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ROLU’s Settee X Three at Sit and Read Gallery

It's fitting that the boys from ROLU would choose to introduce the show they opened this past Saturday at Williamsburg's Sit and Read Gallery with this quote from American sculptor Richard Artschwager: "Everything matters. An itchy nose, scratching it; a distant train. A bit of coffee left in the mug. My hand grasping the mug, the thumb providing guidance. Every encounter with another person... etc." Beyond being a mantra as of late for the Minneapolis-based studio, its core message — everything matters — could easily describe the approach they and most of our other design friends took to ICFF weekend: Why do one show when you can cram in three, or four? Thus while Sit and Read's Kyle Garner was installing his hand-dyed Sling Chairs at our Modern Craft show at the Merchant's House Museum, he was also prepping his gallery for the exhibition with ROLU, who were also installing new pieces at the Boffo Show House and at the No Frontier show with Volume Gallery at Mondo Cane in Tribeca. As a working method, everything matters may actually be dangerous to one's health, but when applied to a single design project, it turns out the results are pretty stunning — in this case, a series of furnishings and experiments that will be on view at Sit and Read through July 1. Click through to see what ROLU co-founder Matt Olson had to say about the project, and watch a video documenting how one part of it came to life.
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Areaware’s 2012 collection

This morning we introduced you to one of the key exhibitions from our Noho Design District hub at The Standard, East Village hotel. But before we take off for the weekend, we wanted to direct your attention three blocks south to our other hub at 22 Bond Street, where for the next four days you can view an immersive, conceptual installation by Areaware featuring the launch of Harry Allen's Bank in the Form of a Pig GLOW and the debut of yet another amazing video from filmmaking duo Grave of Seagulls. If you're in New York this weekend, we highly recommend you go and experience the disorienting video for yourself, but if you're not, don't fret - we snagged the online debut of the film below and spoke to Areaware creative director Laura Young about how it came to be.
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The Balloon Factory at Japan Premium Beef

As traditions go, you can't get much better than the one that will commence this Friday in the window of the tiny Great Jones butcher shop Japan Premium Beef: An annual display of custom meat-themed installations, rendered in various incongruous materials. It started during the 2010 Noho Design District, with the delicate glass sausages that won Fabrica's Sam Baron a similar commission for T magazine earlier this year. And it will continue for 2012 with a series of inflatable meat balloons — whose prototypes are pictured above — that are being specially created for us by the Chicago designers behind the Balloon Factory project. We asked Caroline Linder, Lisa Smith, Michael Savona, and Steven Haulenbeek for the skinny on their savory new creation, which we invite you to visit this weekend at the Noho Design District.
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Roll & Hill at ICFF and the Noho Design District

Three ICFFs ago, when we launched the Noho Design District, our biggest exhibition was the debut of Jason Miller's highly anticipated new lighting company Roll & Hill, which took over the top floor of our beloved former lumber building (RIP) and cozily lit its dilapidated interior with a string of gorgeously modern chandeliers. It's hard to believe how far both of us have come since then. With the imminent redevelopment of the NDD's former hub at 45 Great Jones, we went hunting for a new home, and instead found two (we'll be camping out next weekend at 22 Bond Street and the new Standard, East Village hotel). And Roll & Hill — in addition to showing its new collection at the Javits Center — will join up with us once again in Noho, this time spreading out over 3,500 square feet on the ground floor of 2 Cooper Square, where a monthlong temporary showroom will showcase the brand's full collection in addition to its new products for 2012. The brand debuted two new lights in Milan last month but we snagged an exclusive first look at the entire new 2012 collection, which includes new work by NDD alums Jonah Takagi (above), Lukas Peet, and Lindsey Adelman, as well as Miller himself. Check out the new products after the jump and join us next weekend to check out the goods for yourselves.
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At the 2012 Milan Furniture Fair, Part III

To quote Pilar Viladas in her roundup on The Moment this week, "Another year, another Milan Furniture Fair." Seriously. The Salone always seems so crazy and exciting while you're actually there — if not important, depending on whether any offerings managed to impress — but looking back on it a week later, it inevitably melts into one big blur of chairs and tables that probably already existed, in one form or another, the year before. With today's album of snapshots, some taken by Future Perfect owner and intrepid reporter Dave Alhadeff and some by the Eindhoven-based designer Max Lipsey, we offer you one last chance to relive the experience of the 2012 fair, up close and personal, before it gets written into the great furniture catalog in the sky. Maybe next year we'll go back ourselves, and remember what the fuss is about all over again. Until then...
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A 19th-century buttonholer. Next to it are new casts of Recht’s concrete belt buckles. To make them, Recht takes rusted nails reclaimed from abandoned building sites, bends them into shape, grinds soft the sharp points, and coats them in clear acrylic varnish. The nails are then suspended in a mold as the concrete is poured around them.

Sruli Recht, fashion designer

Sruli Recht was born in Jerusalem, spent most of his life in Australia, and for the past few years has called Reykjavik, Iceland, his home. But even before he was a foreign-born talent rising to prominence in a city of fiercely local independence, he was already a bit of an outsider. “We traveled to different countries a lot as a kid,” says Recht. “I was always confused about what people wore and the language of clothing. I was very anxious about what to wear and how to fit in. That’s probably why I now just wear jeans and a T-shirt — like everybody else, I just wanted to blend in.” It’s an ironic thing coming from a designer who in January released his first full menswear line, a 55-piece collection of beautifully constructed garments — at once futuristic and cozy — that aren’t exactly for the faint of fashion heart. Or from a designer who calls his studio in the city’s Fishpacking District The Armoury. “The Icelanders don’t seem to get it. They really do think we sell weapons, and we have maybe three visitors to the store a day just looking for guns,” Recht has said.
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At the 2012 Milan Furniture Fair, Part II

We'd scarcely pressed "Post" on last week's Milan Furniture Fair recap when another round of photos arrived in our inbox, this one featuring the jaw-droppingly amazing Sedimentation vases pictured above, which could be our favorite thing to emerge from the weeklong festivities. The fact that they're the work of a student — the Swedish-born Royal College of Art up-and-comer Hilda Hellström — makes them even more exciting, especially when the fair can sometimes seem dominated by glitzy launches from the megabrands. "I am OBSESSED with these," wrote The Future Perfect's Dave Alhadeff. "The forms feel well beyond student work and the 'on-trend' marbling technique." We couldn't agree more, and Hellström's urns were just one of the products we fell in love with by proxy; as the weekend wore on, we received picks from Mary Wallis, a designer at Lindsey Adelman's studio, and the American designer Jonah Takagi to round out our second wrap-up from the year's biggest furniture event. Mirrored crates, portable terrariums and zinc-coated screens are now tops on our wish lists. What's on yours?
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At the 2012 Milan Furniture Fair

While nothing will ever compare to the Great Ash Cloud of 2010 in terms of strange events surrounding the Milan Furniture Fair, there seems to be a fair amount of juju going on with this year's festivities — or at least with the members of our hand-picked street team, who were meant to upload photos from their bases around the Italian metropolis all this week. Pin-Up editor Felix Burrichter reported a suddenly collapsed eardrum, which stranded him in Berlin and prevented him from attending the fair entirely, while designer Sam Baron confessed his attempts to take photos at a dinner for Fiat's Lapo Eklann were sadly thwarted by bodyguards. Lucky for us, then, that we've been able to follow along on Instagram, Twitter, blogs, and a steady stream of photos arriving in our inbox from The Future Perfect's Dave Alhadeff, who's been firing off everything from potential products for his store to OMG moments to jealousy-inducing images of gelato. We'll be bringing you more photos as they roll in, but for now, here's a sampling of the first few days from one of our favorite fairgoers.
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Philippe Malouin’s Intarsia Bowl for Carwan Gallery

On Friday we introduced you to Oeuffice's Ziggurat Towers for the Beirut-based Carwan Gallery, and today it's the gallery's contribution from London designer Philippe Malouin, who's also showing with Plus Design and Kvadrat in Milan this week. Malouin was one of nine designers — along with Karen Chekerdjian, Khalid Shafar, Lindsey Adelman, Studio mischer’traxler, Nada Debs, Oeuffice, Paul Loebach, and Tamer Nakisci — who traveled to the Middle East late last year for a grand tour of artisan’s studios, each pairing up with a different craftsperson to produce a new twist on an old archetype or technique. What caught Malouin's eye was the wood-inlay method called intarsia, in which pieces of various types of wood are cut and assembled into a jigsaw-puzzle like image or pattern that often has the illusion of depth. Rather than using the method in a conventional way, however — as a decorative add-on — he tried something a little bit different; here, he explains how he arrived at the final design for his Intarsia Bowl.
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Reversed Volumes: Detail shot.

Balanced by Mischer’Traxler at Wait and See

Two years ago, we went to Milan for the annual furniture fair and noticed, to our delight, a very Sight Unseen–appropriate theme: Rather than just presenting their work, designers were using their Salone exhibitions to showcase their process alongside their finished products. Last year was no exception to the trend, and this year, one of the most promising Milan preview emails to come across the transom at Sight Unseen HQ saw the Vienna-based duo mischer'traxler poised to create a new piece from the tools and inspirations used to develop their old ones. For Balanced, an installation opening tomorrow at the Milanese concept shop Wait and See — a kind of next-gen 10 Corso Como tucked inside a former monastery — the machine-obsessed couple dug up artifacts from the creation of four of their most popular projects and envisioned them laid out perfectly on either side of four gigantic homemade scales. Mischer'traxler gave Sight Unseen an exclusive first look at the show, by way of images they shot in their studio earlier this month, and told us a bit more about its genesis.
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Oeuffice’s Ziggurat Tower for Carwan Gallery

The Milan furniture fair starts next Tuesday and, crazy enough, the editors of Sight Unseen are sitting this one out — we've got too much going on at home this year, between our pop-up shop at Creatures of Comfort and the 2012 Noho Design District, which is shaping up to be much bigger and better than ever. We'll still be reporting on Milan via the snapshots of a select group of friends and collaborators, but meanwhile, we figured we'd at least bring you one or two previews of pieces you'll be seeing next week, beginning with the latest offerings from the Beirut-based Carwan Gallery. Founded by architect Pascale Wakim and jetsetter Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte, who's also a partner in Montreal's Samare and the newer Milan-based design outfit Oeuffice, Carwan began its second collection — which technically launched last month at Design Days Dubai — by organizing a field trip of sorts for its designers. Karen Chekerdjian, Khalid Shafar, Lindsey Adelman, Studio mischer'traxler, Nada Debs, Oeuffice, Paul Loebach, Philippe Malouin, and Tamer Nakisci all traveled to the Middle East for a grand tour of artisan's studios, each pairing up with a different craftsperson to produce a new twist on an old archetype or technique. Here, the duo behind Oeuffice, whose work revolves around research into architectural forms, reveal the story behind their contribution to the exhibition, a series of boxes inspired by ancient Middle Eastern structures.
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For the Sight Unseen Shape Shop, we gathered the geometry-obsessed work of 30 designers who hail from Los Angeles to London. At the heart of the shop are three tables — a triangle, a circle, and a square — cut from raw OSB and washed in gray paint, designed by the talented Brooklyn firm The Principals.

The Sight Unseen Shape Shop at Creatures of Comfort

By the close of Sight Unseen's four-day pop-up during the Noho Design District last year, we'd come to realize a few things. One: that we quite enjoy being shopkeepers — the merchandising of objects, the banter with the public, the satisfying swipe of each credit card through our handy Square readers. And two: that four days was not nearly enough. As we watched the objects we'd put so much effort into procuring move on to more permanent retail homes, we felt a vague sense of deflation, almost like a break-up, and we immediately began plotting for pop-up number two. Never, though, did we dream what would happen next: We were approached by Jade Lai, owner of the impeccably curated Creatures of Comfort store in New York and Los Angeles, to create a Sight Unseen pop-up in the gallery space of her New York store, which had previously played host to temporary outposts from the likes of Confettisystem, Textfield, and the Japanese housewares shop Playmountain. After months of planning, we finally debuted the Sight Unseen Shape Shop this Tuesday at a blowout party.
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Max Lamb Outtakes from Paper View, Launching Today

It's official: Sight Unseen's first printed edition, Paper View, is finally out, and we've held it in our very own hands. Today, we've prepared something special for you in honor of the occasion, a series of outtakes from one of the articles published in Paper View: A catalog of Max Lamb's personal collections, which first ran on Sight Unseen early last year.
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