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Soft Baroque’s New Furniture Series is the Ultimate Trompe L’Oeil

One of the most clever and delightful projects on view this week at Design Miami/Basel was Soft/Hard, an installation by Soft Baroque commissioned by the Copenhagen gallery Étage Projects, which presented a series of trompe l'oeil domestic objects pairing materials like granite, OSB and bublinga wood with their digital simulacra printed onto soft silk textiles.
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Black Satin Layered Dining Table

Furniture That Nails This Year’s Coolest Shapes

Last year, it was Memphis-inspired patterns and mobile-like lamps. This year, it's ziggurats and arches. Anna Karlin — the prolific New York designer who's practically her own department store — somehow always has her finger on the pulse of whatever it is we happen to be feeling at the moment. Today we're excerpting our favorite pieces from her third collection, launched at ICFF last month.
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Inside the Rope-Painting, Basket-Making World of Gemma Patford

After attempting to learn to crochet, Patford realized it was not for her and instead turned to artists who were working with rope like Doug Johnston, who remains one of her heroes. “I muddled my way through the Internet to find a process that worked with my abilities and with what I had at home. I had a sewing machine and paint — and the baskets were born,” she says.
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Zuza Mengham resin sculptures

One-Of-a-Kind Resin Sculptures, Whose Fates Are Sealed in an Flash

Most artists and designers start their practices small, then scale up their work as their ambitions, finances, and studio spaces grow. London-based Zuza Mengham has done the opposite: Back in art school, she welded semi-functional steel sculptures so large and unwieldy she sometimes had to destroy them afterwards, while recently she began turning her attention towards resin experiments compact enough to perch on a bookshelf. Both endeavors come from a similar interest in working within the transitional states of materials.
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At Boisbuchet with Snarkitecture

For those of you who haven't heard of it, Domaine de Boisbuchet is basically glorified summer camp for designers: It's an old chateau and grounds in the middle of the French countryside where, each week for 12 weeks, two or three contemporary designers or studios are invited to host a creative workshop for a group of students and professionals. During downtime, you can canoe, swim in the lake, lay in the grass, drink beers, swing from trees, attend dance parties, or sit around a bonfire and stargaze — it's pretty much rural heaven. So it was a tiny bit funny to be there last week with Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of Snarkitecture, who are best-known for their work with white styrofoam, fancy fashion brands, and hip-hop superstars, and who this week are hard at work back in New York installing a 20-foot-tall carved-foam mountain as a backdrop for the runway show of leather-sweatpant purveyor (and Kanye favorite) En|Noir. Luckily you can not only take the boys out of the city, you can take the city out of the boys, whose first instruction to the participants in their "Excavations" workshop was to dredge up wheelbarrows full of dirt, clay, and sand from the lake and its surroundings. The group then spent five days doing hand-casting experiments in the sunshine, in order to "take familiar, everyday objects and find ways to manipulate and alter them to make them serve new and unexpected purposes," as Mustonen put it. After the jump, check out all the photos we took documenting the process from start to finish.
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IKEA’s Head of Research on the Future of Furniture

We recently sat down with Mikael Ydholm, the head of IKEA's research team, to hear some of its findings. What happens when you seal a family into an IKEA prototype house for 14 days? How do people really use a sofa when they forget they're being watched? And how do you design for a generation that eats in the bathroom? Read on to find out.
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Glass Gradients by Scholten & Baijings

Week of June 6, 2016

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: We re-discovered bygone designs like a Formafantasma runway, rekindled our love for Roberto Burle Marx, and re-examined the excitement factor of architectural glass, just made exponentially cooler by Scholten & Baijings (above).
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A New Program Turns Your Walls Into a Work of Art

The brand-new Designtex Bespoke Surfaces line taps more than 30 contemporary artists — many of whom are up-and-coming talents who live near Designtex's Portland, Maine, manufacturing headquarters — to create imagery for custom surfaces in the built environment. In other words, to turn your walls in the ultimate work of art.
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New Perspective-Bending Works By Eindhoven Duo OS ∆ OOS

Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen of OS & OOS consider themselves designers, not artists, but their latest body of work — on view now in a solo exhibition at Zurich's Roehrs & Boetsch gallery — includes not only cast-concrete updates on their neon-tube Primary Fluorescents lights, but also two large sculptural works whose only purpose is to delight and tease the eye.
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Sight Unseen geometric rugs guide

32 Statement-Making Geometric Rugs You Can Buy Right Now

At the end of last year, we began to notice a new trend in patterned rugs. Gone were the ubiquitous chevron stripes and hexagonal motifs, and in their place was a new kind of graphic, geometric look — elemental shapes that had been stacked, abstracted, layered, mixed, or simply juxtaposed alongside each other (in other words, a pretty healthy reflection of what's happening in furniture design right now as well). As with most trends, the second we began noticing one or two rugs in this vein, they were suddenly everywhere. So, we did what any object-obsessed, semi-helpful design blog ought to do — we gathered them all into one place, for your shopping enjoyment. Herewith, your definitive guide to Sight Unseen's favorite, statement-making geometric rugs — and where to find (and buy) them right now.
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We Didn’t Think Kilims Could Get Any Cooler… Until Now

Iranian artist Taher Asad Bakhtiari may be a Raf Simons–wearing, Swiss-educated jetsetter, but growing up, he was inundated with local tradition. Now he helps support and modernize the ancient crafts that were among his most formative influences by working with semi-nomadic Iranian weavers to create contemporary, geometric updates on traditional kilim and gabbeh rugs. His latest series, pictured here, is on view in The Pond House, a solo show of his textiles that just opened at Carwan Gallery in Beirut.
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