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Category Archives: Sighted

  1. 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.

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.”

  9. 05.05.14
    Sighted
    Project No. 8′s New Website

    For years, fans of the New York concept shop Project No. 8 have been begging its founders, Brian Janusiak and Elizabeth Beer, to expand beyond their LES flagship and Ace Hotel annex and open more stores. But the pair have consistently refused, because they knew all along exactly where their next location needed to be: online. Their original website launched in 2006, but they’d recently grown so frustrated with its outdated design that they’d stopped updating it all together; this weekend, they quietly launched projectno8.com 2.0, a brand new site that’s truer to their current inventory and that effectively leapfrogs them over eight years of e-commerce evolution. Greeting visitors to the homepage is a slideshow of still-life images by New York photographer Clemens Kois, who met Janusiak when the pair collaborated on Carl Aubock: The Workshop — we asked each of them to tell us a little bit more about the project.

  10. 04.24.14
    Sighted
    Shu Hung and Joseph Magliaro of Table of Contents on Freunde Von Freunden

    Our favorite retail stores set themselves apart by virtue of their impeccable curation and unique points of view — naturally, the folks who run them tend to apply those same skills to their personal interiors, making them prime candidates for house-tour stories like the one we recently did on Totokaelo’s Jill Wenger. Joseph Magliaro and Shu Hung from the Portland store Table of Contents might have been our next stop, but — next best thing! — our friends at Freunde von Freunden beat us to it. Earlier this week, they published dozens of gorgeous photographs of Hung and Magliaro hanging out at home and walking around Portland, plus a few shots of their store (below) and office. Check out a short excerpt from that piece after the jump.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.