After years of running the definitive online guide to NY Design Week we are now taking it to the next level by taking a step back. Hey, don't freak-out though, our #1 design week web coverage is still going to be in effect, in fact, get ready for it by visiting and bookmarking our mobile site from your phone or tablet here.
This year though we are making an audacious addition—we are moving beyond listings and blog posts to a full lineup of coverage, profiles and opinion, and we are going to be doing it in *PRINT* in the C77 Design Daily. That's right: we are going to be covering the NYCxDesign events LIVE and producing a daily newspaper, reported, designed and printed in NYC. Then we'll be burning rubber—by car, bike and foot—to distribute the tabloid which will include our top picks form ICFF, WantedDesign, Soho and more! NYCxDesign attendees will be encouraged to collect the daily tabloid at their favorite design venues.
If you want to see YOUR NAME IN PRINT, and to draw in the DESIGN-CRAZED citizenry of the greater NYC metro area to your show or event, or if you simply want to get on our editorial team's radar, you need to fill out this form immediately.
More details will be coming in the next weeks as our plans finalize, so stay tuned! In the meanwhile things are still fluid, so if you want to be a part of our Mean Green Street Team—on the scene, cool team, doin' design-y things—hit us up at: mail [at] core77 [dot] com.
For many of the practicing designers who live and work in the five boroughs, the months before the ICFF are often a caffeine-fueled blur, crunchtime in anticipation of the single most important weekend of the year. The 15 third-year Product Design students in the Design for Wastelessness studio at Parsons the New School for Design had the chance to experience the same flurry of activity as Poltrona Frau offered them the chance to exhibit their projects during NY Design Week. The brief: to transform leather off-cuts into retail-worthy goods for the home and office.
Led by instructor Andrea Ruggiero, this marks the third year in a row that the storied Italian manufacturer has sponsored coursework at Parsons, in which the students had seven weeks to design and prototype their products. About a month ago, they presented their projects to the panel of judges from both Poltrona Frau and the school, including guest judge Massimo Vignelli, who subsequently announced three winners at the company's Design Week reception. Congrats to Jenny Hsu, Yuna Kim and Benjamin Billick, who won a trip to the Poltrona Frau factory in Tolentino, Italy, where they will have the opportunity to refine their prototypes with master craftsmen.
Jenny Hsu - "Piqnique"
First Place: Jenny Hsu
Piqnique is an extension of the domestic dining experience for on-the-go situations, enriching your eating rituals while away from home. Whether at the park, a horse-race, or on the yacht, Piqnique functions as a carrier for a set of silverware and a napkin. When unrolled, Piqnique also doubles as an elegant placemat: it's Frau to Go.
Yuna Kim - "Miovino"
Second Place: Yuna Kim
Miovino is a set of wine markers designed for social gatherings that elevates the act of enjoying wine through a luxurious tactile experience. By choosing a coloured leather wine marker—or sleeve—wine drinkers can identify and personalize their stemware, and as a result, Miovino also becomes the interface between the drinker and the glass, suggesting that the glass should be held by the stem. Miovino exemplifies the concept of wastelessness, as the markers are made with small and economically-shaped production scraps coupled with small embedded magnets.
Showcasing a vibrant mix of young international designers, studios and a few industry heavyweights, WantedDesign has quickly established itself as the most interesting destination on the design calendar. The 3-day event kicked-off with a blow-out party that had a line around the block leaving many design fans to some creative hustling to get in. The scope and quality of work has improved each year making a noticeable dent on the ICFF's exhibitor list. Checkout out our gallery for highlights from SVA's Products of Design students' design interventions, the El Salvadorian showcase "The Carrot Concept," RISD's furniture retrospective, new work from Great Things to People, Joe Doucet and some elegantly crafted design objects from Quebec.
This year saw the debut of NYCxDESIGN, a 12-day citywide initiative to present New York's Design Week under one umbrella—finally—and as a result, the exhibitions gained noticeably more exposure and interest from the general public. Top on our list of favorites was Frederick McSwain and François Chambard's collaboration "Off the Grid" which presented a series of beautifully engineered design objects playing with the theme of designer camping—literally. The show runs till June 6th at Gallery R'Pure and is well worth a look if you're in town.
Other shows of note included INTRO NY, which hands-down had the best range of pendant lamps seen in one place (you get a much better sense of space in our recent post here). Bezalel Academy's traveling exhibition showcasing work from the past five years made a stop in NY, and while the projects might be a little high-concept for some, they are extremely well-executed and thought-provoking.
Checkout more highlights in the gallery here and catch all the New York Design Week coverage here.
Exhibitors at WantedDesign this year represented nationalities near and far, from just across the East River to across the pond and further afield. Now in its third year, Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat's hugely successful satellite to the nearby ICFF has all but outgrown the Terminal Stores building at the northwest corner of Chelsea. If the jam-packed atrium proved to be a bit overwhelming at times, the peripheral galleries offered the luxury of space at the expense of foot traffic—making for an altogether more manageable viewing experience, as in the case of the Carrot Concept, presented by Bernhardt Design.
Led by a collective of savvy Salvadoran designers—Harry and Claudia Washington, Guillermo Altamirano, Josefina Alvarez, Jose Roberto Paredes and Roberto Dumont—the Carrot Concept is a platform to bring their country's creative efforts to the rest of the world, and expand both the domestic and global audience for design from El Salvador.
A grassroots movement is afoot to bring the country's burgeoning creative scene to the forefront. In 2012, a band of progressive and socially conscious architects, designers and entrepreneurs launched The Carrot Concept with the belief that celebrating and promoting creative industries in El Salvador will help fuel their economic and cultural growth.
Now that our friends at Matter have firmly established themselves as purveyors of some of the finest contemporary furnishings this side of Houston St., they're looking to expand their house label. They launched MatterMade in 2010, partnering with designers to produce a new collection for every NY Design Week since (we took note in 2011). For this year's MatterMade Collection, Creative Director Jamie Gray called on New York's Roman and Williams to design a line of furniture and lighting.
At its core, the Roman and Williams for MatterMade collection is a marriage of two entitites with a shared vision of the American design landscape. The first commercially available collection of lighting and furniture by Roman and Williams, the line includes: Woodrum, a family of lighting, Hub, a coffee table and side table, and Reader, a sling chair and foot stool. The unifying theme within the collection is an emphasis on superior materials and exceptional craftsmanship. Standard wood species offered are reclaimed white oak, teak, and walnut, each with a simple and pure finish that highlights the wood. Custom unlacquered brass hardware adorns each piece and provides an extra touch of luxury and elegance.
After a decade of creating award-winning bespoke spaces, such as the Ace Hotel and the glamorous Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel, this line of furniture and lighting presents a gateway for bringing the unique world of Roman and Williams into a broad spectrum of interiors. Whether ultra minimal, contemporary, or the most classic of spaces, the Roman and Williams for MatterMade collection adds a necessary hint of familiarity, articulation and decandence.
For NY Design Week this year, our friends at the American Design Club presented their ninth group showcase, Trophy: Awards We Live With. Per the brief: "A trophy is a memento, token, or symbol, used to commemorate an achievement or victory. Whether they are awarded, stolen, or created, trophy objects can come in many forms." As with Noho Next (which included several of the same exhibitors), the exhibition occupied a basement café/bar space; unlike Noho Next, in which the work was distributed throughout the space, the trophies were cordoned off on a makeshift stage area—an oversized display case, if you will—framed by a kitschy slatwall backdrop.
#11: Craighton Berman - "Daily Aspirations" / #34: Taylor Mckenzie-Veal - "War Trophy" / #30: Muzz Design - "Ring of Approval" / #27: Made in Chinatown - "Stanrey Cup" / #5: Artin Yip + Chris Beatty - "Gnome" / #29: Misha Kahn - "Coatrack" / #35: The Office of Brothers - "Victory Shims" / #13: Egg Collective - "Badges"
It's been quite a year for the MFA candidates in the School of Visual Arts' Products of Design program, not least because the first-year students are also the first ever students in the fledgling program. This past weekend, the first half of their graduate studies culminated with ALSO!, a winsome design intervention at WantedDesign, which the tight-knit cohort of 16 students realized in the three weeks leading up to NY Design Week. They'd originally developed the concept for Sinclair Smith's five-week Design Performance studio intensive, and the NYCxDesign festival (which wrapped up just two days ago) was a felicitous opportunity for them to put their studies into practice.
Through a roving set of mobile interventions, visitors to the show participate in an unfolding narrative around celebration, sustainability, digital mediation, storytelling and scale, each expanding the conversation around design beyond form, function and materiality.
Broadly speaking, each of the six stations (two wearable, three carts and a single immobile station) offered a different perspective on not only the work on view at WantedDesign but also one's fellow attendees and the venue itself. From the uniforms—white short-sleeve button-down (with the logo emblazoned across the back), dark denim, white plimsols and orange socks—to the seamlessly constructed equipment, which remain as the tangible artifacts of the experience, the students crafted a thoughtfully executed body of work.
StokkeAustad - "The Woods"; Image courtesy of Maria Larsson / Home in the Woods
It's always nice to be pleasantly surprised by a serendipitous visit to a strong exhibition, especially during a week when there happen to be dozens of events to visit. (With the launch of NYCxDesign, New York's annual design week was as supersaturated as ever, what with the ICFF expanding into Javits North and Wanted Design nearly overflowing with exhibitors.) As with Field and Various Projects' Here & There, an unassuming exhibition was well worth the visit, and even though most of last weekend exhibitions have been broken down, packed and shipped by now, Home in the Woods will remain on view at 29 Mercer St in Soho (albeit by appointment only).
However, unlike Jonah Takagi's effort, Maria Larsson's exhibition is brimming with New Nordic and Swedish Modern quality, including vintage pieces by Bruno Mathsson and Sven Markelius along with works of art and design. As the sole organizer of the exhibition, Larsson readily admits that her role went far beyond simply curating the exhibition: an architect by training, she oversaw the buildout of the gallery space, as well as the PR and marketing.
We've seen plenty of excellent work by Washington, D.C.-based Jonah Takagi here and there at various exhibitions and venues over the years, but we finally crossed paths during NY Design Week at a pop-up shop/exhibition for his new-ish retail venture Field. Although he launched the company with childhood friend Daniel Thomas last year, Here & There marked first major event in New York, a collaboration between the D.C.-and-Chicago-based brand and NYC's Various Projects, who stock some of the carefully curated goods at their flagship store in the Lower East Side, Project No. 8.
Billed simply as "an exhibition featuring an array of artists and designers invited to create objects on the theme of travel," the exhibition was a highlight of this year's design festivities.
Although the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is notorious for its rather unflattering industrial lighting fixtures, many of the exhibitors at the ICFF happen to design lamps and lighting for the appreciably more intimate settings of the home or office, where (thankfully) we spend most of our time. Here's a selection of some of our favs, including several new offerings from our friends at Rich Brilliant Willing, Brendan Ravenhill and Patrick Townsend.
The Gala Chandelier comes in a variety of configurations
Design agency smallpond looked to go big time for the inaugural NYCxDesign festival, entering the fray with the support of London's Designjunction. The new INTRO NY show was modest in the best way possible, a showcase of smaller, mostly non-NYC design brands in a well-lit, street-level space in the heart of Little Italy (there was audible din from a parade two blocks over when I visited on Saturday morning).
If on-site retail—a curated neo-utility pop-up shop—and refreshments seem to be par for the course at design shows these days, the backyard pop-up cafe was a nice touch (though I imagine it was rained out on Sunday).
In addition to furnishing the patio, San Francisco's Council made a strong showing with products new and old. They've brought a handful of young designers into the fold since the brand debuted at ICFF in 2007, including Chad Wright, who was happy to discuss the "Twig" chair that he designed for the brand.
Now in its fourth year, Noho Design District has taken on a few different permutations over the years, encompassing various pop-up exhibitions from a tiny Japanese butcher shop to a four-story lumber company headquarters (which happen to be on the same block, no less), reflecting both the changes within the neighborhood and the landscape of American design as a whole. Once again, our friends Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov of Sight Unseen have masterminded a neighborhood-wide celebration of young and emerging designers. In addition to partnering with several co-conspirators such as Future Perfect and American Design Club, they've also curated the flagship Noho Next group exhibition, featuring 13 handpicked studios that comprise a showcase of design talent.
The exhibition took place over the weekend at Subculture, the event space in the basement of the 45 Bleecker Street Theater, which hosted Tom Dixon's London Underground exhibition last year. (I don't know if I'm dating myself with the reference, but I remember going to the Crosby Connection sandwich shop when they occupied the cafe a few years back...). Although it happens to be closing as I write this, hopefully our documentation can serve as future reference.
Although this year marks their first ICFF, PELLE Designs actually dates back to 2008 or so, when co-founder Jean Pelle developed the first Bubble Chandelier. She met her future business partner (and husband) Oliver about ten years ago at the Yale School of Architecture, and each went on to work for major firms before setting out on their own.
The "Quadrat" series of tables takes its name from the German word for "square"; Oliver left his native Germany to study architecture in the States
Thus, their debut collection consists of iterations on the designs: the Bubble Chandelier is now UL listed, and they've just introduced a long version (not pictured) for a total of nine different shapes and sizes (they've also taken an interesting step in making all of the items available to order through an online store).
Jean noted that they make and hand-carve the Soap Stones in their Red Hook studio
Stockholm's Konstfack is among the university design departments that occupy the removed North Building of the Javits Center this ICFF, a more manageable—albeit somewhat sparsely populated—exhibition hall in contrast to the main floor of ICFF. Despite—or perhaps because of—the largely theoretical curriculum of graduate programs in Industrial Design, the 11 first-year Master's candidates at Konstfack undertook a self-initiated project to actually make objects, which they first exhibited during Stockholm Design Week back in February. According to the Negative Space website:
What is a negative space? Can it be framed by something other than matter? Can a negative space be made tangible?
Ten explorations on the possible meanings of negative space showcasing new and intriguing perspectives. By shifting focus from matter to the space that it occupies, the designers have found new ways of working by investigating the relationship between objects and the surrounding space. Presented here are a series of individual interpretations of negative space, culminating in a fascinating interplay between form, memory, movement, light and time.
Insofar as the theme itself is intangible, the students took a broad range of approaches; even in the case of light, which might be considered an easy metaphor for space, the inspiration and execution varied significantly. Nevertheless, the overall aesthetic of the work is quite minimal, in keeping with both the theme and Scandinavian design language in general.
Unfortunately, the logistics of overseas travel and the tradeshow setting made for a somewhat attenuated exhibition—i.e. the convention center simply isn't the ideal context for exhibiting the highly conceptual work. (I find that the Javits Center, for all its cavernous, harshly-lit real estate, is something of a 'negative space,' if you'll excuse the pun.) In any case, the students were excited to be in New York—a first for many of them—and they were eager to share their work.
Daphne Zuilhof's "Spin" stool inspired friendly jealousy amongst her peers for it's packability. It takes it name not from the English verb but for the Dutch word for 'spider,' where its collapsible legs delimit a volume that is a usable space.
Although we've already covered Reclaim x2 fairly extensively at this point, it's easy to overlook details such as, say, the actual texture of the felt chair or the concept behind Emilie Baltz's dyadic infusions. If it wasn't clear from the photos of the Bonus Table 571—which it by no means should have been—it was made with enzymes. Bushwick-based design duo Colleen & Eric (whom we'd previously covered at ICFF in 2011) collaborated with bioengineer Loe Hubbard and sound designer Ben Cameron on the small side table, which features a cryptic Rorschach design on its surface. They explain:
Pure tones tuned to the natural resonant frequency of the wood result in vibrations, determined by the tabletop's size shape and density. The vibrations reveal a geometric pattern inherent to the wood.
The resonant pattern is etched away by an enzyme cocktail tailored to the molecular structure of the wood. This process is similar to acid-etching a metal plate, such as in printmaking. The difference is that this is based on a live process; using enzymes derived from forest floor microbes.
Earlier this week, I was casually minding my own business on a pleasant bike-commute from Core HQ to my humble Brooklyn abode when lo and behold, I spotted what looked like a giant hot pink chair strapped to a flatbed truck. Once I got over my initial astonishment and confirmed that this was not a mirage in my design-week-addled mind, I instinctively did that thing we do nowadays where one whips out his or her smartphone to document anything that seems remotely interesting. Case in point, here's an inane video of the truck eluding me on Flushing Ave:
It turns out that UHURU's #Chairtruck debuted last weekend at BKLYN Designs, where it provided much-needed respite from human-sized chairs and a fair share of sh*ts and giggles, and will be making rounds this weekend as well. (Not to take too much credit, but one inside source hinted that the #ChairTruck came about partly because a certain well-known industrial design magazine and resource declined to host an exhibition this year.) The ~5:1 scale model of their Hulihee chair is "fitted with a hardwood seat and back reclaimed from the Coney Island Boardwalk," and "strapped to a flatbed biodiesel truck."
#chairtruck's defiant size and reclaimed wood planks pay tribute to the historic Coney Island Boardwalk and reference Uhuru's signature Coney Island furniture line which debuted at Brooklyn Designs in 2010.
Just over a week ago, we had a chance to catch up with Jean Lin and Jen Krichels of Reclaim NYC, who opened the doors to their second exhibition today and will be hosting an opening reception shortly. While the first edition of the group exhibition focused on reclaimed materials in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the show takes the much broader theme of collaboration this time around. (Once again, proceeds will go to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund.)
As Lin told us last week:
What started as a hurricane relief effort will hopefully grow into a larger initiative that could benefit a wide range of social and environmental causes, as well as support our independent design community. Our industry is filled with truly good, charitable and socially-aware people who are looking for ways to help. We hope that Reclaim can become an outlet for these talented designers to focus their charitable and creative energies without commercial pressure, and with a higher goal of giving back to a worthy cause.
This is a near-comprehensive survey of the work on view now at the third-floor event space at 446 Broadway. Tonight's opening is all but guaranteed to be a good time, but if you can't make it to Soho this evening, we highly recommend stopping by tomorrow or on Saturday morning before Reclaim x2 closes; hours & full address below. (Worst case, you can browse and buy the work at Lin-Morris.)
In the last few days leading up to the juried review of our collaboration with Poltrona Frau, our studio workspace descended into complete disarray—with tools and materials scattered everywhere. The last bits of scrap leather were hotly contested and, naturally, the industrial sewing machines had failed just days before the presentation was due! As a result, some projects ended up having to be hand-stitched as time was pressing and quality had to be kept to a high standard. Sleep deprivation, minor scrapes and bruises notwithstanding, we managed to pull it together in time for the juried final review.
The jury panel consisted of legendary designer Massimo Vignelli, Paul Makovsky (Editorial Director, Metropolis Magazine), Sara Gobbo and Federico Materazzi (Poltrona Frau), Mark Bechtel (Interim Director of Product Design at Parsons) and our instructor, designer Andrea Ruggiero. We presented 15 projects, ranging from cigar cases and drink coasters to picture frames and candle holders. Per the design brief, we were required to address wastelessness and how we would envision the potential production of our pieces to enable the least amount of material waste. In a few cases, there was some disagreement between the judges as to the complexity and labor involved to produce a few of the objects. Regardless, the critics met privately after the presentations to decide the three winners of the competition, who will get to visit Poltrona Frau's factory in Tolentino, Italy, in the second half of July.
This past weekend, we took the water taxi to Randall's Island for the second edition of Frieze New York, which has established itself as an extremely well curated and produced art fair. The 250,000-square-foot temporary tent by SO - IL architects provides generous space for exhibitors, amazing natural light, and stood up remarkably well to the rolling thunderstorms that struck on Saturday afternoon.
Not one to shy from controversy, visitors were greeted by Paul McCarthy's giant 80 feet tall inflatable 'Balloon Dog', a dig at Jeff Koons' failed attempt in court to get exclusive rights to balloon dogs worldwide, if you're skeptical of the stakes, McCarthy's homage sold for $950,000.
LA-based Pae White won hearts with her suspended installation of tiny upward facing mirrors reflecting their bright geometric patterns underneath. Dan Colen's circular sculpture made from basketball backboards at the Gagosian booth provided awesome photo opps for 2001 style shots, and as far as found objects go, it's hard to beat the cement mixer by Alexandre da Cunha.
There was an abundance of bold new work on display with a lot of galleries choosing to promote the same artists they represented last year. Tom Friedman's solo show was hugely popular; we were really into Daniel Arsham's volcanic ash and broken glass cast resin pieces; and Liam Gillick's 'Scorpion or Felix' decorative door screens would probably do quite well at the ICFF this weekend.
Clearly, the organizers know their audience partnering with food vendors—Frankies Spuntino, Prime Meats, Roberta's, Mission Chinese Food and Blue Bottle Coffee, to name a few—and we were really impressed with the amount of water taxis they secured to ferry visitors to-and-from Manhattan. We'll see if The Armory Show, which takes place in March at the crowded Pier 92+94 complex, steps up its game in response next year...
Starting this Friday night, the students of the new MFA in Products of Design will be appearing at WantedDesign from May 17–20, where they will present ALSO!, a series of interactions that explore how we experience new design.
Through a roving set of mobile interventions—both cart-based and human-worn—visitors to the show will participate in "an unfolding narrative around celebration, sustainability, digital mediation, storytelling, and scale, each expanding the conversation around design beyond form, function, and materiality." There are teasers up at www.alsoproject.com, and ALSO! on Facebook, but here are some intriguing particulars:
A smartphone kaleidoscope and lift apparatus expose the distortion of constantly consuming experiences through our screens; a set of ViewMasters lets us peer into speculations around the unseen, "un"wanted, and marginalized; a sound crew with microphones and headphones invites visitors to listen in on the untold stories of objects; a digital microscope on a remote cable reveals hidden design details invisible to the naked eye; and a die-cutting station prompts guests to transform their printed materials, ennobling ephemera and inviting visitors to reflect their experiences to one another.
Through this series of moving, participatory installations, the work hacks the exhibition at large, prompting visitors to see design through a variety of new lenses.
The event is free. Located at 269 11th Avenue, New York City, WantedDesign is a creative destination for the design community that offers innovative installations, student workshops, and engaging discourse.
This year, WantedDesign is being held in concert with NYCxDESIGN, New York City's inaugural citywide event to showcase and promote design of all disciplines.
Johannesburg's Southern Guild traveled halfway around the world for the Collective Design Fair last week, and their legwork didn't go unnoticed: the inaugural exhibition marked the New York debut of the platform for contemporary South African design, featuring work by some of the country's best talent. "Devoted to provoking the local design industry and to encouraging designers and artists to explore and produce more challenging and important work, Southern Guild... aims to inform the world market about the dynamic new work that is being produced in this arena."
Porky Hefer's handmade nests are inspired by those of weaver birds.
The "Blackhole" is made out of discarded truck tires
Had they been exhibited individually, the pieces might come off as exotic for the sake of kitsch; presented together, I was struck by the dialogue between, say, a sculpture of a gorilla and a quasi-fetishistic rubber cocoon—an uncanny coherence that might be deemed a certain South African sensibility.
Artisanal, hand made and cerebral, South African design elicits a physical response as much as it invites a viewer to think. Some of this experiential quality derives from the handmade nature of the work. Its distinctiveness is grounded in social and political realities, narrative, a true bond with nature and a sense of human connectedness with little interest in passing trends or in highly polished, technologically driven visions of design.
And if Michaella Janse Van Vuuren's digitally-fabricated figurines somehow contradict the above characterization of South African design, I should note that I took surprisingly childlike delight in activating the Birdman. Tucked away in the back of the booth, the eight-inch tall figurine was my favorite piece at the booth, if not the entire fair. Not only were the Birdman and Rocking Springbok among the most detailed 3D-printed objects I'd seen in person, but they both featured moving parts, a signature element of the artist's work.
Last week saw the run of the first annual Collective Design Fair, the first of the many art and design events and exhibitions in New York City this May. Organized by architect and interior designer Steven Learner, the Fair is the 'collective' effort of a "passionate group of designers, curators, collectors and gallerists who recognize a need for a new commercial and educational platform for the design collector and connoisseur. With the avid support of the New York creative community, Collective intends to showcase a compelling vision of design today."
If BKLYN Designs has long been an alternative to the ICFF, the Collective Design Fair was more a complement to Frieze, which returned to Randall's Island after a very successful showing last year—the newcomer offered design-centric galleries and dealers an opportunity to get in on the action. Although both BKLYN Designs and the Collective Design Fair took place in former industrial spaces, they could not have been more different. Where the St. Ann's Warehouse hosted a range of young and emerging designers from as far afield as Bushwick, Pier 57 housed some two high-end design galleries from the world over, exhibiting an eclectic but unequivocally upscale wares.
Sebastian Errazuriz's cheeky installation was legible from afar
Yet so too was the work consistently interesting: just beyond Sebastian Errazuriz's 'statement piece' in the foyer, a special exhibition of Gaetano Pesce's eccentric works of design-art—a dubious categorization at best—set an interesting tone for the show.
In his practice, Pesce expresses the necessity of working in a multi-disciplinary way, breaking down boundaries between artistic languages. Observing that the culture of the object has been growing rapidly in the past two decades, he insists that objects are the art of our time.
The fair closed its four-day run over the weekend, but we're pleased to bring you some of our favs—motorcycles, an animated GIF and much more after the jump...
The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center won't be opening its doors for the 25th annual ICFF for another week, but the NYCxDesign festivities are well underway as of this weekend, and besides the second edition of Frieze New York and its satellites, today also saw the opening of BKLYN Designs at St. Ann's Warehouse in DUMBO. After a brief hiatus (including a stint at the Javits in 2011), the showcase of independent designers from the borough du jour is back in Brooklyn for its tenth anniversary.
Organizer Karen Auster and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce have wisely opted for first weekend of the inaugural NYCxDesign festival so as not conflict with ICFF—the exhibition will be on view through this Sunday, May 12. (BKLYN Designs is rather more accessible than Frieze, both geographically and metaphorically, though we recommend the humble bicycle as the most pleasant mode of transportation to either location; rest assured most of next week's events are clustered in the more central districts of Soho and Noho. Check out our NYDW Guide for more details.)
Here are some of the standouts from our quick tour of the space this morning:
Palo Samko, an elder statesman of the Brooklyn scene, has been exploring with casting in earnest ever since he started making his own brass hardware (drawer pulls, table legs).
As with many of the woodworkers at the show, Bien Hecho was a custom/contract studio for years before debuting their first collection at BKLYN Designs.
Founder John Randall noted that "Water Tower" was made of reclaimed wood from the very same; it's intended to hold a standard five-gallon water bottle, as an alternative to the mundane water cooler.
This time around, the theme is "design that's more than the sum of its parts," and we're excited to see that many of our favorite designers and studios are teaming up to bring new work to the table (so to speak). Our friends at Token and UHURU are among the 50+ participants in Reclaim x2, and as longtime occupants of Red Hook—a neighborhood that was submerged under 3–4 feet of water during the storm—they had firsthand experience of the wrath that Sandy wrought. "We were very excited for the opportunity to get together and put collective energy behind this collaborative project," says Emrys Berkower of Token. "And being that it is in support of such a great cause makes it even more meaningful." UHURU's Horvath shares the sentiment:
It's too bad that it took a hurricane that trashed both our spaces, but I'm glad we are finally able to make it happen and that we can represent Red Hook at the show. It has been great working together so far, both in the initial brainstorming sessions and during our afternoon in the hot shop blowing glass into crazy forms and setting them on fire.
Ladies and Gentlemen × Nicholas Nyland
Once again, we had a chance to catch up with Jen and Jean on the occasion of Reclaim x2, which will take place in the middle of the first annual NYCxDesign festival (see the first Q&A here). Some two dozen pieces by twice as many designers—per the collaborative theme of the show—will be on view from Wednesday, May 15, through Friday, May 17, at 446 Broadway, 3rd Floor, with a reception on the night of Thursday, May 16.
Core77: How did the inaugural Reclaim event go? Lessons learned? Any good stories to tell?
Jean Lin: We had so much fun organizing and executing the first exhibit. I think a lot of its success can be credited to pure adrenaline after Hurricane Sandy. We all wanted to help so desperately that all of us—both Jen and I, and the initial group of designers—sort of fed off of each other's energy and enthusiasm for the cause. I still marvel at the fact that we were able to pull it all together in little more than a month.
Jen Krichels: Because the first event came together so quickly, we didn't have much time to think about whether Reclaim NYC would have a future after the first show. But the night of the event and in the days after we were asked so many times when the next show would be (both by designers who wanted to participate and by people who wanted to attend or support the cause) that we started planning a Design Week show right away.
With the luxury of more time, we are launching an online presale before Design Week, which will be followed by the exhibit and sale on May 15–17. We also have a range of price points to allow people to make a range of donations to Brooklyn Recovery Fund. The presale, which will be hosted on at60inches.com and shop.lin-morris.com, will give collectors more time to consider some of the heirloom-quality pieces that are part of the show.
JL: Honestly, my biggest regret was not buying anything at the first show. I was so busy during the auction that the items I had my eye on were snatched up from under me. Jen bid on and won a gorgeous UM Project lamp for an amazingly reasonable price. I kick myself every time I see it in her apartment. Hopefully the presale will prevent this from happening again.
Egg Collective × Hangar
Even the fabrication of the objects has been a collaboration—Hangar brazed the initial bronze masters, from which we created molds and plaster castings. Both the collection of masters and the cast objects will be displayed together as a landscape at Reclaim x2.