The Essential, Stand-Out Designs at ICFF 2018

ICFF 2018 showcased today’s most innovative and must-know lighting and seating designs.

Jennifer Geleff Jennifer Geleff

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Held in Manhattan’s sun soaked Javits Center, this year’s ICFF glistened from head to toe with the best in cutting edge design. The annual Fair, which showcased work by more than 900 designers from all over the world, highlighted the latest trends and experimentations in furniture, lighting, textiles, bathroom accessories and more. Meandering through the countless booths at ICFF felt like flipping through a highly detailed encyclopedia of all that is innovative, exciting and essential for designers to know today.

As we set out to identify our favorite pieces and draw out key narratives from the show, we couldn’t help but notice two product types that stood out amongst all others: architectural lighting and seating for both residential and commercial applications. While each brand at the show had its own stand-out items, lighting and seating designers seemed to hit home runs, booth after booth and product after product. In this roundup, we take a look at some of the key products from the show and the manufacturers behind them.


Viewed as a whole, ICFF’s collection of both residential and contract seating options displayed a shared commitment to two elements: sleek aesthetics and sustainability. With several manufacturers boasting designs made from 100% recycled content, the show included seating that not only looks good, but that you can feel good about as well. Here are a few that especially caught our eye:


Image via Housefish

Lock Chairs and Stools by Housefish

Designed and built in the US, Housefish is driven by the idea of creating furniture that prioritizes longevity and value, while also sourcing the most environmentally sound materials that are on the market today. Housefish’s Lock Chairs and Stools stood out as they are assembled by connecting a total of just four screws and thus facilitate completely scalable production.


Image via MDD

Mesh by MDD Office Furniture; Designed by Krystian Kowalski

Designed to accommodate friendly office spaces, Mesh is an elegant piece of furniture with a contemporary character. Created with a high attention to detail and a tailored, craft-based approach, the overall comfort chair and its advanced curvatures were achieved using foam-injection moulding technology. 


Image via Wescover

Stanyan Bar Stool by Fyrn

The Stanyan bar stool by Fyrn is made for bar height counters and is a favorite design among a handful of renowned restaurants and bars across the San Francisco area. According to Fyrn, “We knew if it was lightweight and durable enough to survive in restaurants across the city, it could make itself a home anywhere. A broad profile and comfortable seat encourage patrons to stick around for that extra drink.”


Image via Fogia

Bollo by Fogia

With generously shaped cushions and a bold appearance, Bollo provides strong character while also providing a heightened level of comfort. Soft expressive shapes extend up from a slim metal base, emphasizing the strong contrast and striking intersection between the foundation and its cushions.


Image via Emeco

Alfi Aluminum by Emeco; Designed by Jasper Morrison

A recent addition to the Alfi family by Jasper Morrison, the Alfi Aluminum chair offers a new aluminum frame and options for both high and low seat backs. While remaining true to its original design intent and 100% reclaimed post-industrial waste composition, Alfi Aluminum offers additional functionality and strength for heavy duty environments and is suitable for outdoor as well as indoor use.


With many fairs becoming a sea of LED fixtures, ICFF stood out not only for its sheer volume, but also the consistency of high-quality sculptural lighting. With a little bit of something for everyone, many manufacturers showcased new finishes, scaled-up volumes and exciting opportunities for customization. Suitable for a diverse set of architectural applications, these are the fixtures that most effectively drew us in:


Image via Archilume

Balance by Archilume

Balance by Archilume consists of a pair of discs that are delicately suspended on asymmetrical twinned cables. The upper half of each disc is opaque machined aluminum while the lower half is an acrylic lens with a frosted edge, which emits a glare-fee warm tone of light. Altogether, the sculptural fixture is compositionally balanced, serving as both a functional and stunning luminaire.


Image via Marset

Dipping Light by Marset

Dipping Light by Marset served as one of the most playful lights at ICFF. According to Marset, “Beyond its function as a lamp, the Dipping Light seeks to excite. The origin of this lamp is a performance in which the bulb is submerged into paint several times, creating a magical ambient effect.”


Image via Archiproducts

LT Wall Light by Cinier

With 600 hundred high-performance LED lights, the CINIER LT wall light offers powerful indirect illumination housed within a unique and flexible design. The subtle minimalist profile is available in a wide array of colors and its wall-mounted functionality makes it highly suitable in a number of architectural settings.

Tempo Chandelier by Atelier de Troupe

The Tempo Chandelier by Atelier de Troupe, which is available in both 6 and 8-feet options, is composed of curves and lines joined by shaped connectors. The phenomenal fixture is finished off with sandblasted clear or white opal hand-blown glass bulbs. Creating rhythm and repetition, all pieces are individually tailored, creating a perfect equilibrium for the needs of each client.

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