ICFF 2024 Announces New Branding and Vision
December 30, 2023
In 2024, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) will celebrate its 35th anniversary and unveil an even bolder approach to supporting design companies and their success throughout the year. The ICFF 2024 team is reshaping the core of its brand to remain the leading contemporary design fair in North America through:
• Solidifying ICFF’s role as a business accelerator and the entry point into the U.S. market for international brands
• Clarifying its objective to be at the center of culture, community, and commerce and to be relevant and appealing to the next generation of designers and consumers
• Amplifying design companies and content year-round to support the design industry beyond the fair
To translate this new vision, the team also announces a new identity for ICFF. Inspired by New York City, this rebrand reflects the bold nature of ICFF’s hometown. It features a solid, heavy wordmark reminiscent of this densely populated city juxtaposed with a lighter supportive typeface that speaks to its softer side. Award-winning, New York-based creative agency forceMAJEURE designed the new look.
ICFF will be unveiling and implementing the new branding campaign in January 2024.
“New York City is substantial, to say the least. The density, scale, and span of the buildings have a way of making you feel small and empowered at the same time. New York City’s famous grid was created to combine beauty, order, and convenience. Today, the grid is so famous that it has inspired branding for the city itself, making it recognizable on a global scale. Our design work within this rectangular framework brings a million possibilities for unique expression that speaks to spatial design and is very much a tribute to the spirit of New York,” said the forceMAJEURE design team.
ICFF 2024: The Fair
ICFF is the premier design event for companies looking to develop or grow their business in the U.S. Based in New York, the fair is the gateway to the North American design market and will take place May 19-21, 2024, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
“Given ICFF’s 35-year history, we felt it was time to redefine and rebrand ICFF to solidify, clarify, and amplify our design messaging and content. Since ICFF is the leading contemporary design fair in the U.S., we decided to concentrate on the most important products, technologies, and issues facing the industry and partner with global, high-quality brands that reflect ICFF’s ethos. Our long-standing collaborations with the industry increase our engagement year-round with the design community, allowing us to enhance ICFF’s brand visibility across design communities around the world,” says ICFF Brand Directors Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat.
Known for its global exposure, networking opportunities, and access to industry knowledge, ICFF brings together design professionals, architects, interior designers, and design enthusiasts. ICFF reaches a diverse and influential audience and attracts a wide range of potential buyers due to its proximity to numerous design studios, architecture firms, galleries, and showrooms.
As part of its continued focus on sustainability, ICFF is making strides to decrease the show’s carbon footprint and lessen the amount of waste it produces. Efforts include removing most of the carpet from the show floor, renting walls instead of building them, using recyclable material for all signage, placing water fountains throughout the floor for refillable bottles, using low-energy lights, and asking the food vendors to avoid single-use plastic. ICFF is encouraging all participants to follow their lead and do what they can to lessen their carbon footprint at the fair.
With the ICFF Talks on the Mainstage and The Oasis, the main programming topics for the fair this year include:
• Sustainability and materials
• The best in making and producing, from hand-made and high-end craft to new industrial innovations and technology-related processes
• Business and collaboration opportunities in the U.S.: how to achieve company goals, understanding the U.S. market better, design landscape, and needs
• Education, including diversity in design, original design, and new tools (AI)
The ICFF team is designing the fair to be more curated, accessible, and user-friendly. The show floor will include more spaces to explore, lounge, network, and have conversations. New dedicated areas have been created for complementary products such as Materials, Outdoor Living, and Kitchen & Bath. The latter will also feature a lounge area for dedicated programming. The newly designed spaces will offer activation and communication opportunities for attendees.
• Bespoke: The Art of Making: Celebrating craftsmanship, this feature will showcase the skill and expertise of high-end artisans. Emphasizing the unique techniques used to create beautiful handmade furnishings, textiles, and architectural finishes, the 3,000-square-foot space will present companies creating one-of-a-kind works, responding to the need, specifically in the U.S., for sourcing materials.
• Design Schools Workshop: Produced since 2012 as part of WantedDesign, the Design Schools Workshop is a collaborative, 4-day course where a selection of 35-40 international design students work together on a creative solution to a brief. This year, the “Dream Driven Design” workshop will invite the students to imagine the future of mobility, with a storytelling and holistic approach. It will take place in a dedicated area adjacent to the WantedDesign area. Presented with media partner Core77 and conducted with Pratt Institute and Honda R&D Co., Ltd. Honda Design.
• ROOM + OFS Podcast Studio: New this year, ROOM, OFS, and ICFF will bring together the leading voices in global design to discuss the big ideas that are reshaping the workspace. ROOM with OFS’ Imagine a Place productions will activate a space on the show floor featuring live conversations with acclaimed speakers from the ICFF main stage. Explore the evolution of work through the voices, concepts, and products that are changing the workplace for good.
• The Library, in partnership with Phaidon: Global book publisher Phaidon will join as a partner in 2024, with activations for the new release Designed for Life: The World’s Best Product Designers and a curated Phaidon library adjacent to the Talks Mainstage.
WantedDesign: Emerging Design
Dedicated to emerging design, WantedDesign returns as a centerpiece of ICFF with Look Book, Launch Pad, the Schools Showcase, and the Design Schools Workshop. The Wanted Lounge and the Look Book Workspace will be central meeting areas during the show.
• Look Book: An in-person portfolio for members of the A&D community to connect with high-end North American designers/makers/entrepreneurs as well as source original designs and beautifully crafted products for their next projects. Presented with media partner Dezeen and supported by Turf, the space will feature more than 65 exhibitors, up from 48 in 2023, and include the Look Book Workspace, a communal area for meeting and working.
• Launch Pad: An international platform for emerging designers that introduces new concepts and showcases prototypes of furniture, home accessories, and lighting. This year ICFF will show 71 exhibitors including the two Best of Launch Pad winners from 2023: Gus by Good Growing/Tori Deetz and Studio Waah/Shaunak Patel. Sponsored by American Standard and presented with media partners Design Milk and Clever.
• Schools Showcase: For the third year, international design schools will show the industry the outstanding work of their students. The Best of Schools Award and Students Prize are presented with media partner Design Milk and sponsored by Alessi.
• Design Schools Workshop: New at WantedDesign this year.
At the Crossroads of American Design: Sustainability in Practice and Spirit
Returning in 2024 at the heart of the fair, The Crossroads will be a collaboration between the ICFF brand directors; Creative Director David Rockwell, founder of Rockwell Group; and co-curator and editor Pei-Ru Keh. Sustainability, in its complex and multifaceted form, serves as the focal point of The Crossroads’ second iteration. This year’s exhibition will spotlight the way designers seek to preserve long-honored craft traditions, together with how they push the boundaries of circularity to consciously re-think the legitimacy of material use. It will also highlight the different ways creative communities can make design more accessible to all, whether through more inclusive cultural representations or deeper community-wide engagement. By considering the concept of sustainability in both a formal and ethical sense, The Crossroads hopes to spark new ideas on how the American design community can make its way forward with respect, fellowship, and meaning.
Programming curator Tiffany Jow, Editor-in-Chief of Untapped, will develop and host talks at The Crossroads with Pei-Ru Keh.
International Pavilions: Many country groups from around the world are joining ICFF in 2024, including Norway, Brazil, Portugal, and Romania to name a few.
ICFF Talks: The main talks will occur on the Mainstage and The Oasis space. The Mainstage is sponsored by Turf. Additionally, focused conversations will take place in new dedicated spaces such as Bespoke, Crossroads, Look Book with media partner Dezeen, and Kitchen + Bath.
The Oasis will continue to host conversations about sustainability and conscious design topics. The Welcome Lounge, The Restaurant, the ICFF Editors Awards, and other features will return.
Designing the Experience: ICFF will tap into the expertise of RADS, Rodolfo Agrella Design Studio, to implement the new branding into the show floor and create the 2024 look and feel for the fair. This will include the talks on the Mainstage and The Oasis; the Wanted Lounge; The Restaurant; and the Fair’s overall wayfinding aesthetic.
New Vision: Beyond the Fair
As the design landscape and its economic realities change, the team at ICFF is building on the success from this past May, from the selection of the participants to the programming and marketing to the redesign of the floor plan and show experience. ICFF is committed to not only hosting a successful fair but also nurturing a dynamic relationship with the design community. ICFF is evolving beyond the fair to promote its partners year-round through expanded editorial content and programming, networking, and promotional opportunities.
Throughout the year, ICFF will amplify partner and exhibitor materials across its channels (digital, newsletters, social media) and support events such as showroom activations and partnered programs to engage and educate the design community. Plans for 2024 include a networking opportunity in Paris in January, a global virtual press preview in February, a Look Book talk in NYC in April with media partner Dezeen, an event in Milan in April, and a networking designers’ trip to Design Week Mexico in October.
“Rather than ICFF being just a three-day event, we are building a brand to speak to the design community 365 days a year, on all platforms. We want to keep the conversation going and continue to provide relevant stories for the entire design spectrum from students and emerging designers to more established designers and architects. We are promoting all through our channels to make it a real added support to the industry,” said ICFF Brand Directors Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat.
Registration for ICFF 2024 will open in January 2024.
Photo credit (top): Jenna Bascom Photography
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