As an MFA student at ECAL, French-born artist Cécile Mestelan got into making small-scale sculptures with plaster for practical reasons — cost and ease of transport — but stuck with the material for more poetic ones: “It’s a very powerful and open material to work with; you can do so much with it, from modeling and sculpting to engraving,” she says.
When designers approach their medium with such a religiosity that it pushes their work into an unattainable or off-putting place, it can make the viewer a bit uncomfortable. On the other hand, not taking your work seriously enough is a recipe for kitsch, and being relegated to that dustbin of history. Enter Bridie Picot and Matt Smith, two native New Zealanders behind the design studio Thing Industries, whose work flits back and forth between the arch and the architectural.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: one of our favorite ICFF stragglers, two exhibitions inspired by kids’ playgrounds, and three Sight Unseen OFFSITE alumni who have somehow developed entirely new bodies of work since mid-May.
The editors of Sight Unseen certainly get around — we go to Milan each year for the furniture fair, we attend Art Basel and the London Design Festival from time to time, and we even do research residencies in far-flung places like Norway, where Monica is currently camped out. That said, with such a small staff, and two oceans between us and the rest of the world, we can’t possibly be everywhere there is to be or know everything there is to know about what’s up-and-coming in design, art, and fashion. That’s why we’re hoping to grow our reach by adding even more amazing freelance contributors to our roster!
After her family bribed their way out of Poland in the ’80s, says Aleksandra Pollner, they spent years moving from place to place to place. Her perpetually uprooted childhood, she says, had a profound effect on her work as an adult: “I became fascinated with boundaries, tensions, spaces in between, where we find solace, and what makes us feel comfort and discomfort,” concepts that inspired pieces like her new Line and Circle table and Ma floor light, pictured above.
We here at Sight Unseen consider ourselves to be relatively worldly — I say this literally as Monica touches down in Norway — but if there’s one place that’s proved a holy grail for the both of us, it’s Japan. We’ve never had the opportunity nor the funds to go, despite being relatively obsessed with the idea of both shopping and scouting there. So when two of our most visually attuned friends offered to provide us with a diary of sorts during their recent trip there, we jumped at the chance: Philadelphia-based partners-in-crime Andy Rementer and Margherita Urbani (whom many of you likely know from their collaborations in Apartamento magazine) were recently in Tokyo for two weeks.
For those of you who follow our website religiously, the name Branden M. Collins may ring a few bells: You may remember his poppy, brushstroke patterns for our Sight Unseen x Print All Over Me collab at the Standard Shop during Art Basel Design Miami last December. Or maybe you recall seeing his black-and-white zig-zag vases at our recent pop-up Think Big! at Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles. Collins — who along with Madeline Moore operates as the San Francisco–based multi-disciplinary duo The Young Never Sleep — is more than just a graphic designer though. He’s also an art director, stylist, illustrator, photographer, product and costume designer, and serial collaborator.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a hip summer pop-up shop in Sagaponack, two ceramicists branching out into wallpaper and shelf brackets, and more work you might have missed during ICFF, like the Earnest Studio trivets above.