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.
The ____-a-day trope — wherein a designer sets quotidian goals for him or herself in order to achieve maximum work efficiency and output — has reached epic proportions lately, and you know what? We’re okay with that. The latest example we’ve come across is an advent calendar by Parisian illustrator Alma Charry, called 24RAPIDO, where the designer produced one drawing a day, each day leading up to Christmas (as well as some cute bonus GIFs). We like Charry’s work in general, which is a mix of Society 6–ready patterns, freeform ink-washed drawings, and figurative prints. See more after the jump and go to Charry’s website or Tumblr for even more.
Even though we often talk about how globalization and the internet have vastly accelerated the velocity of cool, there sometimes seems to be a lag when it comes to scouting talents from Down Under. Case in point: Are we the last to know about Melbourne-based Esther Stewart’s incredible geometric paintings and angular sculptures? (And, aside, do Aussies pooh-pooh the use of Down Under the way San Franciscans abhor the term San Fran?) We found Stewart’s work on the Instagram of Aussie expat Maryanne Moodie, and it’s pretty much everything we’re interested in right now — intersecting planes, overlapping geometrics, and the use of color and texture to create an illusion of depth. Stewart has shown a handful of times with Australian galleries, but she also recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Cultural and Arts Management, which makes us hopeful she’ll figure out pretty fast how to get her work shown a little closer to our home turf.
Lina Zedig and Marcus Åhrén, of the Stockholm-based studio Oyyo, take a best-of-both-worlds approach to their work. If Zedig is the self-described perfectionist who obsesses over color and composition, Åhrén is the “action person, always keen to get new projects going and thinking that everything is possible.” For their first collection, which launched in 2013, they employed age-old techniques to craft flat-weave dhurries, but imbued the familiar form with unexpected geometric and architectural patterns. And while their carpets — in combinations of pastel pinks, yellows, and oranges, deep blues, greens, and black — have a cozy, at-home feel, they also reflect the restless, roving spirit in which Åhrén and Zedig, avid travelers, created them. It’s design for settling in, not settling down.
As we prepare to welcome the new year, let’s all take a moment to reminisce about how great 2014 was. Sure, some had better years than others, but there’s one thing that can’t be contested — Norwegian designer Hallgeir Homstvedt had an immensely successful run, launching four products to the market and cementing relationships with companies like Muuto, Lexon, and Established & Sons. So what is it exactly that brings manufacturers knocking at his door? We’ve got a hunch that it’s the designer’s ability to be adaptable and cooperative throughout the design process, whilst sticking to a very distinct concept, something he learned on the job during a three-year stint with design studio Norway Says. His products are tactile and interactive, smart and perfectly proportioned.
As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, it’s been a long, busy year for us, and as much as we love spending our days scouring Instagram for new talents, commissioning exclusive designs for our online shop, interviewing creatives about how they live and work,curating our pop-up shops and annual OFFSITE show, posting our favorite finds on social media (like the leather party hat by Otaat pictured above), or just spending entire afternoons figuring out how much we owe in estimated taxes, even we need a break sometimes. So as of today, we’ll be on hiatus for the next week and a half, recharging our batteries so we can make Sight Unseen even bigger and better in 2015. We hope you’ll be equally well-rested and ready to dive back in with us when we return on January 5 — until then, have a happy and healthy new year!
It’s been a big year for Sight Unseen, from the launch of our OFFSITE show to the expansion of our staff to celebrating our 5th anniversary, not to mention having recently started the process of redesigning our website for the very first time. But the more exciting and action-packed things get, the faster time seems to speed by — it’s nice to take a moment to pause and reflect. With the holidays upon us, we decided to put together a simple best-of list that highlights some of our most popular content from 2014, including the five stories that got the most traffic on Sight Unseen, the five (er six, counting the one above) images that got the most likes on Instagram, and our five most-repinned photos on Pinterest.