Besides the main event – the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, with its aisles of amazing brands, such as Council, Amy Helfand, Tom Dixon and Areaware – and the endless attractions around the city, including Ai Weiwei‘s Central Park installation and Saks’s Alexander McQueen window displays, there are a bunch of design parties, exhibits and more to check out this weekend.
1. All the cool kids will be navigating the NoHo Design District. With a stellar lineup of headliners – including Relative Space’s $H!t Happens out of Berlin (stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog on this avant-garde exhibit); and shows displaying works by New York’s Lindsey Adelman and Paul Loebach and Vancouver’s Omer Arbel – North of Houston is the latest neighbourhood to get the design makeover.
2. South of Houston is where to go for the haute designer goods. A bunch of SoHo furniture and lighting showrooms will host parties over the weekend (with the majority taking place on Monday evening), providing the perfect opportunity to check out the latest from Kartell, Foscarini, Fritz Hansen, Luceplan and Cappellini and more. Cappellini presents the Multibong line of side tables for online fashion retailer Yoox.com on Saturday night.
3. Two SoHo retail spaces will shine the spotlight on Marcel Wanders. On Sunday evening, you can brand yourself with one of his limited-edition designs at the showroom of lighting manufacturer Flos; tattoo artist Scott Trerrotola of Ritual 13 will ink select attendees. On Monday evening, Wanders is also the draw at Alessi‘s showroom, which will unveil a new line of tableware and host a live-blogging event with the Dutch star.
4. Another multitasker, Stephen Burks – and his limitless creativity – is the focus of not one but two longer-running exhibits. The Chicago native and New York transplant brings his hybrid designs, which merge a modern aesthetic and craft, to “Are You a Hybrid?” at the Museum of Arts and Design and “Man Made” at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Burks is also part of a group show, including David Weeks, Josee Lapage and Marc Thorp, that pays tribute to Tobias Wong, the Canadian wunderkind who made New York his artistic breeding ground before his untimely death last year.
5. Brokenoff Brokenoff at Gallery R’Pure honours Wong‘s subversive art-design work. The show includes Marc Thorp’s Call me or Copy me, a gold-plated interpretation of Wong’s plastic business card. Explains Thorp, “I was introduced to Tobias Wong in 2001. He handed me his plastic stencil business card and said ‘call me or copy me.’ The business card was the essence of his design intention, to subvert the value of objects, challenge the definition of status and question originality. In reflection of his objectives as a designer and artist, I subvert Tobias’s personal business card, transforming it from plastic to gold.”
6. Wanted Design, in West Chelsea, hosts the press opening of Brokenoff Brokenoff, but is primarily the locus of a series of mind-expanding conversations. On Saturday (from 5pm to 6:30pm), the dialogue centres on the synergies between architecture and furniture, with such guests as Dror Benshetrit and Winka Dubbeldam; the latest crop of designers is the focus of Sunday evening’s talk, with Ligne Roset’s Antoine Roset, and designers Todd Bracher and Philippe Nigro among others; and the topic of design’s cultural impact brings together such innovators as David Trubridge, Matali Crasset and Giulio Cappellini on Monday. Also, on Monday night: the unveiling of original works created by craftsmen and designers specifically during the event.
7. If when Wednesday rolls around you still have a hankering for design, check out the Knoll Textiles retrospective at the Bard Graduate Center. Covering the company’s founding in 1945 till the year 2010, the show presents the textiles, often unsung, that have breathed energy and life into many classic furnishings, including Knoll’s Womb chair by Eero Saarinen.