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Featured projects, walk-throughs, products, news, and more from the September 2019 issue of Interior Design.Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
On the Cover
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For its second edition—taking place September 20-22—the Lake Como Design Fair continues to push the boundaries between fair and exhibition through an event where design and architecture meet. This year, the main theme is color and the design selection of around 150 works—including installations of a 13-meter multifunctional object by Marco Balzarotti and a polychrome fabric created by Karol Pichler with recycled materials—is presented at the Teatro Sociale Como. A new section dedicated to architecture—with drawings, models, photographs, and artistic works, among others—is showcased for the first time at the Palazzo del Broletto.
Curated by Margherita Ratti and Andreas Kofler, the Italian fair is part of a cultural initiative from Wonderlake Como Association. Its objective is supporting and promoting the beauty and heritage of Lake Como through publishing projects and cultural events. Here are our top 10 highlights from the 2019 show.Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
1. Circle Game by Michele Seppia
Presented by Nero Design Gallery, Circle Game by Michele Seppia is mostly made of marble, which is combined with burnished iron and enamel painting. Each handmade piece is unique and creates both contrast and harmony through shapes and colors.
2. Belvedere by Inessa Hansch
Built on a former industrial site, the Belvedere of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Luxembourg invites visitors to enjoy the outdoors from varying heights. Designed by Belgian architect Inessa Hansch, the structure—seen in photographs in the new architectural showcase—features pink benches to create a contrast between colors and materials.
3. One Giant leap by Matteo Pellegrino
Showcased by Camp Design Gallery, this rug, which evokes the galaxies and photos by space telescopes, is made of epoxy resin and was created by Matteo Pellegrino in collaboration with Gobbetto Company. “Too often the word and the concept of border are abused, creating confusion and an exaggerated run-up to define everything that is different from criminalizing it and making it automatically an enemy,” Pellegrino says. “I always thought it would be nice that everyday objects could talk to us, and maybe inspire our ideas and consciences, a bit like a warning for the future so that mistakes from the past would not be replicated.”
4. Turborama n°4 by Emma Cogné
Through her textile creations, Emma Cogné develops craftsmanship techniques and studies the relationship of colors and patterns with the urban space and contemporary architecture.
5. Splight by Matali Crasset
Presented by Galleria Luisa delle Piane, this table lamp in metal and glass by French designer Matali Crasset—named after the combination of a mathematical function used for interpolation (“spline”) and light—was inspired by the interconnected nature of the world.
6. Les Couleurs du Ciel by Laurent P. Berger
This artwork created by visual artist Laurent P. Berger (cofounder of Paris-based Berger & Berger with architect Cyrille Berger) evokes a cyanometer, an instrument for measuring degrees of blueness of the sky.
7. New Nature by Mia E Göransson
This series of objects by Swedish ceramist Mia E Göransson was inspired by shapes from the natural environment, such as rocks, leaves, or moss. “My work, a kind of depiction of nature, has increasingly come to be characterized by anxiety and threat,” the artist says. “ I constantly want to keep moving, find new ways and shapes for my art, but with a strong faith in the material possibilities and significance of the season.”
8. Happy Collapse by Roger Coll
Based near Barcelona, Roger Coll studied architecture, sculpture, and ceramics. “I believe that working in ceramics is a captivating form of art with potential to unleash creativity,” he says.
9. Corner Splat by Jimenez Lai for Urban Fabric
Jimenez Lai is the founder of Los Angeles-based Bureau Spectacular, which imagines other worlds and engages culture through art, architecture, history, politics, sociology, linguistics, mathematics, graphic design, technology, and graphic novels. This rug was designed by Jimenez Lai for Urban Fabric.
10. Senza Titulo by Marco Cappelletti
For the first time this year, Lake Como Design Fair includes a section entirely dedicated to architecture with a selection of drawings and photographs—among other formats—including this piece by Marco Cappelletti.
A school of sculptures in the Seaport District by Wade and Leta was a marine life-Memphis mash-up. Four artists and fabricators built the project, led by Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski. With eight colors, they painted the 100-plus plywood shapes, which ranged from 5-10 feet tall.Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
An Adobe Illustrator sketch shows the scale of the eight forms composing Sea Sculptures, a temporary installation by Wade and Leta at Pier 17.
Co-founder Wade Jeffree applies waterproof latex paint to the plywood shapes, which were CNC-cut to resemble algae and seaweed.
Jeffree and wife and co-founder Leta Sobierajski pose in their East Williamsburg studio with pieces of the installation prior to its assembly on-site.
Outside their Brooklyn studio, sculptures are put on a truck for transport to the Seaport District.
Developed in Rhino with collaborating engineer and fabricator Blacktable Studio, the plywood pieces interlocked via notches to withstand the up to 70-mph winds in the waterfront neighborhood.
Part of the Seaport District’s Summer by the Sea art series, Sea Sculptures was intended to weather like the century-old ships docked at nearby Pier 16.
Buying your first sofa—the perfect one that expresses your design or color preference—has long been a rite of passage for recent college grads embarking on careers in cities like New York or San Francisco. It was a big decision and demanded a major financial commitment. Since founding Feather—a furniture subscription service that offers a flexible and sustainable alternative to ownership—in 2017, Jay Reno has been trying to make that decision obsolete.Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
Why buy when you can subscribe—and change things up as your living conditions evolve? That’s the premise of Feather, which Reno based on his own experience: He lived in six different apartments during his first eight years in New York. Frequent moves—from sharing a space with roommates to striking out on your own to moving in with a significant other—often result in furniture that is unwanted because it no longer fits your space or lifestyle.
As an alternative to trying to sell furniture or lugging it to the curb—and inevitably the landfill—Reno saw a solution in a circular approach that eliminates the need for single-use furniture. Feather members can enjoy a range of sofas, tables, chairs, beds and other items when they need them and then Feather will refurbish the pieces and give them a new home when they don’t. But each payment goes toward owning, so members who feel attached to a piece can always make it their own.
For now, Feather is available to residents of New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County—the latter two added in May 2019 after the company received $12 million in equity funding. And while Reno isn’t sharing public plans for additional expansion, he does believe “this is a practical, flexible service that city dwellers everywhere can benefit from.”
Read on for his answers to questions about Feather’s membership model, ground-up logistics development, and role as a disruptor brand.
Interior Design: What inspired you to create Feather?
Jay Reno: After studying Entrepreneurship in undergrad and building a few startups, I developed an interest in sustainable business, which led me to pursue a Master’s in Climate and Environmental Science at Columbia. I launched Feather because I saw two problems that I wanted to address: One, the average city dweller moves every one to two years, and they need a more practical, flexible way to own furniture throughout these changes; and Two, fast furniture isn’t sustainable.
ID: Do you view Feather as a “disruptor” brand?
JR: Absolutely. I see Feather as a disruptor in a few ways. By offering a subscription-based path to ownership, we’re challenging traditional consumer habits and encouraging people to question their relationship with material goods. We’re also trying to drive a more transparent conversation about fast furniture. People have been taught to think that a low price tag equals good value; in reality, the cost of the proliferation of these single-use items is incredibly high for the planet, and it’s not a good investment for the consumer because these items aren’t durable and may even cost money to dispose. With Feather, people can get beautiful furniture without the upfront cost and commitment, and it will be conveniently delivered and assembled in less than a week. And by extending the life of quality pieces with refurbishment, we’re doubling down on the idea that furniture should be built to last.
ID: Describe the membership model. What is the advantage of becoming a Feather member?
JR: Feather is a furniture subscription service that makes it possible for people to get stylish furniture delivered and set up quickly and conveniently. We offer subscription plans that give customers access to over 150 pieces of high-quality furniture from brands like West Elm, Pottery Barn, Casper, Joybird, and our own Feather label. An annual subscription is $19/month, and these members get access to all furniture items at discounted monthly prices. Annual subscription members also have the option to change out their furniture annually at no cost, plus they get free furniture delivery and assembly within seven days of joining.
ID: Will you offer To the Trade memberships in the future?
JR: We do not currently offer To the Trade memberships in the traditional sense, but our enterprise program is a great option for interior designers who are looking to select furniture for their projects.
ID: What can other startups and established manufacturers learn from Feather’s reverse logistics model and subscription services?
JR: There were no off-the-shelf reverse logistics software or systems we could directly apply to our subscription business model, so we chose to build everything internally from the ground up. While this might seem like a daunting task, it has ultimately allowed us to have more control and to engineer the customer experience to our own standards. We continue to evolve and improve the delivery process based on first-hand feedback from our operations and logistics teams as we scale. So, I guess I would say if you value this level of control and insight, don’t be afraid to build something new.
The third annual In Good Company exhibition of emerging artists and designers—this one titled “!?” and co-curated by Fernando Mastrangelo and Rossana Orlandi—opened last week at the In Good Company Viewing Room in New York. It features the work of 15 artists and makers creating collectible design and runs through October 11 by appointment. Here are works by the selected designers:Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
Pampas Floor Lamp by Bailey Fontaine
Angler Chaise Lounge by Arcana
Maturation Coffee Table by Alanis McNier
Salt Chair by Gregory Beson
Aperture Chair by Elyse Graham
Mullo Coffee Table by Ian Felton
Home/Body Chandelier by Marco Piscitelli
Purple Glow Floor Light by Nicholas Tilma
Negative Bench by Nick Missel
Figure Container by Ragna Ragnarsdottir
Aluminum Chair 5 by Soren Ferguson
Fluid Bearing 1 Table by studiovoll
Simple Machine #1 by Winston Cuevas
Blaze & Serin by Zac Hacmon
Paint brand Sherwin-Williams today named Naval—a rich navy with hints of sapphire, which embodies the dualities of glamour and serenity—its 2020 Color of the Year. In other words: Art Deco, but make it soothing. Taking cues from the decadence synonymous with the 1920s, the bold hue strikes a balance between calm and confident, and pairs well with finishes such as marble and mixed metallics.
“The use of color in interior design is changing. It’s not just about what a space looks like anymore, but how it makes you feel,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “People want to feel grounded and inspired to pursue their mental, physical, and emotional well-being.”
Sherwin-Williams considers Naval a versatile neutral, reminiscent of the night sky—a space of infinite depth. The velvety blue morphs to suit its surrounding, whether used to create a statement in a room or as a subtle background that enables other elements to pop, such as leather furnishings and woven textiles. “Naval can play into any mood you’re trying to create, whether it’s lively energy for a restaurant, or calm serenity in a hotel room,” says Wadden.
The 2020 Color of the Year also marks a transition into a new decade of design, one likely to be influenced by the desire to indulge in a night out followed by a day of self-care. Sherwin-Williams’ annual Colormix Forecast, which draws on research from the brand’s global color and design team, expects warmer neutrals and biophilic colors, like greens and blues, to inform the aesthetics of interiors in coming years.
“We’re predicting that the next decade in color is going to be bold. This year we saw the return of the 70s, and next year we think the vibrant energy and luxurious design of speakeasies will make a comeback,” said Wadden. “Naval merges the desire for rich, inspiring color with our yearning for relaxation and retreat. In the next 10 years, we’ll continue to move away from omnipresent neutrals and design will feel more personal again.”
Opportunities that arise from unexpected quarters can often be the best kind. Fine Arts graduate and clothing and handbag designer Jody Phillips never saw herself running large-scale events, but when Informa Markets offered her the role of Director of the Interior Design Show (IDS) Vancouver, five years ago, she accepted and has never looked back.Enter the Best of Year Awards by September 20
Phillips’ is a huge advocate of West Coast design, and curated the book Currents: Contemporary Pacific Northwest Design, published last year by Sweden’s New Heroes and Pioneers, highlighting 40 design studios in British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. IDS allows her the opportunity to showcase the best of Pacific Northwest design, she says, alongside the work of international design superstars, through products, furniture, installations, and discussion panels.
This year, the show (September 26-29) is focussed on sustainable thinking and the role designers can play in moving towards a more circular economy. Interior Design sat down with Phillips to hear about what she has lined up, how Missy Elliot ended up with one of her handbags, and the work-in-progress painting that hangs in her East Vancouver home.
Interior Design: Along with London-based multidisciplinary artist Emily Forgot, whose A Sense of Place installation is the Entrance Feature at IDS Vancouver this year, who else do you have coming?
Jody Phillips: I first saw Edible Futures at Dutch Design Week two years ago, and we’re bringing an iteration of it. It’s a feature that really discusses the future of food and the role design plays in our food security. Amanda Huynh, who was former faculty at Emily Carr (University of Art + Design) and now has a tenured position at Pratt, was the only Canadian who submitted to the edible project, with her dumpling diaspora.
We’ve also got a feature highlighting designers from Copenhagen. Each year, since I’ve been running it, we’ve had an international pavilion. We started with Brooklyn, then we did Los Angeles. Then Tokyo, then Eindhoven, Helsinki, and now Copenhagen.
ID: Food seems to be another theme at IDS Vancouver this year. Can you tell us about Marije Vogelzang’s involvement?
JP: I learned about Marije Vogelzang and her Food, Non Food department at the Design Academy Eindhoven a few years ago. I then experienced her Future of Food Pavilion at Dutch Design week in 2017, which she curated as the founder of the Dutch Institute of Food and Design. When trendsetter and curator in her own right, Elizabeth Margles, VP of Marketing for Caesarstone, mentioned that she was considering Marije for their own 2019 collaboration it was kismet. Marije is thoughtfully turning traditional notions of design on their ear, while attracting a wider audience with varied interests and from industries including food and agriculture. Food’s connection with design and culture is so intertwined. SEEDS, her collaboration with Caesarstone, successfully highlights this connection.
ID: What is the design scene like in Vancouver, and who are some of the Pacific Northwest designers we can look forward to seeing at the show?
JP: There’s been quite a difference in this city in the last five years. Of course, I’m biased, but I do a lot of international travel, this job allows me to do that, and I hold really near and dear what’s happening here. I don’t think it’s necessarily an aesthetic that’s specific to the region, I think it’s more of a sensibility. It’s the way in which we collaborate and think about things. That cowboy mentality has really found its stride. It used to be everything had a maker quality to it, and people did start looking at Vancouver and the West for that. We sort of inherently had that quality about us, but the production and manufacturing, and the materials we’re using are more diverse and sophisticated now.
At ICFF (this year) the largest, most impressive installation booths were Vancouver-based: Molo, Bensen, ANDlight, Jeff Martin Joinery, Ben Barber, and Hinterland. They placed them at the front, they placed them together, and they were very impactful. A lot of those guys are really maintaining this craftsmanship, bespoke, one-off pieces and they’ve seen a lot of success.
For IDS, Herschel and Bensen (founded by Niels Bendtsen) have also collaborated on a tote in upholstery fabric, remnants of Benson manufacturing here for the past 20 years.
ID: Can you tell us about your focus on sustainability?
JP: Just this past year, attending Milan Design Week, I thought wow, hall after hall of beautiful furniture, what happens to all these stalls and all these installations at the end of the week? The majority of them get turfed. All the building materials, all the flooring, all of it goes. I just feel like we’re in a position to start a conversation about that. It’s a bit of a double whammy, because here I am in the design industry, where there’s so much waste, and so much consumerism, and then I’m also in the event industry, and all of that whether it be signage, lanyards, the food and beverage side of it, there’s so much disposable waste.
All eyes were on London last week, where a heady rush of new furnishing products made their debut. In its 17th year promoting the United Kingdom’s capital as the design center of the world, the London Design Festival ran September 14-22 and spanned 11 city districts. Dozens of installations were just a starter—the city also hosted four tradeshows: 100% Design, the London Design Fair, Designjunction, and Focus/19. From the unexpected shapes and texture of papier-mâché lamps to a homey launch fitting all markets by David Rockwell and a leather hide digitally-printed with the far side of the moon, here are 15 of our favorite finds.
1. Sensi Paper-Mâché Lamps by Maria Fiter for Crea-Re Studio
Old newspapers and sustainably certified water-based glue are the two ingredients in Sensi, a collection of papier-mâché lamps by Maria Fiter for Crea-Re Studio. The unexpected materials bear organic shapes of unexpected texture—and make the lamps compostable.
2. Sage Credenza by David Rockwell for Benchmark
Demonstrating beautiful products don’t need to be market key-holed, David Rockwell launched Sage for Benchmark. While the collection is geared towards office and hospitality, items are just as at home in a residential setting. A sculptural room divider in oak or walnut, the Sage Credenza with Shelves has a media option, complete with ventilation and cable management.
3. Sage High Sofa by David Rockwell for Benchmark
Offered in two- and three-seater variations, the Sage High sofa by David Rockwell for Benchmark has a high back in oak or walnut. Its sustainable wool upholstery and natural fillings are fire retardant, eliminating the need for toxic chemicals.
With global climate strikes in the news, it was refreshing to see climate awareness as a driving topic at this year’s London Design Festival. After all, the global climate problem is one the design community has the power to influence. The British capital’s celebration of all things design was held September 14-22—and once again Interior Design saw dozens of clever and intriguing site-specific installations, many inspiring wonder and reflection. From an animated cube pointing attention to ocean trash to the surprising curves possible with recycled scaffolding planks—and even what is possibly the world’s most comfortable subway car—these 15 standouts caught our eye.