The Educated Eye
By Paul Clemence
On a grey Tuesday afternoon, as ICFF exhibitors and attendees prepared to depart the confines of the Jacob Javits Convention Center after the latest edition of the design fair, I went to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. There I sat down with Marianne and David Russell at the airy, light filled indoor patio of Le Petit Cafe to catch up with the design retail duo, principals at Miami’s iconic design store Arango. This year, during the fair, I was busy with my video project screening at the Boffo Showhouse and attending parallel events outside the fair, so I had seen very little of the fair’s new design offerings. Their refined, educated, and experienced eyes, lead me to ask Marianne and David to tell me what I missed. Here are 5 highlights of what they saw and what they had to say about them. The words are Marianne’s:
- One piece that stood out in simple sculptural form was the Plateau Chair designed by Danish designer Erik Magnussen. This is a comfortable lounge chair and work chair, with a high back perfect for relaxing and TV watching, while the right armrest is designed to hold a cup, glass, iPad, book, or laptop. Plateau Chair was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award in 2011 when it was first introduced in Europe. We were impressed by the quality and workmanship. Each chair’s upholstery is hand-stitched in the same manner as the Egg chair. The Plateau Chair is the best example of an elegant and personal design.
Also at Wanted Design, Josh Owen was presenting “Metaproject 02,” an impressive exhibition of work by students from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Glass designers were paired with industrial design students in projects utilizing recycled glass. Of the many interesting solutions we enjoyed was “The Receiver” by August Kawski—an object derived from the constant cultural clash between technology and community. The Receiver, a large round glass dome with a handle cast in form of a classic Dreyfuss handset, is intended to hold and mute mobile phones during social gatherings, leaving everyone free of distractions and able to interact with one another. A beautiful frosted glass prototype was on display.
Paul Clemence, MetropolisMag.com