A first-of-its-kind exhibition will be unveiled at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (May 15-18), in New York. ICFF Raw: The Next Generation will highlight 15 to 20 of the compelling designs and radical ideas entered in Metropolis’s first “Next Generation Design Competition.” A joint production of the ICFF and Metropolis, the show will be curated by Marco Pasanella, whose design career was launched at the ICFF in 1990 with the immediate success of his sideways rocking chair.
Our recent competition called on emerging designers to submit a “Big Design Idea” that would benefit people and the environment. Though only one firm received the grand prize—$10,000 seed money to invest in their idea—the call for entries attracted an array of innovative proposals.
Pasanella’s own selections for the 2004 ICFF special exhibition include the very first entry we received—a tattered handwritten proposal to convert parking garages into homeless shelters—which may just have been sent in by one of New York City’s homeless. “It was an interesting contrast from the rest,” Pasanella says. “Just having that piece of paper as the entry represented, to me, the real spirit of raw. It’s just this idea thrown out there.”
Other innovative ideas that will premiere in ICFF Raw include: Lume, an LED-embedded fabric that creates a plane of light and can be applied to an interior wall or surface; Slik nonwoven textiles made entirely of discarded plastic bags pressed and heat-rolled into semi-translucent sheets; and the Johnny Applesandal, a shoe that disperses phytoremediating seeds as the sole wears out. “These seeds will actually grow into plants that clean the toxins in our environment,” Pasanella explains. “Just imagine the possibilities. One day someone might develop a coating made up of dust-eating mites that are incorporated into the polyurethane on your table!” This same concern with material innovation will also be the focus of the Metropolis Conference at the ICFF, Design Entrepreneurs: The Next Generation II, on May 17th.