Bold new furnishings go high-tech and green
Friday, June 16, 2006
By CHRISTOPHER WYNN / The Dallas Morning News
NEW YORK – Strange glowing light forms, a mod chair
covered in thousands of synthetic "sponge tubes",
post-industrial waste recycled into flooring – this
year's International Contemporary Furniture Fair felt more
akin to a science fair than a design expo.
Granted, a highly stylish science fair.Among the offerings
were Architex textiles that use nanotechnology to create
stain resistance on the molecular level and LA-based PadLab's
flexible lighting forms made from "upcycled" drinking
We learned a new buzzword as well: "Biophilia," as
in ouras in our innate harmony with and attraction to natural
materials and environments.
New materials and green design were the buzzwords at the
gathering this year, held at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
in New York.
The material focus and eco theme even carried over to more
familiar names such as Herman Miller. The company was on
hand to herald the 50th anniversary of its legendary Ray
and Charles Eames lounge chair and ottoman with a special
edition made from renewable santos palisander rosewood. Herman
Miller also showed off Leaf, its sculptural new LED tabletop
lamp by designer Yves Behar.
There were plenty of new faces on hand as well. Debuting
this year was ICFF Studio, an exhibit co-sponsored by Bernhardt
furniture and showcasing the work of young designers who
had won a juried competition to display their prototypes.
This year's 18th annual show was one of the largest to date,
with 597 exhibitors from around the world. The growing popularity
of contemporary design and the rise of "mass-mod" from
companies such as IKEA, West Elm and Target are increasing
awareness of the show and fueling interest in new designs
coming to market.
Of course, putting new materials into everyday use may still
present a challenge. New York architect Richard Cook explained
at the fair that when a worker at one of his projects was
struggling to install bamboo cabinets, his contractor asked
the man what the problem was. His reply? "I've never
worked with grass before."
....Catch a wave: Working Wave by designer Susan
Woods for her Aswoon studio in Brooklyn is a multi-use
working object. Ms. Woods describes the piece, made from
bent poplar plywood, as a vertical or horizontal standing
sculptural room divider or low-slung stylish seating. We
describe it as gorgeous. www.aswoon.com...
Morning News, The Mode is Mod: "bold new furnishings
go high-tech and green"
"Catch a Wave: Working Wave by designer Susan Woods for
her Aswoon studio in Brooklyn is a multi-use working object.
Ms. Woods describes the piece, made from bent poplar plywood,
as a vertical or horizontal standing sculptural room divider
or low-slung stylish seating. We describe it as gorgeous..."
© all rights reserved, Aswoon®/Susan Woods