Studio Cofield Emerging Designers

Brooklyn’s Cofield Is Scaling Up

Though Sara Ebert and Jason Pfaeffle studied in the same industrial design program at Pratt, it wasn’t until they started working together on a post-grad project for West Elm that a partnership developed. As they started spending more time together, they would often ask each other’s opinion on personal projects. They soon realized they shared a creative point of view; love blossomed and their design studio Cofield was formed.
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Julia Leonard of Either Way LA

“I sometimes think I wear too many hats,” says Julia Leonard, the Los Angeles–based artist, interior designer, curator, gallery owner, and shopkeeper, whose backyard retail venture Either Way LA — an every Sunday sale of thrifted or commissioned pieces — has recently become a hit via Instagram and word of mouth. Since moving from San Francisco a little more than four years ago, LA has offered her the chance, as it does to so many, to start over. In San Francisco, where she had studied, worked, and lived for over a decade, she had been teaching alongside her art practice. However Los Angles marked the opportunity to focus on her art, giving her a fresh perspective: “I even dress differently,” she admits wryly.
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Peter Nencini’s Instagrams

Lots of people on Instagram tend to stop us dead in our tracks as we slavishly scroll through our feed, but Peter Nencini has been one of those arresting image-makers since before the app even existed. An illustrator by training, Nencini did away with the confines of pen and paper after graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in the 1990s and today creates everything from typefaces to ad-hoc sculptures. A keen photographer, he has always recorded the stages of his process, first with a point-and-shoot and now with his iPhone, and has long been the proprietor of one of our favorite inspiration blogs. So when I suggested he walk me through 8 Things for Sight Unseen, the stipulation was that it had to be images from his Instagram, and we’d be digging into his thoughts on the app. He asked me to choose the shots, and then he explained them: That is how it went down.
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In her Industrial Design program, Neal continues to work with metals, albeit on a larger scale.  This powder coated blue chair is made of bent sheet steel and sits at the designer’s kitchen table.

Page Neal of Bario-Neal

Seven years ago, when Page Neal and Anna Bario decided to relocate from New York and San Francisco respectively to work on a sustainably-minded line of jewelry, they chose Philadelphia because it was both affordable and close to New York City. “The decision to move here was a complete whim,” Neal told me over iced tea in her kitchen when I visited her South Philly home earlier this summer. “I didn’t know anyone and neither did Anna.” But the gamble paid off: The city, it turned out, had a thriving jewelry district where casting, engraving, and stone-setting workshops have sat above storefronts for generations. “It’s an amazing place for makers because small-scale manufacturing is really accessible,” Neal says.
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Kohn’s swatches are scattered around the studio. “If you know any quilters, I’ve got scraps up the wazoo. I’ve been donating them to the Textile Arts Center, and I sent a huge box to a quilter in LA.”

Ilana Kohn, Fashion Designer

“It was running joke as a kid, that all I wanted to wear were cut-offs and T-shirts,” says Ilana Kohn. “My mom would buy them by the pack, and I would cut the sleeves and the neck.” Of course, Kohn is now known as the creator of a rabidly collected, Brooklyn-based, cult-favorite clothing line, so was fashion always the master plan? Sure, she was interested in clothes, she says, but her teenage self would be more than a little surprised at this turn. At 18, she says, she did not want to be a “fashion person,” intending rather to study fine art and spend her life of painting. But after high school — in a move that would appease parents who worried about her making a living — Kohn left her native Virginia for New York City to study illustration at Pratt.
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Lola Lely, furniture designer

Lola Lely was born in Hanoi, Vietnam, but, having moved to London when she was only five, the rising design star can claim native east Londoner status — a rare feat in the area’s bustling international design scene. Her interest in making dates back nearly as far; her mother, a seamstress, was always “knitting or crocheting, making clothes or coasters.” Her Foundation tutor, ceramicist Bo Davies, guided Lely down the path to product design, to satisfy her interest in various disciplines and materials. But now that she’s there, she says, “none of my projects seem to have an end point. I like restlessness, when I don’t know where something is going. It's a little bit serendipitous.”
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Arnulf Rainer Museum, Foto: Kollektiv Fischka

Oscar Wanless for Riess, at Vienna Design Week

Oscar Wanless is one half of Silo Studio, the London twosome whose unorthodox investigations into industrial materials have graced Sight Unseen more than a few times. But when I met up with him during last month’s London Design Festival, I found that his latest solo project was also more than worth a mention. For this year’s Vienna Design Week, Wanless worked with Riess, a ninth-generation enamelware company based in Ybbsitz, a small town in southern Austria. The factory has been knocking out metal pots and pans since 1550, and enamelling them at its Austrian headquarters for nearly a hundred years as well. Wanless came on board to disrupt the company’s tried, tested, and perfected process.
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The Grantchester Pottery

What happens when two conceptual artists meet on a retreat in the English countryside and get to grips with ceramics in an abandoned studio? In the case of The Grantchester Pottery, they form a decorative arts collective that feels more like a piece of conceptual art — which is a bit misleading, considering The Grantchester Pottery sounds a lot like a heritage brand, and these guys don’t just throw pots. In fact, they don’t throw at all. “It’s not that we have not tried!” says co-founder Giles Round.
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Shelter: “I have photographed some beautiful shelters that are found on building sites all around Dubai.  They are the most beautiful examples of architecture, made from just found materials. I was inspired to make one myself in my apartment — I call it my office!”

Katrin Greiling, designer and photographer

Katrin Greiling’s work as a designer has taken her to the deserts of the UAE and further east still to the jungles of Indonesia. The Munich native’s designs often have Nordic bones, but they’re made by hand in small workshops thousands of miles away. Her work as a photographer — an intended hobby that has morphed into a career — is also in high demand. But what makes the mind of this multi-disciplinary, globetrotting creative tick?
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Last project you worked on: “I’ve been collaborating more with Kristoffer recently as together we can take on much larger commissions. We recently designed an office and a shop interior here in Stockholm. I also just made a side table for a plant for in my house.”

Fredrik Paulsen, furniture designer

Fredrik Paulsen’s work, both as a designer and as a co-founder of Stockholm’s brilliant Örnsbergsauktionen is shaking the foundations of what you think Scandinavian design ought to be. “Here you are taught to produce work for the everyman,” Paulsen says. “It’s the legacy of IKEA: Good design for everyone. But if your work doesn’t really fit into mass production and it is not intended for it, then there is no platform or venue to show it.” It was this void that led Paulsen and his friends and fellow designers Simon Klenell and Kristoffer Sundin to stage their first auction during last year’s Stockholm’s Design Week. They invited contemporaries — some they knew, others they only knew of — to submit diverse, self-made works that went beyond the cookie-cutter forms they’d grown tired of, and put them up for bidding. It paid off.
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At the Istanbul Design Biennial

Last week marked the beginning of the inaugural Istanbul Design Biennial, curated by Joseph Grima and Emre Arolat and organized by the local cultural foundation IKVS — the same organization behind the city's contemporary art biennial. We're homebound until Design Miami but our intrepid London-based correspondent Claire Walsh bravely reported back on her maiden voyage, which included a tour of the official biennial festivities (on view until mid-December) but also the occasional foray into Istanbul's neighborhoods to capture urban texture, like the Memphis-style painted columns above. "Istanbul's art biennial is renowned for tackling heavy themes, so there was a lot to measure up to!" she says. "Titled Kusurluluk (or "imperfection" in plain old English), this biennial posed pivotal questions about design's role in growing metropolises like Istanbul, archaic organization, and what we understand design to be. This wasn’t about tables and chairs. Hell no — this was cerebral. Here are some of my favorite photos and moments from my trip."
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