by Melissa Cantor
To borrow a term from millennial slang, the Boutique Design Trade Fair that took place in New York City from November 12-13 was lit this year—thanks in no small part to our fixture-filled exhibitor booth.
The eighth iteration of the hospitality design industry’s top trade fair drew more than 7,000 attendees to the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Our own (fabulously illuminated!) corner of this universe, stand 566, welcomed an exhilarating mix of architects, interior designers and hospitality executives vying for an in-person peek at our Stratos and Ethos collections.
Stare-Worthy: The Beauty of Stratos
“Designers were hungry for new and creative designs this year,” notes Rod Ruiz, our brand image and art director, whose booth design showcased our fixtures as solo statements and in chic clusters. “We catered to this quest with a sleek selection of lighting options, including the newest addition to Stratos: the Dies e Nox pendant by Karman.”
Designed by Laura Alesi and Silvia Braconi for the whimsical Italian company, this long-limbed fixture recalls “the line of the horizon” that splits earth and sky at panoramic distances. The tobacco-colored version we displayed at BDNY evokes the amber light of a setting sun, and it was enthusiastically received as a way to bring a honeyed glow into a room.
Also on display from Karman: the family of industrial and minimalist Nando pendants, designed by Luca De Bona and Dario De Meo and made of punched metal with lacquered finishes; the intricate NotreDame 1B wall fixture, a resin-and-marble creation by De Bona and De Meo that resembles an artfully deconstructed doily; and the indoor-outdoor Via Lattea floor lamps by Stefano Bizzarri and Claudio Cinti, concrete fixtures that sit on the floor like empty, farm-style milk jugs and project beams of light skyward.
The stunning Say My Name table lamp—which reflects the Nordic sensibilities of Northern designers Morten & Jonas, as well as the craftsmanship of the Venetian artists behind its mouth-blown Murano glass—rounded out our Stratos collection display.
Style Meets Spirit: Exploring Ethos
The Global Lighting Ethos collection consists of a group of fixtures whose design is rooted in cultural influences and elemental materials. The Z series of pendants by Netherlands-based Ay Illuminate embodies these principles beautifully, with the latest design in the collection—the Z1 Black Bamboo PC pendant that was unveiled at Maison & Objet in September—boasting an exquisite paper shade handcrafted from Mulberry bark by artisans in the Philippines.
The Manila-made shade brought additional texture to the Ay Illuminate trio on display, which also included the Z1 Black Bamboo RUC pendant, featuring a gauzy hand-knitted white cotton fabric shade from India, and the Z1 Black Bamboo SCCW pendant, which is sheathed in a hand-woven white silk-cashmere shade from Afghanistan.
“The Z pendants from Ay Illuminate have challenged designers and trade professionals to think outside the box when it comes to decorative lighting,” says Denise Bovell, our showroom and e-commerce manager. “Visitors stopping by the booth were immediately drawn to them, finding them to be lovely and inviting. The bamboo, the shade materials and the cluster highlighted the perfect imperfections of the handmade fixtures.”
Nearby, Tom Rossau’s TR7 pendants were arranged in an elegant constellation, showcasing the Danish designer’s talent for fashioning strips of natural birch into curvaceous sources of light. Finally, the Diva floor lamp, designed by Peter Natedal and Thomas Kalvatn Egset for Northern, exemplified a Nordic take on wood-slat lighting with its individual strips of bent plywood wrapped in oak that illustrate traditional Norwegian wood lamination techniques.
“BDNY was very successful for us this year. Not only did it give us a platform to show off some of our amazing new offerings, it also enabled us to connect with top design and architectural firms,” says Matthieu Borione, our commercial and hospitality sales manager. “The response was highly positive and the energy high.”
Boutique Design Conference Chatter
In addition to being ensconced in a visually stimulating world during the two-day fair, we enjoyed intellectual delights via BDNY’s extensive conference program. Of note among the talks and panels harnessing the expertise of more than 100 innovators and influencers: a discussion moderated by Gary Inman, vice president of hospitality at Baskervill, on how to satisfy high-end travelers.
An author, speaker and designer whose varied past-project roster spans handbags, textiles, lighting, rugs and furniture, Inman was joined in the conversation by designer Carolyn Cartwright, Rockwell Group’s Gonzalo Bustamante, SH Group’s Lisa Zandee and Salamander Hospitality’s Prem Devadas. Drawing upon his extensive work with four- and five-star hotels from his ongoing tenure at Baskervill, Inman led a discussion on what jet setters will be craving next, and offered real-world solutions about how good design can be employed to tell a story and exceed the most discerning traveler’s expectations.
Tagged under: commercial light fixtures, contemporary light fixtures, design fairs, design trends, designers, environmentally-friendly pendants, European design, floor lamp, hospitality design, hotel lighting, international lighting trends, lighting design, lighting products, Maison & Objet, new products, New York, pendant fixtures, residential lighting, restaurant lighting, retail lighting, store lighting, sustainable design, table lamp, tradeshow, traditional craft, wall fixtures