ICFF Studio: Bernhardt Mentors The Design Stars of Tomorrow


Clamp Chairs by Andreas Kowalewski (all images courtesy ICFF Studio)

ICFF wraps up today and, as usual, reviews of the fair seem mixed. Professional but boring! Too safe! Appropriately sober! Practical and market-friendly! Reheated Eames! Now in its sixth year, the ICFF Studio, sponsored by Bernhardt, offers a snap shot of where young designers are looking. Most skewed toward the market-ready, while one designer went in a conceptual direction. The young Dutch designer Andreas Kowalewski’s Clamp Chairs certainly look showroom bound (above).

Norwegians Angell Wyller Aarseth showed a table, mirror, and the handsome Handle Me Cookware (below), which won an editor’s award.

Handle Me Cookware by Angell Wyller Aarseth

Germany’s Gabriella Asztalos designed the Hug Chair (below), which looks tailor-made for a Boom Years nightclub or hotel lobby. It’s glamorous and a little silly, but does it make sense in today’s chastened economic environment?

Hug Chair by Gabriella Asztalos

Californians Jiyoun Shin and Kevin Sethapun showed very polished designs for stools. Shin’s Eclipse Bar Stool (shown below left) and Sethapun’s Arch Stool (below right) are appealing and market-ready, but are they memorable?

Eclipse Stool by Jiyoun Shin

Eclipse Stool by Jiyoun Shin

Arch Stool by Kevin Sethapun

Arch Stool by Kevin Sethapun

Shawn Littrell’s Aline Chair and Ottoman (below) is inviting and fun. The cheery chair’s designer is from Los Angeles, and the pieces seem to reflect a sunny sensibility.

Aline Chair and Ottoman by Shawn Littrell

Dutchman Niel’s de Greef’s ZzZen Chair (below) is presumably meant to evoke a smooth stone and induce rest.

ZzZen Chair by Niels de Greef

Zorine Pooladian, also from California, offered the Aira and Beat Rocking Stools (below).

Aria and Beat Rocking Stools by Zorine Pooladian

Junggi Sung’s handsome Ember Lamp (below) is mixes the tactile with the luminous.

Ember Light by Junggi Sung

Finally, New Yorker Patrick Martinez offered the downloadable Click Lamp (below), a screensaver of a light that produces real illumination, and the Blush Lamp, a hovering spot of light that emerged (was projected?) from an invisible source on the white wall. It was one of the few moments at the fair where people stopped, looked, scratched their heads, and–for a moment–pondered the limits of design itself.

Click Lamp by Patrick Martinez

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