Fourteen schools were invited to exhibit at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), and these booths held some of the most exciting and innovative products at the show. Here are a few highlights.
The Waves Chair by Anna Karreskog was one of six projects selected to represent San Diego State University at ICFF as part of a design competition sponsored by WilsonArt, a manufacturer of laminates used in furniture and construction. “This chair was inspired by the endless succession of ocean waves hitting the San Diego shore,” says the designer. “Just as a wave is a repetition of the rise of the crest and the dip of the trough, this chair similarly plays with positive and negative elements.”
Warp Lounge by Walker Nosworthy and Siena Smith, BFA students at RISD. Taking a fresh approach to the upholstery process, these designers wrapped hand-molded silicone pads in fabric they made out of nylon, lanyard and monofilament. The iridescent lanyard yarn extends from the seat pads and projects color to the edges of the acrylic sheet frame, resulting in a constantly shifting visual distortion.
Chattai Screen by Hyunmin Kate Park and Urvi Sharma, BFA students at RISD. Made of wooden slats and felted wool hinges, this flexible room divider easily adapts to a variety of spaces. Opacity can also be adjusted, simply by sliding the felt hinges closer together for privacy or farther apart for a more open view of what’s next door. The dyed edge of each felt flap gives the piece movement and texture.
Blue Bend Chair by Todd Anderson and Claire Harvey, MFA and BFA students at RISD. The more you look at this chair, the more fascinating it becomes, especially in how the fabric and wood are united to create structure and surface. The bent walnut ribs pass through channels that are hand-woven into the wool upholstery, and the way that the seat and chair back intersect is remarkable.
Couples therapists should take note of the Fig Chairs by Laeticia Mabilais Estevez, a student at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. “This chair is a constant physical representation of relationships,” says the designer. “The connector piece moves, making it easy to separate or join the two chairs, depending on the relationship between two people on any given day.” Fig Chairs are made of cotton clothesline (subtext: never air your relationship’s dirty laundry in public), jute cord and wool felt.
Helen Burgess, a student at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, didn’t just think about the feeling of the seat when designing her Leuk Chair. She also considered the tactile experience of your hands while seated. It is upholstered with Burgess’ silicone fabric, that’s precisely positioned so the user can sit and pet the sides while lounging. Speaking of protecting the body from foreign invaders, the chair’s shape was inspired by leukocytes, aka white blood cells. Its frame was created by cutting foam on a router and then stacking, carving and sanding it into the desired shape.
Designed by Erik Stefans, a student at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, this desk includes a built-in lamp, coatrack, garden (on tall post) and tray for coffee mug or any other item that you want nearby but not on the desktop.