19 May 2014 • Adrian Madlener
NYCX Design: Day 3
Heading westward into Manhattan's up-and-coming Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood, we visited New York Design Week’s main event ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) – a massive showcase covering most of the Jacob Javits Center. Though the majority of stands presented the latest in household finishes – everything from flooring to bathroom fixtures – a few special furniture brands and school exhibitions stood out.
Revealing a slew of new accessories, furniture lines and extended collections, Tom Dixon made a loud splash on the fair floor. With new Beat floor lamp iterations, the London-based design house also debuted its Pylon series – copper wire-structures inspired by industrial bridges, towers and space frames. With a slight nod to the Memphis revival – evident all over New York Design Week – Tom Dixon also launched Trace – triangular and spherical tables exploring the magical effect of moiré patterns.
With lighting factoring-in as a major feature of the fair, Apparatus debuted a series of pendant lamps including Trapeze, Horsehair Sconce – combining strands of horse hair and frosted glass – and Lariat Sconce – employing etched glass. Buoyant Lighting revealed two versions of the Airon pendant lamp – balancing geometric and organic forms, in search of a new minimalism. With a similar credo, Rich Brilliant Willing presented Palindrome – modular bent metal tube frames with rotating cast glass heads. All three New York-based studios work hard to push the boundaries of LED technology.
Taking the lead for its scenography, Molo mounted an entire stand with its Soft series – pendant lights, stools, loungers, blocks and walls – all employing the same cardboard and paper fanning technique. Toward the rear of the expansive hall, Pratt Institute displayed work from its Masters in Furniture Design programme. Appealing to our constant search for new material exploration and production processes, Etty Beke’s Tronco chair made a strong impression. Built out of wooden dowels, the flexible seat responds to use.
Moving across the soon to be redeveloped Hudson Rail Yards, we attended Wanted Design – a fresh display of American and International talents blended-in with major labels like Alessi, Capellini and Moroso. Peaking our interest was a special exhibition entitled Chicagoland – bringing different windy city-based designers together to highlight the strength of Chicago’s lasting industry.
Recent RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) graduate Jamie Wolfond came onto the scene with his Emergency Bench and Vinyl Sticker Clock while Interior Design magazine Designer of the Year Huxhux revealed Prism – a multipurpose object built out of layers of transparent acrylic sheets with embedded geometric voids. Nooka’s Matthew Waldman (Featured on Frameweb last fall) curated a special showcase – presenting works by designers like Luca Nichetto, that explore different parts of the body with new technology.
Taking us by surprise, seminal French designer François Azambourg presented his Auto Edition collection – material combinations and experimentations, the seminal French designer always wanted to develop but could only do so with contemporary techniques. Most notable was his Very Nice Rouge chair – a model-like laser cut birch-plywood structure enveloped in a hand-stretched polyurethane film – or Spoutnik – a pod-like lamp created following a similar technique.
Photos by Adrian Madlener