Source: Urban Developer
For Antipodean designers, it is near impossible to keep up with the design world’s major events in Milan, Paris or London. New York City’s NYCxDESIGN is the latest addition to the calendar of pilgrimage-worthy, annual design festivals. Now in its seventh iteration, this relative newcomer has gained serious international traction over the past few years. Helen Griffen, Associate and Senior Interior Designer at Sydney integrated design practice Scott Carver, is amongst the thousands who travelled to experience it this year. As Scott Carver’s FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment) specialist, the interiors team at Scott Carver look to Helen to source the ‘wow’ elements for their projects.
“Prior to my relocation to Australia, I specialised in FF&E design in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston”, Helen said.
“Keeping my finger on the pulse of international design is paramount; knowing about the latest products and how they translate to the Australian market is what sets our projects apart.”
Having spent the past week at NYCxDESIGN, Helen talks through her highlights:
International Contemporary Furniture Fair
“As the long-standing anchor event, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is unmissable for me. Running now for over 30 years, ICFF is North America's largest platform for global design, mapping the frontier of what’s next in furniture and interiors.”
Eny Lee Parker
“At ICFF I headed straight to spatial designer Eny Lee Parker. Huge on Instagram, Parker creates objects, furniture and lighting using clay as her core material. The booth included large rounded clay lamps, moulded clay furniture, light sconces, a beautiful hand carved rug and her boucle stitch stools. Parker’s work is a celebration of craft with consideration, intention and a true respect for natural resources. Her compelling sense of proportion and scale speaks to our hyper-visual culture and her pieces are not just static compositions, but tactile art pieces.”
“I have a particular penchant for lighting and NYC happens to be a breeding ground for exceedingly talented lighting designers. There were more original and experimental stands than I can mention but the highlights were Luke Lamp Co’s rope lights, modular rectilinear forms from Stickbulb, willows in bloom by Hollis and Morris and colored glass pendants by Niche. Given the recent emphasis in high-end commercial and residential design for decorative feature lighting, it was exciting to see many new brands not yet present in the Australian market.”
“Canadian design studio Molo had an anchor stand at the entry of the show, and for good reason. Their modular paper softwall system, seating and light features were breathtaking. Functioning as single system to customise otherwise-open floor plans with spaces for private discussions or solo work, this flexible honeycomb structure can expand, contract, and bend. Made of flame-retardant microplated recycled paper, the material's surface is designed to compress from repeated use and its components connect via magnetic side panels. This product is the finally the answer to beautiful screen walls.”
Independent showrooms and exhibitions
“I squeezed in independent showrooms and exhibitions visits where I could, including The Future Perfect’s Casa Perfect, a gallery space in a converted West Village townhouse. On display were Brooklyn-based design duo Chen Chen and Kai Williams and their work was an absolute highlight. Lighting studio Rich Brilliant Willing opened their Soho showroom for the debut of its latest presentation, ‘Patterns of Light’, a testament to RBW’s stellar ten years of work. Whilst Calico Wallpaper’s installation within the historic arcade of the neoclassical Merchants Square Building in Tribeca was an apt nod to the history of the space.”
“How do I effectively sum up the magnitude of New York’s annual design week, its epic furniture fair, multitude of events and exhibitions? The key takeaway really has been how integral design is to the past, present and future of New York City and how the creativity and product exhibited here sparks and cements global design tends. This week is a must-attend for anyone looking for edgy design inspiration.