If they can make it here…… Monica Khemsurov profiles six up-and-coming New York City designers.
RICH BRILLIANT WILLING
When Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alex Williams, three baby-faced graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, first appeared in 2007 with a floor lamp inspired by graphs and pick-up sticks, they were filled with energy and youthful folly: they called themselves Rich Brilliant Willing. Exhaustive self-promoters and occasional party crashers, they seemed ready to storm the offices of Cappellini or Moroso, demanding a shot at the big time. But if the big time has finally arrived for these 20-somethings, who introduced four products with four different companies in the past year, it’s because they’ve earned it. Continue reading
‘‘Hella Jongerius — Misfit,’’ the title of the Dutch designer’s retrospective that opens Nov. 13 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, refers not so much to her status in the design world but to the imperfect objects she has long championed. As the exhibition demonstrates, Jongerius has never had trouble finding sympathy for her ideas in the design industry, where companies like Vitra, Ikea and Maharam hired her to introduce beautiful inconsistencies into their sofas, vases and upholstery fabrics. As it turns out, the only people who ever took convincing were the craftspeople themselves. Continue reading
The artist Tauba Auerbach deals with perception and illusion, finding moments of ambiguity between two dimensions and three. (Think of her trompe l’oeil ‘‘folded’’ canvases, at this year’s Whitney Biennial.) Which is why, presumably, she fell so hard for pop-up books. ‘‘When a page closes, you see an object kind of smush, and in that moment, it’s in a liminal state not unlike the Fold paintings,’’ she says. Continue reading
It used to be that Canada’s main style exports were Roots sweatshirts and mukluks. But the country has been cultivating a first-class stable of talented young designers, and their work has quietly migrated south to such high-end furniture stores as the Future Perfect and Matter. Judging by these six design companies, there’s a lot to be said for neighborly love.
Chicago may be a huge city, but when it comes to design, it’s an incredibly small town. Which is why word spread so quickly when Volume—a new roving limited-edition furniture gallery devoted to young American talent—temporarily set up shop in March inside an existing art space two blocks away from Oprah’s headquarters. Up a flight of stairs in a building occupied by three other modern art galleries and surrounded by 20 more, the long, narrow room was emptied for a week of its typical fare and filled instead with spare white furniture in aluminum and concrete, fabricated in a nearby metal shop by up-and-coming local designer Jonathan Nesci. Despite the somewhat obscure location, anyone who was anyone in the Chicago scene flocked to see Volume’s sophisticated debut, including museum curator Zoe Ryan, auction-house visionary Richard Wright, and the handful of high-end design collectors that call the Midwestern capital home. Continue reading
If you follow furniture, you know that unlike fashion it’s less about trends than about style and innovation. Every April at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, the most established designers — whose impeccable, minimalist works are mainstays of producers like Cassina and Kartell — set the tone for the industry, and this year is no exception. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect when the furniture fair opens on April 14. Continue reading
If they were considered slightly eccentric before — obsessing over industrial materials, old things and cabinet-of-curiosities-style tableaus while most of their peers were stuck on modernism — 2009 was the year the rest of the world caught up with Roman and Williams. Continue reading
A windowless gray concrete basement usually connotes one thing: dungeon. So the fact that Nendo took on the task of converting such a space into a private playroom for children-especially those belonging to the well-heeled residents of Tokyo’s Omotesando Hills-speaks volumes both about principal Oki Sato’s imagination and about the realities of living in the Japanese capital. It’s a place where apartments are cramped, and kid-friendly establishments are scarce. Continue reading
It would have been easy to design the Guggenheim Museum’s new Wright Restaurant, which opens to the public Friday, exactly as Frank Lloyd Wright himself would have wanted it: among the 400 drawings he made for the 1959 building, a few were devoted to a ground-floor dining space, though not one particularly suited to a contemporary audience. “The layout was very simple, almost monastic, with clusters of tables aligned with the portholes,” said the architect Andre Kikoski, who designed the restaurant. But, as he explained, “it wasn’t conducive to social interaction, and it certainly wasn’t about the integration of art.” Continue reading
The opening of Bernard Tschumi’s glass-and-concrete New Acropolis Museum this summer was symbolic: a city known for its obsession with looking backward had finally resolved to carve a place for itself in contemporary culture. Of course, those in the know have been tracking Athens’s creative ascent for years now — with its growing reputation as an emerging art hub and a design community that’s increasingly pushing boundaries, Greece’s capital has more to offer than ancient ruins. Continue reading