With much of New York Design Week’s activity centered around SoHo and Little Italy, Designjunction mounted Intro/NY – a highly selective showcase bringing together cutting-edge brands and up-and-coming designers from both sides of the Atlantic. Among furniture companies like Muuto, Modus and Resident – sharing the same sober but rounded-geometry – we came across familiar names like Earnest Studio (featured on Frameweb last week) and discovered new artisans like Castor. Colourful accessories presented by Neo-Utility also made their mark.
With a glam rock-infused palette – inspired by the movie This is Spinal Tap – Toronto-based Castor debuted the None More Black lighting series. Hooded open-structure –created using different mathematical equations – while snap-in conductors suspend florescent tubes vertically – gaining lighting bolt qualities as they fade from top to bottom. With the same rebellious spirit, a Mac charger powers a copper tube desk lamp.
Nearby, Sight Unseen Offsite staged design with the same fervor the celebrated blog is known for. With a clear focus on material combination, texture exprimentation, radical pattern and loud colour exploration, the group show cum trade fair brought together the work of over 40 young designers and start-up studios – for us, an introduction to many fresh North American talents. The rich offering featured everything from revival furnishings to elaborate printed textiles and salt-cast stools. With many people describing the event as an unadulterated version of what Milan was 10-years ago, Offsite was by far the best venue this week.
Starting our tour, we participated in an interactive social media experiment mounted by Calico Wallpaper. Debuting their latest collection – a series of pastel-coloured spectrums that resemble horizons – the Brooklyn-based studio set up a live Instagram photo booth, where passers-by could create their own still-lifes, using objects by different designers exhibiting at Offsite. Our make-shift contribution featured work by Eric Trine, Bawer Studios and Chiaozza.
Kelly Behun Studio presented Neo Laminati – a Memphis-inspired furniture series that features the same bold patterns found in carpets the designer picked up in Marrakech. A mutli-layer table and lazy-Susan create optical illusion using black-stripe patterns. Also making a strong impression, Amma Studio revealed their full collection – coffee tables cast in coffee grinds with blue cement inlays or pink rock salt side tables. Pushing food-base material to new heights, the New York-based practice has also employed bb gun pellets.
North American designers like DAMM, Ian Stell, Ladies and Gentlemen Studio, Material Lust and The Principals were joined by international contenders including Pablo Alabau – accentuating raw cubic forms with thin graphite lines. Vancouver-based duo Knauf and Brown (featured on Frameweb last August) debuted their latest black-, tan leather- and copper-highlighted pieces – balancing function, form and whit.
Photos Adrian Madlener