Held on March 21–24 at Piers 92 & 94, the Architectural Digest Design Show brings together a wide array of established and emerging talent and over 400 luxury brands to discover each year. Now in its 18th year, the event also happens to be one of the only global design trade shows that offers consumers a vantage point into the exclusive world of interiors outside the pages of a magazine or on a TV screen. There is even a section on the show floor that caters to design aficionados’ need for instant gratification—in SHOPS, visitors are welcome to purchase brands’ wares and saunter out of the show with their finds. This week, Downtown readers can enjoy $5 off tickets from Friday, March 22–Sunday, March 24 with code: DOWNTOWNMAG. Below, enjoy a round-up of 10 makers, brands, and one spectacular event that is sure to entice any design enthusiast to the show.
Ngala Trading Co., Booth 716
Ngala Trading Co. is a luxury lighting and home decor brand known for offering unique and exotic handmade designs featuring sustainably sourced materials from across Africa. Each piece in the line, founded by Nick Geimer and Lawson Ricketts in 2016, marries European and African design styles in a mesmerizing manner. With designs utilizing feathers, porcupine quills, and leather fashioned into one chic chandelier (see above), there is so much to explore.
Hamilton Holmes, Booth M518
The Black Arts furniture and sculpture collection by Nicholas Hamilton Holmes is one very good reason to attend the show. The new collection showcases a variety of ‘tubular’ designs the artisan has manipulated and shaped into distinctive forms. Each piece, from lounge chairs, to book ends, to a cactus-like coat rack, is then dyed all black, allowing only the form’s true nature to stand out. To add a bit of levity, comfort, and depth, the designer adds Brazilian Soapstone, black Danish cord, Mongolian wool, and brass accents to some of his designs.
John Sheppard, Booth M309
Founded by its namesake ceramist, New York-based ceramics and lighting studio John Sheppard will showcase eye-catching pieces inspired by Brutalist architecture and building materials. The asymmetrical base of the Conduit Incline Table Lamp (right) is handcrafted from slabs of sand-colored stoneware. A brass hardware piece traverses through it, yielding one unique, illuminating design
Studio Watson, Made
Canadian painter Janna Watson is known for her vibrant, abstract works of art. At this year’s AD Design Show, the artist is showcasing her deft hand at creating gorgeous, hand-tufted contemporary rugs. Inspired by her artful compositions, Watson is no longer solely satisfied by defining interiors’ walls but is now applying her talents to creating art underfoot as well.
SIN, Booth M304
Founded by Virginia Sin, SIN is chock-full of hand-built, handcrafted, and woven American-made home goods and objets d’art. With tabletops, pillows, furniture, and lighting – including a porcelain ice cream cone light that doubles as a vase – the one-of-a-kind offerings exhibited at SIN are worth the trek in themselves.
Sien + Co., Booth M1011
Alexandra Gibson founded Sien + Co. in 2016 after touring Nepal with her daughter. When a lost luggage issue turned into a serendipitous encounter with a cooperative of Nepali artists in Kathmandu, Gibson returned to the US completely inspired. She left her job and began working towards creating handmade textiles with a modern touch. Today, Sien + Co.’s luxurious, handmade knit apparel and home furnishings are sustainably and ethically made. The furnishings are manufactured in collaboration with Identidad Argentina, a company that helps preserve traditional weaving and dying techniques.
Artistic Tile, Booth 172
If you weren’t particularly into tile before attending the show, Artistic Tile’s Billie Holiday-inspired, Billie Ombre might change your ideas of exactly how artful tile can be. The wave of vibrant colored glass was designed to not only create an overall ombre effect, but to mimic the legendary jazz musician’s trademark melodic expressions. Thematic variations in color are available.
Chai Ming Studios, Booth 111
Founded in 2011 by designer Gary Lee, Chai Ming Studios prides itself on impeccable craftsmanship, materiality, and artistry. With bespoke furniture pieces handcrafted to embrace texture, unique finishes, and the unexpected, each piece presents a unique point of view. At this company, it’s all about the collaborative process. Design solutions are aplenty at Chai Ming Studios.
True Residential, Booth 369
A luxury home refrigeration brand, True Residential makes one of the most sought-after indoor/outdoor undercounter Dual Zone Wine Cabinets. At 24” in height, the cabinet not only accommodates a total of 45 bottles, but features two independent zones that can be adjusted from 40°F to 65°F and patented TruLumina LED lighting that illuminates your wines in a choice of 14 different ambient color options with the push of a button. Also, the units are now available in custom colors and finishes—perfect to design your bar around.
Held in the neighboring Pier 92, an additional perk to attending the show is access to DIFFA’s Dining by Design. The venue is brilliantly transformed each year by some of the country’s top designers into an enthralling display of imaginative dining environments. Often frequented by design devotees and luminaries in the fields of art, fashion, and design, this immersive exhibit is pure creative and functional eye-candy. This year, visitors to the venue will be able to explore collaborative installations between powerhouse designers and brands, including one by Benjamin Moore and Cosentino designed by Tyler Wisler, and another from the New York Design Center designed by Marks & Frantz.