NYC Design Week 2014


The third annual NYC X Design week kick started last weekend with a ton of activities throughout the city. We caught a few shows including ICFF, Wanted, Sight Unseen Offsite and Atelier Courbet’s “More than Textile” exhibition. Here’s a roundup of the week’s events!


We start off by heading to Wanted Design held at the beautiful Terminal Stores building, an old warehouse just off the Hudson River. 


Bike ID’s showcase of premium bikes never disappoints. Originating from Stockholm with a creative studio in Moscow and New York, the company’s goal remains the same as when they began five years ago: To create the “purest bycicle experience possible”. They showcased the above “Diamond Model” limited edition bike in copper that looks pretty ‘pure’ to us! An uncomplicated, utilitarian design highlighted in a beautiful material.


The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship based in coastal Maine had a nice display of chairs. Each chair was made by one of the center’s skilled craftsmen. I especially liked the details in the ‘Pi’ Stool by Aled Lewis and ‘Lily Chair by Brian Boggs. Learn more about their hands on woodworking courses here.


Human Touch is a collection of textiles by Bernhardt Textiles in collaboration with Brooklyn-based design couple Dani Song and Makoto Kishino. 


Their showcase gave an in-depth look into the couple’s world of hand-painted textiles. Their materials, tools and design methods are traditional, using brush and ink on silk or tea to dye natural cotton. Their work felt irreplaceable and it was inspiring to see that these slow production methods still exist in a world dominated by digital design processes and electronics.  


Next stop was Sight Unseen Offsite


Field Experiments had an entire room displaying their collaborative research projects with local artisans of Indonesia. Sketches, photos and over 50 souvenirs were showcased. We loved seeing familiar materials transformed into new objects, especially the paper bags recycled into kites with the help of Balinese kite makers.


Unlike any terrarium I’ve seen before, Plant-in City uses various wood and metal materials to build diorama-like homes for air plants and succulents.  Each one is custom created to match the materiality and plant style.


John Hogan Designs had a series of new lamps and art objects. The irridescent glass pieces were especially captivating.


Remember Pat Kim’s Rocket Trophy from The American Design Club show during last year’s Design week? This year Pat unveiled edition 2.0 with a Rocket enhanced with mother of pearl. He also had candle stands and a white oak with mother of pearl basketball hoop!! Beautiful! I’ve never been much of an athlete but something tells me that if I had this hoop growing up, I might have had a chance.


Fredericks and Mae puts smiles on faces wherever they go! New tinsel tassels and technicolor tassels were showcased alongside their beloved brushes and brooms.


It’s always great to run into our talented friend Brendan Mullins of Whyte. After he relocated from NYC to San Francisco, he’s been developing his studio that focuses on American furniture traditions. You may remember Whyte’s beloved Diamonds in beautiful pastel hues. The studio continues to explore unique colour combinations but this year in the form of a brand new wood chair design! The Ascension Chairs came to life as Brendan hand-weaved leather seats on the spot. The black on black version was a standout along with the pale green.


It was great to see a pendant lamp as original as Damm’s. The amorphous shapes escaping brass chains left us curious to see what else this lighting design studio has in store for the future.


We’ve always loved the jewelry pieces by L.A. based Brook & Lyn so it was nice to run into this husband and wife studio and see what their up to now! I immediately fell in love with Mimi Jung‘s soft-hued wall hangings. It was great to see her design aesthetic translated into a new series of woven art so successfully. Looking forward to following the duo on this new and exciting direction! 


Onwards to another event. Atelier Courbet’s shop on Mott Street launched an exclusive line of textiles by Japanese high-end textile company Hosoo in collaboration with NYC based designer Anna Karlin. They were both there to launch the exhibition entitled “More than Textile” with a discussion about their process during the course of their collaboration.


I’ve been a longtime fan of Anna’s art objects and furniture pieces (including the brass stools above) so I was happy to see her talents extend into textile design as well. I loved the mix of the two worlds of Japanese weaving traditions and Anna’s contemporary patterns. 


After many email conversations, it was such a delight to meet Toru Tsuji in person and watch him transform thin wire into his intricate mesh baskets. We’re looking forward to visiting his studio during our trip to Kyoto next week!


Nakagawa Mokkougei was also there to demonstrate how they make their cedar buckets. They brought along a variety of hinoki cypress woods. It was surprising to smell how different each species scent could be. Subtle yet very distinct.


Great to run into Taka of Kaikado again! This year Kaikado decided to give their fans a closer look into the creation of their amazing brass canisters. Taka himself demonstrated the process with his favourite tools including his father’s old hammers.


Off to the Javits Center for the big one… ICFF, the highlight of design week. 


Vancouver based studio Molo was there to wow the crowd with another one of their soft cloud installations near the main entrance.


Egg Collective’s Hillary, Stephanie and Crystal were present to unveil some of their highly anticipated furniture pieces with expert craftsmanship, as usual. 


I was already imagining a spot for their new wood “Wu Side Tables” and stunning “Ritter Chest” in our home!


Rich Brilliant and Willing’s organic shapes were so beautiful! They showcased their new Mori and Palindrome lighting systems. I loved the contrast between the delicate fibers of the silkworm inspired Mori chandeliers with the plated steel tubing of the Palindrome. They definitely showcased their skills with a range of materials, equally working with soft thread and steel with expert craftsmanship.


The always-innovative design studio Nendo, from Meguro Tokyo is redefining modular furniture with shapely forms and innovative materials.  In collaboration with Emeco, they unveiled a collection of tables and stools in reclaimed materials. We especially liked the reclaimed oak seat and concrete seat composed with recycled glass.


MT Casa takes our packaging obsession to another level… 


Their colourful washi tape adds such a special touch to notes and gifts!


One of the Pratt Institute’s Industrial Design graduate students, Justin Crocker, showcased his chair. It caught our attention walking by, definitely standing out with it’s innovative structure, combining digital technology and hand-cut leather patterns.


Crazy speakers as usual from Oswalds Mills Audio! We were enthralled by the sound and look of their collection from last year. This year was no different with their new Monarch and vinyl turntables.


We end Design Week on a very high note thanks to Jasper Morrison. He was there himself to sign copies of his new book by one of our favorite publishers, Lars Müller. The book is entitled, “The Good Life: Perceptions of the Ordinary”. 


That concludes another design week in NYC! We discovered a ton of new work and it’s always great to witness the evolution of some of our favourite studios. Thanks to Jasper Morrison for hitting the nail on the head by summing up the efforts of the designers who strive to contribute to “the good life” with their meaningful designs.  Till next year!

View a recap of last year’s NYC x Design Week 2013 here.

Written by Angélique Chmielewski

Angélique Chmielewski

May 25, 2014

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