At international furniture fairs, the majority of the media buzz and buyers’ attention is focused on a small group of European designers—mostly from Holland (Hella Jongerius and Marcel Wanders), France (the Bouroullecs and Starck), and England (Jasper Morrison). That elite club seems to be expanding. A new generation of Spanish designers, led by Patricia Urquiola, Martí Guixé, and Jaime Hayon, is the latest darling of the decorative jet set. Hayon’s theatrical Showtime furniture for Bd Barcelona, exuberant Camper stores, and Re-Deco collection for Lladró reflect a national sensibility that is modern, playful, and shot through with strong doses of color.
This month’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, in New York, promises the biggest-ever contingent from Spain, with 22 companies debuting works by such rising talents as Francesc Rifé, Mario Ruiz, and the design firm Lievore Altherr Molina. The Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade, which organized the ICFF pavilion, also has a new Web site, Interiors From Spain, that offers detailed in-formation on Spanish products and designers. And if you still want more, be sure to visit Habitat Valencia Forward, an ever growing launchpad for emerging designers that takes place in the country’s third-largest city each September.