sight unseen gift guide 2020

Slime Lamps and Head-Shaped Incense Burners: The 2020 Sight Unseen Gift Guide, Part II

On the one hand, to publish a gift guide in 2020 seems like an immense act of magical thinking. On the other hand, one of the small, analog joys we have found in this period of sequestering and uncertainty is the act of sending a gift by mail. In our second 2020 gift guide, this one by Monica, may we interest you in some incense burners? How about a gloppy, foamy desk lamp, or some CBD hot sauce? We're also pretty excited about Christin Ripley's marble-printed husband — who couldn't use a hug from a pillow right now? Give a gift, or two, to someone you love. It might just make you feel better.
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In Bower’s New Perception-Bending Collection, Mirrors and Materials Appear to Melt Uncannily

To mark the release of their largest-ever collection of furniture and mirrors — whose wood, marble, and upholstered surfaces appear to melt over their frames — the New York studio Bower collaborated with 3-D renderer Alexis Christodolou on a series of images that capture the pieces in an escapist indoor/outdoor fantasy world. We caught up with the trio about that project and more.
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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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Tired of Hearing About Masks? Not Once You See this Antwerp Duo’s Incredible Creations

Clouds blowing swirls of wind, gentlemen with fin-de-siècle mustaches, finely dressed generals with elaborate headpieces — such are the lost-in-time characters depicted in "An Entrance to Mention: the Park Pardon Principles," a 52-page book about a fictional park and its inhabitants that Dutch illustrators Bloeme van Bon and Geran Knol created together in 2014. Last year Knol and van Bon began turning the characters into one-of-a-kind papier-mâché masks, and today they've launched the latest edition in the ongoing (and consistently sold-out) series.
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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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A New Independent Design Label Launches in the South of France

The tiny town of Hyères in the South of France is only 50 square miles, but has long had an outsized presence on the contemporary design map as the home of the arts foundation Villa Noailles and its annual Design Parade festival. The festival was canceled this year due to the pandemic — more on that next week! — but two young Parisians have managed to fill in the gap with an exhibition called Été Super, which is serving as the launch of their independent design brand 13Desserts and its permanent showroom in a former Hyères skate shop.
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Meet the South Korean Designer Making Furniture From Lacquered Volcanic Stone

Seven years ago, Seoul-born Jeongseob Kim set out to find a niche that would define his identity as an independent designer. He began experimenting with using black or brightly colored cement to fill in the cracks and crevices created in the process of making cast-concrete stools, lamps, and tabletops. Calling the project Emergence, though, turned out to be prescient — rather than being his sole calling card, it ended up inspiring a body of work that draws on similar ideas but is even more layered and process-driven.
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These Duotone Vases Are Reversible, Depending On Your Color Scheme — Or Mood

The up-and-coming Australian designer Dean Toepfer had been primarily working on commissions and larger furniture pieces — like a bar cart made from a faux terrazzo composite and a sling chair upholstered in pink shag — since graduating from RMIT. But with the onset of the pandemic, Toepfer decided to reassess. "Vase Versa is my first object collection, and first self-produced range," Toepfer explains.
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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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