When Moss closed its doors in 2012, the SoHo design mecca left a void in New York’s aesthetic landscape. Now a former Moss acolyte isattempting to fill it—albeit using a very different approach. Founded by Juan Garcia Mosqueda, who assisted Murray Moss for a year and a half, Chamber—a new boutique in Chelsea—offers a highly curated selection of limited-edition objects. But rather than act as a one-man vetting committee, Mosqueda, 26, plans to hand over the aesthetic keys to the shop every two years to someone new. “I felt it was more interesting to involve various perspectives on collecting,” he says. “If it was only my vision, I’d probably get bored after a couple of years.” Continue reading
When Billy Baldwin famously helped Diana Vreeland turn her 1950s Park Avenue apartment into what she cheekily called a “garden in hell,” he borrowed many of the furnishings and ideas from the home that George Stacey had designed for Vreeland 20 years earlier. Stacey’s list of clients included every society name from Babe Paley to Grace Kelly, yet while Baldwin would go on to be immortalized as the “dean” of 20th-
century American decorating, Stacey, who possessed neither Baldwin’s outgoing personality nor his legacy-preserving biographies, faded into obscurity. The release of Maureen Footer’s George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic (Rizzoli), the first book devoted to Stacey and his undisputed influence, should help remedy that. Continue reading
A group of young artists is redefining the formerly folksy medium with sleeker, more sophisticated forms. Continue reading
In an era when design stars are given TV shows, pal around with Brad Pitt, and collaborate with megaretailers, it’s not immediately clear why any young hopeful would want to join a design collective. Doing so requires putting the name and the needs of a group before one’s own, obscuring any clear path to individual fame. In the past, collectives often had a kind of anti-commercial sheen, even when they were selling things. In the sixties, groups like Archigram and Ant Farm used design and architecture to further shared countercultural agendas. Similarly, Ettore Sottsass founded the Memphis collective in the eighties as a kind of postmodernist manifesto. But when the Droog collective came along in 1993, its more practical, less philosophical mission—promoting talents too new and obscure to make much of an impact on their own—marked a turning point for design collectives. Continue reading
Before attending London’s Royal College of Art (RCA), Anton Alvarez spent two years at a craft school in Sweden, mastering the techniques of traditional cabinetmaking. Yet it was only after the London- and Stockholm-based designer set aside those time-honored skills that he was able to start his career in earnest, inventing a new joinery method he calls “thread wrapping” for his RCA thesis—a project that made him a breakout design-world star and got his sculptural pieces into a London Design Museum show last fall, alongside works by Arik Levy and Maarten Baas. Continue reading
After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art’s graphics program in 2006, Anna Karlin took a position at a prominent design firm in her native London. Two days later she quit. “People are not put on earth to work within such a confined, one-dimensional expression of their creativity,” she says. It’s a bold statement, reflecting her refusal to allow her talent — or ambition — to be hemmed in. Continue reading
The designer Lindsey Adelman is embracing her dark side. Who knew she even had one? Since opening her New York studio in 2006, she’s become known primarily for her Bubble Series chandelier, an industrially-inspired brass armature blooming with charmingly lumpy blown glass globes. It consistently tops the shopping lists of architects and designers like Peter Marino and Kelly Wearstler; a sheik in Kuwait has one, and Ivanka Trump has two in her new Park Avenue apartment. “It’s almost like hanging a tree branch from your ceiling,” Adelman says, who, as a design student at the Rhode Island School of Design, also dabbled in sculpture.
While anyone would be grateful to receive Design Miami’s annual Designer of the Year Award and join the ranks of recipients like Konstantin Grcic, Marc Newson, and Zaha Hadid, for David Adjaye the honor also represents a particularly uncanny moment of professional synergy. Having spent the better part of his career designing in and around the art world—traversing the same borders that Design Miami purports to blur—the Tanzania-born, London-based architect is now gearing up to produce his own series of limited-edition furniture. Adjaye has never been one to limit himself to a single creative role, whether it’s masterminding a 10-year documentary photo-research project on urban Africa’s built landscape—released this month as a book, African Metropolitan Architecture (Rizzoli)—or designing the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., scheduled for completion in 2015. He calls his practice “holistic.” A more apt description may be superhuman. Continue reading
JONATHAN MUECKE: Jonathan Muecke’s “Mass” is a hollow volcano-shaped vessel made of paper coated in heavy coal slag. While you could theoretically store objects inside it, Muecke prefers that you experience it as a black hole in your living room, sucking in light and space. Similarly, his wedge of polystyrene lined with reflective glass particles could be employed as a room divider but functions mostly as a six-foot optical illusion. This is the mystery of Muecke’s work, which makes its domestic debut this spring at Chicago’s Volume Gallery, a launchpad for new American design talent: It pretends to be utilitarian yet has that ineffable quality usually reserved for Minimalist art—or the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Continue reading
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