes. Both winning chairs while conceptual in design are also functional and can support any adult. [See Below]
ICFF also showed off some fun, casual furniture such as those from RS Life. Hailing from Madrid, Spain, RS Life designed the “Burger” seating line. These round, puffy sofas and lounge chairs in bright colors add a youthful touch to any home or workplace. [See Above]
On a whimsical note, Sylvie Rosenthal designed a dressing table with personality. Called “Birdie Suite”, the dressing table is made from a combination of mahogany, poplar, white oak, and steel. Both the table and stool has legs splayed out, looking ready to take a stroll out your bedroom door. A steel bird alights on a branch attached to the mirror poised to chirp you a greeting. Your morning routine is transformed into a cheerful activity. [See Below]
Another designer created chairs from a very unusual product from a completely different industry: seatbelts. Thai designer, Nuttapong, introduced the Seat Belt Dining chair from the Phillips Collection. A bare steel and wood frame is wrapped with criss-crossing cotton seatbelts. The resulting pattern is very sinuous and sexy – not words you normally come up with when thinking about seatbelts. The Seat Belt line also comes in a rocking chair, ottoman, lounge chair and bench in a multiple of colors. [See Above]
Furniture design can be a true expression of emotion and personality. It doesn’t have to be merely about utility. Designers at ICFF show that a little creativity in ideas and materials can produce very original pieces.
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