…In which we show you the rest of the incredible work we presented this year at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, which took place at Hudson Mercantile and featured the work of more than 100 designers, who hailed from places as varied as Los Angeles, Vancouver, Indianapolis, St. Augustine, FL, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal, and, of course, Brooklyn. If you happened to miss it — or if you just want to relive the glory — check out our slideshow after the jump, which features all of the studios that exhibited on the 6th floor of our show.
As anyone who’s ever made an album knows, sophomore efforts are by far the toughest to pull off. And so, even though we here at Sight Unseen have been putting together a major Design Week showcase in some way or another since 2010, this year marked only our second outing as Sight Unseen OFFSITE, which debuted last year to enormous fanfare and praise.
Comprising four days, 12,000 square feet, and 50-something exhibitors, Sight Unseen OFFSITE is a major undertaking — a Herculean one, in fact, if you consider that there are only two of us leading the entire operation. So when we announced in April that we were doing an additional show this year, at the Collective Design fair, people quite understandably looked at us like we’d lost our minds. And yet we persisted on the sheer force of our belief that Steven Learner and his team at Collective are doing great things for design, things we wanted to be a part of — not just providing a platform for some of the world’s most important design galleries to sell to clients, but attempting to widen the dialogue with special projects like (this year) on-site design performances by The American Design Club, a Nap Lab by Various Projects and Print All Over Me, installations by OS & OOS and Jonathan Nesci, and of course, an offer to let us curate a corollary to Sight Unseen OFFSITE that featured six up-and-coming American designers making gallery-level work. If you didn’t get the chance to see last week’s Collective Design fair, which welcomed more than 10,000 visitors, here’s our best of show — and stay tuned for images from our own presentation at Collective, which we’ll be posting tomorrow.
Sight Unseen is the exclusive curator of the new PAOM HOME line, where our job is to help choose what kinds of objects to feature and then to invite up-and-coming illustrators, artists, and designers to contribute prints to those items. For the inaugural collection — which features IKEA slipcovers, plant cozies, pillows, linen throws, beanbags, cushions, and more — we selected four powerhouse female design studios: Caitlin Mociun, Pia Howell, Studiopepe, and Alex Proba. Get a 20% off discount code after the jump!
Sight Unseen OFFSITE opens today, and front and center at this year’s show is an undulating structure that, from a distance, looks incredibly mysterious — its walls are made from an unusual material, and they periodically emit a strange, pulsing blue glow. As you approach the structure, you first pass through a very narrow entryway that obscures your view of what’s inside, but once you arrive there — well, that’s the magic of the Dynamic Sanctuary, an installation by the Brooklyn design studio The Principals that’s a kind of poetic metaphor for the design ideas behind Ford’s 2015 Edge vehicle.
Sight Unseen OFFSITE officially opens for business today at noon! Please come by Hudson Mercantile, at 500 West 36th Street, to visit us! We’ll have amazing furniture, lighting, ceramics, and objects by near 100 of our favorite independent designers, delicious food in a café installation by Sunday Supper, a Print All Over Me living room that changes its pattern everyday, Instagrammable photo booths by RoAndCo and Katie Stout, a zen-like sanctuary created by The Principals for our partnership with Ford, and much much more. Hope to see you there!
One of the many great things about living in this post-Postmodern, cyber-gray area of the 2k10s, is that artists and designers can draw inspiration from pretty much any culture or period and come away with something new and exciting. There’s the brightly colored, geometric, “playful” route that has become so popular with today’s makers — and then there’s Brooklyn’s Chris Wolston. His approach to making is often from a primordial or primitive perspective, where senses of the handmade and the human spirit are easily discernable.
Months ago, when we first began chatting with Ford about what a partnership for our Sight Unseen OFFSITE event this weekend would look like, we alighted on a phrase Ford had used to talk about the spirit that their new Ford Edge vehicle embodies: They called it the new escapism, which involves designing pockets of personal space that might help to bring a sense of calm and balance to everyday life’s otherwise volatile pace. From that nugget evolved a framework for both the Dynamic Sanctuary installation we commissioned from The Principals (above) — which uses light to visualize users’ biorhythms, creating a calming oasis during the hectic schedule of New York design week — and the programming we’ve created surrounding it.