Monday, May 23, 2011

ICFF 2011 - a future Trend??

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, a show I have exhibited in is usually a happening I’ll make time for each year. Especially since I’m of the belief we can walk the edge more in American furniture design. Well with that said, each year I look to see if any designer has balls.

This past May 17th my focus was two fold. One was to investigate digital printing and how to apply the result to furniture. And two was to see if I could pick-up on any potential trends.

Just a bit of background to begin, this past March I had attended the NY Architectural Digest Home Show and came upon printed faux shagreen. This made my first mission at ICFF to look for that same exhibitor. Unfortunately I’m still looking, I wasn’t into the show 3 booths down my first isle when I stopped and to my right saw real shagreen. A company hailing from Paris, France called R&Y Augousti is laying shagreen. Real shagreen and with that sighting, my digital printed faux focus was lost. For those of you not familiar with shagreen,
here’s a brief description

I have a building history in finishing with skins, but today I’m torn as to using skins in furniture, there is no need to use for instance goat skin, it’s a great faux lacquer finish, but true shagreen, man that has me. Once you see and feel the real thing, digital printing just doesn’t compare. It’s a luxury item that R&Y Augousti believes is back big. They just opened suite 419 in the NY Design Center. Interesting.

As for the trends, its about the crowd. At trade shows, when I see a crowd, I stop. I don’t care what is in the booth, I just stop, observe the crowd, and listen.

If you are a follower of this blog recall back in May 2008(6 minutes in) my mention of lighting as a under served market, well its now being served. I think it was Yogi Berra who said, there is so much lighting, nobody stops to look anymore. The trending color in furniture, wall coverings, and textiles not surprising is some variation of “Honeysuckle” - PANTONE 18-2120.

The possible opening to a future trend in furniure design is pattern, texture, and color. These are three design elements I’ve already been addressing, hence my original reason for going to ICFF: to apply digital printed patterns, texture and color to furniture. What I saw in pattern and color in wood that drew a crowd for instance was a v-match veneered pattern in different colored woods and reconstituted stone. The objects were interesting but way to time consuming and a bit immature in pattern. Applying that to myself, my pieces are mature in pattern but too time consuming. Again my reason to investigate the time saver of implementing digital printing.

I see room like I once did in lighting if you want to be a part of creating the next trend. So think about how to apply pattern, color, tonal range, and texture to your work. No easy feat!!

Shown pieces in photo's by:

Gabriella Azlalos ------- Li-Rong Liao ------ Richard Schltz ------ UM Project


Pete said...


Great site! I've spent the last few weeks going through your past posts and videos. Thanks going deep on the design process and for all the great interviews. I'd never even heard of Castle or Mollino, but now I'm a fan. Keep the great stuff coming!

Neil....a Furnitologist said...

Pete....I appreciate you posting a comment and thank you for the kind words.


Pete said...


I just posted an entry on my blog with a shout-out to you. Thanks for the info and inspiration.


Neil....a Furnitologist said...

Appreciate it Pete!!!!

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