Caribbean Designers Meet Success at ICFF 2010

Caribbean Designers Meet Success at the International Comtemporary Furniture Fair

The Love, Freedom, Flow: New Caribbean Design line that was launched at the recently held International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in New York met with both commercial and critical success.

 

The collection, which included furniture, textiles, home accessories, and lighting products, featured the work of fifteen regional companies and saw leading names in the design industry from Italy, the USA, UK and Mexico showing an interest.  Discussions are underway for distribution agreements, orders and the showcasing of the collection in galleries.

 

The focus of the New Caribbean Design initiative is on producing regional hybrids that combine traditional craft with contemporary design.  It is sponsored by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), TFO Canada, the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), and the Authentic Jamaican Gift and Craft Cluster.

 According to Veona Maloney, Caribbean Export’s Manager, Core Services, “More support will be needed from donors and stakeholders for the next phase of the initiative, which has already begun.”  And she expects the trend of positive feedback and concrete business opportunities to continue given the reviews from the industry’s press.  The L.A. Times called the collection a “pleasant surprise”.  NYDailyNews.com said, “Caribbean objects never looked as good as they do in this perfectly conceived exhibit booth from New Caribbean Design …”

 The products showcased from Barbados were the culmination of a year-long Product Development Initiative implemented, in tandem with the New Caribbean Design initiative, by the Crafts Development Unit of the BIDC’s Entrepreneurial Development Division. The goal was to engage a number of artisans in the process of design-driven production. The frame of reference supplied by the Craft Development Coordinator for undertaking this initiative treated the development of a collection of crafts products based on historical merit and heritage value through authentic Barbadian imagery.

 Design Advisers Philip Marshall and Stella Hackett, provided advice and services to all of the artisans, and also designed new products for the collection. The result featured pottery produced by Hamilton Wiltshire, including a stackable set based on the original coal-pot; a collection of batik and tie-dyed cushions incorporating Amerindian and contemporary motifs, produced by Ayissa Burnett; bowls influenced by the Warri game; spindle stools incorporating elements of Barbadian vernacular furniture, produced by Quality Lamps; and stitched Raku pots by Juliana Inniss. 

 

 

 

Friday, June 11, 2010