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  1. 06.26.15
    Sighted
    L.A.’s Newest Design Brand, TOOOLS

    Back in 2012, we wrote about the launch of a gallery called Beginnings in Brooklyn, which, a year later, met an untimely and unfortunate end. But two of the gallery’s founders have since gone on to forge a new (ahem) beginning, this time giving it a far less superstitious name: TOOOLS, a Los Angeles–based object-design company recently started by artist Caroline Hwang and designer Joel Speaskmaker that aims to be “a new company with an old ethos: form & function.” See what the duo have to say about the project, and see tons of images, after the jump.

  2. 06.17.15
    Sighted
    Designers Interpret the Classic Tolix A Chair

    We aren’t quite sure how we missed this project — considering both our affinity for the classic Tolix A chair (we might own seven (!) of them ourselves) and our affection for the designers involved — but in Milan last month, the French company celebrated its 80th anniversary and in doing so invited eight design studios to reinterpret its most famous offering.

  3. 04.21.15
    Sighted
    Thévoz-Choquet’s New Marble Accessories Collection For Bloc Studios

    Over four days spent in Milan last week at the annual furniture fair, we saw dozens of exhibitions, spent 9 hours at the fairgrounds, and shot more than 800 photos. Pretty overwhelming. While we take a moment to regroup and put together our official coverage, which starts tomorrow, we figured we’d share with you one of the few projects that we didn’t photograph in Milan, but didn’t need to — SU alums Josephine Choquet and Virgil Thévoz launched an extensive new collection of marble tables and housewares with the Italian marble producer Bloc Studios, and thanks to the duo’s superior art directing skills, it came complete with the perfectly styled set of images you’ll see after the jump.

  4. 04.20.15
    Sighted
    Aelfie x Studio Proba Rugs

    For the rest of this week, we’ll be bombarding you with our favorite finds from last week’s Milan furniture fair, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t first highlight one of the best things to recently launch on our shores: A colorfully graphic series of limited-edition rugs, pillows, and prints that represent a powerhouse collaboration between two Brooklyn designers, Alex Proba of A Poster a Day, and rug designer Aelfie Oudghiri. The two designers have strangely similar backgrounds — both attended medical school in Europe before finding their way to Brooklyn’s collaborative design community — as well as a complementary aesthetic that’s heavy on geometry and asymmetry.

  5. 04.10.15
    Sighted
    Été Studios’s Project 001

    Ask anyone what kind of houseplant you ought to get if you’re cursed with a black thumb, and you’re nearly always regaled with tales of the wonderful, unkillable qualities of cacti and succulents. But frankly, we’ve had bad luck with more than a few of that breed. Été Studios, a new product-design studio based in Seoul, Korea, is here to help. Their first line of products consists of a series of vases and pots specially designed to make growing cacti and succulents easier. Larger vessels are made from copper, a material known for its antimicrobial properties that inhibit bacterial growth, and smaller, hydroponic vases are made from two parts: “A plant is placed on top of the holder, and its root system passes through the copper pipe and into the vessel. Cactus and succulents thrive in a condition in which the plant is kept dry except for its root system. This vase — while allowing the root system to be in contact with water, which only needs to be changed once a week — keeps the rest of the plants dry.” The fact that they’re beautiful to boot is icing on the cake.

  6. 03.18.15
    Sighted
    Acme Legacy’s Archival Memphis Jewelry

    After our recent post on jewelry created by famous ’80s-era Memphis-group architects, readers came to us asking where they could find the pieces (good luck), while even copies of the out-of-print book we pulled the images from immediately became exponentially harder to procure (for under $350, at least). And so despite the excitement the post generated, it was destined to remain a mere digital artifact for most. That’s why we were so happy to discover, shortly thereafter, Acme’s Legacy collection, through which the 30-year-old accessories brand — which these days focuses on designer pens — has been quietly pulling Memphis jewelry pieces out of its archives and making them available for sale at shockingly reasonable price points. From 1985 to 1992, Acme founders Adrian Olabuenaga and Leslie Bailey produced more than 100 different earrings, brooches, and necklaces by design titans like Ettore Sottsass, Joanna Grawunder, Alessandro Mendini, and George Sowden, a big chunk of which are now up for grabs on its Legacy page. We asked Olabuenaga a few questions about the history and future of the project.

  7. 03.16.15
    Sighted
    Jesse Moretti Editions for Little Paper Planes

    We’ve been huge fans of Cranbrook grad Jesse Moretti’s work ever since her solo show at Patrick Parrish gallery (then Mondo Cane), way back in 2013. There’s something about the palette Moretti uses, the saturated gradients she employs, and the way she zigzags back and forth between spare, geometric marks and full-bleed patterns that is absolutely perfect to us. The only problem with the pieces she made for Parrish was their ever-so-slightly out-of-reach price tag. So it was with great excitement that we stumbled upon Moretti’s latest edition — a series of seven small works on paper (either 8.5 x 11″ or 17 x 22″) for the San Francisco–based shop and publishing house Little Paper Planes, ranging in price from $35 to $130. (Yes, we already put in our order!) We’re posting images from that collection here today and also excerpting a brief interview Moretti did with LPP. Read all about here, then hop on over to the shop to make these beauties yours!

  8. 03.02.15
    Sighted
    Dusen Dusen Home

    The past few years have proven that — every once in a while — a fashion label can make a successful, mostly non-embarrassing crossover into furniture and housewares. Margiela, Hermès, and Rick Owens all come to mind, but who better than a textile designer to make the leap? At last week’s Capsule show, Ellen Van Dusen of the Brooklyn-based clothing brand Dusen Dusen launched a brand new line of soft goods for the home that feature her signature geometric patterns — sheets, blankets, rugs, towels, pillows, and a pouf — and the extension feels totally natural, like it was meant to be. Today she’s giving Sight Unseen a first peek at the line’s lookbook photos, which were shot by SU contributor Brian Ferry and feature cameos by both SNL comedian Aidy Bryant and Van Dusen’s official canine mascot, Snips.

  9. 02.27.15
    Sighted
    Tekla Evelina Severin on the Urban Outfitters Blog

    At last year’s Milan Furniture Fair, we had an extremely rare — but kind of major — fangirl moment. It wasn’t in response to some big-name Bouroullec-type designer with an installation around town or even Anna Della Russo, who you sometimes see flitting from party to party. It was a Swedish interior architect and photographer named Tekla Evelina Severin — better known on Instagram as Teklan — who we met on a lazy afternoon while exploring Venture Lambrate. Severin has hands down one of the most beautiful Instagrams around, so we were insanely excited to meet her, and even happier when this beauty of a story popped up on Urban Outfitters’ blog earlier this month. On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, Urban asked Severin to provide them with a series of pink photos that said something about the way she sees the world; of her addictive feed, she says, it’s “65 percent impromptu and 35 percent planned. Often it’s just things I notice as I pass them or when I’m traveling. Or sometimes it’s a place I’ve seen and not been able to get over.” Read on for a selection of our favorite images from the story, then click through for even more photos and an interview with the designer. (And if you don’t, follow her on Instagram already, will ya?!)

  10. 02.23.15
    Sighted
    Hotel Covell in Los Angeles

    There was a time, not so long ago, when visitors to New York wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere but Manhattan — that all changed, of course, as soon as Brooklyn became an international brand with Williamsburg as its capital, spawning hotels like the Wythe and the Mccarren. Airbnb’s rise has also inspired adventurous travelers to fan out to all sorts of peripheral neighborhoods in big cities around the world. And so it’s inevitable that a place like Los Feliz, an epicenter of Los Angeles’s east-side hipster scene, recently joined the hospitality game, with the opening of the five-room Hotel Covell. Sitting above a popular wine bar of the same name, it pairs a few familiar boutique hotel tropes (thrift-store art, vintage record players) with amazing furnishings by some of our favorite local designers, including Eric Trine, Brendan Ravenhill, and Atelier de Troupe.

  11. 02.17.15
    Sighted
    Flora Indoor

    Every few seasons, it seems the internet cycles through a trending plant: flowering cacti, Fiddle Leaf Figs, Pilea Peperomiodies, Monsteras, succulent gardens, bouquets of dried eucalyptus (that you hang in the shower, natch), olive branches, an air plant in a terrarium. But here’s a wild proposal: Are we actually in the era of the 2-D houseplant? 2014 had a number of contenders, from the art-driven Strange Plants to Polly Brown’s study on office plants, to some sort of black and white Japanese ikebana reference on basically everyone’s Instagram feed (guilty as charged). A new contender for this category is Barcelona-based Flora Indoor, a line of minimal (but cheerfully colorful) prints of thriving houseplants.

  12. 02.12.15
    Sighted
    Huy Bui on Freunde Von Freunden

    Though we have a particular fondness for so many of the designers we’ve featured or worked with in the five years since Sight Unseen began, Huy Bui might be the only one who can lay claim to being both one of our favorite designers and the co-founder of one of our favorite New York restaurants. As the founder of Plant-In City — or what he calls architectural terrariums for “the 21st century” — Bui was one of the inaugural exhibitors at our Sight Unseen OFFSITE showcase last year. And as the designer and co-founder of the Lower East Side Vietnamese eatery An Choi, Bui’s provided the backdrop for many a late-night design date. So when Freunde von Freunden reached out with the opportunity to co-publish a story on Bui’s Brooklyn apartment and studio — complete with cameos by the designer’s sweet dog Loopy, one of the more popular attractions at OFFSITE last year — we jumped at the chance.

  13. 01.14.15
    Sighted
    Ron Nagle, Ceramicist

    One of the best things about ceramics’ recent ascent in the art world is that a brighter light has been shone on designers who were practicing in the medium long before “urban claymaking” was ever a thing. The latest artist to experience a massive upswing in attention is Ron Nagle, the San Francisco–based postwar ceramicist who, in his 70s, still adds to his already massive body of work at an amazing clip. Shown at the last art Biennale in Venice, Nagle is currently the subject of both an exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art and a lovely feature in the new issue of PIN-UP Magazine, who writes of Nagle’s process: “Each [piece] boasts the presence of a monument covered in variations of fine stucco textures sprayed with layers of pastel, blush fields often overtaken by thick glazed pools and electric pinstripes. The pieces begin as collections of hand sculpted elements, and are slip cast, carved and fitted to each other, gaining their deep beds of color from multiple firings that are finished with chinapaint. The forms have shifted in theme through his career: from lean green tendrils hailing from ikebana to diorama scenes housing pulsing red cubes.” We’re particularly fond of a recurring trope in Nagle’s work that resembles glassy spears of asparagus, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite examples here.

  14. 01.13.15
    Sighted
    New Textiles by Alyson Fox for Ferm Living

    When we profiled the designer and artist Alyson Fox last year, on a visit to the home she and her husband built themselves in the wilds of Texas, we spent much of the story marveling at the sheer, unrelenting range and volume of her creative output. Which is to say: We could theoretically be writing about some new project of hers every week if we wanted to — she’s just that prolific. We won’t go there, of course, yet when of-the-moment Danish housewares brand Ferm Living offered to let us be the first to share the new line it’s done in collaboration with Fox, in advance of revealing its full 2015 collection to the world tomorrow, we figured it was as good a time as any to check in with the talent.

  15. 11.12.14
    Sighted
    Marten Elder in 01 Magazine

    Sometimes you have to laugh at your own predictability. It was love at first sight when I first saw these images of Los Angeles photographer Marten Elder’s work in the fantastic new issue of 01 Magazine (which also features SU faves like Oeuffice and Doug Johnston). But when I began to read the article, it became immediately clear to me why: Elder studied at Bard College, where his senior project advisor was Stephen Shore, another visual fascination of mine. But while Elder’s older work is more like Shore’s in its exquisitely faithful representation of a banal reality, his newer work represents a more color-saturated view of those equally ordinary vistas (a concrete street corner, a stack of scaffolding.) The accompanying interview is great, so we’re excerpted part of it, as well as our favorite images, here. Go to 01’s current issue for the full article, then visit Elder’s website for even more images.

  16. 09.18.14
    Sighted
    Optical Delusion by Page Thirty Three

    We are completely intrigued by Australia. It almost feels like a parallel universe sometimes — it’s on the totally opposite side of the world from us, and it has its own thriving design scene that we’re constantly being reminded we know precious little about. That’s how we felt a few weeks ago when the Sydney-based creative studio Page Thirty Three contacted us out of the blue to introduce us to their latest collection, Optical Delusion, which consists of shelves, lamps, chairs, and tables inspired by puzzles, simple mechanics, and neolithic forms. Now we’re introducing it to you. Click through to see images from Page Thirty Three’s new collection, much of which is hand-crafted in their own workshop.

  17. 09.15.14
    Sighted
    Charcolor Furniture, by Louie Rigano and Avantika Agarwal

    Our first introduction to Louie Rigano, a New Jersey-born, RISD-educated designer who’s now studying in the Design Products program at RCA, was a piece he’d made for the American Design Club’s Trophy Show, back in 2013. Called Glittering Urn, it was a neo-classical form made slightly punk-rock by virtue of its material: a resin that had been almost entirely suffused with glitter. So it came as no surprise when we received an email last week from the designer — who describes his process as a “search for moments of unexpected accord between the spectacular and the practical” — of a new furniture collection he’d created in collaboration with fellow student Avantika Agarwal, which paired relatively simple wooden forms with an audacious coloring process. To create Charcolor Furniture’s seared rainbow effect, CMYK pigments are literally burned onto the wood.

  18. 08.29.14
    Sighted
    The Game’s New Online Shop

    With Labor Day around the corner (we’ll be taking off this Monday, along with the rest of America) we’re allowing ourselves to get just a tiny bit excited about the impending fall. Sweaters, the color navy, and the smell of burning leaves are right up there among our favorite things. Fall is also the time when we stop spending our waking hours wondering when we can next get to the beach and start spending them a bit more inside on the computer, shopping for knickknacks that will make the homes we’re about to spend a whole lot more time in even cozier. Our newest destination is The Game, a brand new shop that exists both online and in two Belgian outposts, founded and curated by Alexis Ryngaert, who’s also behind of one of our all-time favorite design galleries, Victor Hunt.

  19. 08.14.14
    Sighted
    Fruits of Labor by Bethan Laura Wood

    Sighted this week on Pin-Up magazine’s website, making-of images from the latest project of London talent Bethan Laura Wood, a series of summer window displays for Hermès UK called “Fruits of Labor.” Pin-Up’s editors call the project, which consists of classical still lifes full of oversized fruits and vegetables, “Henry Rousseau in 3-D.” Says Wood of the project: “I really wanted these large-scale sets to be hand-painted in order to highlight the layers handcrafted at every stage that make up final Hermès products.”

  20. 08.05.14
    Sighted
    New Work by Matt Merkel-Hess

    In our Saturday Selects column last week, we made mention of “More Material,” the now-closed exhibition at Salon 94 Bowery in New York, curated by the London-based fashion designer Duro Olowu. What we didn’t mention was the bonkers amount of new work Los Angeles–based ceramicist Matt Merkel Hess created for the show and shop (not all of which was included in the exhibition). Merkel Hess is best known for the ceramic copies he makes of everyday objects; for his 2013 show at Salon 94 Freemans, the designer rendered vintage Dust Busters, Super Soakers, stand mixers and the like in glazed porcelain. Here, he focuses on three distinct forms: porcelain novelty ears, flip-flops and West African water kettles.

  21. 07.08.14
    Sighted
    The Pattern Foundry

    When the Pattern Foundry originally launched several years ago, it was essentially an open-source repository for hundreds of licensed archival patterns that could be purchased by users and applied any way they saw fit. But over the years, the UK-based company — run by Richard Rhys, a Central Saint Martins grad and former print designer for Alexander McQueen — has begun to use those patterns to create its own proprietary product line, primarily consisting of rugs and ceramic, silkscreened tiles. The company recently relaunched its website, which makes it even easier to view to dozens of combinations you can make with, say, the wave-like Tide pattern by Wim Crouwel, taken from a 1960s catalogue cover the Dutch designer created for artist Peter Struycken, or the triangular Duo pattern by graphic designer Karel Martens. The overly intellectual kitchen of your dreams awaits…

  22. 06.25.14
    Sighted
    Moving Mountains on Refinery29

    There’s only one thing we love as much as exhibiting the work of our favorite designers, like we did with Syrette Lew of Moving Mountains this May at our Sight Unseen OFFSITE event. And that’s snooping around their studios, unearthing old sketches, and pleading with them to put killer side projects into production. Luckily for us (since we’ve been a bit flush with travel this summer) Refinery29 took care of Lew’s visit for us. A gorgeously photographed studio visit with the Hawaiian-born, Bushwick-based designer ran on the site yesterday, and we thought it only fitting to share a few of our favorite bits here. Check out a short excerpt from that piece after the jump, then scroll down to read the rest over at Refinery29!

  23. 06.24.14
    Sighted
    Patch of Sky by Fabrica

    People who know me well consider me to be semi-obsessed with the weather. I check it often, and I’ve long had the habit — often wondering if I was the only one — of bookmarking the cities of my friends and family in my app of choice, Weather Underground, just so I could picture from time to time whether they might be out frolicking in the sunshine that day, or cowering from a nasty snowstorm. And I was especially enthusiastic when, earlier this week, I read that the set of 250 new emojis released this month included far more nuanced ways to indicate to others via text your current meteorological status (here’s hoping I don’t have to use “cloud with tornado” anytime soon). It’s no wonder, then, that when an email came in this morning from the folks at the Italian design-research studio Fabrica touting their latest project Patch of Sky, a “set of three Internet connected ambient lights, enabling you to share the sky above you in real-time with loved ones, wherever they are,” I dropped what I was doing and decided to post about it immediately.

  24. 06.02.14
    Sighted
    Amazon Primed by Noah Kalina

    Most of the images that photographer Noah Kalina posts on his popular Tumblr feed are relatively random — portraits of friends, excerpts from his commercial shoots, behind-the-scenes tidbits. But every once in awhile, any of his million-plus followers who are paying attention will notice him initiating or adding to a recurring series, like the one in which he always documents, while traveling, the view from the window of his temporary room. These mini-projects represent his most personal work, the ideas he has and then pursues in his spare time, for no other reason than to challenge himself creatively and/or keep himself busy between shoots. Amazon Primed, his latest such endeavor, showed up on his Tumblr in late February in the form of an image depicting three external hard drives and an ethernet switch.

  25. 05.30.14
    Sighted
    Ian Stell Shot By Rob Howard

    With a debut solo show at Matter in April and a major presentation last week at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, up-and-coming furniture designer Ian Stell has had the opportunity to introduce his kinetic, transformable furniture to quite a few people this spring. Yet most of them, apparently, have read it completely wrong. “I’ve gotten comments recently from people who … assumed I have an engineering background or was trained as an architect, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he recently told photographer Rob Howard, on whose portfolio site we recently discovered dozens of shots of Stell at home in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and at his nearby studio. Howard recorded a short audio file of Stell very eloquently describing his background — he studied sculpture and painting, not engineering — and his approach to furniture design: “All of my designs sit somewhere in between poetry about functional objects and ones that are actually functional,” Stell tells Howard. “I don’t hesitate to pursue something even if it’s incredibly complex … As far as I’m concerned the world is about complexity, and nature is about complexity, and although I’m very happy that there are many people that take a reductive approach to design and to art … it’s not the way that I think.”