Contra Naturam Bench

The Finnish Designer Using a Traditional Moroccan Wall-Surfacing Technique to Make Furniture

Amsterdam-based designer Tuomas Markunpoika aims for “tedious functionality” in his designs, but to us there is mystery and wonder in the bulbous, colorful slabs of material that compose his furniture. His new series of works is called “Contra Naturam,” or against nature — a mauve bench, a coffee table and chair in grayish and springy greens, and a side table and console in pale yellow and cream. Each looks cut from the earth or plucked from a stage set, at once natural and totally fake.
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A Short List of Everything We Loved At This Year’s Design Miami/Basel

Even if nothing else of interest had launched at last week's Design Miami/Basel, we would have still done this round-up if only to feature Galerie VIVID's Column Paintings by Thomas Trum, seen at the top of this post; nothing about the recent Design Academy Eindhoven's previous two-dimensional work could have prepared us for the awesomeness of these two-toned painted shelving units. Luckily, there was other good stuff at the fair to be found as well.
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barger

At a New Show, Thomas Barger Upcycles Your IKEA Discards Into Collectible Design

At just 25 years old, Thomas Barger finds himself wrestling with the ordinary — the idea that he’ll soon be kicked off his parents’ health insurance when he turns 26 — and the extraordinary — raising a solo show of sculptural furniture, on view through March 31 at Salon 94 Design. A recent nod from Architectural Digest and a sale to prominent art dealer and collector Javier Peres also signal Barger’s ascendency into the artistic stratosphere. But while all of these realities point to his newfound adulthood, the works on display at the gallery look backwards to the underpinnings of a youth spent growing up gay on a farm in Mattoon, Illinois.
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Detroit designer Chris Schanck at Friedman Benda

In a New Show, Chris Schanck Debuts Furniture Fit for an Alien King

If you're familiar with Detroit-based designer Chris Schanck's work, you can probably easily conjure an image of it in your mind — primitive yet shiny, lumpen yet somehow slick at the same time. Since 2011, when he was an MFA student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Schanck has been developing and refining a technique he calls Alufoil, which is responsible for that shiny, otherworldly aesthetic — it often looks as though Schanck is making executive furniture for an alien king.
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TFP - Bec Brittain - Flags (show view)

At The Future Perfect, Bec Brittain’s SHY Lights Grow Up

Bec Brittain has been playing with different configurations of her constellation-like SHY Lights ever since they debuted all the way back in 2012. But because each light is constricted only by the width and length of an LED tube, as well as Brittain's own boundless imagination, the possibilities are quite literally endless. So for a new show at The Future Perfect, called Resolute, Brittain began experimenting with the path and quality of the light source itself rather than the configuration of the tubes.
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Field Experiments Fisher Parrish Gallery

Bricks, Rubber, Concrete, and Stone: Field Experiments’ New Collection is Made From the Building Blocks of NYC

When Benjamin Harrison Bryant, Paul Marcus Fuog, and Karim Charlebois-Zariffa founded Field Experiments in 2013, they were inspired by the prospect of venturing to an exotic locale, removing themselves from their daily lives, and having that new place inform their work. But in their latest venture — a show at Brooklyn’s Fisher Parrish gallery on view through December 17 — the terrain has shifted to the familiar: New York City.
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Maniera Gallery for the Operae design fair

Fake Wood, Real Stone, and Imagined Foam: Our Favorite Collection from the Operae Design Fair

This year's Operae show was curated by Alice Stori Lichtenstein and the fair, always notable for its mix of designers and galleries, featured Sight Unseen favorites like Campbell Rey, Carwan Gallery, and Maniera. It was the latter gallery who hosted our favorite presentation: a series of layered particle-board furniture developed by the Belgium firm aDVVT as well as a newer series called "Light Conversation Pieces," by the Italian architecture firm Piovenefabi.
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YIN YANG TABLE by CARLY JO MORGAN2

Symbols, Snakes, and Spirituality in a New Collection of Terrazzo Furniture

Carly Jo Morgan's debut furniture collection, which includes the Yin Yang Table (twin surfaces in pink and black, enhanced with brass inlay), the Cozy Club Chair (with optional sheepskin), and the zig-zagging Serpentine Heart Song Lamp, was unveiled at the new Los Angeles gallery Not So General on April 20th. Today, Morgan shares her thoughts on transformation, her toughest critic, the satisfaction of “deep” sisterhood, and faking it until you make it.
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Fisher Parrish The Paperweight Show

At a New Brooklyn Gallery, The Paperweight is Anything But Obsolete

If there's anyone who knows from paperweights, it's New York gallerists Patrick Parrish and Zoe Fisher. The two began working together when Fisher — who at the time was helming her own fledgling gallery — began working for Parrish at his Tribeca space, which not only sells vintage examples of those sculptural objects but also boasts a well-documented obsession with Carl Aubock (perhaps king of all paperweight-makers). So it makes sense that when Fisher and Parrish finally decided to go into business together, they would choose the paperweight as their first canvas.
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