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Harvey Bouterse’s New Ceramic Lamp is a Study in Contrasting Textures

It's basically our job here at Sight Unseen to follow the career trajectory of up-and-coming designers, and in our professional capacity, we've come to realize that most ceramicists follow a certain path: First come the smalls, like cups and mugs and plates and vases. The next step is usually lamps — think of Natalie Weinberger's pleated clay shades, Workaday Handmade's listing table lamps, and BZIPPY's pyramid-shaped bases. Today, we're featuring one of the first lamps by Belgium-based Harvey Bouterse.
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Inside a Forgotten Gem of 20th-Century Belgian Art Deco

In case you missed it, writer, curator, and Prague-based architectural historian Adam Štěch hosted one of our most popular IG Live talks a few weeks ago on the topic of Belgian 20th-century architecture. Here, he gives us the backstory behind one of our favorite examples from that era — the Queen Elisabeth Foundation by Henry Lacoste.
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Colored Resin Meets Onyx in a Series of Textured Lamps Inspired by Mexico

In Elements, a colorful collection of imaginative light fixtures by Belgian-based architect Adrian Cruz, crystal resin light bulbs float, seemingly suspended, between resin plates, or balance atop slender pillars; some introduce raw materials like marble and onyx. “For me, the juxtaposition of onyx and resin [explores] the contrast between precious nature and modern man’s creations,” says Cruz.
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At Europe’s Newest Design Fair, We’re Presenting New Work by Chen and Kai and Mimi Jung

This winter, we're building on a very exciting trajectory that began with our presence at two Collective Design Fairs in New York, and continued when we presented the work of 13 American studios at the London Design Fair this past fall. From March 8 to 11, Sight Unseen will have a booth at the brand-new Collectible design fair, in Brussels, where we'll showcase new lighting by Chen Chen and Kai Williams and new woven works by Mimi Jung.
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Pieterjan Mattan Tribeca home tour with Hem

Disco Balls and Trampolines — A Creative Director At Home in His Epically Fun Tribeca Loft

When PieterJan Mattan moved to New York from Belgium in 2012, he arrived without a single piece of furniture. But the 28-year-old creative director, graphic designer, and digital nomad did have plenty of connections, and by the end of that year, a friend renting a loft in Tribeca had announced he was moving. Mattan jumped at the chance to relocate. “I loved this apartment immediately because it was so quintessentially New York,” Mattan says.
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This May Be the Coolest Furniture Collection We’ve Ever Seen

The Vaalbeek Project, new suite of furniture by one of our longtime favorite designers, Tomás Alonso, for the Belgian gallery Victor Hunt, is a teaser for an interior Alonso is working on in Belgium, to be completed next spring. It includes new editions of some older designs — such as that insanely chic, stackable rose and green marble coffee table from 2014 — but each piece feels like an instant classic.
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At the Biennale Interieur Kortrijk 2016

Situated less than two hours by train from both London and Paris — but without the steep costs of either — Belgium is an ideal place to do business, which is probably why the Kortrijk furniture fair has been going strong for 25 years as of this week. Other good reasons: Maniera, Muller Van Severen, Sylvain Willenz, and all the other local creative powerhouses who pitch in to make it interesting.
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A New Book Features the Botanical Decor of Your Dreams

File this one under "why didn't we think of it first?" This fall, Magali Elali and Bart Kiggen of the Belgian online magazine Coffeeklatch — a destination for lovely interviews and photography that's been on our must-read list for years — released a book called Greenterior, which looks at the homes of designers and artists through the lens of their abundant houseplants.
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Still Lifes by Belgian Photographer Frederik Vercruysse

Still life photography is having a big week on Sight Unseen — yesterday we featured a pair of stylists who built their reputation on it and are now moving into interiors, and today we're highlighting a photographer who approaches shooting interiors just as though they were still lifes. Belgian-born talent Frederik Vercruysse, in fact, describes his entire body of work as "still life photography in the broadest sense of the word," according to his website, applying the approach not just to interiors but to portraits, fashion shows, and the occasional landscape as well (for clients like Wallpaper magazine, Sophie Buhai, and Muller Van Severen). But then, of course, there are his actual still lifes, which we've decided to focus on here. Shot mostly for magazines, they represent the purest form of his aim "to photograph the subject in its purest form."
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Week of October 13, 2014

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a brilliant Belgian design fair, a predominantly Pomo Chicago auction, and beautiful domestic interiors from Berlin to Brooklyn.
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Andy Rementer’s People Blocks

One of the only things that bummed us out about doing a printed edition last year was that it was, in the end, an edition — only 400 of you (give or take a few) ever read the stories housed within its covers. Take Andy Rementer’s Inventory story, for which the Philadelphia-based illustrator styled and photographed his own creative influences, which ran from vintage lettering manuals to Italo comics. It was one of our favorite stories we’ve ever published. But the good thing about creative people is that they tend to keep creating awesomely publishable things, so today we bring you Rementer’s latest: interchangeable “People Blocks,” created in collaboration with the Belgium-based object editors Case Studyo.
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A rack full of Dries van Noten clothing waiting to be registered into MoMu’s digital cataloging system, which keeps track of the nearly 5,000 contemporary and 20,000 historical pieces in the museum’s collection. MoMu was originally based on the contents of a former textile museum in Vrieselhof, Belgium; when Antwerp inherited those items, it decided to parlay them into a fashion museum in 2001. “We retained everything from the old textile museum,” says Wim Mertens, a curator at the museum who specializes in historical dress. “We have floral tapestries which have nothing to do with a fashion museum, but it's an inheritance, and also napkins, tablecloths, bedspreads — you name it in textiles, and we have it.”

Antwerp’s Mode Museum

If Antwerp’s Mode Museum (MoMu) is desperately seeking a second storage space for its growing permanent collection, at least part of the blame falls on Bernard Willhelm. He may donate his designs each season alongside the likes of Dries van Noten, Martin Margiela, and his onetime mentor Walter van Beirendonck, but inside the museum’s existing archive rooms — which Sight Unseen had the exclusive privilege of touring earlier this year — it’s Willhelm who clearly holds the record for overflowing racks. In fact, MoMu’s curation team rarely turns down a donation from a legitimate source, whether for the historical collection it originally inherited from an old provincial textile museum or for its cache of contemporary fashions by talents born or educated in Antwerp, but Willhelm’s contributions are so generous that the day we visited, there were clothes waiting to be graciously returned to his showroom. It’s not difficult to understand the designer’s enthusiasm, though, or that of his peers: The MoMu’s prestige in Europe far exceeds its diminutive size, and since it opened a decade ago, it’s become the largest repository in the world for contemporary Belgian fashion.
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