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ASFD Rebrands as International Society of Furniture Designers

The move reflects the expanding awareness of the impact of furniture design on the worldwide marketplace.

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The American Society of Furniture Designers (ASFD) has rebranded as the International Society of Furniture Designers (ISFD). The move answers a growing call for an international organization devoted to advancing, improving and supporting the practice of furniture design, and reflects an expanding awareness of the impact of furniture design on the worldwide marketplace.

Globally celebrated product designer Carsten Astheimer will be among those representing the international design community at the revamped Twenty-Third Annual Pinnacle Awards Gala, the premiere home furnishings industry event dedicated to promoting design quality and encouraging increased recognition of product designers. Set for October 15 at High Point University’s Congdon School of Health Sciences, Astheimer will deliver the keynote address at the gala.

“Long known as a typical sit-down dinner with a cocktail hour, the Pinnacle Awards Gala has been rethought from start to finish, right down to the price of admission,” relates John Conrad, Executive Director of the organization now known as ISFD. “Everything we’ve done is meant to make the evening more glamorous, memorable and fun for all.”

Indeed, to make it easy to attend the can’t-miss-event, which occurs during the High Point Market, High Point University buses will transport gala guests from the front door of Showplace in the heart of downtown to the campus and the spectacular School of Health Sciences building. There they will encounter a jazz trio and a moveable feast created to encourage interaction between design students, design stars, the media and other industry notables, as well as manufacturers interested in renewing relationships and meeting new talent. In keeping with the international flavor, the event’s German-born headliner is the founder of Astheimer Studio based in the United Kingdom, a world-class design studio known for pushing boundaries and working in product sectors as diverse as automotive, marine, consumer electronics, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in addition to both indoor and outdoor furniture. Among the many brands counted among its clients are Land Rover, Bentley, Airstream, Mars, Kohler and Gloster to name but a few.

Joining Astheimer as presenters for the evening are Genevieve Gorder, television host and interior designer; Corey Damien Jenkins, interior designer; Michelle Jennings Wiebe, interior designer; Amy Archer, vice president of merchandising and creative force at Lee Industries; and Next Gen retailer Lael Thompson, chief operating officer of Denver-based Broyhill Home Collections and Bob Maricich, chief executive officer of International Market Centers (IMC).

Tickets for the gala are $75 in advance and $100 at the door. To purchase, visit http://bit.ly/2018PinnacleAwardsGala.

According to Conrad, the rebrand of ASFD into an organization with global reach has been in the works for some time. “Over the last five years our membership has been steadily growing to encompass designers and design firms outside of the United States,” he relates. “Our first area of global growth actually began in Asia. That led us to a collaborative agreement with the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) in 2016 and eventually the Australasian Furnishings Association. Throughout the past two years, we have also had members move to Europe. Among these, our first ever Student Pinnacle Award winner—Rebecca Goddard—now lives in Berlin where she is launching her own design firm later this month.”

ASFD previously licensed its prestigious Pinnacle Award concept to the China International Furniture Fair, launching the first-ever Pinnacle Awards Asian Pacific Competition in Shanghai in the process. The association is currently exploring a similar effort with management of Germany’s Cologne Fair, along with several other design-related organizations across the European continent.

“Design is global,” Conrad sums. “Our brand now better reflects that reality.”

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