ICFF Talks

Talks applications are now closed.


Positioned right on the show floor, ICFF Talks features panels of industry leaders discussing changes, new introductions, materials and trends in the interior design world. An audience of over 36,000 architects, interior designers, developers, and visual merchandisers join in to listen and learn about what is happening in their industry.

2018 ICFF Talks Schedule to release early March.

Review of ICFF Talks 2017 schedule below:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Across Perspectives: Design Futures



Description: Listen in as leaders in the design field for over two decades, top design trend experts, first-class designers, architects, editors, and…. predict design trends, industry challenges, and strengths. Their perspectives on the most important design trends and practices for the coming twelve months is a blueprint for anyone planning success in 2017.


Moderator: Suzanne Slesin, Publisher/Editorial Director of Pointed Leaf Press.


  • Scott Sanders – Interior Designer
  • Jade Dressler – Creative Director, Designer, and Feng Shui Expert
  • Ellen Fisher – VP for Academic Affairs and Dean at the New York School of Interior Design
  • Ingrid Abramovitch – Features Director, Hearst Design Group (ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful, Veranda)
  • Rio Hamilton – Design & Fashion Blogger/Marketing Strategist
  • Chad Oppenheim – Principal Architect, OPPENHEIM

Made Away



Description: In these uncertain and charged times it is important to reflect on the role that design can play in driving public discourse and fostering a more enlightened understanding of cultural differences. Nelda Rodger of Azure Magazine in conversation with Enrico Bressan (Artecnica), Patty Johnson (Patty Johnson Design), Eero Koivisto (CKR), Marc Thorpe (Marc Thorpe Design), and Peter Mabeo (Mabeo Furniture) will talk about their experiences when their products are made away in other cultures with small manufacturers and community initiatives. By using local materials, processes and know-how, the results highlight the beautiful realties of difference when designers work globally.


Moderator: Nelda Rodger – Publisher Azure Magazine



  • Enrico Bressan – Artecnica
  • Patty Johnson – Patty Johnson Design
  • Eero Koivisto – CKR
  • Peter Mabeo – Mabeo Furniture
  • Marc Thorpe – Marc Thorpe Design

The Creatives: Coloring Outside the Lines



Description: Design is no longer easily categorized and creativity is unconstrained by traditional boundaries. Join actor Terry Crews, Grammy nominated singer Tift Merritt and Bernhardt Design’s Creative Director, Jerry Helling in conversation with Rima Suqi, renowned journalist, as they discuss the relationship between the various creative disciplines and design. Exploring ideas on inspiration, art, writing, acting and design, they will share what is possible when you color outside the lines.


Moderator: Rima Suqi, renowned journalist



  • Jerry Helling – Creative Director, Bernhardt Design
  • Terry Crews – American Actor, Director and Author
  • Tift Merritt – Musician

New Generation of Leaders in Commercial Interiors



Description: Four leading New York-based designers of interiors for workplace, hospitality, retail, education, and healthcare will discuss the current outlook in commercial design. These designers are of a new generation of leadership, directing interior design for major New York firms. Demonstrating the more versatile nature of design today, each actively engages in multiple project types, not just one.

  • The designers will discuss process, from collaborating with clients to executing beautiful, innovative interiors.
  • How is hospitality and retail influencing the design of other commercial interiors? 
  • How do designers meet client expectations in an an increasing competitive environment? 
  • How is excellence in design achieved without compromising the creative process with the pressures of time and budget? 


Moderator: John Czarnecki – Editor-in-Chief of Contract



  • Siobhan Barry – Partner and Executive Creative Director at Dash Design
  • Ricardo Nabholz – Interior Design Director at Mancini Duffy
  • Christine Vandover – Principal at HOK
  • Clayton Whitman – Associate Principal at CallisonRTKL

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rendering to Reality: A Conversation with Marc Kushner and Enrique Norten 



Description: This talk, a follow up to Architizer’s Rendering to Reality Spring Lecture series, is a deep drive in to the materiality and construction of contemporary architecture. Enrique Norten, the Director and Founder of TEN Arquitectos, will walk the audience through the detailing and construction of two of his projects, followed by a conversation and Q&A with Architizer CEO Marc Kushner.



  • Marc Kushner – CEO of Architizer
  • Enrique Norten – Director and Founder of TEN Arquitectos

Virtual Reality & The Future of Architecture



Description: Virtual reality is rapidly becoming prevalent in the architectural industry as architects work with engineer, designers, and programmers, to design, visualize, and share unbuilt or historic work. The Architects Newspaper and the NYC Media Lab, along with architects and program designers discuss the future of VR in architecture. From recreating iconic architecture of years past to using VR to make future projects possible. We will discuss recent examples of VR and walk the audience through the basics of this innovative intersection of technology and design. This panel runs in tandem with The Architect’s Newspaper Tech+ conference and virtual kiosk at ICFF.


Moderator: Olivia Martin – Managing Editor of The Architects Newspaper



  • Justin Hendrix – Executive Director of NYC Media Lab
  • Christopher Mitchell and/or Thomas Dickerson – Founders of VR Architectural Modeling Software, Geopipe
  • Farzin Lotfi-Jam – Principal Architect and Founder of Farzin Farzin, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University
  • Roy Peer – Founder of Stimuli VR

The New New York



Description: Join Metropolis Editorial and Brand Director Paul Makovsky in exploring the best of New York City’s architecture, interiors and public spaces from the past three years, nominated by more than 35 design icons. Join three icon/nominators in presenting their favorites.


Moderator: Paul Makovsky – Metropolis Editorial & Brand Director



  • Crystal Ellis, Co-Founder of Egg Collective
  • Layng Pew, Principal of WXY Architecture + Urban Design
  • Calvin Tsao, Principal of Tsao & McKown Architects

New in New York 



Description: It’s no surprise that New York is a hotbed for development, much of which is pushing the envelope in terms of design. We put together a powerhouse panel of designers who will not only discuss their recent Big Apple and Brooklyn projects, but how they speak to the savvy new traveler.


Moderator: Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, Editor-in-Chief – Hospitality Design Magazine 



  • Adam Roiston – Partner, Managing & Creative Director, INC Architecture & Design
  • Alessandro Munge – Founder, Studio Munge
  • Greg Keffer – Principal + Studio Leader, Rockwell Group

Curated Luxury Design



Description: Exploring the elements within a design concept that combine to deliver ‘luxury’ within a space, from the role of texture, color and detail to the question of the relevance of trends.


Moderator: Stacy Garcia – Publisher of Life-Styled publication



  • Simon Rawlings – Creative Director at David Collins Studio
  • Ani Brieger – Founder off Decorative Art & Design by Ani
  • Matthew Berman – Principal at Workshop/APD


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beauty Matters



Description: Why does beauty matter more in our day than it has ever done before, and how does it relate to sustainability? Is it enough to have environmentally efficient buildings if they are not beautiful as well? Can design be good design if it is not sustainable?

David looks at why beauty and art have been so important to the human race since we first ventured out of Africa. He offers some personal insights into how beauty and art may have first appeared in Paleolithic culture, and shows how vitally important it has been to all cultures ever since. Without beauty there is no care, and if we don’t care enough about our enviornment then our environment will not care for us. He also goes inside our brains to understand why contemporary culture cares so little, and shows how this may be remedied. All these considerations are part of his design philosophy which is clearly presented in this lecture. David will show how he has applied this philosophy in his manufacturing process to reduce his environment impact.


Presenter: David Trubridge from David Trubridge Ltd.

You Are Here: Regional Design on the Map, presented by GRAY Magazine and Global Affairs Canada



Description: We know what regionalism means for food, culture, and politics, but how does it affect design? From Pacific Northwest minimalism to bohemian-influenced L.A. designers are embracing the look and feel of the environments around them. In this engaging panel discussion, we’ll explore the ways in which differing regions’ evolving industries, climates, population, and resources have influenced the emergence of unique interiors, architecture, and products-and even broach the question of the relevance of “regional design” in today’s hyper-connected, globalized world.


Moderator: Rachel Gallaher, Senior editor of GRAY Magazine



  • Brent Comber – Vancouver, Brent Comber Originals Booth 221B
  • Peter Coolican – Toronto, Coolican and Company, Booth 221
  • Darin Montgomery – Seattle, Urbancase, Booth 138
  • Joe Gibson – Portland, Revolution Design House, Booth 436
  • Brendan Ravenhill – Los Angeles, Booth 829

Decorating Interiors with Light



Description: Moderated by David Howell, the darc ‘Decorating Interiors with Light’ talk will be a discussion between interior designers, lighting designers and product designers on the importance of ‘good’ lighting in interior design schemes. Topics discussed will range from current trends in decorative lighting to advances in technology, such as LED, and how these are shaping the lighting design industry.


Moderator: David Howell – President, DHD Architecture + Interior Design



  • David Trubridge – Designer at David Trubridge Ltd.
  • Gabriel Kakon – Gabriel Scott
  • Scott Richler – Gabriel Scott
  • Brett Andersen – Focus Lighting

Making it in New York City: The Benefits of Manufacturing Here



Description: New York City is one of the most dynamic cities in the world – a capital of commerce and trend, and an entry point to global markets. New York City is also home to a thriving manufacturing industry, fueled by the City’s Industrial Action Plan, aimed at helping emerging and existing manufacturers adopt new technologies and increase production. In this panel you will learn about Futureworks NYC—the advanced manufacturing network of programs and initiatives – financial incentives, and available industrial space and workshops all geared to helping manufacturers find success. Join our panel audience to discover the benefits of bringing your production to New York City and explore the exciting opportunities available to businesses like yours.


Moderator: Kinda Younes – Executive Director, ITAC (Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation)



  • Ellis Isenberg – Co-Founder + Partner, Tri-Lox, a Greenpoint-based furniture manufacturer and Futureworks NYC Growth Initiative fun recipient.
  • Elias Didaskalou – CEO of urbangreen home furnishings, located at Brooklyn Army Terminal.
  • Chun Leung – Assistant Vice President, Asset management, New York City Economic Development Corporation.
  • Jeff Lee – Senior Vice President, Strategic Investments Group, New York City Economic Development Corporation.
  • David Smucker – Senior Project Manager, Futureworks NYC
  • Nate Padgett – Brooklyn Business Development & Community Engagement, TechShop Brooklyn

Consumer Day: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Maturing Your Product Offering: Guidelines, Inspiration and Pitfalls to Avoid



Description: Industrial designers and manufactures are continuously faced with making decisions on how to mature their product offering to align with the growth or evolution of their brand. Join moderator Kadie Yale of Interiors & Sources and a panel of experts as they discuss factors that drive product maturation, pitfalls to avoid when launching new product, strategies for applying a modicum of distinction, price and availability, and insight on R&D programs that yield big returns. How can designers create variations of an original product that appeal to newly identified audiences? How do new materials, technology or manufacturing capabilities play a role in a product’s lifecycle? When does systematic product design offer long-term value versus pursuing singular product opportunites? Is there such a thing as placing too much emphasis on a new product releases at the expense of mature products, when in fact the greater the greater profits could possibly be derived from redesigning and improving original products?


Moderator: Kadie Yale, Editor in Chief at Interiors & Sources



  • Jeff Miller, Vice President of Design at Poppin
  • Matt Karlin, President at Nemo Tile

Designers in the Middle



Description: Rona Meyuchas-Koblenz will present a discussion panel called Designers in the Middle. The discussion examines the unique experiences of designing in or from the Middle East. A panel including Khalid Shafar and Taher Asad-Bakhtiari looks at how the region’s craft, heritage, daily life, and political and industrial reality affect the work and lives of its designers. Chaired by Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design.


Moderator: Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt



  • Rona Meyuchas-Koblenz – Founder & Creative director, Kukka
  • Khalid Shafar – Founder & Designer
  • Taher Asad-Bakhtiari – Artist, The Tribal Weave Project

!Viva Design! Three Spanish Design Professionals in Conversation



Description: Three design entrepreneurs  from Spain sharing their passion for design and their path in the creation of meaningful products with Tiffany Lambert, PIN–UP Contributing Design Editor.


Moderator: Tiffany Lambert, PIN–UP Contributing Design Editor



  • Cristian Zuzunaga- Owner of Zuzunaga Studio
  • Carlos Ferrando- Owner of Closca Design
  • Oscar de la Hera- Owner of MFA

ICFF Talks application