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ICFF 2014 Preview: Wintercheck Factory

Furniture and lighting from the Brooklyn-based design-and-build brand

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 15 May 2014

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Since 2010 Brooklyn's Wintercheck Factory has routinely rolled out new designs across apparel and homeware, to furniture and lighting. While the urge to design across all platforms is still alive and well, founder Kristen Wentrcek seems to be currently focusing on furniture, which will be on display at ICFF as part of NYCxDesign, running 17-20 May 2014. Divided into two sections—furniture designed by Wentrcek and manufactured offsite, and that designed and made in-house—the overall collection is full of interesting pieces that take inspiration from a variety of design eras and movements.

The obvious standout is the 105 Curved Wood Rocker. Made of a single sheet of birch and maple plywood, the curious shape is molded to its absolute breaking point, giving the chair a beautiful organic shape. After playing with different designs and materials for two years, Wentrcek found that the product's final design came naturally. "Once I found a manufacturer in North Carolina and once we isolated all of the constraints, my partner Andrew and I went to a bar and knocked it out in 10 minutes," Wentrcek tells CH, with her tongue firmly in cheek.

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Also made in NC, the 103 Oak Lounge Chair is a bold design that could be the bizarre love child of Le Corbusier's Le Petit Confort Armchair and a classic American school desk—in the best way, of course. By perching the wood-sided, supple leather-upholstered chair above powder-coated steel legs with adjustable feet, the chair achieves an attractive sense of casual sophistication.

Perhaps equally schoolhouse-inspired, the Fiberglass Sitting-Standing Desk is handmade of molded fiberglass in two plants in Florida and Alabama, and is available in five colored finishes. For use as an academic desk or workbench, it can be adjusted to two heights using the steel powder-coated legs. Though simple in construction, the straight forward industrial design is something to appreciate.

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Whereas the "manufactured" designs are limited by who can make them and for how much, the industrial 06/08 collection of lighting and home furnishings is designed and finished by hand in Brooklyn, making it really only contingent on Wentrcek's own abilities. Plus it's scalable. A highlight from this line is the architectural Night Lamp. Made of solid ash, the light uses its geometric form to bounce diffused light out through the base, emitting a warm glow. And as a nice touch, each lamp is oiled by hand to emphasize the natural beautify of the wood, and comes with a fabric covered cord.

Visit Wintercheck Factory in NYC at ICFF (Booth #1087) from 17 to 20 May 2014.

Images by Graham Hiemstra

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