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.
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?
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?
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.
Dutchman Niel’s de Greef’s ZzZen Chair (below) is presumably meant to evoke a smooth stone and induce rest.
Zorine Pooladian, also from California, offered the Aira and Beat Rocking Stools (below).
Junggi Sung’s handsome Ember Lamp (below) is mixes the tactile with the luminous.
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.