Contra Naturam Bench

The Finnish Designer Using a Traditional Moroccan Wall-Surfacing Technique to Make Furniture

Amsterdam-based designer Tuomas Markunpoika aims for “tedious functionality” in his designs, but to us there is mystery and wonder in the bulbous, colorful slabs of material that compose his furniture. His new series of works is called “Contra Naturam,” or against nature — a mauve bench, a coffee table and chair in grayish and springy greens, and a side table and console in pale yellow and cream. Each looks cut from the earth or plucked from a stage set, at once natural and totally fake.
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These Woven, Color-Field Canvases Look Almost Like Paintings

Brooklyn artist Ethan Cook is sometimes referred to as a painter, but we've yet to find an instance of him actually putting a brush to canvas. When we first started following Cook's work, after an introduction in 2012 from Iko Iko in Los Angeles, he was manipulating canvases by way of bleaching and dyeing the fibers; he then moved on to combining hand-woven canvases with store-bought ones in a kind of super high-end, abstract patchwork. His work for the past few years, though, has involved making large-scale woven pieces entirely by hand on a four-harness floor loom — our favorite iteration yet.
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Design Max Enrich, Alberto Vitelio, Proyecto Rastro, Alejandra Perini _ Kiwi Bravo_Photo by Andrea Ferrara

This Curator Instituted a Media Blackout to Help Visitors Enjoy Her Exhibition

While we here in the States debate whether or not Instagram has destroyed the design show (Spoiler alert: It hasn't), an exhibition in Barcelona recently confronted the issue head-on: For Perception, a group exhibition curated by designer Sanna Völker, no images of the exhibition were allowed to be published before or during the show, "in order for visitors to experience the installation without preconceptions and to allow them to create their own conclusions and impressions."
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Four Talents to Watch from Beckmans’ 2018 Graduation Show

At last year's Beckmans product-design graduation show, the Stockholm-based students were asked to create objects that went beyond their own needs. But for this year's crop of students, the overarching theme seemed to be looking inward, with projects stemming from an interrogation of their own childhoods, homes, and desires.
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OPENER_02 FlenstedMouritzen Foto Benita Marcussen

At the Reform Design Biennale, Helping to Push Design in a More Radical Direction

Last summer, we received an invitation from Danish designer Maria Bruun to participate in the Reform Design Biennale, an open-call, juried design exhibition she co-founded in 2014 with her friends and colleagues, Louise Hagemenn, Rasmus Fox, and Jens Dan Johansen. The brief for designers? To create an experimental piece that might challenge their typical practice or usual methods of production — i.e., what the curators describe as doing "the illogical in order to create something logical." The results are on view starting tomorrow at Munkeruphus, just outside of Copenhagen.
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A New Furniture Collection Highlights the Color-Shifting Magic of Car Paint

A new exhibition at A Plus A Gallery in Venice, Italy, brings together artists and designers Richard Wheater, Jochen Holz, and M–L–XL in conjunction with this summer's architecture biennale. Wheater’s neon installations show off light and shapes as much as the cords and electricity themselves; Holz’s neon lights and glass objects are wild and free, with bulges and tubes composing cartoon-like moments. But the real star here is M-L-XL's new furniture collection, inspired by everyday extruded metal L-profiles and painted with holographic car paint.
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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.
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Ross Hansen Volume Gallery

Resin is Having a Moment — Here’s One of Our Favorite Uses of the Material Yet

Los Angeles designer Ross Hansen has a degree in landscape architecture — as well as a current landscape practice — so it makes sense that his first solo furniture exhibition, on view now at Chicago's Volume Gallery, would hinge on man's perception of nature. Called Super Natural, the pieces in his new series explore color, form, and industrial processes through objects made from epoxy resin — a grand, flocked, deep green armoire with a protruding, block-like grid; a bumpy, brick-red chair; and a series of bowls, tables, shelves, and chairs, whose mottled, pigment-dyed patterns almost resemble florals.
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