In His Latest Solo Exhibition, Magnus Pettersen’s Glass Orbs Evoke a Sense of Metaphysical Disturbance

In Norwegian designer Magnus Pettersen’s latest solo exhibition, which was on view at QB Gallery in Oslo last month, a new series of sculptures was presented, which purport, per the press materials, to transgress the boundary between artworks and functional objects. But that isn't remotely the most interesting thing about the pieces; pretty much everything published on this site at this point achieves that with equal aplomb. For us, the most interesting thing is the addition of wood, yes, especially in brilliantly tinted hues like emergency orange. But more important is the inclusion of tiny glass orbs, perched on the arms or backs or smack dab in the middle of several of the seats, which sometimes prevent the pieces from being functional objects at all. Why are they there? What is their meaning? Has Pettersen recently discovered astrology?
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Brooklyn furniture studio Uhuru Tack

A Brooklyn Furniture Studio Goes Minimal in Geometric Steel

When we first featured the Brooklyn design-build studio Uhuru, back in 2010, they were known for creating imaginative furniture collections out of salvaged materials, but their newest collection feels like a leap in a whole new direction. After finding success last year with a geometric blackened-steel console called Tack, they've expanded the series to include stools and end tables that would make Donald Judd proud.
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Korban/Flaubert’s Hunter Maquettes

Sydney's Korban/Flaubert make large-scale sculptures and design objects out of flowing, bending, beautifully contorted metal — objects that show off both their own technical capabilities and those of their Sydney metalworking studio. But before they scale up, they often start small, with miniature models that function like a sketchbook come to life, showing off their ideas to potential clients. Their latest series of maquettes — each of which is only a few feet wide — features "a single folded, crushed line compressed into an agitated solid," they write. "An artifact in Corten steel."
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Dokter and Misses, Furniture and Fashion Designers

There’s a lot that’s hard for Westerners to understand about Adriaan Hugo and Katy Taplin, the husband and wife who make up the South African furniture and fashion duo Dokter and Misses. First, there’s the fact that they hail from Johannesburg, a city whose art scene has held sway in the international market for years but whose few industrial designers are hardly household names. Then there are their references, which remain resolutely sub-equatorial: In our interview, we talked about game reserves, braais (the South African term for barbecue), a Nigerian dancehall/reggae musician named Dr. Alban, and an artist who uses the techniques of the Ndebele tribe, from the Mpumalanga region of the country. Perhaps most confounding is their name, which mixes English and Dutch honorifics and calls to mind everything from sci-fi movies to secretaries — and which the two refuse to explain. It’s lucky, then, that their work is so instantly likable and wonderfully easy to grasp.
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Oskar Zieta’s Metal-inflating Facility

When Oskar Zieta was given the honor of creating a site-specific installation in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s sprawling central garden during this year’s London Design Festival, he had a fairly significant advantage. With his own high-tech metalworking factory in Poland capable of producing large-scale inflated-steel structures, he had the means to fabricate whatever flight of fancy he and his team might possibly dream up, no matter how ambitious. And yet standing in his way was an obstacle far more prosaic in nature, one it would take ingenuity moreso than technological muscle to surmount: teeny tiny doorways. “The doors were really small, and all the ideas of getting to the garden by a helicopter or by a crane had to be rejected because of the risk of destroying the museum’s façade,” he told the fair’s bloggers at the time. But for someone like Zieta — who’s spent the past eight years monomaniacally experimenting with the proportions of the metal sheets he welds at the edges and then blasts full of air — it read like an intellectual call to arms.
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