03 July, 2011
A month ago i was in sunny (*sigh*) New York city. I was there to visit friends, shop in vintage stores, be inspired by galleries and buildings and visit the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
I ended up covering the show for the Australian Design Review- my article can be found here.
What the article didn't cover was all of the highlights for me from the show, so here are some of the pieces and designers whose work I loved:
Fortmakers are a collaborative artists group and their work really stood out for me. They make these beautiful wall hangings from second hand blankets, screen printed fabrics into classic cut dresses and wonderful hand crafted furniture. They don't seem scared to do what they love, which is so varied! So many designers feel the need to simplify all in the name of a strong brand and these guys are courageously following their passion. They are also a great bunch of people- really talented and down to earth and they seem to have an awesome time making their work, just check out their website.
Crafted, Bow Bins, Bespoke Global
Crafted is a collaboration between two companies- Teroforma and Urbancase, one a furniture designer, the other a glassware company. With their powers combined they created the world's most beautiful Sidebar. It makes you want to be an alcoholic, it's just so beautiful. The sidebar is solid timber, with the most beautiful detailing and the glassware matches it perfectly. It was a dream of a project for the designers, i can only compare it to the joy an architect feels when they can fit out their building with furniture they like as opposed to letting the client decide.
Cordula Kehrer designed these little beauties for American design company Areaware. Kehrer recovered damaged plastic buckets and breathed new life into them via the handwoven crafts of the Aeta people of the Phillipines. She worked together with a fairtrade NGO called Preda and this basket weaving project has helped enable the Aeta people reclaim 17 square kilometres of ancestral lands.
Represent the best of the best in the bespoke and handmade furniture business. One of my favourites was the highly conceptual bee's wax candle. Live bees live inside an acrylic container, building up a hive of wax around your candles. Several mutinies and a few queen bees later the candle holders are a timely expression of the fate of the world- when the bees go we go, so turn off that lamp and light some candles people!
Black + Blum, Caleb Simon, Rich Brilliant Willing
Rich Brilliant Willing
I would love these lighting designers even before i'd seen their work purely due to their outrageously cool name. But on top of that they produce clever, well crafted lamps from industrial materials such as a broom handles and water filtration sheets. They also came away from the fair with the heady title of Best New Designers. Definitely ones to watch.
The glass blower collaborated with his designer partner to create the most gorgeous glass/plant/lamp. I loved it. I want one.
Black + Blum
I think it's because I take leftovers to work for lunch every day that i got so excited about these little containers. I think the guys at the stall thought i was a little loopy, but their bento box and lunch pot was just so gorgeous! It truly puts my old tifin to shame. And while i'm not a big supporter of the plastic/food combination apparently these use the safe plastic.
Neil Conley, Kikkerland, Plumen, House of Hackney
I really really loved this design graduate's work. It was so clever and spirited and also a little bit political which I just think is fantastic. One of my favourites was Snowglobal, a series of snowglobes filled with black snow that when shaken covered little Mexican animals with flecks of oil dust. Another goody- Oil, is a series of drum like vases that represent different countries and their consumption of oil. Head to his website to see more from this exciting new designer.
On a final note, I also enjoyed the gorgeous wall paper by House of Hackney, Kikkerlands Solar Queen and the aesthetically pleasing Plumen lamp.
There were so many more but I think I will have to leave it at that for now!