Ana Kras Natalie Weinberger

Ana Kras and Natalie Weinberger’s Powerhouse Collab at Picture Room

On view through August 20th at Brooklyn’s Picture Room, Family pairs pencil drawings by artist and designer Ana Kraš with stacked stoneware sculptures — each comprised of a set of functional vessels wheel-thrown by Brooklyn ceramicist Natalie Weinberger — in an exploration of emotional interplay between inanimate objects. “We started calling each set a family,” Weinberger says, “because we’re working with separate figures that share an emotional attachment.”
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De Allegri and Fogale

A Mystical Marble Interior in the Heart of Milan

The last time we saw a site-specific installation by London-based duo De Allegri and Fogale, you literally couldn't miss it — their tinted acrylic tunnel stretched across a bridge at the V&A, smack in the middle of the London Design Festival. But last week, the duo launched a project in Milan so small and so hidden that you had to know exactly what you were looking for in order to find it. But perhaps that was the point: Called Mystical Solace, the installation was meant as a commentary on the quiet, contemplative spaces that have become so popular during events like these.
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Iacoli & McAllister

Iacoli & McAllister’s New Collection is a Stellar Evolution

Sometimes, the stars align and you get this: a collaboration between one of our favorite furniture designers (Iacoli & McAllister), the most inventive glass artist we know (John Hogan), and a photographer who's quickly becoming the design world's ace in the hole (Charlie Schuck). But in this case, those stars are literal as well as metaphorical: The new collections shown here today by Iacoli & McAllister are named after specific stars in the zodiac constellations.
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commune west elm collaboration

Commune’s New West Elm Collection is a Study in California Cool

The American Trade Hotel in Panama, the Ace in Palm Springs, Heath Ceramics in San Francisco — for more than a decade, Commune has been the design firm behind these kinds of universally loved — and mega-Instagrammed — interiors. Slightly more under-the-radar are the Los Angeles studio's frequent furniture and object collaborations, which over the years have included everything from concrete tiles and rust-colored sofas to room fragrances and fireplace tools. But their latest collaboration brings Commune's distinct brand of California cool to the masses.
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Think Big! Our First LA Pop-up, at Space 15 Twenty

If you've been following our Instagram, you know that we've been spending an awful lot of time in Los Angeles lately. Last Thursday, we finally revealed why (aside from an obvious need to escape New York's subzero temps and un-meltable snowdrifts). Our latest pop-up — and our first-ever venture in LA — opened last Thursday at Space 15 Twenty, the Los Angeles Urban Outfitters concept shop and sister store to Brooklyn's Space Ninety 8, where we hosted a similar event last fall. Called Think Big!, the pop-up is inspired by a 1980s-era Soho store of the same name, which featured scaled-up versions of everyday objects.
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Week of January 5, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: chairs knit from sweaters, furniture made from kitchen flooring, and a sculpture fabricated by a robot and installed by a crane.
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A New Layer at Östasiatiska Museet

Turns out we're not the only ones who have noticed Scandinavia's re-emergence as a design powerhouse. In 2012, at the behest of the Taiwanese government, the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute invited five Swedish designers — Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom of TAF, Matti Klenell, Stina Löfgren, and Carina Seth Andersson — to visit their country in order to work with craftsmen to explore the world of lacquer techniques. From Taiwan's point of view, the project was meant to boost interest in their native lacquer craft and to investigate the effects of combining lacquer work with Scandinavian design. But it was also a very savvy business decision: "Many producers in Taiwan are curious about the performance of IKEA, Muuto, and Hay ━ the entire Scandinavian success story," says Klenell. "A lot of questions have been asked about that kind of thing: 'How can we learn about design, how can we start up businesses?'" The impact of the collaboration on Taiwanese design culture is still to be seen, but the physical results will be on view starting next Tuesday and until February 8 at Stockholm's Östasiatiska Museet, or the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities.
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In her Industrial Design program, Neal continues to work with metals, albeit on a larger scale.  This powder coated blue chair is made of bent sheet steel and sits at the designer’s kitchen table.

Page Neal of Bario-Neal

Seven years ago, when Page Neal and Anna Bario decided to relocate from New York and San Francisco respectively to work on a sustainably-minded line of jewelry, they chose Philadelphia because it was both affordable and close to New York City. “The decision to move here was a complete whim,” Neal told me over iced tea in her kitchen when I visited her South Philly home earlier this summer. “I didn’t know anyone and neither did Anna.” But the gamble paid off: The city, it turned out, had a thriving jewelry district where casting, engraving, and stone-setting workshops have sat above storefronts for generations. “It’s an amazing place for makers because small-scale manufacturing is really accessible,” Neal says.
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Workaday Handmade

Like many creatives we’ve interviewed before, Forrest Lewinger began his Workaday Handmade ceramics label while in the employ of someone else. Having studied ceramics in college and promptly dropped it to focus on more video-based, site-specific work, the Virginia-born designer found himself a year or so ago back behind the potter’s wheel, working as a studio assistant to a ceramicist in New York City. “A lot of times, artists think of their day job as an obstructive force,” laughs Lewinger. “I started to think of it as something more generative.”
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Pouches from Collection One by Otaat/Myers Collective, which will soon expand into larger accessories and housewares. For Chu, the classic example of a subtle intervention is “the box with a twist, where maybe creating one parametric surface may be all you need to generate a series of inventive solutions across the design. This practice is how we both approach our individual projects as well as our collaboration.”

Otaat / Myers Collective

If the best reason to know the rules is to be smarter about breaking them, then consider the year-old collaboration between designers Albert Chu and Jennifer Myers not so much a violent upheaval but an exercise in playfully tweaking the system. Chu and Myers met while studying at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design — an institution they say reinforced their respect for constraints — and each worked in architecture and launched an accessories line before combining their shared pedagogy into a series of leather and brass pouches. “I think working within, and rebelling against, a set of parameters is actually the ultimate in design fun,” Myers says. Chu agrees: “We love working with fundamentals and trying to introduce a slight deviation,” says the designer of Otaat, which stands for “one thing at a time.” “Harvard was about being restrained in the conceptual and design intervention, that sometimes the most effective and thorough result could arise from a minimal, subtle act.”
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At New York Design Week 2014: Spanish Design at Sight Unseen OFFSITE

We've had a special place in our hearts for Spanish design for as long as we can remember. After all, the very first scouting trip we ever took for Sight Unseen, way back in the summer of 2009, was to sunny Barcelona. (Don't even get us started on Design in Spain, the last full issue Monica and I worked on at I.D. Magazine, and one of our personal favorites, period.) So when the Spanish trade commission in New York asked us earlier this spring if we'd be interested in curating a selection of our favorite recent Spanish designs for Sight Unseen OFFSITE, the answer was an unequivocal yes.
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Print All Over Me x Sight Unseen

Back in December, we embarked on an experimental curatorial collaboration with Print All Over Me, the amazing print-your-own-pattern service, founded by fashion designer Jesse Finkelstein and his sister, Meredith, that allows designers to upload any graphic they please onto fashionable white blanks — sweatshirts, bomber jackets, shift dresses, backpacks, leggings, and more. The project — for which we hand-selected illustrators like Will Bryant, Tim Colmant, and Clay Hickson — was such a rousing success that Jesse approached us for round two a few months ago. We were already 100 percent sold on the idea, thinking we could sell the results at a pop-up at our Sight Unseen OFFSITE event — which opens today at noon! — when Jesse casually emailed this bomb: "Hey! Let's also talk about print all over furniture!"
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