“NYC bookshop and publisher Ed Varie teamed up with Satoshi to build a small, plant-filled greenhouse in the courtyard of PS1. Many of the books featured inside were plant or outdoor-themed, including a brand new release from Ed Varie, Garden Variety, which features photographs from a number of inspiring contemporary photographers.”

At the 2013 New York Art Book Fair

The 2013 edition of Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair, which is held annually at MoMA PS1, featured a performance by MASKS, a Bruno Munari exhibition, a collage-making party, and the launch of the multi-talented Tauba Auerbach's new project, Diagonal Press, among other things. Unfortunately, we had to miss it in order to attend a hipster summer camp weekend upstate, but were we jealous? No! Because not only were we clever enough to ask noted bookworm and SU contributor Brian W. Ferry to document it for us, we'd also managed to trick ourselves into believing that attending would have been a terrible idea: It's a hot, crowded, and sweaty affair, one that has the tantalizing potential each year to completely bankrupt us. So yeah, we totally dodged a bullet, right? Right? Well either way, we can all live vicariously through Brian by checking out his pictures and commentary in this slideshow, after the jump.
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At the 2013 London Design Festival

If someone was going to attend the London Design Festival in our place this year — a circumstance that normally fills us with a mix of raging jealousy and resigned disappointment — we're super glad it was Matylda Krzykowski, one of our favorite fellow design bloggers, who on her site Mat and Me manages to nail the same up-close-and-personal vibe we hew to here at Sight Unseen. She captured the perfect overview of the fair for us, even though she only had one day to explore it: Her plane in from Hong Kong landed at 5:40AM this past Saturday, at which point she quickly took a bath, rearranged her suitcase, and bolted back out the door by 9:30AM to begin her reportage. "I had literally had six 6 hours that day to look around before departing to Switzerland the next day for my duties at Depot Basel," she says. "I started off in South Kensington, then hit the Brompton Design District, then Central London, and finally the East End." How's that for dedication? Check out the things she spotted, and the people she said hello to along the way, after the jump.
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New colorways for Iacoli & McAllister color bar neckalces, plus their signature leather cord is no more! (It's now a thinner, more structural nylon.)

At Capsule New York

Don't worry, we've got eyes on the ground at the mega–big deal trade fair happening this week — i.e. the London Design Festival — but since your editors are sadly missing out on those festivities, we thought we'd first offer a glimpse inside a trade show we ourselves had never attended until this week: Capsule, the six-year-old, 12-times-a-year fashion and lifestyle event for independent designers. This month was the SS14 women's edition, and having mostly attended design fairs we weren't really sure what to expect.
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At Boisbuchet with Snarkitecture

For those of you who haven't heard of it, Domaine de Boisbuchet is basically glorified summer camp for designers: It's an old chateau and grounds in the middle of the French countryside where, each week for 12 weeks, two or three contemporary designers or studios are invited to host a creative workshop for a group of students and professionals. During downtime, you can canoe, swim in the lake, lay in the grass, drink beers, swing from trees, attend dance parties, or sit around a bonfire and stargaze — it's pretty much rural heaven. So it was a tiny bit funny to be there last week with Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of Snarkitecture, who are best-known for their work with white styrofoam, fancy fashion brands, and hip-hop superstars, and who this week are hard at work back in New York installing a 20-foot-tall carved-foam mountain as a backdrop for the runway show of leather-sweatpant purveyor (and Kanye favorite) En|Noir. Luckily you can not only take the boys out of the city, you can take the city out of the boys, whose first instruction to the participants in their "Excavations" workshop was to dredge up wheelbarrows full of dirt, clay, and sand from the lake and its surroundings. The group then spent five days doing hand-casting experiments in the sunshine, in order to "take familiar, everyday objects and find ways to manipulate and alter them to make them serve new and unexpected purposes," as Mustonen put it. After the jump, check out all the photos we took documenting the process from start to finish.
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At the Brimfield Antique Show, Summer 2013

If you tell people you’re going to Brimfield — the massive, thrice-yearly outdoor antique fair in central Massachusetts that famously lures the country’s best vintage pickers as well as interiors teams from stores like Ralph Lauren and J. Crew — you start getting loads of conflicting advice: what day to arrive, which of the 21 fields has the best merch, and even whether you should go for the ribs or the lobster roll (or something kind of amazing we discovered this time called the Pilgrim Sandwich. Seriously, get it.) But the one thing everyone agrees on? Don’t go in July.
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Upstairs at the show, one of our first finds was this splatter-painted stool at Salon 94's booth, which turned out to be the latest work by SU faves Kueng Caputo.

At Design/Miami Basel and Art Basel 2013

This week, I got more than a few emails from friends and family members flummoxed by my trip to Art Basel. "You're where???" exclaimed my mother, halfway believing I'd temporarily left my annual summer sojourn in Berlin to double back to Miami for three days. That's because while Sight Unseen has been a longtime devotee of the Floridian version of the international design and art fair — stretching back to our I.D. magazine days — we've never managed to make it to the Swiss edition, which is even more extensive. Turns out 2013 was a pretty amazing year to call our first: Design Miami/Basel moved into the incredible new Herzog & de Meuron building, expanding its show in the process, and Art Basel totally killed it with the Untitled show of large-scale works, featuring a new piece by the wonder twins of contemporary installation art, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. Artsy made my trip 10 times easier with its extensive online preview of both shows (not to mention an ingenious iPhone-charging station at its ROLU-designed fair booth), and Craig Robins put the cherry on top by letting Kanye West preview his new album — and perform a song a mere 8 feet in front of me — with less than 7 hours' notice. You totally should have been there, but if you weren't, here's the Sight Unseen rundown.
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At New York Design Week 2013, Part V: The Rest

New York Design Week may already feel like a distant memory, but we couldn't move on to covering the upcoming Design Miami Basel fair — or start publishing all the amazing studio visits and house tours we've been saving up for the past few weeks — without doing one last post about all the offsite shows we saw (and didn't see) during this year's ICFF. From magnified eyeballs to garbage arches to our favorite watering can of all time, check out the official Sight Unseen roundup below.
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At Caviar 20, we spied these colorful Philip Low-esque acrylic sculptures, which turned out to be the work of Vasa Mihich, a renowned Los Angeles sculptor.

At New York Design Week 2013, Part IV: ICFF

We had a dream for ICFF this year: to set up a "Sight Unseen Canteen" staffed by an avant-garde chef who would purchase food items from the conference center cafeteria and recast them into amazing gourmet meals, a bit like the now-defunct website Fancy Fast Food. The reason we had this dream (which we still hope to someday realize) is that no one in their right mind ever has anything good to say about the Javits itself — the climate, the lighting, and of course, the hideous, overpriced cuisine — and so pretty much everyone, we figured, would get the joke. If we could add on a foot massage station, a napping pod, and a daylight simulator, our vision would truly be complete. But alas, this year all there was to comfort weary fairgoers like us was plain old great design, and the joy of running into old friends and colleagues, and so we had no choice but to settle for that. We came, we saw, we conquered.
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At New York Design Week 2013, Part III: Jambox at Noho Next

This year's Noho Next show didn't just look amazing — it sounded amazing, too. That's because in the exhibition's flagship space, Sight Unseen created a special installation for Noho Design District sponsor Jawbone, a kind of video listening area decked out not only with the brand's latest wireless speakers, but with an array of furnishings and objects culled from some of our very favorite designers — from Paul Loebach to Tom Dixon. Styled with the help of Seattle's Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, the space invited Noho Next visitors to kick back, relax, and experience the sound of Jawbone's latest BIG JAMBOXES, which are newly available in more than 100 customizable color combinations. Check out the setup after the jump, plus watch the seven designer-made videos that Sight Unseen hand-picked to screen over the weekend.
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Last but not least, Brendan Keim showed his newest chandelier, in which each bulb of is individually controlled by an iPhone remote-control app. Tech perfection.

At New York Design Week 2013, Part II: Noho Next

In our fourth year of producing the Noho Design District, we’ve learned a few things. Namely: That while industrial, disused spaces have loads of charm, they also run the risk of leaking when those May showers hit. After two years of emergency sandbagging and climbing onto roofs in our galoshes, we decided it was time to go legit. So when we heard last fall that 45 Bleecker Street — which played host to Tom Dixon’s labyrinthine underground exhibition in 2012 — was about to undergo a gut renovation, to be reborn as a music events space, we knew we wanted in. We decided early on that the space would be filled with up-and-coming talents for our Noho Next exhibition, which in the past has proved a bellwether for design stardom, featuring the likes of Jonah Takagi, ROLU, Fort Standard, Iacoli & McAllister, and Brendan Ravenhill. We have a feeling this year’s edition will prove no different.
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A Dacron and Kevlar canoe by Colgate Searle and Mathias Pliessnig was the centerpiece of a travel-themed design show curated by Jonah Takagi of Field in collaboration with Various Projects.

At New York Design Week 2013, Part I: The Noho Design District

Each time we start to celebrate the end of yet another successful edition of our Noho Design District project — this one being our fourth, if you can believe it — it's not long before a certain realization hits us like a ton of bricks: We only really get a few short months to recover before we have to start the process allllll over again. We began planning in the fall for the 2013 edition of the show, which ran from May 17-20 and which we'll be recapping on Sight Unseen today and tomorrow, and it's almost impossible to fathom how much work could go into a four-day event that nevertheless flew by so quickly. There were spaces to secure (thanks, SubCulture!), flyers to finagle (thanks, Benjamin Critton!), and press-preview pastries to provide (thanks, The Smile!). And of course we had to find the perfect brand to partner with to help support all the amazing emerging talents we offer a platform to (thanks, Jawbone!). But in the end all that work would have amounted to naught had our exhibitors failed to bust out with some of the most stunning and inspiring designs we've ever shown, from the simplest concrete domino set to painstakingly elaborate chandeliers, light-up neon desks, and textile installations. In case you weren't lucky enough to join us for this year's event, we've put together a roundup of its highlights, the first half of which is featured in the slideshow at right; stay tuned for coverage of Noho Next, ICFF, and other offsite shows to come. And thanks to everyone who joined us this weekend!
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At the 2013 Frieze New York Art Fair

Halfway through our ferry ride across Manhattan's East River to Randall's Island this weekend, thunder rang out, the skies opened up, and a torrential downpour enveloped our little boat, ruining our hair and prompting dozens of our fellow travelers to whip out their iPhone cameras with glee. But neither rain nor sleet nor snow was going to keep us away from this year's Frieze Art Fair, especially after we missed the 2012 show due to Noho Design District preparations and — through the reports of friends and critics — definitely lived to regret it. Once we were inside the giant white tent (designed by the local architecture firm SO-IL), snapping away on our own iPhones while drooling over the smell of Mission Chinese that hovered mercilessly over the central arc of the space, we didn't mind so much that our feet were sloshing around inside our shoes. We managed to see nearly everything — including an amazing performance piece by our favorite, Tino Sehgal — identified several strange recurring trends (art made on or from mirrors, references to outdated technologies), and had a major celeb spotting (Jared Leto) to boot. Check out some of the pieces we Instagrammed after the jump, then head over to our Facebook gallery to see even more photos.
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