As I visited the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which was held in New York’s Jacob K. Javits Center on May 19-22, I was stunned and a little confused by the more than 600 exhibitors organized, row after row, in the enormous convention center. The exhibitors presented here at the country’s most important design showcase, showed their wares including rugs, furniture, lighting and textiles.
Even though the fair is the largest of its kind on this continent, (and has been growing every year since its creation 19 years ago), it is still not as international as I would like it to be, and although the designer line-up had a strong Italian presence, international designers were few, and Spanish-speaking ones were even harder to find.
I had the pleasure of talking to one such designer, Javier Boné-Carboné a young talent originally from Zaragoza, Spain who was presenting a new series of furniture pieces designed exclusively for the ICFF show as part of the Bizhan Home collection. Born and raised in a rather conservative atmosphere in Spain, it took the twenty-four year-old designer two years of Pre-Medical School before he realized he needed to respond to his creative instincts. In 2002, Boné-Carboné moved to New York City to study Product Design at Parsons School of Design and later continued his studies at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) in Milan.
His glamorous designs, composed largely of highly polished and shiny surfaces included two kitchen designs, one in teak, black lacquer and Corian and a second one, covered in mirror-like polished stainless steel and hot pink back-painted glass, would be perfect for any rock-glam star — perhaps what rock stars would have in their expensive grown-up apartments.
However, it was his design for a “Mini-studio” (180 sq feet) what was most impressive. Slightly reminiscent of early 20th century functional Scandinavian design, the “mini-studio” consisted of three functioning free-standing pieces all finished in white lacquer: The design was anchored by a sliding table that moved from the kitchen to the living/dining space as needed. The sleeping unit consisted of a sofa-bed in white leather which had been integrated in to the wall for storage alongside shelving and a closet, and free-standing shower/sink combo.
All in all, his design truly reflected the New York state of mind: sleek meets functional. Boné-Carboné’s created a luxurious living environment for the shoebox-sized apartments that we have all become accustomed to live in, without, of course, sacrificing the rock star within.