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In a Possible First for AV, Leon Speakers to Attend ICFF Design Show

It’s been an ongoing trend that the more time goes on, the more technology has leaned into incorporating itself into home design, and I think few companies exemplify that more than Leon Speakers. That being said, it does still come as a surprise to hear that in what might be a first, Leon Speakers will be exhibiting at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), a design show, in New York City.

Not only that, but Leon’s Booth #563 at ICFF will be co-sponsored by partner Sony, who joined forces with Leon to showcase the Leon Studio Frame for Sony BRAVIA XR, further highlighting to a design audience how technology can be leveraged to improve the design aesthetics of a home.

Joining the duo will also be Mera Studio Architects, the Calgary-based architect and design firm with whom Leon has partnered on the development of the Mera Sound Sconce, and Sonos, whose audio products will be displayed in Leon TcBar mounts.

Other solutions Leon will be showcasing at the show include the Ente SoundTile art speaker as well as the Elite moving art screen alongside simpler its Edge Media Frame.

“Our solutions have always been about merging design with technology,” said Noah Kaplan, Leon’s Founder and President.

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“[ICFF] represents an opportunity for us to bring AV integrators and designers together and demonstrate the power of that mindset from both sides. We hope that this collection will serve to show how audio can—and should—function as a crucial component of the design process.”

Taking place from 5/19 to 5/21 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, ICFF serves as a massive gathering place for interior designers. While there, Leon hopes to help lead the conversation between designers and integrators and, as they say, “ignite” collaboration between the two industries by showcasing how AV technology can serve as a creative catalyst in design.

While the pro-install channel has long been courting designers with initiatives such as CEDIA Expo’s Design Connections Tour, the driving force behind the crossover between tech and design in recent years has largely been the lighting and shading categories, two categories that have long had roots in interior design and only more recently got introduced to the custom install channel.

Hunter Douglas, Graber, Lucifer, WAC: all of these brands were better known in design channels before seeing the value in custom integration and making the crossover.

Leon’s push into the design space by attending one of the most popular regional design shows is unique in this regard. The company, while having products deeply informed by interior design principles, is still largely an AV brand, a category of technology that, outside of many ultra-luxury brands isn’t often viewed as being complementary to design aesthetics. If anything, there’s a stigma that audio-visual products are directly antagonistic towards design.

That, of course, isn’t the case anymore, and as mentioned at the top of this article, Leon certainly exemplifies this for the custom install channel. Having attended ICFF a handful of times during my stint as a reporter in the design space, I don’t even think that the company would be that out of place at ICFF. In fact, I’m more surprised that this crossover hasn’t happened sooner. If the AV crowd was to have an ‘ambassador’ to the design community, I would definitely pin Leon Speakers as a good candidate for that.

It will be interesting to see just what the reception will be like come ICFF for Leon. The trend of developing more design-forward technology has been ongoing and very well received among both custom integration and designers alike so who knows, maybe it won’t be long before we start seeing other major manufacturers who got their start in the CI space presenting at these types of shows as well.

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