Inspiration

2024’s Best of ICFF, WANTED, and Launch Pad

While social media and technology have rendered trends somewhat erratic and seemingly unpredictable, 2024’s massive trade show during NYCxDESIGN, ICFF – and its subsection WANTED (formerly WantedDesign) with the initiative Launch Pad – has positioned a few recurring themes as critical to the advancement of design. Noteworthy makers, emerging talent, and exceptional student designers are making audiences acutely aware that cross-cultural collaboration, collectibility, and serious sustainable design are here to stay.

ICFF MAIN SHOWCASE

The artisans behind modern African design brand Arkivio expand their Ibis Collection – inspired by the Zulu word “isibopha,” which translates to “binds us” – with new pendant and floor lighting as well as standing and wall mirrors. The studio fuses hand-rolled solid brass forms, braided rope, and diffused light sources to create stunning, jewelry-like pieces for the home.

A room with abstract-shaped mirrors, tables, and benches featuring playful designs in various colors and patterns on display, reminiscent of an ICFF exhibit.

Photo of an art exhibit at ICFF featuring organic-shaped mirrors, tables, and wall decorations in shades of pink, purple, and orange, designed by Bert Furnari.

Plucked from the mind of the studio’s eponymous design comes his Café Set – the next iteration of organic-retro-futuristic home furnishings. In addition to delicious near tone-on-tone colorways are thoughtful elements like fluffy seat cushions and a removable center board for easy cleanup of spills.

A display of various textured stools and potted plants against a white wall with the text, "Furniture isn’t passed down for generations anymore, except for the pieces that are put in landfills. See us at ICFF. Cyrc.

An assortment of round, textured stools in various colors including brown, green, yellow, white, and blue, arranged on a dark floor at ICFF.

Cyrc continues to pioneer post-industrial plastic recycling – and circular design – with the launch of their latest collection called Houf. Available in four silhouettes, the vessels emulate a surprising visual warmth through texture and color, and can be utilized as seating, tables, and planters.

A blue booth with hanging lights, a cylindrical table, abstract wall decor, and the word "Inromes" displayed in reflective gold lettering stood out at ICFF.

The image shows a display of modern geometric light fixtures on a light blue wall, with a metallic sign that reads "darmes." One fixture is circular while others are rectangular.

Enigmatic lighting design studio d’Armes adds two more poetic pieces to their repertoire with 1979, by furniture designer Will Choui, and Doppler, by product designer Florian Martin. The pendant lights integrate form and function for a celebration of utility and contemporary design that is romantic, somehow setting themselves up to be future nostalgia.

Display of modern furniture and decor items from "Pern Baan," featuring wall mirrors, unique light fixtures, and various stools on a neutral background, showcased at ICFF.

Two artistic stools with rounded legs and smooth finishes are showcased at ICFF. One stool boasts a brown and beige striped top, while the other features a marbled tan and beige surface. Both are elegantly placed on a pristine white platform.

Robert Sukrachand, the Thai-American designer and proprietor of Pern Baan, produces and markets products that synthesize personal narratives and craft from across physical and cultural boundaries. The brilliant Parchment Side Tables by Art Resources mark a significant moment in time for accessibility to historical styles like Thai Art Deco.

ICFF WANTED

An exhibit at ICFF showcases Lauren Goodman's innovative furniture made from salvaged lobster traps, including wire chairs, a wire stool with a wooden seat, and mirrors with wire frames.

A minimalistic room with wireframe furniture, including a chair with a wooden seat, a shelf, and other geometric wire structures. The room features plain white walls adorned with a black-framed mirror, embodying the sleek designs showcased at ICFF.

The sculptural furniture studio and its eponymous designer, Lauren Goodman, works with discarded objects and renewable materials to fashion unique collectible designs. For Fresh Catch, she utilizes derelict, lost, and otherwise abandoned crustacean traps that plague New England’s Coast. Making a small dent in the some 3 million lobster traps in Maine’s waters, Goodman proves the near limitless potential for upcycled material language.

A room displays various furniture pieces and decor, including a bench, stools, tables, and a wall mirror. The wall reads "IAN LOVE | DESIGN," reminiscent of an ICFF showcase. Decor includes wooden sculptures and a potted plant. A minimalist interior with wooden sculptures, abstract wall art, a small round table, and a textured floor showcased at ICFF. Neutral-toned walls and a soft, light-colored carpet enhance the earthy aesthetic.

Material-maker and intuitive designer Ian Love’s practice is an amalgam of mysticism, meditation, and sustainability. Utilizing, nay celebrating, the rawness of aging and diseased wood, the self-taught artisan creates furniture, lighting fixtures, and artwork with an undeniable soul that connects with viewers on a primordial level.

LAUNCH PAD

A wall display made of numerous round, brown elements is mounted in an exhibition space at ICFF, with various colorful fabric samples arranged on the floor below it. A sign with text is visible on the right side. A striking wall installation at ICFF featured overlapping brown felt-like circular pads meticulously arranged in a textured pattern.

The Córdoba-based studio Black Oveja believes that the needs for modern manufacturing, demand for material goods, and industrial growth can be met without detriment to nature. Practicing what they preach, the company approaches sustainable production of their textiles using 100% organic wool instead of recycling PET. Of note is their UCO Wall Art inspired by the natural fractal system and soils from Valle de Uco in Argentina.

A minimalist bench with a matte white base and a green cushion, showcased at ICFF against a plain background. A split image highlights a modern white bench with a green cushion.

A collaborative effort between Fisch Inc. and ditto, the Camada daybed is changing perceptions on the transformative capacity of waste. The base of this furnishing is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic with manufacturing in both Australia and the United States. Multiple production facilities allow the company to avoid international shipping and utilize locally sourced materials.

Two colorful, geometric armchairs displayed in an exhibition space at ICFF. One chair is pink and the other is multicolored. A sign next to them reads "Aiying Tang Toughlove." The background features other exhibits and people.

Two colorful contemporary chairs with geometric designs, one in pink and the other in purple, displayed indoors at ICFF with several people in the background.

Aijing Tang of Toughcookie Studio pays homage to the Memphis movement with a contemporized geometric language and saccharine hues. She subverts a traditionally masculine shape and presents a variety of new ways to structure and colorize seating tempered by a feminine design sensibility.

A display at ICFF features a textured black bench and a tall matching textured structure in an exhibition area with people in the background.

A display at ICFF features a dark-colored minimalist bench with a tall back panel and side structures, surrounded by intrigued attendees.

Furniture Designer Yinin Ge explores the temporal nature of design, materiality, and graphic silhouettes. The Void Bench and Ground Cabinet echo elements from powerful structural systems of ancient stone monuments. And to tackle longevity and sustainability, each poplar piece is preserved through charring, a traditional burning technique to finish surfaces.

With professional degrees in architecture and journalism, Joseph has a desire to make living beautifully accessible. His work seeks to enrich the lives of others with visual communication and storytelling through design. Previously a regular contributor to titles under the SANDOW Design Group, including Luxe and Metropolis, Joseph now serves the Design Milk team as their Managing Editor. When not practicing, he teaches visual communication, theory, and design. The New York-based writer has also contributed to exhibitions hosted by the AIA New York’s Center for Architecture and Architectural Digest, and recently published essays and collage illustrations with Proseterity, a literary publication.

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