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NYCxDesign 2014: Sight Unseen OFFSITE

A vibrant explosion of contemporary design from the duo behind the beloved online publication

by Karen Day in Design on 19 May 2014

Since 2010, former I.D. magazine editors Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov have taken a portion of the panoply found online at their design publication Sight Unseen into the physical realm through the Noho Design District—an ancillary event to New York's annual spring design week anchored by ICFF. This year the duo moved from NoHo to SoHo to launch OFFSITE. Their distinct vision was seen in a variety of objects and installations across two massive floors spanning 17,000 square feet. From Mold's food stand offering grasshopper spring rolls to Chris Wolston's hybrid terracotta stool/planter, here are a few highlights from their outstanding display of independent design.

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Covering a large area on the first floor was an exhibition by Field Experiments, a multinational trio—Benjamin Harrison Bryant, Karim Charlebois-Zariffa and Paul Marcus Fuog—that met in Bali while doing a study with renowned designer Stefan Sagmeister. After a few reunions they decided to work together on a project, and the upshot is a spectacular display of cross-cultural exchanges told through a collection of more than 100 design objects that challenge the notion of a traditional souvenir.

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The Principals exhibited a trio of tables, in which they turned iconic chairs into the base, with a simple sheet of glass as the surface, allowing the silhouette to shine through. Principals designer Drew Seskunas tells us the concept is a cheeky comment on the "blurry line between art and design."

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Conceptual designers Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao's CHIAOZZA pop-up plant shop featured a glorious, colorful array of sculptural paper plants, which are inspired by "the parallels between horticulture and art-making," and demonstrate the "natural desire to control and beautify that which could be considered wild."

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Pat Kim updated his popular wooden rocket by adding a nacreous touch, which he also applied to bookends, coasters and a slew of home decor. Kim's artfully designed, playful goods are a harmonious reflection of his history working within the spheres of toy design and high-end furniture.

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The women at Sight Unseen teamed up with the collaborative team at Print All Over Me and a select group of 10 designers this spring to create a unique collection of clothing, furniture and lighting. The fruits of their labor were visible in a sensational display of visual fodder at OFFSIGHT, but can also be seen online where a selection of their designs are available for purchase.

Learn more about the Sight Unseen annual design fair online at OFFSITE.

Photos by Karen Day

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