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2022 design trends seen at NYCxDesign included steel, seen here on the Brut bar cart by Studio Anansi for Sight Unseen.

Back in their usual spring time slot after being postponed to fall last year, ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan 2022 brought fresh insights into the design world’s latest fascinations. Our NYCxDesign 2022 preview and initial show report rounded up a few of the top trends and early standouts, including Juniper Design’s metaverse-inspired lighting and Piscina’s artistic woodwork.

But we’ve saved the best for last. Here are two of our favourite NYCxDesign 2022 trends that we see having serious staying power — plus the designs that represent them best.

STEEL
Brass has gone bust. These designs left no doubt that iron is the metal of the moment.
1
Steel Magnolias
2022 Design Trends seen at WantedDesign included steel, seen here on a tubular flower vase by Sarah Yao Rishea.

After winning the Prototype competition at January’s Interior Design Show, Toronto-based Sarah Yao-Rishea brought her Alcove vases to WantedDesign Manhattan’s Launch Pad.

2022 design trends seen at WantedDesign included steel, seen here on a tubular flower vase by Sarah Yao Rishea.

Their tubular metal compositions encourage intricate ikebana-style arrangements that sort flowers by individual stem.

2
Brut Strength
2022 design trends seen at NYCxDesign included steel, seen here on the Brut bar cart by Studio Anansi for Sight Unseen.
Photo by Sean Davidson

For its first furniture collection, design blog turned retailer Sight Unseen teamed up with Long Island manufacturer Bestcase and enlisted heavy hitter design studios like Evan Jerry’s Studio Anansi.

Pairing brushed stainless steel with a sage resin handle, the Nova Scotia–based designer’s Brut bar cart boasts a stark yet nonetheless charming silhouette.

3
Yes, Chef
2022 design trends seen at ICFF included steel, seen here on the Cube Kitchen by Luca Nichetto for Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens.

Shown as a prototype at ICFF ahead of its 2023 launch, Luca Nichetto’s modular Cube system for Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens features slatted stainless-steel panels in playful colour combinations.

Whether dinner calls for red meat or vine tomatoes, soft-close drawers ensure all necessary cooking tools stay within reach.

4
High Benchmarks
Photo by Alejandro Ramírez

Held at Rockefeller Center in a former post office, “Intervenciõn/Intersecciõn” — the first NYC exhibition organized by travelling gallery MASA — was like a postcard from Mexico’s design community.

2022 design trends seen at NYCxDesign included steel, seen here on the Frecuencia bench by Esrawe Studio.
Photo by Caylon Hackwith

One of several poetic standouts, Esrawe Studio’s Frecuencia bench uses bent steel bars of varying lengths to create the illusion that the piece is fading away.

SURR-EALISM
Delightfully bizarre concepts and off-kilter forms are ready to subvert traditional expectations.
1
Play With Your Food
2022 design trends seen at WantedDesign included surrealism, displayed here in the pasta collection by Caleb Ferris.

In WantedDesign Manhattan’s Look Book section, Caleb Ferris unveiled his Al Dente collection of sculptural tables inspired by the shapes of macaroni and lasagna noodles.

Combining machine-cut and handmade maple forms, the sophisticated outcomes feel more Eataly than Olive Garden.

2
Gone Askew
2022 design trends seen at WantedDesign included surrealism, displayed here in a warped side table by NJ Roseti.

After designing a series of side tables inspired by 18th-century French marquetry, NJ Roseti followed up with these delightfully warped variants shown at ICFF.

Produced in walnut, maple and mahogany veneer, the designs look like they’re suffering from some kind of glitch, blurring the line between digital and physical.

3
Loopy Libations
2022 design trends seen at WantedDesign included surrealism, displayed here in a warped glass by Irina Flore.

The monotony of drinking from the same glasses all throughout the pandemic prompted Portland, Oregon, designer Irina Flore to imagine something more playful.

While some of her Joyful goblets sit centred on their bases, others are whimsically askew — perfect for Alice in Wonderland–themed cocktail parties. Exhibited in WantedDesign Manhattan’s Launch Pad section, the collection is handcrafted in Istanbul.

4
Ultimate Flex
2022 design trends seen at NYCxDesign included surrealism, displayed here in a chair by Bradley L Bowers that is modelled after muscle tissue.
Photo by Sean Davidson

For “Anti Chairs,” Emma Scully Gallery invited six designers to challenge old ways of sitting.

New Orleans–based Bradley L Bowers unveiled Frank, an invitingly cushy upholstered chair modelled after taut muscles.

NYCxDesign 2022’s Top Trends: Steel and Surrealism

Standouts at spring design shows like ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan engaged with shiny textures and uncanny forms.

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