TSAR Highlights – Top 4 Trends from NYCxDESIGN ’18

Every May, the New York design industry showcases what’s new and next – taking over the city’s boroughs in a marathon month that encompasses five fairs (ICFF, Wanted Design Brooklyn and Manhattan, Sight Unseen, and Brooklyn Designs) and countless events, in what seems more like a cultural event than a trade show. This year’s edition saw cross-disciplinary collaborations, show stopping showroom installations, emerging independent work and passionate debates amongst industry thought leaders – the most ambitious yet! A non-stop party for the eyeballs and constant inspiring “aha!” moments — we’ve distilled the whole spectrum of events into our top four lasting impressions. Let’s begin.

1. BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN INDOOR, OUTDOOR AND BEYOND

Lighter, brighter surrounds to enhance productivity and wellbeing is the resounding focus for interiors this year. We saw strong botanical influences in lighting, flooring and furniture throughout showrooms and installations, combining natural elements with conventionally indoor settings and products to give environments a new and fresh perspective.

Top left: Kartell lighting. Top right, clockwise: WANTED Design Manhattan installation, Tom Dixon showroom, Kartell floral lighting, Deloitte Digital NYC ceiling. Bottom right: Luvere Studio at Wanted Manhattan. Bottom left, clockwise: Kartell & and La Double J Collaboration – seating and prints, Alessandra Branca interiors, Marcia Tucker interiors, A/D/O initiative.

The “mash up” of different environments creates a fully realised experience and we’re seeing this approach extend further with selected elements from spaces such as work, theatre, hospitality and outdoor combining and coexisting to reflect a more connected and integrated environment. Spaces are evolving to enhance our experience and benefit our wellbeing and lives. 

The Etsy mission fully realised through their new Brooklyn, New York HQ by Genzler. Image via http://bit.ly/2xPDNyP
Revealing the local landscape, beauty of Japanese history, craft and materials whilst highlighting the delicate cuisine to create geographically relevant materials and a fully immersive space by the Rockwell Group. Images via http://bit.ly/2JB7rN1

2. MEMPHIS MAXIMALISM

In case you’ve been living off the grid the past year, the 80s Memphis design movement has reemerged featuring loud colours and punchy graphics with maximum appeal to the visual currency of Instagram. As in the past, it seems this resurgence of maximalism is reactive to the abundance of sleek, “tasteful”, mid-century minimalism which has become so repetitive. The look has extended beyond fashion to become extensive installations seen at Sasha Bikoff’s technicolour staircase, Raquel’s Dream House and Camille Walala’s monolithic mural of an Industry City building facade… amongst others.

Top left, clockwise: Sasha Bikoff staircase, Ettore Sottsass Ultrafragola mirror and Steve Leonard gold chairs, Camille Walala mural, Raquel Cayre x Vibes Studio coloured stairs, R & Company furniture, Raquel’s Dream House Pink Cookie Monster, Barbara Ostrom Associates ceiling, Aliahn and Annie at Dream Machine Museum.
Staircase views by Sasha Bikoff Interiors at the Kips Bay Designer Showhouse.
Gaetano Pesce at Raquel’s Dream House.

An emerging theme at the Kips Bay Designer Showhouse – Maximalism is also taking on a 70s retro glamour look with chunky geometries, clean lines, tubular forms, soft furnishings and graphic patterns in muted, pastel colours such as peachy terracota, sage, olive green and mustards. We’re also seeing spots of bold retro colour and metallic finishes to add more luxury and glamour – taking strong influences from the fashion industry. Many cross-disciplinary collaborators this year included trendy downtown boutiques such as Opening Ceremony, Creatures of Comfort and Philip Lim in Sight Unseen’s curatorial project, further emphasising fashion’s collide with furniture and interiors this year.

Top row from L to R: Stefan Steil Interiors, DDC gold chair, Enylee Parker at ICFF. 2nd row from L to R: Drake / Anderson lighting, Rosie Li at ICFF, Emotional Brands at ICFF. Bottom row from L to R: R and Company “SuperDesign” leopard works, Opening Ceremony x Crosby Studios for Sight Unseen, MOOOI showroom.
Seductive salon moods by Drake / Anderson for the Kips Bay Design Showhouse.

3. EXPRESSION, MOVEMENT & PERSPECTIVES

Its been a tough year for brick and mortar retailers, with a string of closures on previously bustling streets, which explains showrooms and retail spaces thinking deeper and exploring the potential of the physical space. Kartell, Tom Dixon and MOOOI (just to name a few) covered every inch of their space with sensorially magical compositions through colour, form, materiality and sound. It was an organised flow through the set-ups, a journey of exploration to uncover moments of surprise and delight. The time spent in the space was memorable, conversations were created and connections were formed not only with each other but with the uniquely designed environment.

Surprise and delight moments at the new Tom Dixon showroom launch on Greene St, NYC.

Designs are more expressive with familiar products now in motion and changing to redefine our experiences. Objects need to be observed from different angles to see the entire perspective and its varying forms such as Tom Dixon’s new MELT range – giving birth to completely new designs and expressions. We attended an exhibit of upcoming artists who created multi-disciplinary works with emotion and expressions of feeling as the core function – re-thinking built constructs.

Emerging artists creating work with emotion as function at the ‘Thing-like Being’ exhibit

New developments such as OLED and 3D-knitting technology allows common products to be flexible, with new possibilities to bend and move. The Spun Chair phenomenon by Thomas Heatherwick for Magis gives conventional materials a twist and adds rotational movement to the sitting experience. Technology is advancing traditional materials, manufacturing and application, allowing us to rethink and experiment to provoke change, more expression and dynamic uses.

Top Left: Rhode Island School of Design works. Top right: Luke Lamp Company. Bottom right, clockwise: MOOOI stool with moving tassels, MOLO shape shifting urchin light at ICFF, The Coast Studio Either/Or lighting concept. Bottom left: Susan on the Spun Chair by Thomas Heatherwick for Magis.
Vases by Gaetano Pesce made by resin to add movement and expression, reimagining conventional forms

4. INTERGALACTIC WONDERS

If Elon Musk is doing it, it must be worth exploring! The moon, stars, space and beyond have always been sources of inspiration but there seems to be a larger focus on the subtle textures, forms and abstract interpretations this year. We saw cosmic drivers throughout our visit in installations, lightings and furnishings – an influence we’re interested to see develop into the stupendous wonder and mystery that our galaxy inhabits.

Top left, clockwise: MOOOI showroom, Liz Collins Cave of Secrets installation, Artemide Skydro, Artemide Light, ABC Home cushion, Richard Clarkson Studio cloud light, Wanted Design Manhattan Lighting, ABC Home Moon Table.
Lighting by Ayala Serfaty

… and some more splendid moments from NYCxDESIGN below.

Spring time in Lower East Side, Manhattan NYC.
The Principal’s “Golden Arch” installation for Sight Unseen at Saturdays NYC.
Heavenly Bodies at the Met.
The Sharpley family before SOHO Design District opening night.

What an absolute feast for the senses! It was a trip that made us wish for more hours in the day AND collapse from over stimulation at the same time – so many inspiring and motivating moments to take away.  We’ve tried our hardest to condense our thoughts into four main takeaways but if you’d like more information please get in touch via aming@tsar.com.au. 

 

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