Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Go Mod: Contemporary Furniture's Future Lives in the Past

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Go Mod: Contemporary Furniture's Future Lives in the Past

Article excerpt

MAKE WAY for mid-century modern. Some pieces are copies of 1950s designs. Others are new takes on the sleek style, using cutting-edge materials. Some of the best was at the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair.

No matter the origins, there were a lot of quiet, straight-lined pieces in light woods and laminates at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.

The annual ICFF, sponsored by Metropolis magazine, showcases furniture, lighting, floor and wall coverings, textiles and decorative accessories for residential and commercial use from some 400 sources. Eco-friendly materials for furniture and accessories also were in evidence this year, assuming ever more importance. "Designers are asking questions such as where does this material come from and what will using it exact from the environment," said Susan Szenasy, editor of Metropolis. Meta Morf Inc. of Portland, Ore., showed indoor-outdoor chairs and tables made of recycled plastic -chipped-up plastic containers that once held cleaners and drinks. "This material would otherwise clutter landfills," Kevin Bryck said. Bryck is co-owner of the five-year-old company honored recently by the Industrial Design Society of America for a child's table and chair. "Also in its favor," he said, "at the end of the furniture's useful life, it can be returned to a chipping plant and reformulated into new furniture for a virtually endless life cycle." Wheat strawboard, soybean stalk board and a composite made of soybean stalks and newsprint were basic materials for a number of exhibitors, including tables and cabinets from Horst Inc. of Kutztown, Pa. The material isn't cheap, but it saves trees. While early modernist designers were known for being dogmatic, today's appear to be more flexible. One is Christopher C. Deam of C.C.D. of San Francisco, whose collection won an ICFF Editors Award. One piece in the collection is a credenza for LPs, CDs, and audio cassettes in the living room or family room. But it would work well, too, to store clothes in the bedroom. Deam says it is in keeping with the future of "furniture that works harder and is smarter and can be used in different rooms and different ways, according to personal needs. …

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