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International Contemporary Furniture Fair Attendance Increases

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According to the managers of The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) 2006, this year's show demonstrated yet again that it is North America's premier showcase for contemporary design, with an 8% increase in attendance. Produced and managed by George Little Management, LLC (GLM) and held at New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, May 20-23, this year's event covered 145,000 net square feet (14,500 net square meters). Exhibitors totaled 597 (269 first time, 45%), with 303 (51%) from the U.S., and 294 (49%) from other countries: the international amalgam of industry leaders included designers, manufacturers, and representatives of contemporary furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, kitchen and bath for residential, home/office, and contract use. 31 countries had a presence on the exhibition floor, among them Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the U.S. In addition, ten contingents made a significant showing: the Austrian Trade Commission, BEDG (British European Design Group), Entre Marketing Ltd. (Finland), Furniture New York, The Furniture Society (U.S.), i Saloni WorldWide (Italy), ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade), IDSA (Industrial Designers of America), New Design Canada, and Royal Danish Consulate General (Denmark) helped broaden the design diversity. Attendance totaled 23,177, up 8% over 2005. Those intrepid seekers of design truth and design trends included interior designers, architects, retailers, facility managers, wholesalers, store design professionals, hotel and restaurant designers, manufacturers, students, general public, wholesalers, store design professionals, hotel and restaurant designers, manufacturers, students, and the general public. The ICFF Programs, the ICFF Exhibits, and the ICFF Features provided insight and inspiration for attendees. Top draws this year were Don't Repeat Design, which featured a scintillating panel of Spain's leading talents discussing creativity, individuality, and originality with moderator Cindy Allen of Interior Design. Susan S. Szenasy and her Metropolis team organized a brilliant day-long conference called Design Entrepreneurs: How Design Strives, Thrives, and Revives, which looked analytically at the last half century of individualists and peered hopefully into design's future. In addition, Metropolis and the IIDA tackled the emerging Asian markets, and specifically China, with a thought-provoking discussion on international design trends; and the ASID and Metropolis collaborated on a provocative panel discussion about how to make green choices and the impact interior designers have on making the built environment sustainable. The ICFF Exhibits also offered food for thought. New this year was ICFF Studio presented by GLM and Bernhardt Design, a juried selection of emerging designers exhibiting work that is a talent scout's dream. At the designboom Mart, the virtual world chronicled by Europe's leading design zine met reality-based marketing - in other words, the actual products covered online. The ICFF Design Schools exhibit, that annual round up of the best and the brightest, highlighted projects from the students of Art Center College of Design, Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL), Kuopio Academy of Design, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Interior Design Department, Parsons School of Design/Konstfack/St. Etienne School of Art & Design, and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). This year's event, as always, included among its draws the ever-interesting ICFF Features. Chief among this category was the ICFF Bookstore, which scheduled daily appearances and book signings by authors and designers in the news. The ICFF Public Day was a highlight as well, with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for Furnish a Future, a longtime program of The Partnership for the Homeless. Metropolis sponsors the ICFF. International sponsors include: Abitare, Domus, Frame, Interni, Intramuros, and Wallpaper*. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) provide approval. The next edition of the ICFF will be held May 19-22, 2007.

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