ICFF Profiles: Four Talents to Watch
Jang Won Yoon
A relative newcomer to the design world, Korean-born industrial designer Jang Won Yoon burst onto the scene at this year’s SaloneSatellite in Milan, and later this month will appear at ICFF in New York. Upon graduating from the Art Center College of Design in 2008, Yoon has wasted little time introducing himself and his work to the global design community, manufacturers, and prospective clients.
At ICFF, Yoon will be showing two prototyped designs: Janus, an angular injected polypropylene chair (pictured) and Blade, a gently sloped wooden stool. Both products, though inherently different, embody the young designer’s creative philosophy: the duality of organic form and industrial perfection. Yoon’s use of sharp angles, high-gloss surfacing, and multi-faceted contours, reminiscent of car design, demonstrate this juxtaposition. His pieces remain strong and bold, yet embody a sense of delicacy and refinement as well.
Influenced by the urban landscape of Los Angeles, where Yoon resides and works, thoughtful lines and contours are a common thread throughout his work, which ranges from stools and chairs to tables and sofas. Janus was created from the basic observation that “every time you sit on an outdoor chair, you have to clean it,” Yoon told AN. Ensuring that only clean surfaces come in contact with the user’s body, Janus’ backrest is designed to fold and cover the chair’s seat for protection from the elements.
Yoon’s tables Vue and Revue, which are currently his only pieces of furniture in production, were selected for a special ICFF preview in collaboration with Bernhardt Design. Currently working as a 3D-designer while continuing to pursue furniture design independently, Yoon is primed to increase his exposure through ICFF, and launch more of his work into production. DR
Lindsey Adelman’s work combines the unique textures and qualities of craft with precise modernist articulation.
After going back to school for industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design, Adelman worked with David Weeks, perhaps best known for his sculptural lighting mobiles. She later collaborated with Weeks on an affordable product line called Butter before going out on her own, following a break from the design world to have a child. When she decided to return, she wanted to move away from mass production, back toward having a direct hand in the work. “I’m interested in designing a system that is built to order,” she said. “I maintain the connection to the designer or the client.”
It is easy to spot the influence of Weeks in products like Adelman’s Branching Bubble fixture, with its mobile-like form, but where Weeks’ fixtures are large and sleekly polished, Adelman’s fixtures are delicate and reveal the imprint of their maker. The Bubble series uses hand-blown glass, with imperfections and custom flecking and other treatments, by a Williamsburg, Brooklyn–based glass artist, Michiko Sakano, combined with precision-machined tubing and armatures made in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Fixtures can be made into an infinite number of forms. “I think this is the way people are furnishing their homes. They’ve met the maker. It’s unique. It goes way beyond function,” she said.
She believes the element of craft adds a charge to the pieces. “You feel the energy in the glass next to the precision-made parts,” she said.
In addition to showing the Branching fixture, Adelman is introducing a more explicitly organic series, including Cluster, which shows her thinking about what she calls “beautiful aging.” She’s also introducing LED bulbs and white glass. “I’m excited to make those bulbs beautiful.”
For Adelman, the annual spring ritual of the fair is an essential renewal. “ICFF keeps us in business for the year without a doubt,” she said. AGB
Industrial design veteran Pablo Pardo is no stranger to design shows, let alone ICFF. A winner of the fair’s best lighting award last year, one of the industry’s highest accolades, Pardo has been a participant at ICFF for 15 years. Born in Venezuela into a family of designers, musicians, and engineers, Pardo’s interest in a variety of fields led to his creation of Pablo Designs, an interdisciplinary design studio based in San Francisco. With a focus primarily on lighting design, Pardo’s creations interpret light in its many forms to create refined design solutions that have the ability to transform an unusual array of environments.
A technology-based company, Pablo Designs invests a great deal of time in discovering and developing new technologies and fusing them with materials to create unique yet practical designs. LIM, a sleek, ultraslim LED task light, will be on view at ICFF, and demonstrates Pardo’s sustainable lighting technology.
Borrowing from the design of his popular Brazo lamp, the LIM light is even more intuitive and simpler to use. Designed to be shapeable, the lamp can be adapted to table-top or under-the-counter and wall use, with a base unit that can easily mount on any surface. Discreetly concealing 15 high-powered LEDs, LIM’s L-shaped arm utilizes a magnet to attach to the sturdy base, and is available in three finishes: polished, graphite (pictured), and satin.
With a philosophy that embraces both simplicity and utility, Pardo explained, “it’s all about using materials to their absolute minimum.” By paring down his products to their essential elements, Pardo has created designs that are at once beautiful, easy to use, and possess just a touch of play. DR
When the young, New York–based designer and current Pratt student Talitha James found out one of her designs had been selected for the ICFF Studio, a talent showcase at the fair sponsored by Bernhardt Design, she was astonished. “I’m really shocked and amazed,” she said. “You never quite believe in your own work until it accomplishes something.” Her competition-winning Sola desk, a bent-plywood desk and chair in one, came from a desire to improve personal space for students. “I want to make the school room a better-looking place,” she said. “When I was in school, all the desks were attached to each other and that always bothered me.”
The desk, covered in walnut veneer, has gone through numerous iterations, including full-scale mockups in paper and prototypes in plywood. She built the mold and vacuum-sealed the prototypes in bags so that the glue would set. The prototype that will be shown at the fair will be slightly thinner than the one pictured here.
The final design shows a balance between sturdiness and elegance. “I wanted it to be solid-looking, so you’d know you can sit on it, but I didn’t want it to look too chunky,” she said. Along the way, she realized she enjoyed the craftsmanship behind design. “I love working in the wood shop and the feel and the smell of the material,” she said. “I would love to have a shop of my own.”
James chose walnut veneer both for its rich color and for practical reasons. “I’m a big fan of dark woods in general, but it’s also better for hiding stains and scratches.”
James, who currently works part-time at TZDesign, is happy to treat the fair as a learning experience. “I’m excited to see how the process works,” she said. “Maybe I’ll meet the manufacturer who will bring my dream to life.” AGB
AN's Favorites from ICFF 2009
Alexandra Von Furstenberg
Alexandra Von Furstenberg’s new collection is a departure from her playful first designs. With its sharp, striking lines, the Blacksmith Table comes with acrylic legs and a 1/2-inch-thick top of black-tinted, tempered glass—and is available in a limited edition of 50. www.alexandravonfurstenberg.com
Designers Fredrickson Stallard have worked with Swarovski and Droog, but the Hyde chair is their first mass-production piece. The leather and walnut chair for Bernhardt evokes stretched canvas, while the seat and back inserts can be upholstered in fabric or leather, allowing for contrasting colors. www.bernhardtdesign.com
Measuring just under six feet long and two-and-a-half feet high, Philadelphia-based Iannone Design’s Halftone Storage features pixilated images of I.M. Pei’s landmark Society Hill Towers, composed of hundreds of holes drilled into the unit’s bamboo plywood veneer. www.iannonedesign.com
Designer Reza Feiz has created this simple ottoman with solid steel tubing—available in a chrome-plated or powder-coated finish—and a circular top that comes either upholstered or in solid wood. www.phasedesignonline.com
This Swiss/US company offers the customizable MShelving system, with a variety of bright colored panels that can be configured into shelves, credenzas, or—thanks to a new line of cushions—benches. It is available in white or galvanized steel, with panels or drawers. www.loadbearing.com
Misewell Modern Furniture
The shade on this simple floor lamp can be raised and lowered, and the neck can pivot side to side, but having a wall to lean against is required. Available in red, white, and black, Eileen shares the sturdy, straightforward lines of the rest of the company’s products. www.misewell.com