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A Recap of WANTED at ICFF 2023

A Recap of WANTED at ICFF 2023

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s premier contemporary furnishing design fair, and WantedDesign Manhattan, as a ‘show within the show’, finished with a rave response from exhibitors, editors, manufacturers, academics, buyers, architects and designers, and other members of the design community.

With an emphasis on original and sustainable design, the two fairs held May 21-23, 2023 at the Javits Center, brought together 476 established and emerging designers and design brands from 35 countries and gathered over 13,000 visitors.

“Our plan this year as first-time brand directors for both ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan was to bring more curated, creative, and immersive design spaces to the Javits, to deliver a more cohesive floorplan, and to improve the experience of the shows overall. And we were simply blown away by the enthusiasm and positive response from exhibitors and attendees alike. This proves to us that we are on the right path, and we will continue improving on this as we plan for 2024.” Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, Brand Directors, ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan

Don’t miss the ICFF + WDM 2023 highlights video, available HERE.

WantedDesign Manhattan 2023

Schools Showcase | 14 exhibiting schools:

A unique opportunity for international design schools to present the work of their best students to the industry for them to be discovered, receive feedback from professionals and start building a strong network.

Launch Pad | 67 emerging designers:

An international platform for emerging designers that introduces new concepts and showcases prototypes of furniture, home accessories, and lighting. Sponsored by American Standard and presented with media partners Design Milk and Clever

Look Book | 48 exhibitors:

An in-person portfolio dedicated to high-end North American designers, design studios and makers to connect with the A&D community. Presented with media partner Dezeen, with the support of Turf.

Download the 2023 Look Book brochure HERE.

Wanted Interiors:

A space meant for established design brands to present their latest collections and innovations through storytelling installations.

Show Highlights

Below a selection of the best moments and spaces at the show.

ICFF + WDM Talks Program

The robust conference lineup included design leaders and innovators from all around the world discussing a great diversity of topics. Below a few of our favorite talks.

All Together Now: Designing for (and With!) the Next Generation
Featuring Patricia Urquiola, Urquiola Studio; Giulio Cappellini, Cappellini; Anais Missakian, RISD; Bill Carroll, RISD and Moderatated by Cindy Allen, Interior Design Magazine.

Look Book Live
Featuring Sebastián Ángeles; Caleb Ferris; Tom Lerental, Tomma Bloom; Christian Lo, Anony and moderated by Ben Dreith, Dezeen

Interni Design Re-Evolution
Gabriele Chiave, Karim Rashid and moderated by Carlo Biasia, Interni.

Inspiring Innovation: Can Original Design be Taught?
Featuring John Edelman, Heller; John McPhee, Chilewich; Pablo Pardo, Pablo Design; Simone Vingerhoets, Ligne Roset USA and moderated by Dennis Scully, Business of Home.

The Metaverse and Interior Design
Featuring Jaime Derringer, Design Milk; Colleen Newell, The INBTWN; John Vieweg, thehighkey and moderated by: Ryan Waddoups, Surface.

Emerging Designers Showcase
Featuring 6 Launch Pad designers and Giulio Cappellini, Cappellini; Andrea Cesarman, Design Week Mexico; Jerry Helling, Bernhardt Design; Jean-Jacques L’hénaff, LIXIL Americas; Jennifer Olshin, Friedman Benda; Kia Weatherspoon, Determined by Design and moderated by Amy Devers, Clever Podcast.


This year, ICFF + WDM co-located with DIFFA by Design, a celebration of inspired design, cocktails, and community. For four decades, DIFFA has harnessed the design industry’s resources and talent to create legendary programs and events like DIFFA by Design.

The Crossroads

Sitting at the center of the show, The Crossroads was certainly one of the main highlights of both fairs. Designed and curated by David Rockwell, Rockwell Group, and Pei-Ru-Keh, the playful space celebrated American design through the works of 17 established and emerging designers. It also became the location for several Dialogues at The Crossroads, hosted by Tiffany Jow of Untapped, in conversation with the designers. This program will be continued in 2024.

“We wanted to explore the notion of duality and contradiction in American design—the strengths that are inherent in the established and the emerging; the merging of technology with hand-craftsmanship; the need for practicality to go hand-in-hand with fantasy. I think American designers are constantly trying to meld those worlds.”David Rockwell, Founder and President, Rockwell Group

ECO Solidarity

Returning for 2023, the ECO Solidarity initiative featured design with empathy through the work of designers and studios from 9 European countries. Responding to the environmental and humanitarian crises, this year’s edition addressed some of the world’s most pressing conditions of human health and wellbeing. Projects explored ways to improve urban domestic infrastructures, preserve and restore natural habitats, protect the health and wellbeing of people, and accommodate the displacement of the most vulnerable members of the community. ECO Solidarity was initiated in 2020 by the Polish Cultural Institute New York in partnership with WantedDesign and close collaboration of EUNIC. Learn more here.

Be Original Americas Mentorship Program

30 emerging designers got the chance to meet and sit down with an industry professional to gather some insights and receive valuable feedback on their work. All thanks to Be Original Americas.

“ICFF+WDM have been a huge supporter of the Be Original Americas Mentor Program, particularly Claire & Odile, for many years.  Each year, like the fair, it grows larger and more important, and not just for the young entrepreneurs and students, but for the members who advise them.  We are truly grateful for the opportunity.” – Beth Dickstein, co-founder, Be Original Americas

Activation Spaces

Enhancing the event’s experience by creating new and appealing spaces for attendees to meet, lounge, and eat was the main focus and challenge for this year’s collaboration with Rodolfo Agrella from Rodolfo Agrella Design Studio (RADS).

“Thanks to excellent collaborative work between Rodolfo and our different partners, these spaces provided an inspiring and unique experience to the visitors as well as an opportunity for manufacturers to showcase their products in the most beautiful way.” Odile and Claire, Brand Directors, ICFF + WDM

WDM Café x Caesarstone

Designed with the support of Heller, Fyrn, Tala, Turf, Ressource, and Mohawk.

“A rich, warm and sexy micro-architecture setting to grab a coffee. Created by 2 perpendicular horizontal planes and volumes in tension.” – Rodolfo Agrella

The Restaurant

Furnished in partnership with Be Original Americas and its members Chilewich, Anglepoise, Heller, Kartell, MillerKnoll, and Oasiq.

“A celebration of NYC’s diversity and culture through the juxtaposition of multicolored chairs typologies and flooring surfaces.” – Rodolfo Agrella

Wanted Interiors Lounge

Sponsored by David Weeks Studio, Kasthall and Ligne Roset, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Togo by Michel Ducaroy. Paint by Resource.

“An open space with a restrained color palette to gather and relax, inspired by the 70’s conversation pit.” – Rodolfo Agrella

Oasis x Material Bank

Sponsored by Material Bank and furnished by Normann Copenhagen, FilzFelt, and Kasthall. Paint by Resource.

“A contemporary interpretation of NYC’s public green spaces, with green waving hills and local flora. A monochromatic exercise across all the activation spaces to facilitate orientation at the fair.” – Rodolfo Agrella

ICFF + WDM Main Talks Stage

Sponsored by Turf, Natuzzi and Haworth.

“A neutral grid floating in space to generate architectural dialogues with the Javits surroundings, as a metaphor of the ideas and conversations discussed during the Talks program.” – Rodolfo Agrella

Welcome Lounge by moooi


Student Awards

Presented with Design Milk, sponsored by Alessi

Best of Students: Universidad Iberoamericana
Best of Schools: Northumbria University

Read Design Milk’s feature

Best of Launch Pad

Presented with Design Milk and Clever, sponsored by American Standard

Best of Launch Pad for lighting: Shaunak Patel
Best of Launch Pad for furniture/home accessories: Good Growing

Read Design Milk’s feature

ICFF Editors Awards:

Judges: Ben Dreith, Dezeen; Diana Budds, Curbed; Eric Mutrie, Azure; Kathryn Greene, Hospitality Design; Leslie Clagett, Kitchen & Bath Business; Lila Allen, AD PRO; Rebecca Thienes, Interior Design; Rita Orrell, Journalist; Ryan Waddoups, Surface; Sophie Aliece Hollis, Architect’s Newspaper; and Stephen Treffinger, Journalist.

Winning WantedDesign Manhattan participants:

Best in show: Caleb Ferris

Best booth: Turf
Lighting: Daniel Shapiro
Seating: Caleb Ferris
Materials and textiles: Tomma Bloom
Body of work: NJ Roseti
New designer: Kim Swift of Cranbrook Academy of Art

Winning ICFF participants:

Accessories: Obakki
Carpet and flooring: JD Staron
Kitchen and bath: Mila International
Furniture: SIN
Outdoor: MEXA Design
Wallcoverings: Affreschi & Affreschi

Dates for ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan 2024 are set for May 19-21, 2024.
Visit wanteddesignmanhattan.com for more information.

Photo credits: Jenna Bascom Photography