Christian Swafford and Lauren Larson, the creative couple behind Material Lust, introduced their sister brand Orphan Work humbly enough, with a soft launch last year that had us wondering what, exactly, the brand even was. But since its debut, the label has evolved beyond its origins as “an exploration of orphaned material” and developed into a full-fledged brand: lighting, accessories, and what they call “monuments for your tabletop,” inspired at turns by Bauhaus and Brutalism, but mainly by the Vienna Secession.
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.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, it's all about the upgrade: chic, elemental sculptures to brighten up your desk; a perfectly patterned Poäng; and a bathing suit that'll make your design friends green with envy at the beach.
In the category of cities we're seriously dying to visit, Melbourne is right up there with Tokyo, and now we have another reason to make the trek: the recently wrapped Denfair, a design fair now in its second year, which in the past week has introduced us to whole host of new talents, including the German-born, Melbourne-based designer Volker Haug, whose new lighting collection we're featuring today. Made by hand in Haug's Brunswick East studio, the lights represent a more minimalist direction for the designer, whose previous creations were more colorful and organic.
The first thing you notice when you enter the lobby of 11 Howard — the new lushly designed hotel rising on the footprint of an old Holiday Inn in New York's Soho — is nothing. There’s a conspicuous absence of a front desk; there are no shelves full of decorative books for guests to peruse; there’s not even a chandelier.
Virgile Thévoz and Josephine Choquet are no strangers to Sight Unseen, but their latest collection, which is debuting at Rossana Orlandi as part of the "i Dream of Luxury" exhibition in Milan this week, might be our favorite yet. The two London-based designers know from high-end products, having studied in the Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship program at ÉCAL, and their new Cast Brass collection explores the effect of time on the value of an object. The polished brass accessories are half-cast in transparent resin blocs, allowing the exposed metal to oxidize over time and cast half to remain pristine and shiny forever.
A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: Everything old is new again: midcentury-inspired lamps (like the gorgeous one by Toronto's Lightmaker Studio, above), Memphis-inspired tea trolleys, and an ancient Japanese tray garden re-imagined as a post-industrial panorama.
Another year, another Milan. Every year we attend the behemoth furniture fair known as Salone expecting to come away with something smart to say about the current state of design. But the truth is, you spend the week bombarded with so much stuff that you're often left with just a few fleeting mental images of your favorite things, whether it's a colorful chair sheathed in Flyknit-esque sneaker material or a particularly delicious gnocchi you nearly licked off the plate. Luckily, that's what cameras are for. We shot nearly everything we saw this year, whether it was for an immediate Instagram, a file-away-for-later trend, or to share with you here, in our best of the best round-up from last week.
When Egg Collective launched their debut furniture collection at ICFF in 2012 — snagging a Best New Designer award in the process — they seemed to the design world to have come out of nowhere. And in fact, though the three — Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie — met and began collaborating as 18-year-old freshmen at Washington University's architecture school more than a decade ago, the truth is they had formally joined forces and had begun crafting an ICFF plan only six months earlier. "I remember the three of us sitting outside the Javits Center in our Budget truck, about to move in furniture that we’d been working on with no one having seen for six months," says Beamer. "I was like, you guys, this is it. People could just walk by us the entire fair. But thankfully we seem to have struck a chord and the work resonated."