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Duro Olowu’s Mind-Expanding Chicago Exhibition Crosses Time, Place, Gender, and Race

Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, the highly anticipated exhibition curated by the Nigerian-born British designer, was up for only two weeks at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago before the pandemic shutdown of last March. But when the MCA re-opened, it thankfully extended the show's run into early fall. Walking through the rooms — teeming with over 300 works Olowu selected from the city’s public and private art collections — was a bit like scrolling through a really engaging, unpredictable Instagram account, but without the glazed exhaustion and listlessness that comes from being so online. Or the frustration of being on the outside looking in. This was a show that welcomed you.
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With Design Parade Postponed Until 2021, the Cities of Hyères and Toulon Took Their Exhibitions (Mostly) Outside

Like most international art and design festivals this year, the annual Design Parade — which typically takes place across two cities in the south of France and is on record as one of our favorites — was forced to postpone its summer edition until 2021. Somehow, though, these restrictions don't seem to have reduced the activity in Hyères and Toulon by much.
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Do You Love Your Toilet Paper Holder? Probably Not, But At a New Show, There Are 50+ Reasons to Change Your Mind

Toilet paper holders are, as a general rule, kind of the worst — which is why it's so heartening to see a whole exhibition devoted to them at Marta Los Angeles, on view from September 10 through November 1. Like so many everyday object shows before it, Under/Over — which features contributions from 53 studios — is both a cross-section of contemporary design, and a reflection of each designer's practice.
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Murals Reign At This Exhibition in the South of France, Celebrating Centuries-Old Craft Techniques

Antique-Rustique is an immersive experience and the furniture and decorative sculptures are best viewed in situ among the murals painted directly onto the walls at a mano studio, a gallery in Biarritz, France. For the layout, designers Bella Hunt & DDC imagined a walk amongst ancient ruins lost in a forest. “Our work is a tribute to the history of art and the fluidity of time,” they write.
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Charlotte Kidger’s Crumbling Columns, Made From Foam Dust, Are Perfect For This Moment in Time

In April, just as the world was beginning to shut down, Central St Martin's grad Charlotte Kidger got a phone call from Browns Fashion in London, who wanted her to create a window display for the store's flagship on South Molton Street. Four months and 19 sculptures later, Kidger's work is on view until September 7, highlighting the store's iconic accessories collection.
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A New Independent Design Label Launches in the South of France

The tiny town of Hyères in the South of France is only 50 square miles, but has long had an outsized presence on the contemporary design map as the home of the arts foundation Villa Noailles and its annual Design Parade festival. The festival was canceled this year due to the pandemic — more on that next week! — but two young Parisians have managed to fill in the gap with an exhibition called Été Super, which is serving as the launch of their independent design brand 13Desserts and its permanent showroom in a former Hyères skate shop.
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At Villa Cavrois, Muller Van Severen is an Eerily Perfect Match for the Modernist Estate

This month, the Belgian design duo Muller Van Severen begin a four-month intervention at Villa Cavrois, the modernist French estate designed in the late 1920s by Robert Mallet-Stevens. The show is a retrospective of sorts for the husband-and-wife duo, featuring everything from their leather-and-steel Duo Seats to brand-new work like the Alltubes series they launched this spring with Valerie Traan at Collectible and a sofa they've designed specifically in response to the installation site.
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A Match Made in Murano — Mattia Bonetti Fuses with Famed Glassmakers for His Latest Collection

As often as Swiss-born, Paris-based Mattia Bonetti’s singular, one-of-a-kind furniture and design pieces are described as whimsical, it would make sense that they are created, well, on a whim. The designer doesn’t release work in cohesive collections, preferring to design fantastical one-off pieces whenever inspiration strikes. Bonetti’s newest pieces, handmade in collaboration with the famed glass artisans of Murano, Italy and presented by London gallery David Gill in an online exhibition, is surprisingly subdued but no less virtuosic.
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