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  1. 03.20.14
    Sighted
    Camille Walala x Third Drawer Down, on The Design Files

    File under “when awesome people collaborate”: We were pretty beside ourselves last week when the news floated our way that not only was the terrific Melbourne art and design shop Third Drawer Down opening a second location but that its exterior was going to be hand-painted by Camille Walala, the French-born, London–based graphic designer and illustrator whose work we’ve been obsessing over for the last year and a half. Walala first came to our attention when she collaborated on a print and textile line with the London concept shop Darkroom. More recently, we’ve been avidly Insta-stalking her; Walala’s eye for color and pattern is one of the best and most inspiring we know. As for Third Drawer Down, owner Abigail Crompton specializes in bringing the cool, cultish American designers and brands down under (think Kiosk, Ben Medansky, Fredericks & Mae, Confettisystem) but her commissioned artist editions with the likes of Nathalie du Pasquier, David Shrigley, Ai Weiwei, and Louise Bourgeois have us wishing she’d open up a New York outpost. Today we’re sharing with you some photos of the finished store, as well as excerpting part of a great interview with Walala that originally ran on The Design Files, one of our daily reads, after the jump.

  2. 02.27.14
    Sighted
    Last, a New Swedish Design Trio

    No pun intended, but we had to share one last find from this month’s Stockholm Design Week: Last, a new arena for selling one-of-a-kind products by Swedish design trio Åsa Jungnelius, Gustaf Nordenskiöld, and Fredrik Paulsen. They are, respectively, a glass designer working with glass, a potter with clay and a furniture designer with wood. All share a common desire for not only producing sustainable products, but also to promote a kind of design that is slower, more considered, and intended to stand the test of time (i.e. the last spoon you might ever buy).

  3. 02.10.14
    Sighted
    Tauba Auerbach’s Inspirations, on The T Magazine Blog

    One of these days, our repeated attempts to worm our way into the New York studio of the very private, very busy, very genius artist Tauba Auerbach will succeed. But in the meantime, we were pleased to see a particularly Sight Unseen-y feature on her posted last week on T Magazine’s blog, penned by our friend Ken Miller for his ongoing “Under the Influence” column. It’s basically an 8 Things teasing out the people, places, and objects that are currently inspiring her work, of which Miller writes on the site: “Reminiscent of the 1960s Op Art movement, especially the British painter Bridget Riley, Auerbach’s hypnotic paintings, sculptures, books and prints reflect abstraction, Minimalism and even Pop, with a meticulous attention to craft. She creates bright, vivid color-fields through complex patterning, making sophisticated pieces that feel enticingly simple.” Check out four of Auerbach’s current obsessions after the jump.

  4. 02.05.14
    Sighted
    Assembly’s 2x Aluminum Mirror

    As journalists, it’s basically our job to be professional busybodies, so there’s almost nothing that gives us a bigger thrill than when designers offer us a sneak peek at what they’re working on next. This week, those designers were the unfailingly prolific Pete Oyler and Nora Mattingly of Brooklyn-based Assembly, whose work we’ve featured extensively on the site. Their brand new piece is the 2x Aluminum Mirror, which is crafted from a solid sheet of 1/4-inch aluminum that’s been finished with two different techniques in order to create both reflective and opaque effects on the same surface. Says Oyler, “It’s part of a broader collection of work, to be released at ICFF in NYC this May, that bridges highly skilled hand and machine processes to explore extremes, subtleties, and possible outcomes within common materials.” Of course we decided to snoop around a little more and asked Oyler to tell us a bit more about it.

  5. 01.20.14
    Sighted
    Joanna Williams of Kneeland Mercado on Sous Style

    There are a lot of reasons we’ve been reading Sous Style since former Elle photo director Pippa Lord first launched it in 2011: the casual, contemporary feel of the food photography, the glimpses into the homes and private lives of some amazingly cool women, and of course, all those incredibly gorgeous men(!). But we also love when Lord surprises us with different types of approaches to mixing food with fashion, design, and culture, including a post she did recently on textile-sourcing maven Joanna Williams of Kneeland Co. Mercado — in it, Williams reveals both the stories behind some of the items she’s brought back from various cities to sell in her Los Angeles shop, as well as all of her favorite things to eat while visiting those places. Check out an excerpt from the story after the jump!

  6. 01.14.14
    Sighted
    Hanna Eshel on 1st Dibs

    If you’re not in New York, you might never have heard of Hanna Eshel, the Israeli-born, 87-year-old artist who suddenly appeared in the cultural Zeitgeist this winter. We certainly hadn’t until we overheard our friend Patrick Parrish talking about her at a holiday party last month. Parrish’s Tribeca gallery, Mondo Cane, is one of two spaces in Manhattan (the other being Todd Merrill) that’s simultaneously giving the talented painter–turned–sculptor a solo show, her first ever in New York. Of course, now that she’s on our radar, she’s suddenly everywhere — name-checked in hipster interiors posts, and featured, in the article we’re excerpting today, on 1st Dibs, where a few instances of her work are for sale.

  7. 01.03.14
    Sighted
    Josephine Meckseper in Interview Magazine

    Living in New York City, you’d think it would be easy to see world-class art nearly every weekend. But life tends to get in the way, whether it’s needing a haircut or having to wait in a six-hour line just to see a 45-second exhibition. But one show we’re going to do our darndest to see before it closes January 18 is the first New York solo exhibition by German-born, New York–based artist Josephine Meckseper at the Andrea Rosen Gallery. While we don’t often love art that appropriates advertising imagery, Meckseper’s deft combinations of that imagery with things like hand made sculpture casts and paintings speaks to us somehow. This particular show deals with Meckseper’s own complicated history, having moved in the late ’80s as a young adult from a sheltered, artistic European community to Valencia, California, where mall was king. We spotted this recent Q&A with the artist in Interview Magazine (which has kind of been killing it on the art front, lately, what with the epic Roberta Smith/Jerry Saltz conversation) and wanted to share a tiny excerpt below. Read on and then click through at the end for the interview in its entirety.

  8. 11.26.13
    Sighted
    George Nelson’s Kirkpatrick House on WHY

    It’s hard to say, looking at the image above —with its freestanding kiln-like fireplace, its red-palette Persian rug, and its chic indoor garden — whether the interior featured is genuinely vintage or simply one of the excellent contemporary facsimiles that populate board after Pinterest board these days. But in some ways, that’s precisely the point. The interior above, featured this week on Herman Miller’s excellent WHY blog, was designed in the 1950s by George Nelson, and like many of Nelson’s designs, it is as usable and contemporary today as it was half a century ago. Sure there are dead giveaways of the time period in other photographs — the weird stone flooring that looks almost like linoleum, the predominantly mustard-colored rug — but the essential lines of the wood and steel-frame structure make the place seem somewhat timeless. It helps that the house was recently meticulously restored by its current owner; it also doesn’t hurt that these images were taken by Sight Unseen contributor Paul Barbera, who has a knack for making any old thing look new and lovely. In any case, it’s a beautiful story, filled with many more photos and much more text than we’ve excerpted here. Read on, and the click through at the end for the full story.

  9. 10.09.13
    Sighted
    Jonathan Zawada

    We don’t typically use the phrase “so good I wanna puke” to describe our latest product finds. For one, we fear this is not the sort of syntax that would be looked upon too favorably by former journalism professors. For two, there isn’t much that totally knocks us off our feet these days. But that was exactly my reaction when I saw these flat-pack marble tables by Australian designer Jonathan Zawada, first on I’m Revolting and then on Arkitip. Called Affordances #1 (Y.O.R.I. — “You Only Reincarnate Indefinitely”), the tables are made from pieces of marble, granite, and synthetic stone, require no fixtures to assemble, and are infinitely recombinable. They also capitalize on one of our favorite new trends — terrazzo — without seeming at all trendy, and represent one of the first forays into design for someone known more as an art director and artist. Consider us officially obsessed.

  10. 10.08.13
    Sighted
    Q+A With Shabd on Martha Stewart Living

    When we interviewed Brooklyn artist and fashion designer Shabd for our Paper View book a year and a half ago, it was all about the fine art practice she sidelined in order to start her tie-dyed clothing and accessories business. But with this post, everything comes full circle — now that Shabd has a book out of her own, filled with tutorials on her dyeing techniques, we’re finally taking the chance to hear more about what she actually does on a daily basis, by way of an interview recently posted on the Martha Stewart Living blog. As you may recall from our original story, Shabd learned to tie-dye somewhat by accident, after attending a garden party where it was one of the featured activities, and then, according to the interview, which we’ve excerpted parts of below, “spent a year playing around and developing new techniques to create dye patterns that were more grown-up and modern, beyond what I had seen before.” You can learn to master them as well by buying her book, “Tie-Dye: Dye it, wear it, share it,” but meanwhile, check out the Q+A after the jump that delves deeper into Shabd’s methods and inspirations.

  11. 10.01.13
    Sighted
    ALL Knitwear Fall Update, featuring RO/LU

    We never imagined we’d be the website bringing you images from a fashion brand’s lookbook, but the ones we’re featuring today were just too perfect to ignore. To launch her fall ALL Knitwear collection — which includes crewnecks and pompom hats in new geometry-inflected patterns and color combos — Sight Unseen fave Annie Larson reached out to another studio with a happily low-tech approach: the Minneapolis-based furniture duo ROLU. It’s a serious match made in heaven, as these photos — shot by Mary C. Manning at Mondo Cane in New York — can attest. Both Larson and ROLU make deceptively simple-looking work that belies serious craftsmanship; both studios have Midwestern roots (Larson grew up in Wisconsin and used to work at Target HQ in Minneapolis.) But it also makes perfect sense on another level. ROLU often speak about their affinity for theatrical sets, so though their work is normally shown on a gallery level, we can’t imagine a better context than this in which to show it.

  12. 09.13.13
    Sighted
    Book/Shop on Remodelista

    Like so many amazing creative people and endeavors these days, we were first introduced to Erik Haywood’s Book/Shop project through Instagram, where we fell for his beautiful plywood book stand, and where his fans include SU besties Wary Meyers and Mondo Blogo. So we were excited to see gorgeous pictures of his brick and mortar store in California pop up on Remodelista yesterday, following an interview they did with him back in January which we somehow missed. In the new post, Haywood explains his M.O.: “We are not a bookstore, that’s not really what we’re doing. We’re here to encourage people to go to bookstores, visit libraries, and live with books. Now, with the internet, what’s the point of going to a bookstore when you have a specific title in mind?” As Remodelista’s Alexa Holz points out in the piece, Book/Shop’s selection of vintage and rare books is meant “to expose you to something you didn’t actually have in mind,” she writes.

  13. 08.15.13
    Sighted
    Anthony Gerace’s Seaside Towns Index

    A few months ago, the London artist Anthony Gerace made the blog rounds with a series of paper collages sourced from 1960s-era magazines. But arresting as those were, when we went snooping on his website, we found something we liked even better: Gerace’s photography work, which includes The Seaside Towns Index we’re featuring today. It is, as Gerace describes it, “a collection of landscape photographs, contextual still-lifes and portraits of seaside towns in England, showing the fading grandeur, disarray and chaos that’s in them, but also the quietly compassionate and strange elements that are uniquely theirs.” We asked Gerace to tell us a little bit more about the project.

  14. 07.30.13
    Sighted
    Ben Medansky Studio Visit on Los Angeles, I’m Yours

    It’s a quiet summer week here at Sight Unseen HQ. August is approaching, we’re spending more and more weekends out of the city, and the time in between them is becoming increasingly shorter and less productive. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know from hard work — we’ve spent the last four years pouring inordinate amounts of time and effort into the stories on this site, and so we’re all the more sympathetic when we see other blogs doing the same. Case in point: the ridiculously extensive, print mag–worthy interview with ceramicist Ben Medansky we spotted recently on the blog Los Angeles, I’m Yours, a city-centric cultural resource founded in 2011 by The Fox Is Black’s Bobby Solomon with editor Kyle Fitzpatrick. We’ve excerpted part of it here, along with a selection of the accompanying studio photos.

  15. 07.18.13
    Sighted
    Leon Ransmeier on Herman Miller’s Why Blog

    Most design fans know Leon Ransmeier’s name — and the minimalist, hyper-functional work he’s known for — and yet he flies relatively under the radar in the New York scene, with very selective participation in pop-up shops, exhibitions, and even industry parties (the ones that aren’t thrown by yours truly, of course). It’s a smart strategy, in a way, because whenever he does pop his head up, we take particular notice. Earlier this week, an as-told-to essay appeared on Herman Miller’s newly relaunched Why blog, exploring his ideas about contemporary tables and table usage (Ransmeier recently debuted the AGL worktable for HM) — complete with photos of New York City tables both real and makeshift — and we couldn’t resist reposting it here for your enjoyment.

  16. 07.09.13
    Sighted
    Pippa Drummond’s “Above (Series 1)”

    The Auckland-born, New York City–based photographer Pippa Drummond is Sight Unseen’s newest soon-to-be contributor, but when we were first introduced to her photography, it was the low-key but lovely portraits and coolly moody interiors that caught our eye. We had no idea at the time that she had this hiding in her portfolio. Above (Series 1) is a collaboration with prop stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky, and it reminds us a bit of Carl Kleiner’s Ikea cookbook photographs (which is interesting, considering Drummond’s other passion is food — she’s got a cookbook of own in the works, and she assisted on the Amagansett-based shoot for Gwynnie’s latest. Yes, we ARE jealous). But the organized clutter here isn’t pantry staples but rather cheapo salon items that Drummond and Bartoshesky have turned into something almost beautiful.

  17. 07.08.13
    Sighted
    Q+A With Hannah Waldron on Designboom

    If I was a bit late to the Hannah Waldron party, only discovering her work in May at the Here & There exhibition that Field and Various Projects put on during our Noho Design District event, it’s probably only because I have a deep, embarrassing secret that, until today, I’ve never admitted publicly: I don’t know why, but I just don’t like most contemporary illustration all that much, particularly when it’s figurative. Which means that I can sometimes throw the baby out with the bathwater, failing to notice the work I do love because I’m so busy filtering out the work I don’t. Waldron definitely falls into the former camp for me, probably because she has such an intricate, graphic style — she’s more influenced by the Bauhaus, for example, than the aesthetics of street art or cartooning. The woven Map Tapestries she exhibited at Here & There (and previously at Rossana Orlandi gallery in Milan this past April) feature long, abstract representations of her journeys from one place to another, plotting the transition in landscape between, say, Tokyo and a hot spring in Japan’s Gunma prefecture (pictured above). Check out some of Waldron’s works in this lovely Q+A, excerpted below, that ran recently on Designboom.

  18. 06.20.13
    Sighted
    Jack Craig on L’ArcoBaleno

    In some ways, L’ArcoBaleno — the new design buying site from Ambra Medda, former founding director of Design Miami — isn’t so different from our own humble home here on the web. Both sites mix a curated marketplace with original editorial content; both emphasize process and context, and champion emerging talent. But of course here at Sight Unseen, we limit our shop selections to things that can be shipped USPS in a Priority Flat-Rate box. On L’ArcoBaleno, which launched earlier this week, one can purchase — with insured shipping of course — collectible designs from around the globe, ranging from a $23,000 blown-glass totem by newly christened design darling Bethan Laura Wood to a $75,000 Plexiglas and car lacquer dining table by Maria Pergay. The site is bit like a more avant-garde 1stdibs; in fact, it’s a lot like the Design Miami fair itself, if you could make impulse purchases in the Aranda/Lasch pavilion at three in the morning.

  19. 06.18.13
    Sighted
    Paul Loebach Q+A on Core77

    One of the things we love so much about the website Core77 is that it makes the very wide, sometimes dry world of industrial design feel like such a small, warm, tight-knit community; it’s all that insider info, combined with a jovial, conversational tone and a knack for rounding up essays and other up-close-and-personal content from so many great design voices. We’re all about the up-close-and-personal here at Sight Unseen, so we love it every time Core starts a new series devoted to things like entrepreneur profiles and Proust questionnaires; their newest column — called, simply, the Core77 Questionnaire — is only two subjects old, and we’re already looking forward to finding out what the designers we admire love and hate about their job, how they procrastinate, and where they see themselves in 10 years. Last week’s interview was with an old SU mainstay, the Brooklyn furniture and product designer Paul Loebach, whose responses we’ve excerpted here for your reading pleasure.

  20. 04.17.13
    Sighted
    Matt Olson’s Rauschenberg Residency

    If you had to imagine the place in which you might do your best work, where would it be? Would it be a quiet, remote island? Would it be poolside? Would it be in the company of a dozen other creatives, spurring you on? What if the answer were all of the above? That’s how Matt Olson of Minneapolis’s ROLU studio spent the last month of his winter, engaged in a residency on Captiva Island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, on a massive estate that was once home and studio to Robert Rauschenberg. Olson was part of the residency’s pilot program, which invited artists from different disciplines, all over the world, to spend a month making work, building a community, and generally inhaling the Rauschenberg aura. We spotted this diary by Olson on the Design/Miami blog about his time there, and had to share.

  21. 03.25.13
    Sighted
    Tom Dixon’s New Mass Coat and Book Stands

    Tom Dixon has long been considered a master of metal (thanks, famously, to an early motorcycle accident requiring extensive bike repairs for which he learned, then fell in love with, welding). So we weren’t the least bit surprised when we received a press release this morning revealing the London designer’s newest wares — set to be released in two weeks at the Milan Furniture Fair — that contained a veritable smorgasbord of copper, cast-iron, brass, and shiny stainless steel, with a small contingent of nickel-plated aluminum tables that pair the faceting of a cut gem with the roughed-up surface of a silver ingot. There was one thing that really stood out for us, though: two minimalist brass sculptures, each an imposing 6.5 feet tall, one for holding books and the other for hanging coats. They’re so different from anything we’ve seen Dixon show lately that they almost beg the question as to what new wunderkind he’s brought on staff, but either way, they’re a win. Someone with good taste, a huge budget, and high ceilings is about to make us very jealous.

  22. 03.21.13
    Sighted
    Gaetano Pesce’s Studio on The Aesthete

    Many Sight Unseen readers will no doubt be familiar with the work of Gaetano Pesce, the Italian design icon most famous for his use of amorphous, Jello-y plastics. But how many of you knew that he’s been based in New York since 1983, with a huge studio in Soho and a workshop near the Navy Yards? You heard me, the Navy Yards! If you had no idea, it’s not really your fault; the man is rarely spotted at design openings or speaking on panels, and he hasn’t had a major solo show in the city in 25 years — until now, that is. To mark the debut of L’Abbraccio, a retrospective of his work that opens tonight at Fred Torres Collaborations in Chelsea, I interviewed Pesce for the online magazine The Aesthete about why he moved to New York in the first place (because it’s a “service city,” aka whatever you want whenever you want it) and why he feels like he “didn’t exist” here until now. Special treat: studio photos shot by SU contributor Brian W. Ferry! Check out a preview of the piece after the jump, then head back to The Aesthete for the full story.

  23. 03.13.13
    Sighted
    New Work by David Taylor

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the big trend in these leaner, post­–economic disaster days, has been to elevate the lowest of low-grade materials into something elegant by design. OSB, polystyrene, plywood, plastic, MDF, resin — the list is endless. But you’d be hard pressed to think of a designer who does the opposite, who purposefully debases the precious commodity he’s been trained to craft to perfection. And yet what other choice did David Taylor have? After graduating from Konstfack in 1999, the Stockholm-based silversmith began to see the price of his raw materials soar: “Silver simply became too expensive for me to work with,” he says. “Without the benefit of a commission, working on spec becomes impossible when silver has quadrupled in price over the last eight years.” But Taylor’s loss was our gain: The designer began dabbling a few years ago in what he calls “a cheaper neighborhood,” making object assemblages by grafting more inexpensive materials like concrete, brass, and steel onto smaller silver pieces.

  24. 03.06.13
    Sighted
    10A Trousers Launches a Women’s Collection

    The story of how we were introduced to the 10A Trouser and Suspender Company is one of our all-time favorites…

  25. 02.19.13
    Sighted
    The Faye Toogood Collection at We See Beauty

    When we first heard that Faye Toogood, one of our all-time favorite furniture designers and stylists, had been trysting with the make-up industry, creating a concept collection for the recently launched beauty brand MAKE — well, we weren’t one bit surprised. After all, Toogood has made a career of never quite doing what you’d expect her to do. What’s surprising, actually, is why more designers haven’t tried their hand at beauty. To dabble in a new discipline like fashion or ceramics would involve acquiring a rigorous new skill set. But to devise a collection for an existing makeup brand, as Toogood has, requires only a preternatural sense of materiality and color, both of which the designer has in spades.