STIR article - Jackie's Notebook: NYCxDESIGN header image
Originally published in STIR®



Contemporary, indie, international and evocative — an incredible 12 days of design exploration.

As much as I wanted to explore and enjoy all the city has to offer during NYCxDESIGN — the exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, open studios and so much more — I only had two and a half days to take in as much as I could.

ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, is the premier exhibition at the event, and it never ceases to amaze me. I met emerging talent and revisited the ateliers of established artists who continue to exhibit new products and remarkable design each year. This year’s favorites included:

  • Apparatus Studio, which exhibited collections of brilliant lighting designs with names such as Cloud, Twig, Synapse, Buddies and Triad. I see a few of these fixtures gracefully adorning ceilings in my dream home.
  • Direct from Lincoln, Neb., Vahallan Papers creates hand-painted wall coverings in the most striking textures and colors. Best of all, they use Sherwin-Williams paints for some of their patterns! The pattern that brought a twinkle to my eye was an embossed organic circle finished in a pewter metallic. The wall coverings are available in full panels as well as squares and rectangles, which I’m sure results in some extraordinary applications.
  • On the celebrity design stage, Jonathan Adler showcased a few new items of note: a lamp base that looks as though it’s chiseled from a block of gold, and eye-catching brass detailing on a chair.
  • If you’re considering a giant origami wall design, look to Aperiodix Wall Tile System from Oso Industries in Brooklyn. This concrete tiling system includes a set of three unique triangles that can be configured in an infinite number of arrangements, making it a designer’s dream for creating one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional walls.

Just a few blocks down was Wanted Design, now in its third year and continuing to grow and evolve. Located in an old warehouse terminal, the space itself is as inspiring as what’s being presented. Indie designers from around the globe flock here to make a statement, and do they ever! I absolutely loved Matt Cavanaugh’s #flashtag bar stool. He says: “#flashtag furniture is designed to participate in the dialogue of shared internet photography; any smartphone with a flash illuminates the stool and magnifies the presence of the person in the image.” I tried it with my smartphone and it worked. Yet another social media phenomenon on the horizon. I also loved 13&9: The Soul of Design — a new design label from Graz, Austria. The label is a fusion of the architects from INNOCAD and fashion designer Anastasia Su.The output of this creative community includes design services and products in the disciplines of furniture, fashion, accessories, lighting, sound, art and more.

Next stop, the NOHO Design District. The popup NOHO Next exhibit, located in a basement nightclub, did not disappoint — from the entry sculpture made of found objects to the chairs that looked like live creatures. The underground experience added to the sense of intrigue.

And no adventure to NYCxDESIGN is complete without a stop at abc carpet & home. Here I ran across two displays that validated two of our Sherwin-Williams® colormix 2014 color trends. The color-drenched glass tubes by Urban Shaman, in which “science and nature combine to … create an encapsulated offering,” contained miniature living specimens that gave a nod to our “Curiosity” trend. And Shadow Vessels certainly spoke to our “Reasoned” trend, in which shadow and the hand of the artist play an important role. The description of Shadow Vessels read: “Each stitch, both considered and instinctive, becomes a painterly mark … evoking a sense of landscape, both physical and emotional … traces of journey … suggestions of cipher.”

Thought-provoking, inspirational, intriguing and insightful. I can’t wait for next year’s NYCxDESIGN.