ICFF 2006: Umbra, Martha Sturdy, Herman Miller & Lutron

ICFF 2006: Umbra, Martha Sturdy, Herman Miller & Lutron

Maxwell Ryan
May 25, 2006

(We have a ton of ICFF reporting from P2. Here's the first dispatch!)

How do you answer the oft-asked question: "What IS 'contemporary'?"

Well, based on the offerings at this year's ICFF, there's no one or even a right answer:
• It's brand new slabs of 100-year-old reclaimed timber.
• It's candy-coated color.
• It's design icons (alive and dead) around
since the Fifties.
• It's a surface that begs to be touched.
• It's a chair that couldn't EVER be comfortable.

The list goes on and on... So, while the ICFF gave no clear answer to what "contemporary" *is*, it rewarded the design enthusiast with lots lots of inspiration and lots of good ol' design porn.

That said, not everything was worthy of even momentary capture on a Memory Stick. Some booths were car wrecks. The following are my picks, steering clear of the wrecks.

Umbra showed designs in more organic materials (colored leather chairs and stepped and carved walnut mirrors and boxes) alongside their more typical designs in plastics (the Karim Rashid Oh chair) and metals, without losing their modern spin.

Martha Sturdy
Famous for earthy but colorful designs from resin, this Canadian artist/designer takes a step even more organic with resin that looks, feels and glows like alabaster. (Chandelier and chair)

Herman Miller
Miller showed their signature trade show panache with a great display booth but still rides the Eames wave? The Eames Lounge chair was clad in a number of unique leathers, like the pimped-up puzzle-piece embossed hide and another in metallic leather (not shown)

A sexy new dimmer from the dimmer masters at Lutron. This has ruined me for all other light hardware. (Thanks, Patrick (the other one)!)

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