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One of Our Milan Week Favorites? An Adult Playground Made From Industrial Flooring

We're now deep in the age of the Instagram-friendly immersive installation, which was especially evident at this year's Milan furniture fair, where we couldn't help but laugh at how many brands were touting some sort of earnestly dramatic light-based experience. And yet, for materials brands, there really is no better way to inspire visitors — and no one did that better last month than Tarkett, who with Note Design Studio installed a towering forest of playful geometric columns inside one of Milan's most beautiful buildings, the 150-year-old Circolo Filologico Milanese.
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Studiopepe Went Full Mystic For Milan Design Week

A few weeks ago, while other brands and design studios were barraging our inboxes with press releases and preview images pre-Salone, Studiopepe — the Milan-based interiors duo of Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto — kept relatively mum, announcing only that they would be investigating "the interconnection between matter and the archetypal power of symbols" in a former gold factory in Porta Venezia. In other words: design week catnip.
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Milan Preview: New Lighting — And the Cutest Café — By Lambert & Fils

At Salone every other year, a special portion of the fair is devoted to Euroluce, aka all the lighting brands you can cram into one (or two) pavilions. But this year, one of our favorite lighting brands is debuting its new collections miles away from the fairgrounds of Milan: Next week, the Montréal-based Lambert & Fils will pop up with a six-day concept café at Alcova, a former panettone factory in the northeast corner of the city.
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Milan Preview: Jorge Penadés’ Aquatic-Inspired Aluminum Vases

Jorge Penadés has been popping up on our radar a lot lately, and the Spanish designer’s latest move is a collaboration with the manufacturer BD Barcelona, a furniture brand known for its extensive design catalogue and pioneering technology in aluminum extrusion dating all the way back to the 1970s. Entitled Piscis, the six different vases are made from extruded aluminum profiles, converted from the offcuts of old tables and shelves (including those by Konstantin Grcic) produced over the last 50 years in BD Barcelona's factory.
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Designer, Painter, Sculptor, Architect — This Parisian Multihyphenate is About To Be Everywhere

The Instagram bio of Paris-based designer Garance Vallée once included the designation “HumanCreativeRomantic;” a quick scroll through her works, and painter, illustrator, jewelry designer, sculptor, and furniture designer could all easily be included as well. Vallée is a quintuple threat who recently completed her master’s degree in architecture and scenography, where she focused on concrete pieces, or what she considers “objects as small architecture.” But whichever medium she’s in, Vallée seems equally at home.
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The 2018 American Design Hot List, Part IV

Today, get to know the fourth group of honorees in our sixth annual American Design Hot List, an unapologetically subjective editorial award for the 20 names to know now in American design. The list acts as Sight Unseen’s guide to those influencing the design landscape in any given year — whether through standout launches, must-see exhibitions, or just our innate sense that they’re ones to watch — and in exciting news, it's now shoppable on Moda Operandi!
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The 2018 American Design Hot List, Part III

Today, get to know the third group of honorees in our sixth annual American Design Hot List, an unapologetically subjective editorial award for the 20 names to know now in American design. The list acts as Sight Unseen’s guide to those influencing the design landscape in any given year — whether through standout launches, must-see exhibitions, or just our innate sense that they’re ones to watch — and in exciting news, it's now shoppable on Moda Operandi!
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Oōd Studio

San Francisco, oodstudio.com Guatemalan-born product designer Jessica Herrera graduated in 2016, but this year decided to officially plant her stake in the design world as Oōd Studio, launching a debut collection in May that just so happened to perfectly channel the zeitgeist for chubby, tubular forms (even New York Magazine said so). We can only assume her next collection will be equally prescient. What is American design to you, and what excites you about it? A melting pot of different cultures and their crafts coming together to form an ever-evolving and diverse design language. What excites me about American design is its inclusivity — in a time when our current political climate is so polarizing, it celebrates diversity. It’s really exciting to see Latin American designers from small countries like my own putting out amazing work and being recognized for it. What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year? My plans are to continue developing and expanding my line. I just moved to San Francisco and am now producing everything on the West Coast, so it’s been a busy end of the year. I’m looking forward showing in Milan at Salone del Mobile this year, as it will be my first time there! What inspires or informs your work in general? I’m interested in the way we interact with furniture. The way a piece can create an intimate experience between a person and the space around them. Being able to create a user experience that’s unique to a product makes it that much more special. This kind of thinking is what informs my work and the shapes I use. When it comes to materials, I’m really into metal piping and oversized bolsters. I like a chunky look mixed with soft curves; I think it’s playful yet sophisticated. In terms of forms I love the torus shape. It’s a hard shape to achieve in any material, which is why I find it so fascinating.
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JUMBO

New York and Washington, D.C., jumbo.nyc In our experience, architects tend to take themselves rather seriously, which makes it all the more surprising that Justin Donnelly and Monling Lee of JUMBO — possibly the most joyful design studio to launch in years — met in architecture school. The two specialize in a kind of conceptual but unexpectedly lovable aesthetic that’s made them darlings of the design world since their launch almost two years ago. What is American design to you, and what excites you about it? When we decided to start a studio together, we celebrated by taking a trip to the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennale. That weekend, we discovered that we share a love for McDonalds, Mickey Mouse, and Michael Jackson. For us, these are the hallmarks of American design — each of them is pure pop perfection. We want to make work like that. We want to make designs that are reductive, synthetic, and emotionally engaging. What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year? This is a really exciting year for us. Here is what we are doing: 1. We are designing ANTHOM’s new Chelsea retail space off the Highline on West 22nd. 2. We are designing and curating an exhibition and conference at A/D/O, entitled Neotenic Design. 3. We are writing an article about childlike furniture for Disegno Magazine’s Spring Edition. 4. We are designing our very first standalone building for an institutional client. 5. We are participating in Greenhouse at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 6. We are introducing a new furniture collection at Salone in Milan. What inspires or informs your work in general? We want to make things that are sort of dumb — objects that are so reductive, they couldn’t be any simpler. We use basic, prismatic shapes, and build them without visible seams, fasteners, or transitions. It’s actually quite hard to do. But by suppressing the constructive aspect of our designs, the resulting objects become abstracted, like a drawing or a cartoon. And as a result, they are so much more pleasurable. This idea — the dematerialization of form — is a core principle for our studio.
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6 Insiders on the Best Design Moments of 2018

We come here every day to tell you about our favorite things, so for our last round-up of 2018, it seemed only fair that we spread the love. We asked six of our favorite designers, journalists, and more to reflect on their top 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 2019!
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Our 10 Most Popular Stories of 2018

It’s now a Sight Unseen tradition to spend the final week of December reflecting back on the prior year, so we’ve taken time out to do just that. First we're reviewing Sight Unseen’s greatest hits of 2018, which — no huge surprise here — are mostly interiors, from a wicker-filled studio in Marrakech to a peach-walled house in upstate New York to a London flat filled with colorful concrete tiles.
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