While the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sam Moyer has played around with fabric painted to look like marble in the past, the geometric panels suspended in gorgeous bronze armatures that she recently installed at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels are, in fact, the real deal. Meant to interact with the space’s striking ceilings and the summer light that filters through them, the slabs are cut so thin as to be almost semi-translucent, a subverting of expectations about the way certain materials are supposed to look, feel, and function — a common theme in Moyer’s work, and one that will sound familiar to many designers, which is probably why we’ve found ourselves so drawn to her.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week we survey the sudden trend of gymnasium-inspired designs, the best of Design Miami/Basel, and a few of our favorite works by photographer Suzanne Mooney, pictured above. Plus: the weirdest design-world video we’ve ever, ever seen, featuring Chen Chen, Katrina Vonnegut, and a cat driving a dumptruck.
Growing up in Wisconsin, artist Trek Matthews was initially inspired by his natural surroundings, incorporating wildlife scenes and Native American mythologies into his illustrations. But following a move to Atlanta and a short stint in Japan in 2014, his artistic style began maturing into what we see today.
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.
There’s something irresistible about the work of artist Kayla Mattes. Her bright, large-scale tapestries combine a folky, fuzzy 70s vibe with digital culture visuals — in particular, the user interfaces of the not-too-distant, yet already quaint-seeming past. “I’ve always been really interested in the naïvete of the old Internet,” she says. “How people were, for the first time, becoming familiar with actually using the Internet and building websites and doing it in this way that was very free — like people were okay with using bright pink text against purple backgrounds. Back then the web was so unleashed.” Things have gotten more sophisticated but also more staid, at least in terms of what’s considered smart design. Mattes’ tapestries are a kind of antidote to that, and to the disconnection and depersonalization that spending hours online can sometimes leave you feeling. Her work is plugged in to all the technology we take for granted but she recontextualizes it, slows it down, and the effect is immersive, dizzying, a little chaotic, and oddly comforting.
About six or seven years ago, when Jill and I were still editors at the late, great I.D. magazine, we had a gut feeling that something was happening in Italian design. For years its reputation had been seemingly stuck in the ’80s — no one ever, ever talked about its contemporary scene — and yet suddenly we were seeing a few young talents pop up here and there. We commissioned a story on the subject, but despite our prescience (as evidenced in part by the subsequent head-spinning rise of Luca Nichetto), we missed something seriously major: Fabrica. Neither of us realized the impact its residency program and Sam Baron–led design studio would have in nurturing Italy’s brightest new voices, from Matteo Cibic to Matteo Zorzenoni to today’s subject, Giorgia Zanellato.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a look inside Andreas Murkudis’s new full-service design outpost in Berlin, a sneak peek at our favorite projects launching at Design Miami/Basel next week, and our first picks from this year’s degree shows, starting with the vanity above.
Since it was renovated in the early 2000s and restored to its original 1952 condition, Apartment 50 in Le Corbusier’s famous Cité Radieuse housing complex in Marseilles, France, has played host to a rotating cast of designers — Jasper Morrison in 2008 followed by the Bouroullecs, Konstantin Grcic, and, perhaps most successfully, Pierre Charpin. But a group of Swiss design students may have just completed our favorite intervention yet.