Fresh design from the tropics at the ICFF.

Eugenio, Alfredo, Roberto, José, Harry and Claudia

Citizens of the world make world-class designers. Our new breed of Salvadoran furniture designers is living proof, and a must-see at this year’s ICFF in New York City.

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, also known as the ICFF, is a yearly event that gathers and showcases the best design of the world. It’s a first for El Salvador, a country better known for political turmoil, gangs and Pupusas. Design has just not been a priority in this country’s past, until now.

I’m delighted to present this fresh group of yet-unknown, but oh-so-damn-talented group of “Guanaco” designers to you: 

Roberto Dumont

Roberto Dumont’s sleek chairs are like Transformer toys for furniture lovers. They’re fun, witty and yet manage to remain so chic.

“The chair collection is composed from two basic elements: an aluminum base structure and a seat in tension…The system provides for numerous compositions due to the interchangeable seats and bases. Sofas and waiting area seating can be easily constructed with a small alteration to the base structure.”

José Paredes / 5 PATAS AL GATO

His insect-like creatures become the centerpiece of any room. José Paredes’s tables question the very nature of this everyday piece of furniture. The unused space is eliminated, giving the table new character. The end result is a combination of smart and fun design.

“Taxonomy is a collection based on the principles of nature, USE WHAT IS NECESARRY TO FULFILL A TASK…It leaves no space for decorations on the table; instead the table becomes the decorative element.”

Eugenio Menjívar

Eugenio Menjívar transforms egg cartons into beautiful lamps. His enlightened designs are part of a greater ideal to help stop deforestation and provide jobs for the needy.

“…this collection of lamps is the result of working with low-cost, easy-to-handle everyday recyclable materials.”

Alfredo Guillen

Alfredo Guillen has made steel graceful and delicate. He creates tall, standing, wind chimes that are not only beautiful to look at, they’re also pleasing to the ear.

“Combining concepts of Feng Shui, and his experiences in Zen Buddism and other forms of meditation, he created an object where the bell-like sound of the moving steel bars has a purpose hence creating a visual-musical experience through touch or wind.”

Claudia Vásquez & Harry Washington / DUE

Claudia and Harry make up the chic young duo: DUE.
They’ve created a very elegant collection based on fashion’s Haute Couture, managing to combine their European influence with Salvadoran craftsmanship.

“In the search for a handcraft technique in El Salvador, we found a rich craft that has been left behind: saddle making. The work of a saddler is to craft “horse furniture” with techniques that have been inherited from father to son along generations.  Nowadays, the saddler practice is a privilege of a few.  We intend to bring back this talent and make the most of a handcraft technique that can be applied to new uses in tune with modern lifestyles.”

Javier Cristiani / Hemisferios

Javier Cristiani’s furniture pieces are simple yet bold, combining materials and colors of a nostalgic nature with very modern lines. 

“The choice of colors and lines along with the shape of the chair and its method of fabrication is a reference of classic sports cars.”

International Contemporary Furniture Fair
Date: May 17th – 20th, 2008
Place: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center – Booth 502

Text: Erika Saca
Photo: Rodrigo Tablas

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Fernando Trocca