ICFF 2012 Report: 10 Visionary Problem Solvers

A luminous broom, an early Japanese tea caddy and a brand new take on the litter box are only a taste of the smartly designed products shown at the 2012 International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).

While there are plenty of pretty things to drool over in the ICFF, the pieces which were developed to fix a number of life’s most mundane issues are a few of the most intriguing. Take a peek.

1. Moodbroom, Peteris Zilbers

Few people in the world like sweeping. Can a beautiful and engaging eyebrow improve the experience? The Moodbroom, designed by Peteris Zilbers, can.

The LED lights turn the broom to a functional lamp, with various lights which may be set to show a single color or rotate through the entire palette to get a lively feel. Can this broom make cleaning your home a lighthearted affair?

2. Chazutsu caddies, Kaikado

once an item’s been in use for more than 135 years, you realize it works well. The company Kaikado has been making these metallic canisters since 1875. They may look easy, however, the manufacturing process has more than 130 steps to produce each handcrafted caddy.

These tightly sealed containers initially were used to keep green tea. Now they could save just about any type of dry great. If the joints of the lid and the body are lined up, the lid slides and expels all excess atmosphere in the caddy, which makes it airtight.

Available in tin, brass and aluminum, every Kaikado caddy develops a unique patina and could be passed from generation to generation.

3. Flip litter box, Modko

Modko, maker of the famous ModKat litterbox, came back into the ICFF with a fresh variant of the modern litter box: Flip. For those cat owners who do not think their cat could get accustomed to a top-entry litter box, the Flip includes a more traditional format.

The rolling lid makes cleanup easy, and the coated paperboard liners and ergonomic scoop ensure everything stays neat and clean. “We believe you need to love everything in your home,” says creator Brett Teper. “That contains your litter box”

4. FoldScape shed ceiling tiles, Mio

a lot people have spent time at an office or home with those run-of-the-mill square foot ceilings. We get it done — they are cheap, right? But do they need to be this dull? Mio’s FoldScape fall ceiling tiles are a cost-effective and daring design solution for these spaces.

Each pair of Mio’s FoldScape tiles includes 24 tiles which could cover broken (or just ugly) ceilings. Choose from one of the easy-to-install 3D designs or personalize your own by sending a picture of your own choice.

5. Locus Workstation seat, Focal Upright Furniture

We have all heard about the dangers of sitting too long — scary for those who spend hours per day in front of a computer. Focal Upright Furniture provides something besides standing desks or workout balls: the Locus Workstation, a seat which permits you to work in a position halfway between sitting and standing. The stool is safe but goes with you, encouraging you to use your core and back muscles correctly. Produced by Martin Keen, creator of Keen Footwear, these innovative workstations to keep body and mind active.

6. Outdoor displays, Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design

The pupils at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture and Design had an impressive display of privacy displays as part of the Lumenhaus project.

These displays are introduced as a solution to urban home, as living in a city may mean forfeiting privacy and outdoor area. They are designed to slide back and forth across an outside balcony, and help differentiate and privatize outdoor area as well as insulate and block or allow in light as necessary. The person “petals” of the displays could be adjusted to totally close or open.

7. Atlas Stool, Kelly Proscio

Students in the Pratt Institute spent a year cooperating with Herman Miller to design furniture that enhances physical and mental well-being. Kelly Proscio’s Atlas Stool was designed to unveil this mind-body relationship.

This round contour is a contemporary take on the yoga ball — it is based on chiropractic therapy’s idea that the body and mind are just really healthy when the bones in the neck are aligned correctly, since they maintain the brain stem.

8. Alcove Chair, Michael Haley

The Cranbrook Academy of Art failed its collaboration with Herman Miller. Students focused on producing pieces that encouraged rest and concentration in the workplace.

Many people today work long hours, frequently in tiny offices which have minimal space for solitude, relaxation and rest. Michael Haley’s Alcove Chair creates a cozy area for if you want to get away from the bunch. Simply tuck this upholstered shell into a corner or against a wall, or flip it away from the main office to see, take a telephone call or even nap.

9. Personal Rocker, Kyle Fleet

Cranbrook pupil Kyle Fleet designed the Personal Balcony with similar Advantages to the Alcove Chair from the prior photograph. The cozy wood, wool and leather rocking chair allows for solitude.

10. Integrated Workstation, Matthew Plumstead

Matthew Plumstead’s Integrated Workstation adds an important component to the fundamental workstation: a bed. Plumstead split this contemporary workspace in order that standing, sitting and reclining each get equal treatment — an important statement about contemporary office living.

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