icff 2011: things i loved (part 1)

by Grace Bonney

Disappointment aside, there were some designers showing at ICFF that I really enjoyed. Not just because they were creating things that were beautiful, but because they were making things that made me smile, laugh, ask questions and want to interact with their work. That sort of curiosity is always the hallmark of interesting design for me. I love when the tiniest object can make me wonder “Why hasn’t someone thought of this before?” or “How can I not take this home with me and use it every day?”. There were definitely people working in that realm this year and I’m happy to focus on them now and share some of my favorite pieces from this year’s ICFF. Stay tuned for more from ICFF tomorrow and Wednesday- I’m going to include coverage of all the design fairs this week as well as more about what we saw at Brimfield. xo, grace

Image above: I loved these circular lights, especially installed on a pallet like this. I’d love to see these grouped in large masses for a restaurant or club installation. Design by Josephine Repetto

Image above: Amy has wanted a beautiful ping pong table for a while now so this clever design gave us hope. This ping pong net is a sleek design that clamps on to any flat table to create an impromptu game surface. It’s currently sold only as part of this concrete dining table/ping pong table, but I heard just about every visitor ask if it could be sold separately. I’m hoping they’ll consider it. It’s not often that you see designers thinking about improving the functionality or beauty of recreation tools, but I’m glad these designers did. Design by James De Wulf.

The student design booths are always my favorite and this year was no different. Pratt partnered with Cappellini this year and the result was a fantastic collection of ideas and prototypes. This piece in particular was incredibly fun to interact with. Elizabeth Joy Wong‘s “Bundle Stool” is made primarily from pine, but shifts and moves thanks to a foam core that gives with the user’s weight.

Images above: Wine storage system by Vin de Garde Cellar Systems. You can have the back panel made of any flat material and customize both the pegs and layout of the grid. I’d love to see this done with galvanized steel or some sort of wooden background.

CLICK HERE for 10 more designs after the jump!

Image above: “Nosejob Eraser” by Jackson Tan and Tanny Wong. This clever little eraser starts out incredibly boxy and pixelated and plays with the idea of letting you sculpt your ideal nose. Silly, fun and a welcome bit of playfulness after a few rows of blah.

Image above: Odyssey Light cast from the top of a NYC fire hydrant. Design by Ismael Quintero.

Image above: Folded felt table by Li-Rong Liao of Pratt. This simple but stunning table is made from one sheet of cardboard with a layer of felt finishing.

Image above: Playfulness was the name of the game in the Designboom Mart. This whimsical eyeglass rack played on the story of Pinocchio. Design by 25toGo.

Images above: These water droplet magnets and gingko leaf sticky notes were simple, fun and a great way to play with nature-inspired design. Design by Appree in Korea.

Image above: Tea Diver by Abel Partners in Korea. This little guy gets plunked into your tea and acts as an infuser.

Images above: Make a wish candle rings by Bettina Nissen.

Image above: “Eraser with a punch” from Singapore designer Casey Chen.

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