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ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan highlights American design with ‘The Crossroads’
Ladies & Gentlemen showcasing calming interior by Myrna Swing Arm (L); Chair 13, 2023 by Liam Lee (R)
Image: Courtesy of ICFF

ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan highlights American design with ‘The Crossroads’

The 2023 edition of ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan reintroduces American design with a cohesive and interactive event, establishing itself as a paramount of contemporary design.

by STIRpad
Published on : May 03, 2023

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s leading platform for contemporary furniture, focuses on creativity and innovation especially indigenous and sustainable design and WantedDesign Manhattan, considered 'a show within a show' promotes American studios and emerging designers from across the world. The two are now set to launch the 2023 edition of their three-day fair at Javits Center, New York from May 21 to 23, 2023. Bringing over 400 emerging and established design brands from 25 countries to the forefront, the event is a combination of panel sessions, keynote presentations, and important conservations focusing and reflecting on upcoming trends in residential and commercial design.

Featuring approximately 100 designers, changemakers, and emerging talent including innovators and star designers, such as—Snøhetta, Patricia Urquiola, David Rockwell, Young Huh, Sasha Bikoff, Giulio Cappellini, John Edelman, Simone Vingerhoets, and 2022 Designer of the Year Kia Weatherspoon, the event showcases brands across furniture, kitchen and bath, lighting, textiles, wall coverings, seating and flooring, carpet, accessories, and materials. “In our first year as Brand Directors of both ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan, we are thrilled to build on the excitement and robust attendance from last year’s show to bring fresh and inspiring programming and new design spaces to the Javits Center,” share Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, co-founders of WantedDesign and Brand Directors for ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan.

The design event also introduces a new vision for ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan, one that emphasises a more cohesive and interactive experience for visitors, with a display of cutting-edge technology as well as spaces for interaction and networking and an American Pavilion--developed by Creative Director David Rockwell of Rockwell Group with Editor and Co-Curator Pei-Ru Keh--titled, The Crossroads. “One of the first decisions we took as brand directors of both fairs, was to put a spotlight on American Design and to provide a point of view and a panorama on the more established and emerging design scene. We have been thinking of new ways to plan the show floor and create a different format to showcase products. For The Crossroads, we had a chance to partner with Rockwell Group, knowing how much David Rockwell and his team share our passion for supporting and collaborating with American studios. This space will translate how much the collaborative approach means to us and everyone involved in the making of it. We are very happy to share this new feature which we think will be a wonderful surprise for visitors and we hope to develop this further in the upcoming years,” mention Hainaut and Pijoulat.

Focusing on entrepreneurship, individuality, and a love of making, ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan presents The Crossroads, considering the two pillars of Americana—the great outdoors and the American home, conveying the contrast between display objects and works. Known as the 'NYC’s design festival' the event also has a series of discussions, which include—a presentation by WGSN on the advancements in the design industry by 2024; a showcase of works by Snøhetta; a diversity in design panel hosted by Paul Clemence; Be Original America's showcase of high-end speakers that will discuss freshness in design and innovation; a talk on the relation between metaverse and interior design by Surface magazine as well as a talk with David Rockwell, on the spirit of American design.

A few prominent dialogues taking place at the Talks mainstage and the Oasis space include the Interni Design Re-Evolution at Oasis which discusses designer's evolution and their relation with business and high-performance technologies with Gabriele Chiave and Karim Rashid, All Together Now: Designing for (and With!) the Next Generation at ICFF + WDM Talks Stage which is a discussion between aspiring designers and seasoned professionals namely Patricia Urquiola from Studio Urquiola, Giulio Cappellini from Cappellini, and the talk with Jakob Lange, architect and partner from Bjarke Ingels Group and Nika Zupanc, designer at ICFF + WDM Talks Stage.

For the elevated exhibition space, BZIPPY, Drop It Modern, Superflower, Coil+Drift, Fort Standard, Bower Studio, and Ladies & Gentlemen are among the partners curating the space which consists of a gallery exhibiting diversified conceptions of designers, as well as stools made by Lumber Club Marfa.

Adding to the interactive nature of the space, a new makeshift space has been designed by sectioning areas for attendees to meet, interact and eat, at both the ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan show. “Having this new role allows us to create a more cohesive floorplan to enhance the visitor experience. We are bringing a design from both established and emerging brands from around the world, including new country pavilions and a special American Design exhibit called The Crossroads, to continue to position ICFF as the premier contemporary design fair in North America,” assert Hainaut and Pijoulat.

To elevate the experience, the whole build includes a welcome area designed by Moooi, providing a cordial feel for all participants, showcasing—Nika Zupanc, a restaurant sponsored by Mecho Shade and outfitted in collaboration with Be Original Americas, with its members Chilewich, Anglepoise, Heller, Kartell, Herman Miller, and Knoll; the Oasis x Material Bank providing a space to lounge and interact furnished by Normann Copenhagen, FilzFelt, and Kasthall; and the Lounge, created by Rodolfo Agrella that is sponsored by David Weeks Studio, Kasthall, USM, and Ligne Roset, who are also commemorating the 50th anniversary of Michel Ducaroy's classic Togo.

The design fair has also teamed up with Rodolfo Agrella of Rodolfo Agrella Design Studio (RADS) for the third time, to put together the entire aesthetic and feel for WantedDesign Manhattan, lounge cafe, and stage, including art direction for the Oasis space and the restaurant area. “Rodolfo Agrella translated the design of the different areas of ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan using the notion of conviviality, wellbeing, and optimism that are so important to us,” commented Hainaut and Pijoulat.

Celebrating design and innovation in response to emerging technology, and fabricating the American identity, ICFF + WDM Talks is the heart of oneness, highlighting the essence of design.

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