ICFF 2005: What Was It All About?

Another edition of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair has come and gone, leaving us with inspiration, new friends, and tender feet. An early assessment of the fair points to some general trends, including eclecticism, material experimentation, and more sophisticated takes on green design.

Eclecticism was on the rise this year, the definition of what is and can be considered design stretched and challenged by exhibitors. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, presented a project where students cut and distributed prefab shoulder bags from rolling bolts of Tyvek that formed their booth’s walls, while marketing firm klinik arranged and hosted Quietly, an audio blog on which Canadian designers talk about their craft and issues important to them.

Chairs took center stage, with the accent being on experimenting with unexpected materials. Omer Arbel showed 8.0, the first seat made from ductile concrete, while Pratt student Jude Helsin-di Leo previewed a prototype of a porcelain chair. Douglas Homer offered repaired Bertoia Diamond chairs covered with sponge cord; SOM contributed a table and benches made of Corian; and Gubi debuted its first chair, which boasts a wooden seat only 5mm thick.

Sustainability also was an important element in many designs. Artecnica debuted Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden’s TranSglass line, a series of vases and glasses created from recycled wine bottles, while Mio Culture showed its Bale chair, a minimal seat made from FSC-certified plywood and 100 percent recycled polyester. Charlie Lazor set up a scaled-down, customized version of his prefabricated Flatpak house, and Nani Marquina displayed its Bicicleta shag carpet made from recycled tire inner tubes.

There are a hundred stories you could have taken away from ICFF 2005. Click on the links below to see some of ours. In the next few days, we’ll also be adding to the coverage party and showroom pictures, as well as a wrap-up of Metropolis’s “Next Generation: Connecting Cultures” seminar.

Day 1: We’re Out of the Gates
Day 2: It’s All About the Remix
Day 3: Something Old, Something Renewed
Day 4: Let There Be Light

For www.metropolismag.com’s full ICFF 2005 coverage, click here.

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