Tag Archives: furniture

  1. 05.23.14
    What We Saw
    At New York Design Week 2014: Sight Unseen OFFSITE, Pt. 1

    When we founded the Noho Design District back in 2009, it was meant to provide a much-needed, well-curated platform for independent designers, whose numbers — particularly in America — had begun to surge. But it was also meant to add an extra dose of dimension and excitement to New York Design Week (or NYCxDesign, as it has since come to be known), which at the time was considered preeeeeetty lackluster, to say the least. By that measure alone, the first edition of Sight Unseen OFFSITE, our successor to the Noho Design District, was a massive success; word on the street was that this NYDW was the best anyone could remember, and we’re proud to have played a significant role.

  2. 05.21.14
    What We Saw
    At New York Design Week 2014: Interiors from Spain at ICFF

    Imagine this scenario: 14 American design brands banding together to take over a large swath of the Milan Furniture Fair, all with the financial and logistical support of the US government. Sounds hilarious, right? While we can’t dream of enjoying such privileges here, in one of the world’s most prosperous nations, Spain has been throwing its weight behind its homegrown design industry for ages. In addition to marketing services, the Spanish trade commission — through an initiative called Interiors From Spain — has helped its local furniture manufacturers have a unified presence at ICFF for the past 10 years. This year’s selection included Apavisa, Capdell, Ebir, Fama, Inalco, Isimob, Kriskadecor, Lladro, Marset, Nanimarquina, Now Carpets, RS Barcelona, Santa & Cole, and Texidors — check out our highlights from those makers after the jump, then watch our site for more coverage of the overall fair in the coming week.

  3. 05.18.14
    What We Saw
    At Collective 2 and Frieze New York 2014

    A little more than a week ago, we were eyeball-deep in preparations for our Sight Unseen OFFSITE show, which runs for two more days in New York City. We had insurance permits to apply for, electricity installations to oversee, and staffers to train, but we were still determined to drag ourselves away long enough to see two of our favorite shows of the year: the Collective Design Fair, and Frieze New York. And oh, was it worth it — Collective had nearly doubled in size since its first edition last year, and Frieze once again gathered some of the most gorgeous art we’d seen in ages under one roof (not to mention with killer food by the likes of Roberta’s and the Fat Radish). See a small selection of our highlights after the jump, then head over to our Facebook page to see much, much more.

  4. 05.16.14
    Invitation
    Print All Over Me x Sight Unseen

    Back in December, we embarked on an experimental curatorial collaboration with Print All Over Me, the amazing print-your-own-pattern service, founded by fashion designer Jesse Finkelstein and his sister, Meredith, that allows designers to upload any graphic they please onto fashionable white blanks — sweatshirts, bomber jackets, shift dresses, backpacks, leggings, and more. The project — for which we hand-selected illustrators like Will Bryant, Tim Colmant, and Clay Hickson — was such a rousing success that Jesse approached us for round two a few months ago. We were already 100 percent sold on the idea, thinking we could sell the results at a pop-up at our Sight Unseen OFFSITE event — which opens today at noon! — when Jesse casually emailed this bomb: “Hey! Let’s also talk about print all over furniture!”

  5. 05.10.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of May 5, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a little bit of Scandinavian design heaven in downtown Los Angeles, lots of emerging designers under one roof in far-out Brooklyn, and a preview of the design hothouse that is the coming week in New York City.

  6. 05.08.14
    Sight Unseen OFFSITE
    Preview the 2014 Show!

    Back in March, we gave you a small taste of what was to come at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, our brand new nomadic design fair opening May 16 at 200 Lafayette Street in New York’s Soho neighborhood. But a lot has happened since then! Most notably, we’ve brought some exciting partners on board and finalized our official lineup, which is now packed with more than 50 independent designers and forward-thinking brands, all of whom have been hand-picked by the editors at Sight Unseen. Open to the public May 16 to 20 — during the hours of 12PM to 7PM Friday and 11AM to 7PM Saturday through Tuesday — Sight Unseen OFFSITE is New York design week’s most exciting platform for new ideas and talents. Check out a small preview after the jump of some of the works that will be on view during the show, then join us next weekend to see it in person!

  7. 05.03.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of April 28, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a website that treats industrial supplies as art, an exhibition that treats styrofoam scraps as furniture, and a side table (pictured above) that comes in three flat-pack, numerically based configurations, each more beautiful than the next.

  8. 05.01.14
    Eye Candy
    The Past Is Never Dead, by Philipp Schenk-Mischke and Matthias Klas

    The Past Is Never Dead is the thesis project of Philipp Schenk-Mischke and Matthias Klas — soon to be graduates of the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany — and as such it has the required amount of critical thinking to back it up: “Taking an object and shifting the focus from form and use to the thoughts it provokes was the starting point of this project,” the designers write. The shape of their Cabinets (above), they add, “comes from the metaphor of breaking conventions: parallel ash frames stand for the stuck structures of today’s world while skewed lines … try to break free from common notions to discover the new.” That’s all well and good, but we think all you need to understand this work is two eyeballs. We’re looking forward to using them to see what the pair does next.

  9. 04.30.14
    Where They've Been
    Chen Chen and Kai Williams at Design Days Dubai

    When Brooklyn design duo Chen Chen and Kai Williams — known for their eccentric experimentation with materials — headed to Brazil two years ago for a residency with the gallery Coletivo Amor de Madre, they learned an important lesson the hard way: Don’t show up in a far-flung country expecting to source all your fabrication supplies at the drop of a hat. Invited to join the same gallery last month for an interactive installation at Design Days Dubai, they brought from home many of the materials they needed to make their new Moonmilk vessels (above), which they constructed live in their show booth from pigmented quick-dry cement slowly dripped onto a substrate. They also left time before the show began to scout working-class areas where, says Chen, “instead of big box stores like Home Depot, you’ll see an entire neighborhood in which one shop only sells plastic and another shop is a carpenter inside this little storefront, where you can say ‘I need pieces of wood cut to this size,’ and he’ll cut it for you.” The rest of their eight-day trip was spent making — and exploring.

  10. 04.28.14
    Q+A
    Ferruccio Laviani on his Good Vibrations Series

    Partly as a consequence of being based in Italy, one of the biggest furniture-making centers in the world, Ferruccio Laviani does a lot of different work for a lot of different manufacturers, from sleek plastic lamps to futuristic lounge chairs. So when he was invited to collaborate with a manufacturer of baroque furniture founded in 1928 by a craftsman making Louis XV replicas — he accepted the challenge, creating a provocative series called “F* THE CLASSICS!” that puts a contemporary twist on the company’s traditional style. The latest piece in the collection, Good Vibrations — a computer controlled robotic router-carved wooden cabinet that looks like a warped VHS video — is so striking, it went viral on over a dozen design blogs shortly after renderings of it were released in advance of the 2013 Salone del Mobile in Milan (even though it was so difficult to produce that the real cabinet, pictured after the jump, wasn’t even exhibited until the 2014 fair that took place a few weeks ago). For the Lincoln Now project that Sight Unseen recently participated in, Laviani took some time to tell us how (and why) he created it.

  11. 04.26.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of April 21, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a perfect marriage of plant and pot, a permanent home for a previously nomadic gallery, and a ceramic series inspired by the Fantastic Four.

  12. 04.19.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of April 14, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, we resume the series with our last (no, really) Milan fair roundup, plus our favorite new shopping destination in L.A., two exhibitions of nominally functional furnishings, and a ghostly faded mirror that makes for a nice addition to the genre’s current craze.

  13. 04.16.14
    What We Saw
    At the 2014 Milan Furniture Fair: Part IV

    A week ago today, we spent our afternoon at the Milan fairgrounds, our evening surrounded by colleagues at a dinner hosted by Camron PR, and the wee hours of the night at Bar Basso, where we ran into just about every friend of ours who was in town from far and near. Which reminds us of two key things about the Salone del Mobile: that catching up with dozens of the designers and curators we know but never see is one of our favorite things about the fair, and that each of those friends packs their days in Milan with just as many sights and experiences as we manage to pack into ours. We figured we’d combine both ideas into the second installment of a tradition we began last December at Design/Miami, when we invited everyone we knew who attended to send us the best photo they took that week. Read on to see what folks like Faye Toogood, Felix Burrichter, and Rafael de Cardenas thought were the highlights of their trips.

  14. 04.15.14
    What We Saw
    At the 2014 Milan Furniture Fair, Part III

    The fairgrounds at the Milan Furniture Fair are a great place to see attainable designs by established companies and talents, but typically it’s not the place to go when you’re scouting for new names (though this year’s Satellite show, as demonstrated in yesterday’s post, happened to be a surprise goldmine). For that, you have to brave the long walks, aching feet, and lack of taxis that come along with trying to get to all the shows around town, from Rossana Orlandi gallery to the far-flung Lambrate district. We say this every year, but we barely saw half of what was on offer; that said, we saw a lot of nice things.

  15. 04.14.14
    What We Saw
    At the 2014 Milan Furniture Fair, Part II

    Though we’re back from Milan and already knee-deep in planning for our own design fair next month (eek!), we’ll be bringing you highlights from the Italian capital all this week. Today we’re focusing on our favorites from the fairgrounds, like Front’s beautiful chairs for Moroso (above). The fair this year was visually quite strong, with last year’s obsessive booth styling taken to even greater heights. (We actually begged the Arper folks to put some of their styling pieces into production!). The fair is also where the trends we’d been thinking about began to seriously take shape. What was in this year? Though everyone still loves that pastel mint and pink palette, we saw tons of putty — yes, putty — and other assorted non-hues (most of which didn’t make it into this round-up, since we’re suckers for color). For more of our take, read on, then click through to our Facebook album and come back tomorrow for more from the offsite shows.

  16. 04.11.14
    What We Saw
    At The 2014 Milan Furniture Fair, Part I

    There were two huge advantages to spring’s early arrival in Milan this year, which has blessed us with 70-degree weather and constant blue skies as we’ve been scouting the city’s annual furniture fair all week. First, it made it much easier and more enjoyable to hit up dozens of shows in a row each day, walking miles and burning off all those carbohydrates and sprawling multi-course dinners (we’re looking at you, Swedish Design Goes Milan). Second, it provided the optimal lighting conditions for taking photographs of all the incredible objects we saw along the way — more than 500 of them, at last count (including a cute vignette from the Discipline party, above). We’ll be sharing as many of them as we can with you over the next few days, both here and on our Facebook page, but in the meantime we wanted to take a break from all the pavement-pounding to give you a quick sampling of some of our observations.

  17. 04.05.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of March 31, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. Today, we temporarily interrupt Seattle Week to bring yo far-reaching news from places like Sweden (clocks and tables made from rejected furniture), Milan (a preview of novelties launching at the upcoming Salone del Mobile, where we’ll be reporting from next week), and the Internets (a rash of color-field abstraction on Instagram).

  18. 04.03.14
    Up and Coming
    Grain, furniture and product designers

    To hear the story of James and Chelsea Minola — the married couple behind Seattle’s Grain design studio — you begin to wonder how it’s possible their paths didn’t cross even earlier in life. Both grew up in Southern California — James in San Diego, and Chelsea in Los Angeles, where her parents were the owners of a punk rock store at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. In the early ’90s, both families relocated to the Pacific Northwest, and James and Chelsea moved east to Providence, Rhode Island, around the same time to attend RISD — James as an undergrad in engineering and Chelsea as a graduate in industrial design. But the two didn’t meet until they both enrolled in a short course called “Bridging Cultures Through Design,” where they worked first in Providence, tinkering with ideas about weaving, and then for a few weeks in Guatemala, where they learned how to work with talented local artisans. The trip would eventually lead the two friends down the path to marriage but it also introduced them to the way in which their future studio would run.

  19. 04.01.14
    At Home With
    Iacoli & McAllister

    Here at Sight Unseen, we tend to pride ourselves on the timeless nature of so many of our features. But if you look back at the first time we covered Jamie Iacoli and Brian McAllister, way back in 2010, the article is almost laughably out-of-date. For one, we called Seattle a city that’s “not exactly famous for its flourishing industrial design scene” — which is, of course, the premise behind this entire week. And as for Iacoli & McAllister? Back then, they were better known for powder-coated shop tools and cake pedestals than for the beautifully lightweight and sophisticated furniture that has become their signature (and they hadn’t even begun to make jewelry!). They were so very green back then — only having recently found vendors and retailers to make and sell their work — whereas now they’re like the éminence grise of the Seattle design scene, so entrenched in its visual identity that you can’t remember a time when they weren’t there. What hasn’t changed? When we interviewed them in 2010, the onetime couple had broken up but were still living together. Today, they’re still broken up and living together, though in the intervening years they spent three years living apart.

  20. 03.31.14
    Sight Unseen Presents
    It’s Seattle Week!

    People always ask us about the American design scene, and for the longest time, inquiring after American design was just shorthand for trying to figure out what was happening in New York. It’s not that design wasn’t happening in other places; it just wasn’t happening at a scale and with a voice that would make it cohere into something bigger than itself. But oh, how that’s changed in the last five years. Ask us about American design, and we’ll talk your ear off about the amazing ceramics coming out of Los Angeles, or the interesting material experiments happening in Chicago, or Jonah Takagi, who’s singlehandedly making “D.C. design” happen. But the city we’re really, really excited about right now? Seattle.

  21. 03.29.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of March 24, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: We kind of wish our subjects could talk to each other! What would the painter who studied the emotional effects of color and geometry say to the South American graphic designer who obsessively creates shape studies (above)? Talk amongst yourselves.

  22. 03.25.14
    Sight Unseen Offsite
    Introducing Your Newest New York Design Week Destination

    Here at Sight Unseen HQ, we’ve been keeping some pretty major news under wraps for a few months now, but it’s time to finally let the cat out of the bag. If you’ve been reading our site, you know that we founded and ran the Noho Design District, a satellite show during ICFF, for four years. This year we made the tough decision to retire the NDD and launch in its place a new event that shares our namesake: Introducing Sight Unseen OFFSITE, a brand new design fair happening in New York from May 16-20, 2014, that will feature a curated selection of furniture and product launches by the best independent designers and forward-thinking brands, all under one gigantic roof.

  23. 03.22.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of March 17, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: The world’s most beautiful bike lock, an iPad cover inspired by New York and a table (above) inspired by Milan, and an epic terrazzo floor discovered in a local institution.

  24. 03.11.14
    Artist's Proof
    Tombstone Chairs by Greg Buntain of Fort Standard

    From an outside perspective, the Brooklyn furniture-design studio Fort Standard exudes the aura of a successful business with a clear DNA. Yet that wasn’t always the case: When co-founders Ian Collings and Greg Buntain first joined forces in 2011, after graduating together from Pratt, they had no idea what direction to take — they simply dove headlong into the making process. “We had one goal: to do our own thing,” Buntain said in a recent interview. Their stock may have risen since then, but behind the scenes, the pair still make an effort to keep things loose; to maintain a sense of discovery in their shared practice, they both do separate solo work on the side, little personal experiments and objects they create for their own homes. Occasionally these prototypes are developed into Fort Standard products, but most of the time they go unseen, as was the case for Buntain’s marble Tombstone chairs before we spotted them on Instagram. When we approached the designer to ask him if we could share them with you in the interview after the jump, it turned out he had a home full of personal pieces he’d made but also never shared with the public, which he was kind enough to walk us through in the second half of this story.

  25. 03.01.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of February 24, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: furniture worthy of a “French Fries Party,” super-minimalist $99 lamps, candy-colored stools by Jeff Martin (above), and incredibly styled images by the likes of Gemma Tickle and the Bouroullec brothers.

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