What's That Do!? 16 Perplexing Designs From the 2012 New York International Gift Fair

Christian Ghion's molecular-looking egg holder for Alessi
(Courtesy Alessi)

NEW YORK — The New York Interational Gift Fair — the behemoth trade show that exhibits the likes of Italian design powerhouse Alessi in the same space as the offbeat, up-and-coming young locals of American Design Club — is back in Midtown at the Javits Center. And the fall edition, scheduled right before prime gift-giving season, seems to have infinitely more interesting designs than its springtime counterpart.

Walking the floor yesterday, ARTINFO had the opportunity to ogle some inventive new wares, but never in any past iterations of the NYIGF have we so often had to ask “What… is that?” and “What does it do?” But the answer was never anything out of the ordinary. From flat-packed Swedish wood and lacquered leather rocking chair that springs to life only upon assembly, to the golden Jonathan Adler corkscrew disguised as a handgun, our favorite objects were the ordinary wares that were crafted to keep us guessing. We’ve rounded up the most surprising designs that, while maintaining function, have totally turned form on its head.

To see our perplexing picks from the 2012 New York International Gift Fair, click the slide show