ICFF Shows Staying Power

Carole Sloan, Staff Staff, June 2, 2008

Sustainable, renewable, natural and recyclable were the major buzzwords at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair here last month.

For fabric, rugs, and furniture exhibitors, and especially the smaller design and crafts studios, the eco-friendly movement was in the forefront.

Now in its 20th year, the show at the Javits Convention Center here has morphed from its early years as a venue where products were made from quirky, eye-popping materials to more sophisticated and settled design statements.

Some designs still stretch the limits of imagination, but materials and fabrication requirements are within the realm of production realities.

Each year, individual product categories take the spotlight, and 2008 turned out to be the year of area rugs. Wool and silk blends as well as all-silk constructions in hand-knotted styles were among the standouts targeting a still vibrant luxury market.

Design groups from individual countries ranging from Great Britain and Italy — both longtime players at ICFF — to Thailand, Spain, and Denmark showed the breadth of each nation's design and manufacturing capabilities.

The ICFF also presented its annual editors' awards for design and innovation. This year's winner for body of work was Herman Miller.

The new designer award went to Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Todd Bracher Studio. Amy Helfand was cited for carpet and flooring, while Carnegie was the winner in textiles.

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