IFDA New York chapter announces event award winners

IFDA Selects put its expertise to work at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, which ran May 21-24, 2017. Volunteer judges, sponsors and board members from the New York Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA NY), all major players in the design field, were on hand to walk the floor of this essential showcase for what’s trending in design and choose Best In Show in various categories.  Here, the winners share their inspirations.

Innovative Booth Design: Two.Parts LLC

“Creating a pure art installation that was beautiful in its own right,” inspired Brooklyn-based architect Christo Logan’s Styrofoam booth, which he worked on with architect and artist Katie Shima.  It was the ideal display for Logan’s ceramic lighting.  Judge Carlos Castaneda selected the booth because of its bold use of a small space, “It broke assumptions about what one could do with a little room, creating stimulating asymmetries in lighting and textures.”

Art: Diamond sculpture by Iftah Geva from Agora Gallery 

“I have always been interested in nature, in my experience with it, in it and its laws,” said Israeli artist Iftah Geva of his Diamond carbon fiber sculpture from New York City’s Agora Gallery. “In this creation I had the opportunity to examine and express themes of strength versus flexibility.”  This commanding sculpture rotates in keeping with Geva’s work. “The sculptures I create are kinetic, not stationary,” he advises, “and can wander in space.”

Bath: Zitta

Blending visually compelling Italian design with German engineering inspired this Evora bath from Quebec-based Zitta. This asymmetrical gold tub also incorporates music. “We said why not?” said Zitta President Martin Desmarais.

Decorative Accessories: Molo

“Connections, urban situations, flexibility, changing, growing, moving and reconfiguring inspire my partner Todd MacAllen and myself,” said Stephanie Forsythe of the Vancouver-based molo, a design and production studio.  IFDA Selects awarded its Benchwall for Best in Show in the category.  The paper bench with wool seats can hold up to 1,000 pounds and fold up and be transported.  The entire booth showed a modular system of space partitions, lighting, table and seating elements that use honeycomb geometry to flex, collapse and expand. Made from paper or a textile material, each element of the collection is durable, reusable and endlessly adaptable.

Flooring: Atmosphère & Bois    This Belgian company that has recently opened a showroom in Ottawa, Canada, specializes in reclaimed wood.  Its Wagon Floor Color design caught the eye of IFDA Selects judge John Walsh from Benjamin Moore, an IFDA NY sponsor. It was taken from the French freight trains of the 1960s. “The colors on the floor are markers for how to line up the boxes,” according to sales representative Scott Johnson.

Furniture:  Brent Comber

Nature’s resilience, strength and perseverance and a happy ending inspired Canadian Brent Comber’s Sweep Console, awarded Best in Category from IFDA Selects judge Leslie Young Zarra of Cliff Young. “When the verticality of a tree is altered after a strong force, the tree reinforces itself, it’s like a big muscle that becomes thicker and stronger,” said Comber.  “Nature is so beautifully original, the Sweep Console shows the struggle of the tree from which it was made and the same things that we admire in people.”  The console is carved from three pieces of a monolithic Douglas fir, and the 10-degree angle of the legs shows how a tree can be bent by vertical force; the angle also opens up the table to the light. In keeping with the organic approach, the console has been wire-brushed and then a citrus-based oil was applied.

Kitchen: I & C Co., Ltd.

The next generation robotics furniture from I & C Co., Ltd. seamlessly blends natural wood and the functionality of automatic movement. The movable kitchen basin and table on display at ICFF, called LAP-Kitchen, is based on the concept of “close to you,” and is equipped with an electric height-adjustable device so that it can suit each individual user.  The design also includes a safety motion detector.  “Producing furniture with our IOT team for advanced options in the kitchen and elsewhere that can work in limited room sizes as well as larger ones is what inspires us,” Yukio Sada, CEO and founder of this Japanese company.

Lighting:  Stickbulb

The new Boom Series from Stickbulb “uses minimum components for maximum effect,” said Chris Beardsley, CEO, co-founder and creative director. “My partner, Russell Greenberg, and I like to build and play,” Beardsley continues. The Yale-trained architects who operate out of a studio in Long Island City play well.  Advised IFDA Selects judge Bonnie Littman, President at USAI®Lighting, “The award-winning Boom Series combines beautiful reclaimed redwood sourced from New York City water tanks with the sustainability and versatility of the LED light source. Standard and custom configurations are available in four LED color temperatures, ranging from a warm 2400K to a cool 4000K. Average output is 65 lumens per foot.”  The hardware on the designs changes and the sticks range in size from 1 foot to 6 feet.

Textiles:  Allison Eden Studios

“Lip gloss, diamonds and vacationing — things many girls love — most inspired my latest collection,” said glass artist Allison Eden.  The award-winning Peacock rug was based on peacock mosaic the Brooklyn-based Eden did for a dentist’s office and it was produced by Seldom Seen Designs.

Wallcoverings:  Aux Abris

Iconic designs — Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Japanese woodblock, playful murals, even tartans — inspire the wallcoverings from Aux Abris (literally “to shelter’), which are digitally printed on grasscloth, raw silk and Japanese woven paper in principal Karen Robert’s Bronxville basement.  The designs look hand painted and come 40″ wide, trimmed to 37” wide.  No wonder the Tartan Metallic pattern won IFDA Selects Best Wallcovering.  “It’s the most interesting interpretation of a tartan I’ve seen in a very updated palette and the fact that it is on a metallic paper weave ground makes it appealing to a luxurious clientele/aesthetic,” said IFDA Selects judge and designer Virginia Toledo.