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Week of May 10, 2021

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: table lamps inspired by fancy birds, chairs just begging us to shake a leg, and wishlist-worthy wooden spoons.
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Xanthe Somers Wants Us to Question Everything About Our Relationship With Domestic Objects

As a self-taught ceramicist, not knowing the "right" way to do things has led Somers down some experimental paths. Clay has become a medium for her to interrogate concepts beneath its fragile surface. As a contemporary ceramic sculptor, she describes her pieces as a satirical and questioning take on domestic objects. “We cannot treat domestic objects as inert beings; they have place and purpose and motivation,” she says. “Clay has a long history of being used for functional, domestic objects that are laden with political and social constructs."
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Pops of Color and Prototypes Elevate This Brooklyn Renovation in a Former Bakery

Not to make you feel bad or anything but while some of us baked banana bread during lockdown, Antonio Monserrat attempted a full renovation of his historic Williamsburg apartment, the first solo project of his career after formally training as an architect in London and Vienna and spending several years at Zaha Hadid Architects. His ambition paid off as he now lives in a space where lively pops of color meet beams of morning light and elegant arches accentuate high ceilings.
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This Canadian Designer is Leading the Charge — No Pun Intended — to Prove Lighting Can Be Both Efficient and Beautiful

Caine Heintzman’s designs are among the most expressive produced by his company, ANDLight; you've surely seen his Vine light, which can only be described by the contemporary term "chonky," hanging in places like the Pieces Home in Kennebunk, Maine. But in fact, Heintzman's designs are typically inspired by hardy, everyday industrial objects. He designs in a modular way so that his products can exist singularly or be grouped and customized for various spaces and projects, and evolve far into the future.
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Wayne Pate’s Homeware Collections Are Inspired by Classical Motifs and Ancient Color Palettes

A magpie for references, American artist Wayne Pate is largely inspired by classical architecture, decor and interior design, whose shapes he abstracts and brings up to date; on his trips to Europe, he collects ceramic vessels and historical objects — lebrillos from Spain, terracotta pieces from Italy and Greece. His forays into homeware, then, are always a homecoming and his latest are a collection of decorative terracotta tiles in collaboration with Balineum, and a series of cashmere throws and pillows for Saved NY, both released in late 2020.
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Ok Kim Uses a Centuries-Old Korean Lacquer Technique to Make These Very 2021 Pieces

The Seoul-based artist and designer Ok Kim makes colorful contemporary art and furniture using Ottchil, a centuries-old Korean technique that’s at risk of dying out. "Ottchil" refers to the sap that seeps out of lacquer trees when cuts are made in its bark; the substance is a natural lacquer that’s mixed with fine sand and pigments to achieve a variety of durable finishes for furniture.
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In Lucas Morten’s Hands, Scandinavian Design Becomes Something Much Darker

Swedish designer Lucas Morten’s Klot chair is sculpted from Styrofoam and his Skal vases are formed from stiffened burlap cloth. These improbable materials are the result of his general curiosity about life and his constant search for beauty. “The whole philosophy behind my objects revolves around breaking the Swedish heritage of ‘functionality first’,” he says. “I’m really inspired by the total beauty that can be found beyond practical aspects and interested in what that kind of beauty means to the human being.”
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This Swiss Designer’s Unfussy Furniture is Inspired By the Sunshine of His New Spanish Home

When Antonius Dreier moved from Switzerland to Madrid just over a year ago, the light and lifestyle in the Spanish city inspired a debut furniture collection from Studio Drei that’s most at home in the spots where the sunshine spills inside. “I think the move has had a great impact on my pieces,” he says. “The culture of this country and its craftwork are very present in my first catalogue.”
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Mario Tsai Chinese design

Though He Designs for Of-the-Moment Brands, Mario Tsai Isn’t Inspired By Trends

When Hangzhou-based designer Mario Tsai was growing up, he’d take apart the electronics in the house. Luckily for him, his parents were forgiving. He’d also collect old, tossed-out electric components and scrap pieces of wood to make new things. “I made many things that adults would consider strange,” he says, but that early freedom to explore has proven foundational for his design practice. A research-centered approach is the basis of Mario Tsai Studio, founded in the summer of 2014, which produces elegant, contemporary furniture and conceptual lighting design.
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