How do Designers Spend a Day Off?

June 1, 2017

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I recently spent a wonderful paid** “day off” in the city at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) with the DesignHounds of Modenus. It just so happens that we designers love to spend our days off with our other design friends talking about design.


We started at WilsonArt with a presentation from the students of the San Diego State University. Each year WilsonArt holds a sponsored class and contest … and students design and then manufacture chairs with the WilsonArt materials. This year’s theme was “Borders, Boundaries and Mashup” hinting at the geographical and cultural extremes of San Diego. Every student has a story about their chair design. It is truly inspirational.



“A Piece of Tlaltecuhtli”

 “A Piece of Tlaltecuhtli”

This year’s winner, “A Piece of Tlaltecuhtli”, was designed by Matthew John Bacher. I was fortunate to speak to Matthew in person about the inspiration behind his design – the Monolith at Tlatecuhtli. He used a laminate that mimics stone and throughout explored the interplay of cultures in San Diego. I was particularly moved by his dismay at the cheapening of artifacts in the markets. He wants his chair to symbolize access to the arts for all peoples.






Caselle Reinke’s chair “Origins”


Caselle Reinke’s chair Origins explored the geography of San Diego symbolizing the mountains to the west and the ocean waves to the east. As is typical of our merry crowd, at least one of our designers ends up comfortably ensconced in a chair or tucked into a tub. Here is Laurie Gorelick demonstrating the loungeability of Origins.

Wilsonart is a world leading provider of total engineered surfacing solutions.


Then we were hosted to a private tour at the Hubbardton Forge booth. I was blown away by the old meets new design lines they have created. Hubbardton Forge’s philosophy is best summed up as “make heirlooms not landfill”.


Vermont Modern

The quirky and fun Vermont Modern is clearly designed to appeal to the younger more hip millennial. But I wouldn’t hesitate to use some of these fixtures in my clients’ office spaces. These fixtures provide a great way to inject a pop of color.



Synchronicity – this line is swoon worthy. Hubbardton Forge collaborated with Swarovski to create the wave cut crystal which is exclusive to Hubbardton Forge. Isn’t it divine?


Hand forged metal with sculptured acrylic make up the Zephyr Pendant. Lit with LED so it doesn’t blind you.

The Artemis Pendant is a boomerang crystal held with tension by steel.

I could go on and on but I am pretty sure I would lose my audience. I always feel so amazingly blessed that I get to do what I love every day. You have to love what you do to spend your day off immersed in creative design.


Zephyr Pendant









Artemis Pendant

**This design day was a paid sponsorship. All opinions are my own.

What was your favorite design from my ICCF post?

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