The International Contemporary Furniture Fair is an annual affair held every May at the Jacob Javits Center. I have been attending every year for over a decade and this year's edition was probably the least exciting both in terms of actual designs and in the ambition of the exhibitors. Many major furniture manufacturers have been dropping out year after year.
Since there was little of any real interest, the ICFF affords me the opportunity to discuss the state of domestic design. Gone are the heady days of the late 90s and early 00s when furniture design was following the lead of the hyper-modernist revival occurring in architecture.
The turn of the century saw the rise of Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, and the Bouroullec Brothers paralleling the starchitects who were transforming the skylines of world cities. But while architecture continues in the present, design has in the past 10 years slipped into complacency and nostalgia for the past (grandma chic). The art world is even worse as it long ago turned it's back on modernist form and innovation.
The relationship of modernist art and design has long dovetailed ever since cubism and its Bauhaus progeny. The early post-war period saw a symbiosis between Abstract Expressionist organicism and the designs of Charles Eames. This relationship continued into the 1960s with both Pop and Minimalism inspiring various developments. But eventually John Pawson and Steven Holl modernist houses were filled with stuff by the likes of Dana Schutz. This has never made sense to me.