ICFF provides the opportunity to meet young designers who are at the very beginning of their careers, when anything is possible. Twenty-four-year-old John Green flew over from the UK to show his furniture, and although his tiny booth was tucked away in a remote corner of the hall, he already had a well developed collection in production, he'd begun talking to US distributors, and he was ridiculously cute and optimistic about his future.
When I told him his work reminded me of Eric Pfieffer — former VP of design at Offi — Green said, "Oh yeah, Offi's already come by to see me!" Pfieffer is best known for the bent ply pieces he created for Offi, including the Mag Table, Scandio Table, and Wave Desk. The most obvious Pfieffer reference comes from John Green's Embrace Table — a bent ply design made of two pieces that fit together into one multifunctional shelf, coffee table, or laptop desk. (Green actually says the Embrace was inspired by Egon Riss' Isokon Penguin Donkey, another famous dual-purpose design in birch ply.)
While the work is similar to Pfieffer's, Green has his own unique ability to find lots of different practical applications within a simple form. His Standard Coat Rack was created from a broom handle that he cut up and reconfigured with steel connectors, and his Stable Table (stable = stool + table) features an ingenious cutout notch and steel rod that can double as a footrest or a magazine rack.
While young, Green already has retail partners in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Greece, and he's shown his work at Maison&Objet in Paris, 100% Design in London, and MACEF in Milan. We're looking forward to seeing how his furniture takes hold in America.
Images: John Green (1, 5, 7-10), Sarah Coffey (2-4, 6)