7 Standouts from Sight Unseen Offsite Online
Sight Unseen, the online magazine by founder Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov, launched an entirely digital design fair May 18 dubbed Offsite Online. Since 2010, physical iterations of the beloved show presented the works of emerging talents as well as established makers and energized the design community. This year, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place directives lead to the cancellation of the in-person experience at Manhattan’s Skylight Modern planned for this month. The team quickly pivoted to an online format allowing 3D-rendered “photo shoots” of (100% real) designs that couldn’t be photographed due to social distancing rules. Bonus points: audio clips allow designers to explain the works in their own words and products from the fair will be shoppable via 1stdibs.
Rugosa, the designers’ family retreat in Rhode Island, lent its name to a collection by the West Coast outfit Kalon Studios including an armchair, daybed, and side table in rustic-yet-refined sugar pine and Belgian linen upholstery.
Miami-based Field Tiles, founded in 2018, launches the HM01 collection of handmade clay tiles made in Portugal and available in a rainbow of solid hues (over 100) in sixteen formats. The irregularities inherent in products made by hand lend depth to a monochrome installation.
Handmade in the Thar desert of India, Arati Rao’s Travertine rug collection for her Tantuvi line captures the layers of rock formations in cotton and repurposed silk shown in an escapist rendering by Charlotte Taylor and Victor Roussel.
A minimalist floor lamp called Bow by Uruguayan-born, Los Angeles-based Estudio Persona follows a line (rendered in blackened steel) through space to its conclusion: a hand-blown glass sphere.
Coveted ceramics by Bari Ziperstein of BZIPPY scale up in proportion and morph into new forms inspired by Brutalist architecture including Giant Diamond and Giant Wide Saucer in the artist’s latest glaze, a soothing Chrome Green.
A high heel shoe inspired the form of John Sorensen-Jolink’s Talon chair, shown richly upholstered in gold mohair by Maharam. Part of the Coil + Drift founder and designer’s latest collection called Hone, he looked to rework his own past (and some never-released) designs.
Brett Miller creates his Jackrabbit Studios line in his Leeds, New York workshop, crafting pleasingly plump forms like that of the Mediterranean-inspired Pillar sofa with black walnut platform and nubbly bouclé fabric atop plaster columnar legs.