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Grey Area at Collective Design Fair

Steven Learner's architecturally-inspired art fair and its exemplary exhibitor

by Kat Herriman in Design on 07 May 2013

Created by Harvard-educated architect Steven Learner, the first-annual Collective Design Fair opens this week at NYC's Pier 57, ushering in a range of vintage and contemporary works that speak to a discerning, multi-faceted design community. Among the exciting roster of 23 exhibitors are Cape Town's fantastic Southern Guild, NYC's R 20th Century, Mondo Cane and the youthful but highly cultivated Grey Area.

As a prime example of Learner's effort to create a fair that channels the many aspects of architecture and design, we checked in with Grey Area to get a glimpse at what will be on view in their three-room exhibition space. Their eclectic collection includes conceptual jewelry like Shelter Serra's "Fake Roley" and bangles by Chen Chen & Kai Williams, as well as sculptural works by Julia Chiang and Lilah Fowler, and finally installations by renowned tattoo artist Scott Campbell and collage artist Peter Dayton, who have each taken over one of the rooms and created an immersive environment showcasing new works.

The fair is not to be missed, and visitors should be sure to stop by Grey Area from 8-11 May 2013 to see their full collection on display, which includes the three standouts highlighted below.

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Trunk

Conceived in 2011 by Grey Area co-founder Kyle DeWoody, Trunk is project long in the making. Neatly summed up by Grey Area as "a kind of cabinet of curiosities," Trunk blurs the lines—like so many Grey Area products—between form and function. The white oak steam trunk-inspired exterior hides a interior filled with white leather, mirrored panels and glacial-looking shelves undoubted influenced by Snarkitecture, who helped bring the trunk to fruition. Meant for both retail or residential use, Trunk's generous profile is just as well-suited for housing goods at a pop-up shop as it is for personal possessions at home.

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Slice

Named for its flattened form, Snarkitecture's Slice ping-pong table rethinks a structure often kept hidden in a basement or garage. Slice's striking black tabletop is made out of a single sheet of eco-friendly Richlite, which, when viewed from the side looks almost invisible. Beneath the sleek surface, you find a mass of flattened legs with rippled edges forming a base that looks like calcium columns in a cave. Architectural and refined, Snarkitecture's ping pong table could just as easily stand in for a dining room table, and even features a removable net.

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Genus Chairs

In his Genus Chairs series, artist Phillip Estlund brings together two modern icons—Eames' curvaceous, molded fiberglass chair and detailed imagery of field guides. Known for his collages and sculptures, furniture seems like an effortless transition for one of Grey Area's newest artists. Covered in a tangle of exotic flowers and fungi, Estlund breathes new life to the archetypal chair. The refreshing and playful seats bring summer to mind, and seem to best embody the cheeky and joyful character of the collection.

Images courtesy of Grey Area

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