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Week of June 8, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a look inside Andreas Murkudis's new full-service design outpost in Berlin, a sneak peek at our favorite projects launching at Design Miami/Basel next week, and our first picks from this year's degree shows, starting with the vanity above.

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Thing Industries

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.

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Aleksandra Pollner, Furniture Designer

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.

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Week of May 25, 2015

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.

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Brooklyn's Cold Picnic built a landscape out of their new rug blocks, which were wrapped in existing rug designs from their line.

A Tour of the 2015 Show: Part II

...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.

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Our location changed this year — Hudson Mercantile was conveniently situated just a stone's throw from the Javits Center — but many elements of last year's show remained intact, like our playful branding by Finnish design studio Kokoro & Moi. These totes were a highly coveted souvenir!

A Tour of the 2015 Show: Part I

As anyone who's ever made an album knows, sophomore efforts are by far the toughest to pull off. And so, even though we here at Sight Unseen have been putting together a major Design Week showcase in some way or another since 2010, this year marked only our second outing as Sight Unseen OFFSITE, which debuted last year to enormous fanfare and praise.

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Jonathan Nesci hung three dozen mirrors on the wall for his Present Perimeter project, which explored "a compositional framework that combines equal numbers of hexagons, half-hexagons, rhombuses, and triangles."

At the 2015 Collective Design Fair

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.

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Print All Over Me HOME

Sight Unseen is the exclusive curator of the new PAOM HOME line, where our job is to help choose what kinds of objects to feature and then to invite up-and-coming illustrators, artists, and designers to contribute prints to those items. For the inaugural collection — which features IKEA slipcovers, plant cozies, pillows, linen throws, beanbags, cushions, and more — we selected four powerhouse female design studios: Caitlin Mociun, Pia Howell, Studiopepe, and Alex Proba. Get a 20% off discount code after the jump!

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Anders Ruhwald in PIN-UP No. 18

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.

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The New Frontier at Bellevue Arts Museum

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.

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At the 2015 Milan Furniture Fair, Part II

Yesterday we introduced you — both on our site and in a massive Facebook album — to all the wonderful objects we photographed while design-hunting our way through the Milan furniture fair. But thanks to seriously horrendous lighting (we're looking at you, Rho Fiera), the times we were in a hurry, and the times our camera just couldn't seem to grasp the concept of white balance while in the presence of LEDs, we couldn't possibly capture a great image of everything we saw that deserved coverage. That is where today's post steps in: Here, we bring you the best press images we gathered of all our favorite designs at this year's Salone, with nearly 50 more on offer over on Facebook.

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At the 2015 Milan Furniture Fair, Part I

Another year, another Milan. Every year we attend the behemoth furniture fair known as Salone expecting to come away with something smart to say about the current state of design. But the truth is, you spend the week bombarded with so much stuff that you're often left with just a few fleeting mental images of your favorite things, whether it's a colorful chair sheathed in Flyknit-esque sneaker material or a particularly delicious gnocchi you nearly licked off the plate. Luckily, that's what cameras are for. We shot nearly everything we saw this year, whether it was for an immediate Instagram, a file-away-for-later trend, or to share with you here, in our best of the best round-up from last week.

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