The New York International Gift Fair just wrapped up over at the Javits Center, and the juried Accent on Design division has chosen four winners for outstanding product design and presentation. Exhibitors were judged on innovation, function, originality, and design by a committee that included Miguel Calvo (Design & Research), Judy Dunne (Butter and Eggs), David Reid and James Klein (Kleinreid), Ilene Shaw (Shaw + Co. Productions), and museum consultant Jon Weatherman. “The winners represent the broad scope of design aesthetics — from industrial to artisanal,” said Priscila Onou, manager of the Accent on Design division.
Taking home the award for best new product design was the Parametre system of lightweight, modular, textile partitions (pictured at left) by Salt Lake City-based 3form. The honeycomb-like 3-D space dividers remind us of something Tord Boontje might dream up if he had been raised in a giant beehive. And we mean that in a good way.
Winning for best collection (and the UnBeige award for best company name we’ve heard in a while) was Creative Danes, a company based in Encinitas, California that distributes products designed by–you guessed it–Danish designers. Creative Danes won for its products by Menu, which offers a range of homegoods by assorted designers. Among them are a wine decanter shaped like a beaker, spherical silver salt and pepper shakers that “rock cheerfully back and forth,” and rubber vases (at right, designed by Henriette Melchiorsen). In addition to Menu, Creative Danes also partners with two other Danish companies: Schur Inventure and Bo Bendixen.
Winning the Accent on Design award for best booth presentation was the Working Class Studio of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. The judges lauded the booth’s “energetic and youthful environment” that provided a fitting showcase for the studio’s collection. Here’s the booth:
Finally, winning for overall excellence was Mizzonk, the British Columbia-based woodworking workshop that the judges singled out for its “remarkable ability to follow a personal vision and transform it into product, collection, presentation, and booth.” Co-founded in New York City in 1998 by Pratt grads Roger Chen and Wan-Yi Lin, Mizzonk began as a provider of custom woodwork and now creates wooden furniture, home accessories (see their handmade “Twisted Eight” napkin holders, above), gifts, and art. The name “Mizzonk” was inspired by a monk’s devotion to contemplation and his work, and is meant to convey “pursuing pureness,” but we like it because it makes us think of something a donkey affiliated with the University of Missouri (“Mizzou”) might say. Be sure to check out Mizzonk’s “A Perfect Arrangement,” an “interactive and therapeutic artwork” that we could really use around the office.