ICFF / WantedDesign Manhattan conclude on high

May 31, 2022

(USA) – ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan, held May 16-17, 2022, at New York’s Javits Center, finished with a rave response from exhibitors, editors, manufacturers, academics, buyers, architects and designers, and members of the design industry.

In combination, the two fairs hosted 378 established and emerging design brands, 107 of which were first-time participants, from 23 countries, presenting furniture, seating, materials, lighting, flooring and rugs, kitchen and bath, wallcoverings, accessories, and assorted objects for commercial, residential, and hospitality environments. ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan coincided with the specially devised city-wide offering NYCxDESIGN, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, offering programming and activations open to the public in all five boroughs. 

“Hosting exhibitors and attendees from all parts of the globe in our traditional spring dates reaffirmed that ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan are seminal offerings on the international design industry calendar,” comments Phil Robinson, ICFF Show Director. “The breadth of new product launches generated an energy and buzz on the trade fair floor that verified the collective resilience of the industry post-pandemic.” 

WantedDesign co-founders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, adds: “WantedDesign Manhattan provides a critical platform for celebrating high-end and emerging designers and exhibiting their work in New York City. By presenting in tandem with ICFF once again, we are extending designers the opportunity to be seen and experienced by thousands of influential members of the industry and provide exposure and visibility. We are convinced that no other forum in North America spotlights designers in this way, providing the essential tools to explore and navigate the industry and, ideally, forge a path to the future. Despite recent challenges, we remain optimistic and look ahead to 2023 with anticipation.” 

Together, the two design fairs gathered some 7,000 architects, interior designers, and contemporary retailers in the Javits Center. The total number of visitors at both shows topped 10,000, a strong indication of the industry’s desire to engage and re-experience design once again. 

Major market content themes included sustainability, original design, and providing out-of-box thinking to pressing global issues including climate change, political unrest, urban planning, and other challenges related to the pandemic and beyond. 

The robust conference lineup included Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) senior curator, Paola Antonelli, discussing her new book, Design Emergency; the debut of the series, Power Couples, where prominent pairs, Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon of Höweler+Yoon, George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg of YabuPushelberg, and Friends & Founders’ Rasmus Hildebrand and Ida Linea Hildebrand, offered insight on being partners in business and life; the Inside Norway: Meet the Makers pavilion and panel conversation presented works from iconic and upstart brands Dyfosit, Eikund, Fram Oslo, Hadeland Glassverk, Heymat, Figgjo, Lundhs, and Volver with acclaim; and Amy Devers from the podcast Clever hosted the Emerging Designers Showcase. 

ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan Talks, sponsored by Mercato Place and American Standard, were presented on the main stage, at Oasis, by Float Studio, and at Wescover. The main stage was designed by Rodolfo Agrella with the support of Turf Design, Midgard Licht, and Be Original Americas, and Oasis was sponsored by Gabriel North America, Mohawk Group, and Normann Copenhagen. 

In honouring traditions of the past, ICFF hosted the ICFF Editors Awards where representatives from leading design publications chose winners in 12 categories for outstanding design as well as a Best in Show from the 378 exhibitors. Winners of the 2022 ICFF Editors Awards are: 

Accessories: Ethnicraft, Best Booth: ECO Solidarity, Body of Work: Mana Sazegara, Carpet & Flooring: Warp & Weft, Furniture: Simon Johns, Kitchen & Bath: Uniq-E, Lighting: Anony, Materials/Textiles: Alfonso Verduzco Design, New Designer: Piscina, Outdoor Furniture: Dedon, Seating: Tomoki Design, Wallcovering: Astek Wallcovering , and Best in Show: Piscina

We gratefully acknowledge the judges: Lila Allen, AD PRO; Sophie Aliece Hollis, The Architect’s Newspaper; Eric Mutrie, Azure; Sarah Cullen, darc; Ben Dreith, Dezeen; Rachel Gallaher, Gray Magazine; Rebecca Thienes, Interior Design; Kathryn Given, Luxe Interiors+Design; Will Speros, Hospitality Design, Anna Casotti, IFDM; Leslie Clagett, Kitchen + Bath Business; and Ryan Waddoups, Surface. In addition, Bernhardt Design continued its 16-year commitment to bringing the next generation of emerging talent to the forefront through the juried ICFF Studio competition that featured 14 designers.

New practices were also established with the integration of the 42nd annual Interiors Awards Breakfast on May 17. Attended by an audience of 200, awards were given out in 11 categories recognising excellence in commercial interiors judged by Lauren Rottet, Rottet Studio; Primo Orpilla, Studio O+A; and Nina Etnier, Float Studio. Kia Weatherspoon, president of Determined by Design, took home the coveted Designer of the Year award. Sponsors for the Interiors Awards included: Luxury Division of Pella, Delta Light, Lillian Gorbachincky Atelier, Cosmopolitan Glass & Metal, and Hastens Beds Inc. And the festive Opening Night ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan party, held on May 15 outdoors on the Javits Rooftop Pavilion and Outdoor Terrace, was attended by more than 700 guests. 

Launch Pad, the awards programme specific to WantedDesign Manhattan’s emerging designers, honoured Erika Cross for Best of Launch Pad for Furniture and Tianning Zhao for Best of Launch Pad for Lighting. Launch Pad was sponsored by American Standard and presented with media partner Design Milk.

Look Book, serving WantedDesign Manhattan’s established upscale designers, makers, and studios from North America, served as an in-person portfolio for the A&D community. A selection of Look Book designers participated in Look Book Live, a new talks programme hosted by William Hanley, editor in chief of Dwell Magazine.

New this year, WantedDesign Manhattan launched the Schools Showcase, a new area presenting young students from design schools worldwide and supporting the next generation of designers. As presenting sponsors of the Best of Students and Best of Schools prizes, Design Milk and Alessi chose the Dust Chair by Bill Caroll from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) as the Best of Students winner and Re-Actors by the School of Visual Arts (SVA), MFA Products of Design as the Best of Schools winner.

Wanted Interiors, sponsored by Ultrafabrics, returned this year with participants including Turf Design, Mohawk Group, 3M, Ressource+Rezina, Precious Woods, Midgard Licht, UTOPIA presented by Winton Cuevas, Ultrafabrics, and Visual Magnetics, and created immersive installations to demonstrate how innovative solutions can create healthy spaces. New this year, ECO Solidarity, a multidisciplinary hybrid project, initiative, and movement initiated by the Polish Cultural Institute New York in collaboration with WantedDesign, which seeks unity and solidarity through design and architecture, focused on Ecology, climate emergency, and circular economy. ECO Solidarity featured the work of nine design studios from nine European countries and was the winner of Best Booth in the ICFF Editors Awards.

The Lounge at Wanted Interiors returned with an indoor-outdoor concept designed by Rodolfo Agrella. Sponsors of the 800sqft lounge included Ligne Roset, Bend Goods, Havwoods, 3M, and wakaNINE. 

Dates for ICFF + WantedDesign 2023 are set for May 21-23, 2023.