In a normal year, New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair and WantedDesign Manhattan platform offer designers and manufacturers a chance to emerge from their workshops and show off everything that’s been keeping them busy. This year’s events arrive following an extended hiatus — after skipping last year, the 2021 shows shift from their usual May dates to November 14-15th — to create an even stronger sense of anticipation. After the extra time to gear up, what will the design industry unveil?
Based on the teasers and sneak peeks that have started rolling into our inboxes and Instagram feeds, we’re in for no shortage of compelling and timely new furnishings, many of them designed with flexibility and sustainability in mind. As an added bonus, ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan are co-located at the Javits Center alongside a third, hospitality-focused fair, Boutique Design New York.
The fairs will also include a strong lineup of talks and programming, including a Q&A with designer Ini Archibong, and a panel discussion about how social media can contribute to aesthetic homogeneity. Eight sessions will play out on the main stage, while four talks will take place inside of Oasis, a calming environment that local interior design firm Float Studio designed to help fairgoers recharge. (Expect plenty of greenery, and nods to natural topography.)
At a time when we’re especially eager to see some new sights, New York promises to deliver. Here are four fresh products that we can’t wait to see on the show floor.
Given that Pablo is based in San Francisco, it’s no surprise to see the lighting manufacturer taking some cues from Silicon Valley. Its latest tech-savvy invention integrates three wireless charging surfaces — perfect for refuelling smartphones and earbuds — into a metal disc that sits atop a glowing glass drum. Two different heights make the merry-go-round-esque table lamp suited to a wide range of bedside or desk environments.
WantedDesign Manhattan’s Look Book program continues to spotlight the best high-end North American designers and makers, allowing industry visitors to make connections for custom commissions that will help set their future projects apart. One of the talented makers joining this year’s showcase is Toronto-based Mary Ratcliffe. She will be showing off the Barrow dining table, a solid wood showstopper that combines elegant curves with a robust presence. Canadian visitors to New York will also recognize displays from homegrown talents Anony and Simon Johns.
After first being previewed at Denmark’s 3 Days Design, Gubi’s latest lighting will now make its North American debut. The Howard collection has a fun New York connection, too: its chandelier, pendants, and wall lamp are all based on designs that Space Copenhagen originally created for Soho’s 11 Howard Hotel. Their dark metals and industrial styling deliver a fresh Scandinavian interpretation of classic Manhattan character.
Sustainable design is at its best when it extends to every corner of a concept. In this case, the merits of Moooi’s cabinet by designer Joost van Bleiswijk are threefold: it’s designed to ship flat to reduce packaging waste, it snaps together with no need for chemical glues, and it’s constructed from an eco-conscious material: Richlite, which is made from recycled paper, responsibly harvested trees and EcoBind resin. The fact that the design is also an elegant statement piece? Icing on the low-carbon cake. While Moooi will not be displaying at ICFF this year, it will be launching the cabinet at an event held in its New York Brand Store on November 12 as part of NYCxDESIGN.
New furniture and lighting debuts that we’re eager to admire in-person at New York’s November design fairs.