For me the highlights of NY Design Week included the pieces and places that were inspirational or useful. As creators, connoisseurs and consumers we need to get back to basics; design should be functional, solve problems, tell stories or spark in us new ways of thinking.
Tucked away on the second floor of an anonymous SoHo building I found Kiosk. Owners Alisa Grifo and Marco Romeny scour the world for interesting products, creating a wonderfully curated shop that carries everything from sets of mini stencils (Mexico) to bicycle basket nets (Japan). Each item comes with a story: about the history of the object, the place it was made or just of the couple's travels.
In the two hours I did get to spend in the Javits center, I headed straight for the little guys, checking out the student exhibitions and the designboom mart. One of my favorite booths was Pratt's 'Design for a Dollar' exhibition, which asked students to create a worthwhile object from one dollar's worth of materials. The results were impressive; creative, smart and thankfully, useful. (image via Apartment Therapy)
Nowadays anyone get something laser-cut, printed or rapidly manufactured - so it was nice to see things made through the slow process of time. At 400 Years Later - Cite Goes Dutch, Greetje van Helmond showcased her jewelry grown from sugar crystals. With a little patience and creativity, the most humble of materials can form something beautiful.
When Patrizia Moroso discovered Kim Beck's book 'A Field Guide to Weeds', she invited the artist to do an installation in the company's SoHo showroom during ICFF. The display was amazing; an explosion of vines climbed over the floors and walls, while forests of miniature plastic trees hung from the ceiling. It was the perfect compliment to Moroso's vibrant outdoor furniture collections.
Last year the Bond. show proved to be one of my favorite spots and this year was no different. While I wasn't fan of every item on display, what I did appreciate was Bond.'s thoughtful approach to design. After seeing so many widgets and knick-knacks throughout the shows, it was nice to come across a group of designers who are actually using design as a means to resolve everyday problems. While emergency shelters and SMS printers may not be glamorous, they were certainly much more intriguing than the latest version of the coffee table.