NYC Design Week 2013

It’s Design Week and the world has congregated in the five boroughs of New York to showcase the latest in design. It’s always so great to watch as the city transforms into a mecca for industry professionals and design lovers. It’s a week to promote emerging designers and already established ones. Here are some of our highlights…


To kick it off we checked out BKLYN Designs show at St Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo, we had the pleasure of meeting Chris Han who designs a beautiful collection of handcrafted spoons for the kitchen.


At the ReclaimX2 charity auction for victims of Hurricane Sandy we caught up with Egg Collective. Earlier in the year we visited the studio of this talented design trio (Stephanie, Hillary and Crystal) and it was great to see their latest works.


They collaborated with Hangar Design Studios to create brass and cast plaster book ends for the charity event.


That same night, we set off to Cut and Paste Characterized 2013 in Williamsburg, where graphic designers and animators created characters onstage to a live audience. Julian Glander and Juliet Phillips were the champs in the ‘Villains we Love’ challenge. 


Above is the character sketch from their 2nd round that I love!


Did some digging around and ended up loving their personal work as well. Check out more of Julian Gander’s whimsical pieces here.


And Juliet Phillips’s intricate sketches here.


Over the past few years the WantedDesign exhibition has become the place to be to discover new creative talents. This year it was held at The Tunnel. Here are a few pieces that stood out:


Tarrugao Jars made by Great Things to People, from Chile.


This Scott Jones couch includes modular upholstered units that can be rearranged to create various seating arrangements.


Here Scott demonstrates his new interpretation of mobile furniture in this side table that also serves as a removable tray.


Joe Doucet’s Hadron light struck curiosity in all of us. Here’s a close up of the light made from a continuous electroluminescent wire. It uses very minimal energy and creates a captivating, gentle blue glow.


Friday night we caught up with Ian and Greg of Fort Standard for the NDD (Noho Design District) launch party at the Bowery Hotel. The night featured new work by 1882 Ltd. and Fort Standard … ceramic tumblers and cast-brass bottle openers fitting for their crowd pleasing beer chute apparatus… which, who are we kidding, was the real highlight of the night.


To find out more about the talented duo, here’s a Backstory we did earlier in the year. Their triangle trivet and balancing blocks are still amongst my favourite products.


At ICFF, Taka from Kaikado ran us through his latest brass, copper and tin products. Absolutely stunning as usual! We would expect nothing less from this family-run business from Kyoto.


Another Japanese studio that we follow is Nendo from Tokyo. At ICFF they unveiled their Stone tables for Ceasarstone arranged in a tranquil stone garden.


One of the more interesting booths we came across at ICFF was Oswalds Mills Audio. They hand build speakers inspired by vintage gear.  There’s nothing else like it and the sound is incredible. 


I would love to have either of these models in my home!

Molo-ICFFThe Vancouver base design studio Molo, impresses every year with their flexible spaces and products made of kraft paper. Designed by Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen, their cloud floor and table softlight lamps are getting rave reviews on their North American release. 


These are ‘Chubby Hangers’ and ‘Chubby Chairs’ from Dirk Vander Kooij. They are 3D printed products made from recycled refrigerators from the Netherlands. Actually, the hangers are created from the excess material used in the making of the chairs. I can quite honestly say I have never seen anything like them before. They remind me of paint squeezed out of a tube and left to dry into these quirky forms.


We’re expecting to see great things from this up-and-coming designer in the future.

Form-Labs-3D-PrinterFormlabs has brought 3D printing technology within reach with this commercialized version at a lower cost. The possibilities are endless and despite it’s size, it can produce surprisingly intricate designs. If I had this on my desk I’d spend all my days making jewelry.


At the Model Citizens exhibition, Pete KL showcased his gravity defying Memoro Niches, but it was his nostalgic sculptures that really caught my eye. Fragments from broken objects are carefully combined to create a new imagined life. Once beloved items for many become intertwined into a single object giving it a complex meaning and a revived story unique to the observer. He calls these pieces Memoro Assemblage.

Luis-LeeWe also liked seeing Taiwanese emerging designer  Luis Lee’s powder coated steel stools/side tables called, TR3.


The Trophy Exhibition at the Standard Hotel was reminiscent of an old 70s era basement cluttered with neglected childhood belongings, except I’m sure that if I were awarded any of these trophy interpretations, they would never go forgotten or misplaced. Here are our favourite trophies interpreted by designers from the American Design Club:


Diamond Princess Cut, Brendan John Mullins


Left: Gold Rocket, Pat Kim  /  Right: This Means, Evan Clabots & Steph Mantis


Untitled (#1, #2, #3), Conor Klein

Well, that concludes Design Week for this year. It’s so amazing to see the variety of materials and the technology used to create these products. We can’t wait to see how these design studios progress and to see what they have up their sleeves for next year’s showcase.

Written by Angélique Chmielewski

Angélique Chmielewski

May 21, 2013

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