As part of the VDF x Sight Unseen collaboration, we’ve rounded up some of the best furniture, homeware and lighting designs from the Offsite Online: Selects group show.
Offsite Online is this year’s virtual iteration of the annual Offsite showcase hosted by New York design magazine Sight Unseen.
For the past ten years, the event has acted as a platform for independent studios to launch new collections, with the most standout designs highlighted as part of the Selects group show.
Here, we bring 13 pieces from the Selects show in the first of a two-part roundup. See 12 other products in the second round-up here.
Exhibitor: Daniel Nikolovski
Project title: The Dragon Series
The Dragon Series is a mini collection of two pieces made entirely from solid walnut wood, which is handcrafted in northern Italy and treated with natural oils to maintain its dark, reddish finish.
The low table and shelf unit feature petite proportions, intended to fit into smaller urban apartments without compromising on visual impact.
Created by Milan-based designer and RCA alumnus Daniel Nikolovski, each piece is designed to marry the contrasting geometries of baroque ornamentation and modern, architectural pillars.
Project title: Portal Sconce
Konekt is a furniture and lighting design studio by the mother-and-daughter design duo Helena and Natasha Sultan, intent on creating tactile pieces that engage the senses.
The Portal Sconces are a homage to Mexican modernist silverwork, and geometric perfume bottles in particular. They are made locally in Pennsylvania from welded brass, which is shaped to form either an oblong or rectangular body and finished by hand.
Both feature a cut-out repetitive shape within the brass, inset with a frosted glass diffuser that reveals a depth to the metal and creates an interplay with the warm glow of light from within.
Rendering is by Charlotte Taylor and Victor Roussel.
Project title: 2B1G
2B1G is a limited-edition series designed by Vissio trio Héctor Esrawe, Emiliano Godoy and Brian Thoreen in collaboration with glass design house Nouvel.
The table-top scale features delicately coloured, hand-blown glass hugging a steel-plate base, and highlights the material contrast between rigidity and fragility.
Held aloft without any glue or fasteners, the pieces thrive both off of the beauty and the anxiety of this balancing act. In this way, the series is evocative of the studio’s collaborative approach, which equally relies on the balance of each element to maintain stability.
Exhibitor: Objects & Ideas
Project title: Mono Chair
The idea for the Mono Chair came to Canadian design studio Objects & Ideas after a visit to an air show.
On seeing the condensation trails left by planes in the sky the duo drew up the design, which essentially consists of a single line, twisting and turning to create the shape of a chair.
“We say that the best products have a soul, a presence, something that speaks to us,” explained founders Di Tao and Bob Dodd. “Our Mono Chair was like that for us.”
Exhibitor: Objects & Ideas
Project title: Mono Table
The second of two Objects & Ideas pieces featured here is the matching Mono Table.
It consists of a round top and a continuous, fluid line rendered in solid wood for the base.
Handcrafted from certified sustainable solid wood by Canadian artisans, it’s the studio’s modern take on the classic round dining table.
Exhibitor: Garza Studio
Project title: Ambient Stool
The Ambient Stool was designed to channel the calmness of ambient music through a pure, clean form that can interact easily with different kinds of surroundings.
It is composed of a sleek frame with a sheer, translucent cover that renders parts of the piece almost invisible. Thanks to the base’s thin walls, setting several stools next to each other blurs the boundaries from one to another, helping them pass for one larger furniture piece.
GARZA is a New York-based design project by Mexican architect Leonardo Garza.
Exhibitor: Richard Clarkson
Project title: Aurora Lamps
Richard Clarkson Studio is a Brooklyn-based art and design practice specialising in lighting products and installations with celestial motives.
The Aurora Pendant (pictured top) is a suspended light fixture consisting of two flowing shapes of resin, a dynamically animated LED light source and a matte-black, aluminium reflector. With six resin shapes and four colour options, the piece is adaptable to a number of different palettes from clear to kaleidoscopic.
The Aurora series tells the story of a celestial voyage. Based on NASA satellite footage, it hopes to capture the feeling of flying through space and witnessing an aurora dancing on the surface of the Earth below.
Rendering is by Stefano Giacomello.
Exhibitor: Bronsin Ablon
Project title: Vase Table
The first of two Bronsin Ablon pieces featured here is the Vase Table, with its swooping legs and simple, round top.
The design is graphic but still flexible, and can be scaled up to larger proportions and rendered in different materialities and finishes to suit different settings.
Bronsin Ablon started his Brooklyn studio in early 2019 while working full-time as a product designer for a number of New York City interiors practices.
Exhibitor: Bronsin Ablon
Project title: Pillow Stool
Ablon’s Pillow Stool rises to the challenge of being both simple and quirky at the same time.
The concept of perching an oversized cushion atop a wooden base can also be adapted for larger stools or benches.
The piece features two core elements of Ablon’s material library, as he leans heavily towards wood, textiles and metal to create his growing catalog of products, which he hopes will “push furniture design forward”.
Exhibitor: Gaspard Graulich
Project title: Horizon – Nostalgia of a Landscape
A lava stone base props up the thin, metal frame of the Horizon light.
The LED strip at its heart provides both direct as well as indirect illumination, as the lamp’s gold finish begins to reflect light into the room as the ambient light around it dims.
Gaspard Graulich is a Paris-based designer exploring the relationship between humans and the matter that surrounds us.
Exhibitor: Gaspard Graulich
Project title: Terrestre – Nostalgia of a Landscape
With his ongoing Nostalgia of a Landscape collection, Graulich hopes to express through furniture how a beloved place can leave an emotional trace on us.
The second piece in the series is a brass bench with a textured ceramic sandstone seat.
By sacrificing comfort, and designing an indoor bench much like an outdoor one, the designer hopes to evoke memories of sitting in nature and marvelling at the surrounding landscape.
Exhibitor: Joel Edmondson
Project title: Boca Lamp
The Boca lamp by Brooklyn designer Joel Edmondson is an experiment in how to create tension through repetition.
Its base is made of six turned wood cylinders that are joined at their tangent point to create a long, flat panel. Especially created grooves allow the panel to be folded twice, in a process called miter folding, to create its final arched form.
The solid wood base is finished in a colourful lacquer to accentuate the repetitive ridges and topped off with an offset frosted glass globe that creates a subdued, ambient glow.
Exhibitor: Anahit Pagosian
Project title: Classical Collection
The Classical Collection is New York designer Anahit Pagosian’s first foray into wheel-thrown ceramics. The pieces are designed to function as vases, centrepieces or standalone sculptural objects and pay tribute to traditional forms of pottery.
Their shape is reminiscent of ancient water vessels while the neutral, red-brown clay used in their production speaks of the collection’s material origins in nature.
Pogosian is a visual artist and product designer who creates objects that celebrate the daily rituals of living.
Photo is by Cory Rice.
Virtual Design Festival is the world’s first online design festival, taking place from 15 April to 30 June 2020 here on Dezeen.
Sight Unseen is a New York-based digital magazine that covers design and visual arts, as well as curating exhibitions such as the annual Sight Unseen Offsite event.
The VDF x Sight Unseen collaboration presents projects by 51 international designers as an extension of the magazine’s Offsite Online virtual exhibition.