The brainchild of Monica Khemsurov and Jil Singer, the design world doyennes and duo behind online mag Sight Unseen, this pop-up brings together some of the most exciting and innovative designers of late—Chen Chen and Kai Williams, Jonah Takagi, Fredericks & Mae, and the weaving duo New Friends—and little-seen or unique commissions from each.
“People kept commenting that it really looked like Sight Unseen come to life,” said Khemsurov of last year’s woefully short four-day pop up. “It brought our aesthetic out of the digital realm and gave us the chance to commission pieces from a lot of folks whose work we really admired. After it ended…we went into withdrawal and began planning for pop-up number two.”
Offerings from the Shape Shop
The duo kept a running list of inspiring designers and pieces and noticed it was developing a geometric theme, hence the “Shape Shop” title. “…It’s been such a strong motif in design for the past year or two that it’s hard to avoid,” says Khemsurov. “It also speaks to our love of Constructivism, the Bauhaus, and the Memphis Group, all of whom regarded basic shapes as a key building block for art and design.”
The resulting items include a “very Saved By the Bell-style” series from Fredericks & Mae, wooden bookends by Shin Okuda of Waka Waka, sage burner pyramids from Iacoli & McAllister, and the “most gorgeous” trivets and candle holders made from various colors of cut stone by Fort Standard.
From left: Bec Brittain bottle opener; Shin Okuda of Waka Waka's wooden bookends
In addition, two mini-installations lend an art-gallery feel to the space: a selection of “blobjects”—completely shapeless objects like Chen Chen’s Swell Vases—and “vintage geometric oddities” from the personal collection of artist Jason Rosenberg.
And Sight Unseen will also be moving out of the digital realm in one other way: by debuting Paper View, the first print edition of their online mag.
Shape Shop runs at Creatures of Comfort, 205 Mulberry St., through May 6th.