Week of June 1, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: one of our favorite ICFF stragglers, two exhibitions inspired by kids' playgrounds, and three Sight Unseen OFFSITE alumni who have somehow developed entirely new bodies of work since mid-May.

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.
MM 2015 Slon Ana Kras Table Typecast Philippe Malouin Chairs

Week of May 18, 2015

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!)

Norwegian by Nature

When it comes to contemporary Scandinavian design, the furniture love tends to go to Denmark (Hay, Muuto, Normann Copenhagen) while Finland gets all the attention for its graphic design (Tsto, Lotta Niemenen, Kokoro & Moi). But Norway's design identity was always a bit more elusive — that is, until recently. This month in New York saw an onslaught of celebrations of Norwegian design, including Norwegian Icons — which celebrated the Nordic country's contribution to midcentury — and Norwegian by Nature, a survey of emerging talent curated by our friend Paul Makovsky of Metropolis, who criss-crossed the small Nordic country visiting schools, studios, and design fairs to gather a group of 23 design shops on the cusp of stardom. Norwegian by Nature was part of the Inside Norway booth at ICFF, and it was one of our favorite concepts for an exhibition in a long time. Prototypes by the up-and-coming studios (like Silje Nesdal, whose Granit bookends are shown above) were mixed with vintage pieces curated by Oslo-based Fuglen as well as works by more established companies like Roros Tweed and Mandal Veveri. All of the prototypes were having their North American debuts, but we can only hope some brave, deep-pocketed soul will soon put these beauties into production so we can see a whole lot more of them.
zawada opener

Matter—Made’s 2014 Lookbook

We'll be posting a recap of our favorite designs from ICFF and the best of the rest tomorrow, but today we wanted to share with you the one piece of printed collateral from New York Design Week that stopped us in our tracks. At Matter's ICFF booth, we managed to snag a copy of the design store's brand-new Matter—Made lookbook, which was art directed, styled, and photographed by our personal Sight Unseen dream team, Benjamin Critton and Brian W. Ferry. The collection itself was already fantastic — brand new, disc-shaped LED pendants and stocky oak stools by Matter owner Jamie Gray, an expanded HS1 shelving system by Henry Julier in the cutest colors, and the first commercially available pieces from Jonathan Zawada's Affordances line (which you might recall we featured last fall). Add to that Critton's custom type treatment and props sourced by Critton and Ferry — which included black Slinkys, gold-plated hands, and a blue squiggle that looks like it fell off a Thighmaster — and you've got an excellent collectible object.

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.

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.

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!

Assembly’s 2x Aluminum Mirror

As journalists, it’s basically our job to be professional busybodies, so there’s almost nothing that gives us a bigger thrill than when designers offer us a sneak peek at what they’re working on next. This week, those designers were the unfailingly prolific Pete Oyler and Nora Mattingly of Brooklyn-based Assembly, whose work we’ve featured extensively on the site. Their brand new piece is the 2x Aluminum Mirror, which is crafted from a solid sheet of 1/4-inch aluminum that’s been finished with two different techniques in order to create both reflective and opaque effects on the same surface. Says Oyler, “It’s part of a broader collection of work, to be released at ICFF in NYC this May, that bridges highly skilled hand and machine processes to explore extremes, subtleties, and possible outcomes within common materials.” Of course we decided to snoop around a little more and asked Oyler to tell us a bit more about it.

At New York Design Week 2013, Part V: The Rest

New York Design Week may already feel like a distant memory, but we couldn't move on to covering the upcoming Design Miami Basel fair — or start publishing all the amazing studio visits and house tours we've been saving up for the past few weeks — without doing one last post about all the offsite shows we saw (and didn't see) during this year's ICFF. From magnified eyeballs to garbage arches to our favorite watering can of all time, check out the official Sight Unseen roundup below.
At Caviar 20, we spied these colorful Philip Low-esque acrylic sculptures, which turned out to be the work of Vasa Mihich, a renowned Los Angeles sculptor.

At New York Design Week 2013, Part IV: ICFF

We had a dream for ICFF this year: to set up a "Sight Unseen Canteen" staffed by an avant-garde chef who would purchase food items from the conference center cafeteria and recast them into amazing gourmet meals, a bit like the now-defunct website Fancy Fast Food. The reason we had this dream (which we still hope to someday realize) is that no one in their right mind ever has anything good to say about the Javits itself — the climate, the lighting, and of course, the hideous, overpriced cuisine — and so pretty much everyone, we figured, would get the joke. If we could add on a foot massage station, a napping pod, and a daylight simulator, our vision would truly be complete. But alas, this year all there was to comfort weary fairgoers like us was plain old great design, and the joy of running into old friends and colleagues, and so we had no choice but to settle for that. We came, we saw, we conquered.
A Dacron and Kevlar canoe by Colgate Searle and Mathias Pliessnig was the centerpiece of a travel-themed design show curated by Jonah Takagi of Field in collaboration with Various Projects.

At New York Design Week 2013, Part I: The Noho Design District

Each time we start to celebrate the end of yet another successful edition of our Noho Design District project — this one being our fourth, if you can believe it — it's not long before a certain realization hits us like a ton of bricks: We only really get a few short months to recover before we have to start the process allllll over again. We began planning in the fall for the 2013 edition of the show, which ran from May 17-20 and which we'll be recapping on Sight Unseen today and tomorrow, and it's almost impossible to fathom how much work could go into a four-day event that nevertheless flew by so quickly. There were spaces to secure (thanks, SubCulture!), flyers to finagle (thanks, Benjamin Critton!), and press-preview pastries to provide (thanks, The Smile!). And of course we had to find the perfect brand to partner with to help support all the amazing emerging talents we offer a platform to (thanks, Jawbone!). But in the end all that work would have amounted to naught had our exhibitors failed to bust out with some of the most stunning and inspiring designs we've ever shown, from the simplest concrete domino set to painstakingly elaborate chandeliers, light-up neon desks, and textile installations. In case you weren't lucky enough to join us for this year's event, we've put together a roundup of its highlights, the first half of which is featured in the slideshow at right; stay tuned for coverage of Noho Next, ICFF, and other offsite shows to come. And thanks to everyone who joined us this weekend!