Norwegian design brand A Part

Four Designers Just Got Together to Form a Norwegian Superbrand

Remember Temple of the Dog? The Traveling Wilburys? Cream? In music, the idea of a supergroup — in which several successful solo musicians band together to form a new group — is a familiar one. In design, it's less so — and yet that's exactly what four Norwegian designers have done with their new brand A Part, which launched earlier this week.
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Moody, Limited-Edition Pieces By a Brand-New Berlin Design Collective

Three years ago, at a café in Berlin, three friends — Joern Scheipers, David Kosock, and Bart Navarra — came up with the idea to channel their love for art and design into creating furniture. Their friendship — and their backgrounds in fashion, branding, and architecture — finally coalesced last year into VAUST, an experimental furniture and interiors studio whose first collection launched earlier this month at Der Berliner Salon.
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Design and Art Are More Connected Than Ever at New York’s Newest Gallery

Whither Johnson Trading Gallery? The New York design gallery — which in its heyday introduced an American audience to the work of contemporary designers like Max Lamb, Kwangho Lee, Katie Stout, Aranda/Lasch, and more (not to mention Rafael de Cárdenas's epic first furniture collection) — had been relatively quiet of late. Now we know why: Earlier this month, it was announced that while JTG will continue selling vintage work, the contemporary artists in their stable will be absorbed into a new program at one of our favorite art galleries, Salon 94.
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Europe's New Generation of Design Stars

Experimental Objects from a New Generation of Design Stars

Considering this is our fifth year covering the Ornsbergsauktionen, a design auction produced annually by some of our favorite Swedish talents in conjunction with Stockholm Design Week, we began to wonder what it is about this particular event that we love so much. For us, it basically hits all the sweet spots — it focuses on the small-scale production of experimental objects, it commissions work only from contemporary designers with unusual or inventive practices, and it photographs really, really well.
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Future Tropes at Volume Gallery

"Timeless" is probably the most overused — and abused — word in design in recent years, typically employed by designers in the context of sustainability in order to imply that a piece has such a classic look or function that its expected longevity can somehow justify its existence in a sea of wastefulness and overproduction. Future Tropes, a new group show that opened this past weekend at Chicago's Volume Gallery, approaches the concept of timelessness from a very different angle, however: "The work should be slightly ahead of the world, slightly un-contemporary, setting the stage for future codes yet operating in a place that precedes our ability to apply language to those codes." (—Jan Verwoert, as adjusted by RO/LU.) In other words, objects that are equally linked to our prehistoric past and our distant, utopian future. Volume curators Sam Vinz and Claire Warner proposed that brief to Leon Ransmeier, ROLU, Jonathan Muecke, Tanya Aguiñiga, Jonathan Olivares, and Anders Ruhwald, who exchanged ideas on the topic before each creating a custom piece responding to it. See the results after the jump.
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Tauba Auerbach, Ghost/Ghost, 2013

At Design Miami/Basel and Art Basel 2014

If you've never been to the Swiss version of Art Basel and Design Miami/Basel, what they say about it is pretty much true: If Miami's overall vibe seems to put partying, relaxation, and hedonism first and serious business second, Basel is decidedly the other way around. People wear more clothes in Basel. Everything is twice as expensive. If there's one obvious advantage — for a journalist or casual observer — to attending Basel over Miami, it's that you're far less likely to be distracted by hangovers, pool parties, boozy brunches, and beach FOMO. You spend the entire day scrutinizing the actual work, and if you're lucky, like we were, you come home with a camera full of satisfying discoveries.
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Jonathan Muecke for Volume Gallery

Jonathan Muecke makes me anxious. I love his work so much, but I don't entirely know what it means. I love his work so much, but he barely makes any of it. I love his work so much, but I don't understand what he's doing up there in Minneapolis, keeping mostly to himself. However I suppose it's appropriate that he would cultivate the same cool, detached, mysterious air as his pieces, which — when I interviewed him for W magazine back in 2011, the first time he launched a collection with Volume Gallery — he described as "relational objects," things with unfamiliar but contextual functions like "scrambling everything in a room" or "behaving like a mass — something you don't really want to think about." To that end it may be equally appropriate (if not semi-amusing) that on the occasion of Muecke's second show with Volume, opening tonight in Chicago, curators Sam Vinz and Claire Warner asked a psychiatrist rather than a writer to interview him for the catalog, who probed him about equalizing and collapsing before concluding that "I find everything we’ve discussed completely logical, yet strange ... in the true sense of something not yet encountered, or still unknown." We've excerpted a few key moments from the conversation between Muecke and Dr. Brian Stonehocker after the jump, alongside images of all six pieces from the new series.
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Upstairs at the show, one of our first finds was this splatter-painted stool at Salon 94's booth, which turned out to be the latest work by SU faves Kueng Caputo.

At Design/Miami Basel and Art Basel 2013

This week, I got more than a few emails from friends and family members flummoxed by my trip to Art Basel. "You're where???" exclaimed my mother, halfway believing I'd temporarily left my annual summer sojourn in Berlin to double back to Miami for three days. That's because while Sight Unseen has been a longtime devotee of the Floridian version of the international design and art fair — stretching back to our I.D. magazine days — we've never managed to make it to the Swiss edition, which is even more extensive. Turns out 2013 was a pretty amazing year to call our first: Design Miami/Basel moved into the incredible new Herzog & de Meuron building, expanding its show in the process, and Art Basel totally killed it with the Untitled show of large-scale works, featuring a new piece by the wonder twins of contemporary installation art, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. Artsy made my trip 10 times easier with its extensive online preview of both shows (not to mention an ingenious iPhone-charging station at its ROLU-designed fair booth), and Craig Robins put the cherry on top by letting Kanye West preview his new album — and perform a song a mere 8 feet in front of me — with less than 7 hours' notice. You totally should have been there, but if you weren't, here's the Sight Unseen rundown.
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Örnsbergsauktionen 2013

When Fredrik Paulsen, Kristoffer Sundin, and Simon Klenell organized an auction for independent design in the basement of their Stockholm studio last year, it was with a bit of trepidation: Would anyone come? Would the pieces sell? Would the Swedish design market, with its thirst for Scandinavian midcentury classics, be open to more unique and sometimes weird works? Apparently the answer was yes on all fronts, for the Ornsbergsauktionen — which was one of our favorite exhibitions of 2012 — is back this year in conjunction with Stockholm Design Week, complete with a gorgeous new graphic identity by Bergen, a sharp new website from Konst & Teknik, and new editions by returning favorites like TAF as well as newbies (and Sight Unseen friends) Gemma Holt, Hilda Hellström, and Silo Studio. In Stockholm, the viewing is open until the night of the auction, February 8, but you can get peek of the goods above (that's Paulsen's stained pine and Valchromat Prism shelf up top) and below, as well as on the auction homepage where pre-bids are being taken.
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At Design Miami/Basel 2012

When Design Miami rolls around each winter, it’s hard to resist the siren’s song of sunshine in December, no matter how much you've decided you hate standing in line for parties or how high the hotel rates might balloon during that frenetic week. We’ve been known to pool resources with friends far and wide in order to hop on flights and hightail it out of New York on the promise of a stolen afternoon at the Standard’s pool, or even a press brunch at some Collins Avenue hotel du jour. But we’ve never made it to the event that started it all: Design Miami/Basel and its legendary accompanying art fair. Lucky for us, then, that we alighted this year on the perfect correspondent: Marco Tabasso, known in design circles as Rossana Orlandi’s right-hand man, who took advantage of a rare two-day break (the gallery sat this year out, after having debuted a massive Nacho Carbonell installation in 2011) to zip around the Swiss metropolis, capturing everything he saw for us on proverbial film.
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What inspired your Totems? “For our premiere collection we decided to propose ‘totems for living’ — they’re intended as monolithic objects that dominate the habitat, yet remain entirely functional.”

Oeuffice, Furniture Designers

Had Jakub Zak and Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte met and not formed a partnership, it might have seemed almost sacrilegious, a kind of fuck-you to the gods of fate. After simultaneously studying design in their native Canada, and then again at the very same university in Berlin together, the pair only became aware of one another's existence once they'd both moved to Milan to start their professional lives — Lecompte as a roving member of the Montreal-based Samare studio and Zak as a designer for Patricia Urquiola. As if the shared condition of being the only two Canadians they knew who were actively working in the Milanese design scene weren't enough, they happened to meet at the precise moment in each of their careers where they were yearning to try something independent, experimental, and new. Samare was three years old and growing quite successful, but its physical manifestation was way across the Atlantic, and it maintained a relatively narrow focus on Canadian crafts and heritage; Zak was — and still is — working full time for Urquiola, "which is pretty demanding," he says. "You reach a stage where you want to start doing projects of your own. Oeuffice is a research-minded collaboration where Nicolas and I can play with new techniques and materials in ways we might not have the opportunity to otherwise."
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