Studio Paolo Ferrari Changes Perspective for Latest ‘Editions’ Furniture Series

In 2016, the Toronto-based interior designer Paolo Ferrari released his studio’s first edition of collectible furniture, intending to evolve and expand upon its forms over time. Last week, at his New York gallery Colony, he unveiled the collection’s latest iteration — Editions 04 — which was meant to debut in 2019 but was postponed due to the pandemic. This extra time proved beneficial for Ferrari, who was able to pause, contemplate, and develop his designs even further than previously anticipated. It also provided another fortuitous opportunity: to photograph them against the dramatic industrial backdrop of Skylight Steelworks, a former factory and 1960s office space on 750 acres outside of Toronto in the one-time steel town of Hamilton, which has recently become home to a new generation of creatives and artists. Skylight — which finds these kinds of unique real estate properties and transforms them into film and photography studios — turned the site into a sprawling shooting location (parts of The Handmaid’s Tale were filmed there).

The industrial site — and its high-drama lighting — helps the collection’s bright accents, soft shapes, and varied materials shine in a series of images we’re debuting exclusively on Sight Unseen today. The collection includes two round coffee tables that appear normal enough from standing or sitting height, but feature sculptural Noguchi-inspired bases that can only be fully appreciated by crouching down. Soft, richly textured bar seats and ottomans have hammered steel footrests that are similarly visible only from certain angles. The Ame chair is the result of a continuing collaboration with textile artist Hiroko Takeda; it’s reminiscent of Ferrari’s Cloud armchair from the front, but in this version, Takeda’s signature threads cascade from the back to form a fringe that drapes down to the floor.

The neutral-toned natural materials used throughout the collection are contrasted by shots of color, as in the fluorescent fabric of Ferrari’s Lido sofa and the oxblood lacquered top of his Mr B Table; his team found ways to echo those saturated moments by seeking out moments of bold color throughout the Steelworks property. Check out the results below.