This weekend Wetsyle, a Montreal-based manufacturer of premium bath furnishings, is introducing their new W2 brand at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).
“W2 is a new brand of products that is simplified in design, shape and fabrication. It is available at a more modest price point to reach a broader audience of people passionate about beautiful design.” – Mark Wolinsky, Wetstyle president
The W2 brand will include 3 free-standing tubs, 2 of which are designed to fit within the footprint of a traditional soaking tub alcove 60″ long x 30″ deep. This is such great news for remodelers who struggle to find stylish tubs under 60″ in length. Another great feature I like about the tubs is the hidden overflow drain.
The new tubs are made by hand with WETMAR BIO, a proprietary stone composite material that is slip resistant with natural insulating properties.
The W2 Wave Tub is inspired by a gently rolling ocean wave. The elegant lines of this tub will work in both Transitional and Contemporary Bathrooms.
The W2 Straight Tub features tapered lines and rounded corners for a more modern profile.
The W2 Cloud Tub, the largest of the three, has a delicately rolled rim and beautiful lines that give it a timeless transitional look. Incorporating the optional base transforms this tub into a traditional statement piece.
Six talented design students will kickstart their careers during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) May 17-20, 2014.
They will introduce their design entries for the 10th annual “Wilsonart Challenges…” Student Chair Design Competition centered around the theme SPACE and inspired by the Wilson House museum.
The house was built in 1959 by Ralph Wilson Sr., founder of Wilsonart International. Wilson used it as both his home and a test lab to see how many uses his company’s plastic laminate could serve in everyday living. Wilsonart purchased the Wilson House from Ralph Wilson’s widow in 1997, and has since restored it to its original appearance in 1959.
The Wilson House has been recognized as a significant architectural structure by the Texas Historical Commission and the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, check out this circa 1998 article from The New York Times.
The students began the competition period learning about Chair History and Morphorlogy. They toured both a Wilsonart factory and the Wilson House museum.
The Chair Design Competition requires each entrant to create seating products that celebrate the richness of Wilsonart International’s laminate surfacing materials. In this challenge, students have an opportunity to design and build a unique chair around their individual talents. The chairs are required to be built in full scale and must be able to support 400 pounds. Each student is responsible to build their own chair.
The final student chairs have to be constructed with Wilsonart Laminate as surfacing materials but the early mock-ups were made using a variety of materials.
The students constructed half-scale models and full-scale drawings to further analyse design details, strength and the building process.
The final two weeks were spent building the chairs and according to the student blog, whatever time was left was used to create the presentation. (Sound familiar to anyone?)
“We deliberated this year more than any other year due to the outpouring of talent,”
— design historian and materials specialist Grace Jeffers
And The Winner Is…
The winning student was Jenny Trieu with her “Infinite chair” composed of a plywood rib cage, layered with veneer then Wilsonart Laminate flowing continuously like an infinity symbol. Congrats, Jenny!
Jenny’s chair epitomizes mid-century modernism through its unique structure and bold colors. Wilsonart Laminate Zebrawood, 7980K-18 is accented by eye-catching Wilsonart Laminate in Hollyberry, D307-60. Wilsonart Laminate in Black, 1595-60 lines the edges.
About “Wilsonart Challenges…”
Wilsonart sponsors the “Wilsonart Challenges…” student design scholarship program to foster the careers of emerging furniture designers in North America. Each year, this competition challenges students at a designated design school to create a unique chair that uses Wilsonart Laminate to answer a specific design challenge.
Wilsonart selected the College of Architecture at the University of Houston to host the 2014 Challenge. The competition unfolds as a semester-long course, this year taught by Professor Jeff Feng and Grace Jeffers, design historian and materials specialist ( and daughter of a Formica salesman). The students were taught about laminate, its history, technical capabilities, current market trends and sustainability issues as well as the history of chairs as decorative art forms.
(Wilsonart is a sponsor for BlogTour NYC May 2014, but the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and I will be honest in what I share. You, the reader, are my top priority and it is my goal to make sure you can trust the content and integrity of this blog.)
In a few weeks I’ll be headed to New York Design Week anchored by the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) with BlogTour NYC May 2014 founded by Modenus CEO Veronika Miller.
This whirlwind trip will be in collaboration with WantedDesign. Eleven noteworthy bloggers from the US, Canada, Holland, England and Denmark will also be attending and posting updates.
NYCxDESIGN is New York City’s official citywide celebration of design. Spanning all disciplines of design, NYCxDESIGN creates a collaborative platform for cultural and commercial opportunities, elevates established and emerging design practices and increases awareness of and appreciation for design by all audiences. Events are staged across all five boroughs, from convention facilities and galleries to design schools and public parks from May 9-20, 2014.
WantedDesign is a premier creative destination for the international design community during NYCxDESIGN in May. Building on the success of WantedDesign’s groundbreaking debut in 2011, amazing programming and attendance in 2012 and 2013 (with more than 9,000 attendees last May), and various programming during the year to nurture NYC’s design dialogue, WantedDesign will continue to set the standard for international design curation with its fourth edition. The event will offer a 360-degree experience with innovative installations, memorable products, a pop-up store, interactive experiences, convivial lounges, thought-provoking student workshops, engaging discourse and more.
Located in the exceptional landmark Terminal Stores building on 11th Avenue, WantedDesign offers participants and visitors alike a unique and dynamic experience and serves as a meeting point for designers, manufacturers, industrials, distributors, craftsmen, students, design institutions, the press and all design lovers. WantedDesign is actively part of NYCxDESIGN and aims to showcase New York as a dynamic and unique design destination.
The 26th annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s platform for global design, will map the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next in innovative and original avant-garde home and contract products May 17-20, 2014.
North America’s premier showcase for contemporary design, the ICFF annually lures those in determined pursuit of design’s timely truths and latest trends to an encyclopedic exhibition of up-to-the-moment offerings, as well as a series of fascinating, fun, edifying programs, and a packed schedule of exhibits and features.
Eleven categories will be showcased during the fair: furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, kitchen and bath and fabricators.
For the four-day duration of the Fair, 165,000 net square feet of the Javits Center will be abuzz with more than 29,500 interior designers, architects, retailers, designers, manufacturers, representatives, distributors, and developers. On Tuesday, May 20, the ICFF opens its doors to the general public, as well.