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This New Ceramics Brand is a Collab Between Two Parisians and the Berber Craftspeople of Northern Algeria

The unconventional ceramics brand IBKKI is the brainchild of Parisians Azel Ait-Mokhtar and Youri Asantcheeff. Their collections are a physical manifestation of their travels to the Kabylie region of Algeria and their collaboration with Berber craftspeople, but the duo didn’t take their cues from European Modernists like Matisse and Picasso, who had a tendency to appropriate elements from African art and call them their own.
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A Round Table on the Ethics of Working With Artisans, and How to Respectfully Bridge Cultural and Geographic Divides

Over the last year, I've been laying the foundation for a new company that aims to connect Thailand and the U.S. through the universal languages of craft and design. I found myself thinking about how designers can foster a respectful, non-exploitive engagement when they're creating products with artisan communities rather than in factories, so I organized a roundtable discussion on the topic with three participants who have experience in bridging barriers of geography or culture: Peter Mabeo of Mabeo Furniture, Casa Wabi director Carla Sodi, and Tantuvi founder Arati Rao.
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A Berlin Duo Whose Marriage of Art, Design, and Craft Is More Literal Than Most

When creatives describe their work as blurring the boundaries between design and art, it's rare that the effect is quite so literal as it is in the case of Berlin's Opt Studios — not only because it's the shared practice of a textile and product designer and her painter and sculptor husband, but also because the works themselves look like abstract artworks that just so happen to be hanging out on rugs and side tables.
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Lex Pott’s Pandemic Pastime: A New Series of Hand-Woven Checker Chairs

Just when we'd almost begun thinking of him as "the candle guy," his pillars and tapers seemingly having colonized every store in New York, Dutch designer Lex Pott posted a photo on his Instagram late last month of a single eye-catching chair wrapped entirely in hand-woven nylon straps. We did a mini interview with Pott to find out more about the project.
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Pampa Australia fringe rugs

A New Australian Textiles Collection Inspired By ’70s Shag

We've never been shy about our love of shag, fringe, and all things hairy, so does it come as a surprise that we're extremely into the new Textural line of rugs and cushions by Byron Bay–based Australian brand Pampa? Featuring oversized fringes and heavy weaves, and inspired by '70s-era shag pile carpets and cozy log cabins, each piece in the collection is handmade by artisans in Argentina.
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Curious “Foam” Forms Made of Ceramic and Metal, Now on View at Aram Gallery

Though they may look more like sea sponges, the collaborative works of Marina Dragomirova and Iain Howlett — aka Studio Furthermore — are in fact made from cast ceramic and aluminum alloy, using a process known as "lost foam casting." On view at The Aram Gallery in London through January 20, Studio Furthermore's latest collection of mirrors, pots, lighting, and tables were inspired by Icelandic rocks and mineral ores, lava rocks, and magma debris.
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These Chilean Stone Vessels Are Our Newest South American Design Obsession

While there's no official equivalent of Slow Food in the design world, there will always be something particularly nice about projects that take the same traditionally made, locally focused approach — especially when the results have as contemporary an aesthetic as Rodrigo Bravo's new Monolith Series, which was crafted by a Chilean artisan out of Chilean stone.
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Zuza Mengham resin sculptures

One-Of-a-Kind Resin Sculptures, Whose Fates Are Sealed in an Flash

Most artists and designers start their practices small, then scale up their work as their ambitions, finances, and studio spaces grow. London-based Zuza Mengham has done the opposite: Back in art school, she welded semi-functional steel sculptures so large and unwieldy she sometimes had to destroy them afterwards, while recently she began turning her attention towards resin experiments compact enough to perch on a bookshelf. Both endeavors come from a similar interest in working within the transitional states of materials.
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Junpei Inoue

Junpei Inoue’s Technicolor Wall Hangings

Being multi-taskers ourselves, we have nothing but admiration for people like Junpei Inoue — not only does he split his time between Brooklyn and Tokyo, he spends his days toggling between running and designing an art magazine, designing websites and logos for other people, and creating illustrations for textiles and fashion. Not such a stretch —until you consider his art practice as well, in which he creates intricate yarn-based wall hangings that are dyed using careful applications of acrylic paint.
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An Oiva Toikka Bird Inspired by Sight Unseen’s New York

Earlier this year, Iittala invited us to be a part of its Bird and the City series, in which we — along with four other bloggers around the world — were tasked with helping glass artist Oiva Toikka to create a bird dedicated to each of our respective hometowns: New York, Tokyo, Helsinki, Shanghai, and Paris. The blue and white swirled critter above represents not just New York, but our New York.
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