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Live Workshops Give Viewers A Rare Look Into The Art Of Craft At ICFF [NY Design Week 2012]

Several designers at the Javits Convention Center decided to break-through the 500+ exhibitions by showing visitors how their products are made.

Dave Pinter
Dave Pinter on May 26, 2012. @DavePinter

At the core of New York Design Week is The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, a trade show for designers, retailers, and journalists. Held at the Javits Convention Center, ICFF featured more than 500 exhibitors, and after exploring what seemed like aisle after aisle, many designs started to look the same.

To break out of the clutter, several designers created live ‘pop-up’ workshops in their booth, and as a result, these were some of the most heavily trafficked stands of the show. While live demo’s aren’t a new idea, the workshops created the opportunity for people to watch and engage their curiosity with the craftsmen.  Unlike technology or a traditional pamphlet or brochure that tells a one-dimensional story about a designer’s process and resulting work, the workshops engaged multiple senses and encouraged a human connection- at each booth, traditional hand tools were used, which helped add an additional layer of narrative as people watched the product being produced.

Some of the live workshops PSFK caught at ICFF:

Tanihata:

Tanihata makes wooden partitions and lattice sliding doors with the traditional Japanese joinery technique of Kumiko, which has been used for 1,400 years. The Kumiko technique uses no nails or other connectors, which means each piece of wood must be meticulously and skillfully prepared so that all pieces fit together perfectly.

Hellman Chang:

Hellman Chang is a Brooklyn-based furniture studio. Founded in 2006 by lifelong friends Daniel Hellman and Eric Chang, the two designers taught themselves how to build solid wood furniture during summers in their parent’s suburban garage. Hellman Chang have since completed projects for the Waldorf Astoria, Four Seasons Hotel, Sotherby’s and Swarovski offices as well as several TV and motion picture titles.

Lindsey Adelman Studio:

Lindsey Adelman and her team of designers at Lindsey Adelman Studio create works based on the exploration of combining hand-made and organic inspirations with machine-made precision. Adelman and her team work with local suppliers and artisans to fit and hand-blow each globe  in the Bubble Series made-to-order.

Scroll through more images of the designers at work below:

See more of our NY Design Week coverage here.

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