These two designers are a strange pairing, and frankly the only thing they have in common is that they both received their design training in the current millennium. That out of the way, we can tell you a bit about each:
Catherine Hammerton is a British textile designer ("Designer-Maker") whose tactile wallpapers spring from a hands-on design technique involving silk screens, hand stitching and collage.
We were impressed by her 3-D wallpapers, particularly a pattern called Collection (close-up above), which has the nostalgic, ephemeral feeling of the inside of a hope chest. When we stumbled upon Boulder, CO-based Diana Lin's booth, most of her rei Huggables (pictured at top) were lounging in the laps and arms of the many conference attendees who had stopped to fathom the spectacle of glowing pillows. The reiHuggable is a glowing, cozy, fuzzy assemblage of inanimate materials (LEDs, silicone rubber, batteries, polyester and satin) that come together in a spookily life-like way. The purpose of this intriguing little object, which feels like a small, sleeping animal, is to "provide companionship to those in need of comfort." We were thinking the pillow would bring some cheer to a SAD-afflicted person in a Northerly climate, but Diana's blog offers some other locales where it could be put to work, including children's hospitals and hotel lounges. Diana was probably the only designer at ICFF whose stated mission is to create products for the emotions, and her booth was a breath of fresh air.