A  few weeks ago, New York City promoted a citywide celebration of design — known as NYCxDESIGN — throughout its five boroughs. The annual event included the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which is held each year during this time at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Being just outside Manhattan in northern New Jersey, I always enjoy popping into the exhibition for a day to see what's trending in the various sectors. While I am interested in the latest stone and tile innovations, it is also fun to see the newest developments in furniture and lighting, too.

ICFF, which sprawled 165,000 net square feet of the Javits Center, featured more than 700 exhibitors and attracted over 32,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, representatives, distributors, facility managers, developers, manufacturers, store designers and visual merchandisers. Among the stone and tile exhibits were Artistic Tile and Walker Zanger, who both always have such elegant and unique product lines on display. Ceramics of Italy was also present with a large contingency of 22 brands. And of course, it was no surprise that Italian stone producer Antolini created a stir on the show floor. Several people that I spoke to when I first arrived had asked me if I had seen the company's booth yet.

As an international brand, Antolini exhibits at many trade shows worldwide. The company continues to push boundaries and think outside the box, which results in an impressive booth. It was no different at ICFF this year. Basically, a fortress was created with 400 square meters of stone inside the convention center.

The booth was designed by Antonio Facco of Italy. Facco was part of a program developed by Antolini this year, where seven designers were chosen to create works in the stone producer's natural stone for seven international stone exhibitions. Antolini believes that it created an environment for "experimentation in the design of natural stone, where research and creativity combine to emphasize the beauty and expressive variety of the materials." The company also stated that promoting young talent and experimentation with materials, finishes and fields of application is at the heart of the "Antolini Interpretations 2015" project.

In addition to having a "wow" factor, Antolini's booth also illustrated how collaboration in design can release the juices for innovation. When designers or architects work with stone producers or installers, it allows for an exchange of ideas and a sharing of expertise. Each can learn from the other — resulting in endless design possibilities.