Since Sight Unseen OFFSITE began three years ago, we’ve held the fair in three differentlocations, and people often ask whether that nomadic spirit translates in practice to something of a logistical nightmare. The answer, of course, is yes, and yet, each May, there’s a huge payoff: Our space has informed the character of each year’s show in an immeasurable way, and this year’s fair was no different. Held on the 15th floor of The Grace Building — an iconic, sloped, 1970s Midtown office tower that almost every New Yorker knows at least by sight — the show overlooked New York landmarks like the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, and the grassy expanse of Bryant Park on one side; on the other, huge, slanted windows looked out onto a mishmash of architecturally styled skyscrapers. For every #suoffsite Instagram of a cluster of new lamps or a row of ceramics, there was one that looked outward as well, basking in the view.
Inside, more than 70 independent designers and brands were putting on their best show yet. The show was, as always, meticulously curated to ensure both the highest quality of designs and a variety of experiences. We had pop-ups where visitors could buy chocolate, cosmetics, fragrances, ceramics and smoking accessories; we hosted our second annual lunch cafe by Sunday Supper, this year in collaboration with Baked by Lexie Smith; we partnered with Homepolish to create and style a lounge using furniture by the show’s designers; and we had mega-Instagrammable moments in the form of Bower’s infinite hall of mirrors, kinder MODERN’s Design Chess matches, Land of Nod’s supersized play room, Eric Trine’s pink toilet, and Leong Leong’s foam-roller TOPO installation for Ford, which throughout the weekend became a jungle gym for our littlest Sight Unseen fans.
Thanks to everyone who attended, to the exhibitors who helped make this week’s show such a beautiful success, to our PR team at Camron for spreading the gospel, and to our partners — Sonos, West Elm, IKEA, Homepolish, Need Supply and title sponsor Ford, without whom none of this would have been possible in the first place! Here’s Part I of our tour; part II coming up later today!
...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.
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.
Though your Sight Unseen editors have been in major curation mode for the past two weeks, we've also had day to day work to do as, you know, journalists. So for five days during our Sight Unseen OFFSITE event last week, Monica and I set up camp on the Astroturf-covered bleachers of the MOLD Future Food Café, where we caught up on emails and posted stories to this very site. It was the perfect vantage point from which to view our own event: We could see friends and VIPs on their way in, and we could overhear people heading to the elevator, on their way up to the second floor. The most common refrain we heard? "Oh my God, there's more upstairs?"