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Angela Dimayuga on How the Design of Downtown NYC’s Favorite Restaurant Came to Be

If you’ve ever been to Mission Chinese Food on New York’s Lower East Side, chances are you’ll remember the food — the legendary kung pao pastrami, or that one dish that makes even celery taste delicious. Chances are even better, though, that you’ll remember the experience, from the cocktail topped with flaky, edible Post-Its, to the epically grand piano music, to the friends you happened to bump into late on a Wednesday.
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A Designer-Made Breakfast Cafe at the Venice Biennale

For the opening of the Venice Biennale last week, the city's A plus A gallery became a three-day Breakfast Pavilion — part curatorial project, part café — where art could be discussed, produced, performed and eaten. Artists hosted and conceptualized the meals, while more than two dozen designers outfitted the space with furniture and objects.
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Sight Unseen Presents 2017

With Sight Unseen Presents, We’re Helping Design Week Take Over New York

By all accounts, design week in New York has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, thanks in large part to events like ours. But to us, it was still missing that all-encompassing, can't miss, cultural takeover feeling you get whenever Fashion Week happens in New York. And so this year — in addition to OFFSITE — we decided to launch the first annual Sight Unseen Presents, an event series meant to increase the visibility of New York Design Week by activating a dozen retail spaces and restaurants throughout the city with design content and programming.
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Alissa Wagner Dimes

Surprise, Surprise: The Brooklyn Home of Dimes’s Chef is As Gorgeous As Her Food

If you’re not quite sure how a chef like Alissa Wagner fits into Sight Unseen’s usual focus on design and visual art, then you’ve probably never been to Dimes, the restaurant she opened with her longtime friend Sabrina De Sousa in 2013. The pioneer of a new apex of cool on East Canal Street in Manhattan, Dimes sells Cassie Griffin pottery and edible fragrances by Regime des Fleurs, and serves diners bowls of rainbow-colored food on tables inspired by Matisse cut-outs. Some people go because it’s a scene, and because the design vibe is right, but most go because those bowls — filled with things like kale gomae, wild sumac stems, and mejadra — are visual art in just about any sense of the word.
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Mast Brothers Creative Director Nathan Warkentin

The Influences of Mast Brothers Creative Director Nathan Warkentin

Nathan Warkentin has been driving Mast Brothers's creative direction for the past three years, nudging it away from its original Brooklyn aesthetic and towards something more relevant. “In the beginning everything was a little old-timey, with a lot of classic or nautical patterns,” says Warkentin, whose influences we’re profiling today. “I started looking for inspiration in interesting art and architecture movements, and the work of current textile and pattern designers, to make it feel more contemporary.”
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The Spectrum Issue of Gather Journal

Since its launch in 2012, each issue of the biannual food journal Gather has been organized around a theme, but this summer's is by far our favorite. We're excerpting a story from “Spectrum,” an entire issue devoted to color.
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Cassie Griffin, Ceramicist

Cassie Griffin is a Brooklyn-based ceramicist who was introduced to us by our friend (and sometime model) Lulu Wolf. However, when we went to search the Internet for more information about Griffin’s dreamy ceramics — and their goofy everyday object–styled photos — we came up empty, save for a post on Design Sponge. So we reached out to Griffin herself, who gave us the scoop.
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Week of March 10, 2014

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week was, weirdly, all about fruit (perhaps it's the influence of the unstoppable pineapple?). We also said a (temporary) goodbye to a beloved New York retailer and a hello to the best Ikea collection in years.
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Pippa Drummond’s “Above (Series 1)”

The Auckland-born, New York City–based photographer Pippa Drummond is Sight Unseen's newest soon-to-be contributor, but when we were first introduced to her photography, it was the low-key but lovely portraits and coolly moody interiors that caught our eye. We had no idea at the time that she had this hiding in her portfolio. Above (Series 1) is a collaboration with prop stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky, and it reminds us a bit of Carl Kleiner’s Ikea cookbook photographs (which is interesting, considering Drummond’s other passion is food — she's got a cookbook of own in the works, and she assisted on the Amagansett-based shoot for Gwynnie’s latest. Yes, we ARE jealous). But the organized clutter here isn’t pantry staples but rather cheapo salon items that Drummond and Bartoshesky have turned into something almost beautiful.
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A 20th Century Palate in The Gourmand Issue 00

In the summer before starting Sight Unseen, one of us had a very brief flirtation with the idea of attending culinary school. Along with design, food is our great love, so we were pleased this week — and maybe even a little bit jealous — to stumble upon a new magazine out of London that unites the two disciplines in the most fantastic of ways. Called The Gourmand, the first issue tackles subjects ranging from David Shrigley's new cookery-themed opera to Jeff Koons's recipe for apple dumplings. But our favorite feature — plucked from the site's website, which has a sprinkling of teasers for the print edition as well as practical food recommendations from artists, contributors and London's culinary cognescenti — has to be this collaboration between art director Jamie Brown and photographer Luke Kirwan, which depicts 20th century art and design movements in foodstuffs like American cheese and pink wafer cookies.
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Foraging for Lunch in the Garden With Martino Gamper

Martino Gamper and I are neighbors. His studio sits just across the road from my flat in east London, and he and his wife garden in the communal plots out the back of my block. Their autumn planting — beets, kohlrabi, winter salads, and the last of some impressive tomatoes — was turning me green with envy, so when Sight Unseen suggested I ask Martino for a tour of the plot to talk about both his working and gardening methods, I was secretly hoping to gain a little insight myself, so as to turn my dirt patch into an edible wonderland.
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Free City is located at 1139 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, California.

Nina Garduno of Free City

To a certain kind of customer, it makes sense to drop half a grand on a Proenza Schouler necklace made from climbing rope or a hundred bucks on a T-shirt by Comme des Garçons: You’re paying for the craftsmanship of a couture brand and you’re buying the cachet of a label that normally retails for several times those amounts. But what of a sweatshirt — created by someone with no design training, no seasonal runway presentation, and no global retail empire — that sells for $198? That’s the conundrum that faced former Ron Herman buyer Nina Garduno when she started Free City more than a decade ago. By this point, of course, the brand has achieved cult status in Los Angeles, fueled by years of tabloid photographs showing celebrities in Free City sweatpants filling up at the pump, but price remains a sticking point even as Garduno has traded her store in a Malibu strip mall for a 3,000-square-foot Hollywood emporium she calls the Supershop Supermät. “A lot of people complain,” she says. “And yeah, it’s expensive. It costs a lot and takes a lot longer to make things the way we do, with 20 artists in our workshop and everything made here. People say they don’t want to buy things in China, and yet they love the China prices. For me, it’s worth going the distance and trying to make things that are more meaningful.”
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