Muji Materials Garden by Ladies & Gentlemen

Ladies & Gentlemen’s MUJI Materials Garden Was a Match Made in Minimalist Heaven

For this year’s NYCxDESIGN, MUJI teamed up with Jean Lee and Dylan Davis of Ladies & Gentlemen Studio on an installation to commemorate the Japanese lifestyle brand's ten years in the U.S. — the brand’s first-ever collaboration with an American designer. Called MUJI Materials Garden, the installation was comprised of seven vignettes showcasing MUJI collection mainstays alongside the materials from which they’re made.

Ladies & Gentlemen and Robin Stein Team Up on a Still Life Inspired by Moholy-Nagy, Not Memphis

You know all those contemporary still-life clichés, like pastel backgrounds, cactuses, and Sottsass-approved geometric shapes? When New York photographer Robin Stein recently teamed up with Brooklyn design studio Ladies & Gentlemen for a studio visit (coming soon) and impromptu creative photo shoot (pictured after the jump), the longtime friends decided to toss all those ubiquitous tropes out the window and do something different.

Ladies & Gentlemen Studio’s Form Studies

When we first interviewed Jean Lee and Dylan Davis of Seattle's Ladies & Gentlemen Studio back in 2012, they revealed that a sizable chunk of their design process happens on and around the shelves that line every room in their home studio and serve as a kind of 3-D inspiration board.
“Etude upholstery fabric by Finn Sködt.” L&G: “We love this photo for styling reasons: Just drape fabric over a shape and call it gooood.”

Ladies & Gentlemen Studio: Scandinavian Design Gallery

Books about mid-century Scandinavian design are a dime a dozen. Jacobsen chairs, Aalto stools, Juhl sofas — you know the drill. But if you've ever been to a design museum in Stockholm or Helsinki, you probably also know that some of the coolest objects made in the region date back to a more unexpected era: the '80s, when good things weren't just happening in Italy, believe it or not. A few months back, we spotted some examples of said amazingness on the Instagram feed of the Seattle design duo Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, which they'd noted were pulled from a vintage book they'd rediscovered while cleaning house. And so this column was born, a place for people to show off strange, beautiful, and mostly out-of-print volumes that wouldn't otherwise see the light of day. Browse selections from Scandinavian Design Gallery in the slideshow here — complete with caption text plucked from the book and sporadic Ladies & Gentlemen accompanying commentary — then let us know if you have a gem of your own to share.
What inspired your Natural Selection series? “The Aura is about the relationship between a light source (the bulb) and the resulting lamp, highlighted by a simple brass ring.”

Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Furniture and Product Designers

After Jean Lee met Dylan Davis while studying industrial design at the University of Washington, and after a string of successful school collaborations led them to start dating, the two of them did a semester abroad together in Rome. “Those were the good times,” laughs Lee. “We saw all these independent studios there, and designers working more as artists, and it was really inspiring for us. That wasn't happening at all in Seattle.” And so after they graduated in 2005, Lee went on to work for a messenger bag company based in Philadelphia, while Davis joined the team at Henrybuilt. They did a small trade selling vintage finds on Etsy for awhile, and eventually started repurposing those objects into new designs as a hobby. But what finally led them to join forces as Ladies & Gentlemen in 2009 were the first signs that they might be able to find in Seattle what they experienced in Rome after all: Not only had studios like Iacoli & Mcallister and Grain begun to flourish by making and selling their own work, their new coalition Join was gathering together local designers to collaborate and exhibit together. “Jamie Iacoli asked us to contribute to a show, and were like ‘What the hell? Let’s do it!’”

Knauf & Brown, furniture designers

Formafantasma, Ladies & Gentlemen, Rich Brilliant Willing: The list of design partnerships that began in art school is pretty endless. But rare is the pair who knew and liked each other enough to not only register at the same university at the same time but also to enroll in all of the same classes, “to keep each other on our toes.” That’s Calen Knauf and Conrad Brown of the emerging Vancouver-based design studio Knauf & Brown talking; the two met through skateboarding more than a decade ago. Brown was a photographer and Knauf a graphic designer, and once they graduated from their industrial design program at Emily Carr, the natural thing to do was to go into business together. “It’s a good partnership,” they say, “because we both have different strengths, but fairly similar aesthetics.” What exactly defines that aesthetic is still a bit up in the air, considering that the two graduated only last year. But what’s emerged so far has shown an emphasis on simple and honest natural materials, like ash and marble, as well as a healthy sense of humor that occasionally surfaces in the form of performance art. For “despite how much of our lives we dedicate to design and our studio, we still place a high priority on having as much fun as possible,” they say. “We both still skateboard, and regularly get up to no good.” Read on for a deeper look into their brand-new practice.

Meet the New Wave of Ultra-Affordable PR Services Making It Easier Than Ever to Get Published

In almost every sense imaginable 2020 has been an epic fail of a year, and yet thanks to eight months of collective introspection and recalibration, silver linings have already begun to appear. Today we're taking a closer look at one of them, which could yield huge benefits for early- and mid-career creatives: Some of the best PR people we know have recently launched affordable programs geared towards smaller clients, offering a la carte courses and consultations without the sky-high monthly retainers.

Week of September 28, 2020

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: LRNCE makes her first lamps, a New York designer releases a Memphis-style mirror to rival the Ultrafragola, and India Mahdavi opens a project space for experimental installations like the one pictured above.
Ring Dish_SU_1


Elyse Graham wants to send you a resin ring dish! She's the first in a series of designers who will mail each of our Patrons members an exclusive object every 3 months.

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AS A PATRON, YOU GET: —An exclusive design object created just for our patrons, mailed to you once every three months and worth at least $150. Confirmed artists include Chen and Kai, Eny Lee Parker, Elyse Graham, Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Farrah Sit, Chiaozza, and Steven Haulenbeek. —A 30-40 minute personal video consultation with either a Sight Unseen editor or an expert in the fields of business development, PR, interior design, landscape design, brand consulting, or e-commerce marketing —VIP invitations to any events held by Sight Unseen during your membership —A free Cargo website for the duration of your membership —A free Sight Unseen t-shirt* —A free $100+ shaving kit from Harrys or Flamingo if you sign up by June 13 —An ongoing 20% discount to design stores like Coming Soon, Ferm Living, Hay, and DWR** PLUS: —Full access to all content in the Library, including past Sight Unseen printed editions, archival interviews, Instagram Live talks recordings, and city guides with custom Google maps —Monthly personal recommendations column from the editors —Monthly downloadable desktop and iPhone wallpapers by artists and designers like Brian Rideout, Charlotte Taylor, Calico Wallpaper, and Tekla Severin —Close Friends status on Instagram, which unlocks private monthly Instagram Story content such as shopping picks, vintage finds, video reports from design fairs and gallery shows, studio visits, mini video interviews, and more —An invitation to a private monthly Zoom interview with a top designer on how they built their business, plus access to all archived recorded interviews —20% off in the Sight Unseen Shop for the duration of your membership *Size subject to availability  **List subject to change A short FAQ: —All memberships are non-refundable under any circumstance —When your membership is about to expire, you will get a notice asking if you want to renew it —Patrons must provide a U.S. mailing address for any benefits that require mailing —If we mail you something that gets returned to sender, you must pay the cost to re-ship Price: $60 / month (billed every 6 months) First Name: First Name Required Last Name: Last Name Required Address Line 1:* Address Line 1 is Required Address Line 2: Address Line 2 is not valid City:* City is Required Country:* Country is Required -- Select Country -- United States (US) Afghanistan Åland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belau Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba … Continue reading Be Our Patron

Week of October 14, 2019

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, a kitchen in Barcelona that has us green with envy, a modern-day ode to Atelier Brancusi, sculptures that defy gravity, and more.