NYIGF’s Accent on Design Exhibitors Put the Fun in Functional

By danielle


We promised it in eSPY and here it is…a selection of our favorite products seen at the New York International Gift Fair‘s Accent on Design. We were asked to pick a product that has “creativity, functionality and originality, urgent, odd and delightful design”.  With so many great introductions, it is hard to write about just one….so here are a few (and our winner too).

To start, I just love the balloon vases from Corey Green, a first-year senior at SCAD. A winner of ShelterPop & SCAD’s Design Challenge, his whimsical product reminds us when to water the flowers. How? It’s easy…the balloon shrinks when the water is low. I chatted with Green at the fair and he told me that his childhood chore was to take care of the plants. While he admitted that he didn’t quite have a green thumb, now all he needs is a pretty green balloon…problem solved!

Balloon Vases by Corey Green. Photo: SCAD

Speaking of young designers, Hongjie Yang, a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, OH, with a BFA in Industrial Design, Yang has won several design competitions for his utilitarian products, including a transportable medical case for emergency responders. His first-time at the fair landed him in the A+: The Young Designer’s Platform where he introduced several new products including: Veer, a stainless steel soap dispenser; Chromis, a recycled aluminum pencil sharpener inspired by the form of fish; and the acrylic Hydro+ 20 oz. intelligent water bottle, which tracks the user’s daily hydration cycles. He told me that he started sketching automobiles as early as 10 years old. His precision and attention to detail got him into college and is taking him to new levels in product design. I can’t wait to see where he goes from here!

And now…drum roll please….our Design Calendar‘s Blogger’s Choice Award goes to…..the hot-pot BBQ from Black + Blum. I must admit that I had a hard time choosing between their new lunch pot, bento box and bbq, but with all this snow on the ground, the thought of summer swayed me towards one. Masked as a ceramic planter, this BBQ is perfect for New York City renter who loves to cook on a grill. An added plus, the herbs on top can be used to season the food below. I am a big fan of its original and multi-purpose design. It is a creative and charming alternative to the traditional charcoal grill.  I also love its compact packaging and affordable price ($124 retail). I had a chance to learn more about the product at the show. Check out our interview with Suzanne Doyle of Black + Blum on the NYIGF’s YouTube Channel.

black+blum puts the sizzle in design with their new hot-pot bbq.

Fun and functional, this bbq caught our eye. It is the perfect "gift" for city dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts.

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