When the American Design Club first started back in 2008, the idea was to find new ways to gain exposure for emerging talents in the U.S. scene, a goal pursued primarily via juried exhibitions — and a goal that happened to dovetail perfectly with Sight Unseen's vision for a New York design week event that would put the spotlight on exactly the kind of emerging voices the AmDC comprised. In 2011, the second year of our Noho Design District show (the precursor to Sight Unseen OFFSITE), we hosted the club's fifth exhibition, and last month we were thrilled to host its 12th. Called "Curse the Darkness" and presented in partnership with the lighting brand Roll & Hill, the show invited designers to submit "objects that can hold a candle and light up a room."
In case you missed it, on Saturday we recapped our favorite offerings from around town during NYCxDesign. But there was one location whose showcase we saved for its own story: The Future Perfect, where owner Dave Alhadeff has given over the entire Noho shop to Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek until mid-June.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week we're bringing you a special ICFF edition, with our favorite finds from elsewhere around town (in other words, all the things we would have seen in person if we hadn't been tending to our own event!)
...In which we show you the rest of the incredible work we presented this year at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, which took place at Hudson Mercantile and featured the work of more than 100 designers, who hailed from places as varied as Los Angeles, Vancouver, Indianapolis, St. Augustine, FL, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal, and, of course, Brooklyn. If you happened to miss it — or if you just want to relive the glory — check out our slideshow after the jump, which features all of the studios that exhibited on the 6th floor of our show.
Comprising four days, 12,000 square feet, and 50-something exhibitors, Sight Unseen OFFSITE is a major undertaking — a Herculean one, in fact, if you consider that there are only two of us leading the entire operation. So when we announced in April that we were doing an additional show this year, at the Collective Design fair, people quite understandably looked at us like we'd lost our minds. And yet we persisted on the sheer force of our belief that Steven Learner and his team at Collective are doing great things for design, things we wanted to be a part of — not just providing a platform for some of the world's most important design galleries to sell to clients, but attempting to widen the dialogue with special projects like (this year) on-site design performances by The American Design Club, a Nap Lab by Various Projects and Print All Over Me, installations by OS & OOS and Jonathan Nesci, and of course, an offer to let us curate a corollary to Sight Unseen OFFSITE that featured six up-and-coming American designers making gallery-level work. If you didn't get the chance to see last week's Collective Design fair, which welcomed more than 10,000 visitors, here's our best of show — and stay tuned for images from our own presentation at Collective, which we'll be posting tomorrow.
Sight Unseen OFFSITE opens today, and front and center at this year's show is an undulating structure that, from a distance, looks incredibly mysterious — its walls are made from an unusual material, and they periodically emit a strange, pulsing blue glow. As you approach the structure, you first pass through a very narrow entryway that obscures your view of what's inside, but once you arrive there — well, that's the magic of the Dynamic Sanctuary, an installation by the Brooklyn design studio The Principals that's a kind of poetic metaphor for the design ideas behind Ford's 2015 Edge vehicle.
Copenhagen's Etage Projects is one of the newer galleries on the scene, but it's fast becoming one of our picks for the best. In the past two years, exhibition subjects have included SU favorites like Fredrik Paulsen, Jo Nagasaka, and Eva Berendes; the show currently on view includes Dutch designers Luuk van den Broek (who we're working on a much larger story on!) and Sabine Marcelis, who with Brit Van Nerven is responsible for one of our favorite pieces of design from the past year. Marcelis's newest project, called Voie Lights, is the first in a series of two investigations into the manipulation of light paths.
In the lull between Milan and the frenzy of New York design week, it's easy to become a bit myopic about what's going on elsewhere in the design world. But we'd be remiss if we didn't point out an exhibition happening right now with one of most fascinating concepts we've ever come across: At Chicago's Volume Gallery last week, the Detroit ceramicist Anders Ruhwald opened "The Charred Room," an exhibition that explores "the aftermath of a fire – objects as they should be, recognizable to an extent in shape and position in relation to one another – but charred. Slumped, melted and morphed the objects lose their direct references that create comfort, leaving the viewer with renderings of domestic detritus vaguely familiar." We had the pleasure of speaking with Ruhwald about the lead-up and the process behind that exhibition earlier this year, on assignment for PIN-UP, and with the magazine's permission, we're excerpting that story here today.
When we were first introduced to the multi-talented photographer Charlie Schuck, a good three years ago, he was running the heart-stoppingly chic concept store Object in Seattle, at which he paired things like Masanori Oji trivets with pieces he commissioned from local studios like Iacoli & McAllister and Grain. It was the first, most beautifully executed sign that a larger narrative was galvanizing around Pacific Northwest designers — one that reaches its apex this month with a museum show Schuck has curated for the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a Bahamian ceramics wunderkind Instagrams her way into our hearts, a group design show makes us wish we lived in Saint-Étienne, and two Greek designers kill it with the most beautiful house (above) and choker necklace we've seen in recent memory.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: Three different projects that push the boundaries of glass, one photograph that suspends your belief in reality, and two books that subvert your expectations of what a book can do or be.