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DS & Durga Set Themselves Apart By Appealing to More Than Just Our Sense of Smell

"Perfume is armchair travel." This year, as we find ourselves collectively and forcibly grounded, DS & Durga’s tagline has taken on a new significance: Fragrance’s transporting ability, whether it be to carry us back in time to a familiar place or offer a portal to a destination we’ve never experienced, is more powerful and desirable than ever.
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The Fantastical Fungi (And Other Subjects) of Phyllis Ma’s Supernatural Still Lifes

Photographer and animator Phyllis Ma’s work is centered around what she calls “special nothings:” ordinary objects that, in the right context, can appear “magical, surreal, or even uncanny.” Fuzzy flowers nuzzling each other, a block of aspic the exact dimensions of an iPhone, a phallic gherkin covered in warty bumps — all resplendent in hyper-stylized settings and hyper-saturated hues. Recently, Ma — who was born in China and immigrated to Brooklyn when she was eight — turned her lens on the mushroom kingdom.
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China’s Most Influential Design Duo on the Country’s Future As a Cultural Powerhouse

To understand the contemporary design scene in China, learning about Neri&Hu’s work is a prerequisite. The country has experienced phenomenal social and architectural growth over the last two decades, and the pair have been a key part of the powerful creative driving force behind it, contributing numerous landmark designs inside and outside the country. I spoke with them about their current projects, and China’s place in the modern world.
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A Round Table on the Ethics of Working With Artisans, and How to Respectfully Bridge Cultural and Geographic Divides

Over the last year, I've been laying the foundation for a new company that aims to connect Thailand and the U.S. through the universal languages of craft and design. I found myself thinking about how designers can foster a respectful, non-exploitive engagement when they're creating products with artisan communities rather than in factories, so I organized a roundtable discussion on the topic with three participants who have experience in bridging barriers of geography or culture: Peter Mabeo of Mabeo Furniture, Casa Wabi director Carla Sodi, and Tantuvi founder Arati Rao.
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Mexico City designer Alberto Oderiz

The Archeology of Mexican Artist-Architect Alberto Odériz

It’s no secret that here at Sight Unseen, we have a bit of an obsession with stone and its many forms. Perhaps that’s why we’re so smitten by the work of Mexican architect and sculptor Alberto Odériz. Stone is his inspiration, his material, and his passion. From small sculptures, to full room installations, to huge plazas and other inhabitable spaces, Odériz’s work is dynamic and innovative.
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Philippe Malouin on How He Created What Just Might Be Basel’s Most Unusual Collection Ever

Every year, it seems like the contemporary work exhibited at the premiere design fairs gets more intricate and labor-intensive, more whimsical and wacky, more conceptual and process-driven. At this week's Design Miami Basel show, however, Salon 94 Design is departing from that convention in an epic way, with a presentation called Industrial Office that draws on basic ideas and questions from Philippe Malouin's work on commercial office furniture, but pushed to extremes in terms of materials, engineering, and fabrication. We spoke with Malouin to find out more.
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An Artist Responds to the Work of Victor Vasarely, Father of the Op-Art Movement

An internationally exhibited conceptual artist working in photography, sculpture, and installation, Oran Hoffmann was invited to the Fondation Vasarely in Aix-en-Provence in 2017, where he sifted through boxes of Vasarely’s tiles, parallelograms, serigraphs, and other ephemera used to inspire and lay the groundwork for the unusual architecture of the foundation and the optically boggling sculptures and spaces within. Hoffmann’s new book is the culmination of a year of research and working with Vasarely’s archives.
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Material Lust Independent

Frustrated by the Limits of Design, Material Lust Sets Its Sights on the Art World

Not much had recently been heard from Material Lust until this March, when, after a few quiet years, they popped back on our radar, showing neither at a design gallery nor a furniture show, but at the New York art fair Independent, in a Spring Studios skybox overlooking a maze of gallery booths. Frustrated by the literalness of conversations they were having in the world of furniture design — and with their practice taking an increasingly conceptual turn — the pair made the conscious decision to turn Material Lust from a design brand into an artist collective.
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The Mesmerizing Color-Field Paintings — Both Digital and Canvas — of Artist Ana Montiel

Questions about the nature of perception ­— the what, why, and how of consciousness ­— have been driving the work of Mexico-based artist Ana Montiel lately. And while any definitive answers to such age-old puzzles remain elusive, Montiel's work provides a kind of aesthetic response, making those mysteries both visual and material. There’s a mesmeric, meditative quality to her canvas and digitally-created color field paintings, reminiscent of the Light & Space art of the '60s and '70s.
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Kwangho Lee at Design Miami/Basel 2018

Kwangho Lee On Using a 15th-Century Technique To Make Today’s Coolest Furniture

At Design Miami/Basel this week, Korean designer Kwangho Lee is presenting his latest work with the New York gallery Salon 94 Design — a 25-piece offering, spanning seating, side tables, cabinets, lamps, and planters, that continues Lee’s career-long quest to resuscitate enamel’s old-fashioned image. “Korean people aren’t very interested in it as a traditional material,” he explains of his longtime technique, chilbo, which dates back to the 15th century. “They think it’s something boring and old-fashioned.”
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A Virtual Reality Whiz Makes his Three-Dimensional Debut

Brace yourself for Dowel Jones x Tom Hancocks's collaborative installation in the basement of Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria’s Lower East Side boutique, Coming Soon: The room has been reimagined as “Lobby,” a multi-sensory showcase for Hancocks’s debut collection of chairs for the Australian brand.
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Cold Picnic’s Founders On Why Films Make Great Rugs

In the past, Cold Picnic founders Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer have abstracted stills from Antonioni and Fassbinder films into striking compositions of color and geometry; they turned to the films of Tunisian director Nacer Khemir for the visual cues behind their newest collection — Desert Trilogy — which launches next week at OFFSITE with the support of Levi’s Made and Crafted.
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