Each May, New York City officially turns into design-central during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Here are some highlights. - Rita Catinella Orrell

Modern stone bas-relief
Italian marble-and-stone company Alfredo Salvatori’s Bamboo collection interprets the refinement of the ancient marble bas-relief tradition into contemporary production. Featuring marble or limestone slabs carved with a series of close and parallel grooves with rounded edges, the collection includes Bianco Carrara (shown), Grigio Versilia, Travertino Chiaro, Crema d’Orcia, and Grigio Saint Denis stone. Dimensions are approximately 3.8'' square, 3.8'' x 11.5'', 11.5'' square, and 11.53'' x 23''. The slabs may be used for interior or exterior floor and wall applications. Alfredo Salvatori, Querceta, Italy. www.salvatori.it

[Reader Service: September 2007 #217]


Private environment
Nevada-based architect Alberto Frias exhibited his Transport Perceptual Pod, a “sensual light, sound, and space environment,” at the show this year. Originally developed for the architect’s thesis project at the University of New Mexico, the Pod is intended to be a commissioned piece of functional art, with each unit signed and numbered. The handmade, oval composite-fiberglass structure can be a bed, a meditation space, or both. It comes with a full spectrum LED lighting system, a sound system, water mattress, and cushion to allow for a range of custom experiences. Starting at $10,000, the pod is available for purchase directly through Frias (www.albertofrias.com) or at Twentieth in Beverly Hills. Twentieth, Beverly Hills, Calif. www.twentieth.net

[Reader Service: September 2007 #218]


Fabric of record
Designtex has introduced Material Matters, the third collection of textiles to come from its ongoing relationship with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Modeled on sound-based contemporary artworks in the Guggenheim’s collections, the Sonic Fabric material, invented by artist Alyce Santoro, is constructed of 49 percent recycled audiotapes. Giving new meaning to the description “loud fabric,” multilayered audio tracks have been recorded into the tape of the fabric and sounds in the weave can be heard by drawing a tape head over its surface. Available in five colors, the fabric reaches a surprising 80,000 double rubs. Designtex, New York City. www.designtex.com

[Reader Service: September 2007 #219]


Well-managed furniture line
Philly-based furniture company Iannone has built its 2007 product line around a core material—FSC-certified birch plywood. In addition to being harvested from managed forests, the plywood is formaldehyde-free; finished with a low-emission, UV-cured topcoat; and rotary cut, a process that can yield the most veneer from a log. The furniture exteriors incorporate an array of green materials, including Kirei board (made from the reclaimed stalks of the sorghum plant), bamboo, cork, veneered plywood, and hardwoods from managed forests. Shown here, the Signature 1.0 Console is made of bamboo and solid ash doors (top), and the Dandelion Tall Graphic Console (bottom) features a Kirei and gloss-white-laminate front. Iannone, Philadelphia. www.iannonedesign.com

[Reader Service: September 2007 #220]

Touchy lighting control
Suitable for both commercial and residential applications, the Vierti architectural touch dimmer from Lutron features adaptive LEDs that brighten when touched to indicate the dimmer is responding and then glow softly when at rest. When at rest, the user can still easily identify the room’s light level without the LEDs being fully illuminated. Users touch the highest point of the panel for 100 percent bright light or the lowest point for 1 percent light. In addition to multilocation dimming, Vierti also offers the user audible feedback—a soft click to confirm the user’s touch. The dimmers offer interchangeable LEDs in blue, green, or white, and a variety of wall-plate colors and finishes. Lutron plans to begin shipping the product next month. Lutron Electronics, Coopersburg, Pa. www.lutron.com

[Reader Service: September 2007 #221]

Materials maven
Robin Reigi, a material company based in New York City, took home an Editor’s Award for Materials at the show. The Robin Reigi booth featured the new Smooth Wall exhibit system by GES Expositions and launched seven new product innovations within the booth itself. Among the materials on display were Brush “tiles” (left) from the Braun Brush Company, tactile decorative elements that can be carved to achieve topographical or modular effects. The tiles can be made in a range of color and fiber choices; custom projects include furniture accents, sculptural icons, and feature walls. Also on display was the Smith and Fong Durapalm brand Palm Woven material (right), a richly textured seamless wall cladding made from reclaimed coconut palm wood. Robin Reigi, New York City. www.robin-reigi.com

[Reader Service: September 2007 #222]