It always feels a little strange for us to look back at the previous year each December; when you run a publication, not to mention a major annual event, your mind is always, always fully consumed by thoughts of what's ahead. And yet it's now a Sight Unseen tradition to spend the final week of December reflecting back on the prior year, and so we've taken time out to do just that, starting with our top 10 most popular posts of 2017.
Next month, Sight Unseen will be exhibiting internationally for the very first time with a curated presentation of 13 of our favorite American designers. Called Assembly, the show will represent the United States as the guest country at the Old Truman Brewery from September 21-24, with new and existing work by Bower, Chen Chen & Kai Williams, Christopher Stuart, DAMM, Earnest Studio, Eric Trine, Iacoli & McAllister, John Hogan, Ladies & Gentlemen, Pat Kim, Steven Haulenbeek, Studio Proba, and Slash Objects.
The monthlong extravaganza that is NYCxDesign may be drawing to a close — and our Sight Unseen OFFSITE show officially cleared of all the beautiful pieces that made it such a success — but there's still time to catch some of the smaller exhibitions we lent our name and our curation to this week. One of our favorite projects was an installation in the showroom of the Italian furniture brand Arper, who allowed us to take over a small section of their airy Soho space in order to showcase Arper's colorful new seating collections, Arcos and Cila.
If you’ve ever been to Mission Chinese Food on New York’s Lower East Side, chances are you’ll remember the food — the legendary kung pao pastrami, or that one dish that makes even celery taste delicious. Chances are even better, though, that you’ll remember the experience, from the cocktail topped with flaky, edible Post-Its, to the epically grand piano music, to the friends you happened to bump into late on a Wednesday.
Earlier this year, Natalie Weinberger struck up a collaboration with Peter Thorne, a woodworker in the Berkshires with whom she’s developed a series of ceramic-topped tables on turned-wood legs. Those tables are debuting this week as part of Sight Unseen Presents at The Primary Essentials, the Atlantic Avenue design shop owned by Lauren Snyder, who was one of the first to carry Weinberger’s work. We recently photographed Weinberger’s Brooklyn studio but asked Snyder, who knows her work better than anyone, to conduct the interview.
By all accounts, design week in New York has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, thanks in large part to events like ours. But to us, it was still missing that all-encompassing, can't miss, cultural takeover feeling you get whenever Fashion Week happens in New York. And so this year — in addition to OFFSITE — we decided to launch the first annual Sight Unseen Presents, an event series meant to increase the visibility of New York Design Week by activating a dozen retail spaces and restaurants throughout the city with design content and programming.
The day after the election in November, we launched Design For Progress, a fundraising initiative meant as a call to action for the design community to rally behind progressive causes. Today we're launching the first-ever Design For Progress auction on Paddle8, featuring 40 contemporary design objects by talents like Bower and Lindsey Adelman and benefitting the ACLU, Run for Something, Sierra Club, and Campaign Legal Center. Get involved by bidding, or just by helping spread the word.
When we heard the news last weekend of the immigration ban, we leapt into action. The ban affects us all on a broad scale — after all, who among American families didn't immigrate from somewhere? But when we began to think about our adopted family — which is to say the American design scene — and how much it might have been affected had this reactionary policy been in place only five, 10, or 20 years ago, we realized that we wanted to speak up.
We come here every day to tell you about our favorite things — so for our last round-up of 2016, it seemed only fair that we spread the love. We asked 10 of our favorite design insiders to reflect on their best design moments of the past year — an experience they had, an exhibition they saw, a discovery they made, an interior they fell in love with — as well as the one thing they’re most looking forward to in the new year. Enjoy, and see you back here in 2017!
This week, we're reflecting back on some of the year's highlights, from the stories you loved, to the images you helped turn viral on Pinterest, to the Instagrams that sent our likes skyrocketing. We've excerpted 10 of your favorites after the jump.