Preview the Best Design Newcomers Showing at Offsite

Join - John Hogan

Three years ago, two former magazine editors “entrenched” in the American design scene banded together and launched Offsite, the real-life accompaniment to their design site, Sight Unseen. This year, though, Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer have gone decidedly more than domestic: “First we added this Canadian contingent, and now it’s really people from all over – Russia, Germany, London,” Singer said of the 68 exhibitors showing in New York from May 13th to 16th. Most importantly, though, almost all the work is entirely new, and much of it commissioned – the duo have a taste for unexpected matchmaking, like pairing up-and-comers with industrial suppliers, or Norwegian designers, with their sleek sensibility, with more DIY Americans in collaborative projects. “We really discourage people from showing the same thing that they showed in Milan or a previous American show, just because we want that sense of discovery once people come into the fair,” Singer said. A peek at her guide to the best of the new crop, here.


Ben Medansky for Tetra “There’s such a great scene of ceramicists out in Los Angeles, and Ben is one of our favorites. He’s made pipes and a ton of smoking accessories, so he was a natural fit for Tetra, a designer smoking company actually co-owned by Monica. This is his first ashtray for them.”


David Haskell

“Monica and I picked some of our favorite ceramicists to do a ceramics bar this year at Offsite where everything’s cash and carry, so can buy it on site. We discovered David Haskell, who wears many hats – he’s an editor at New York magazine and a co-owner of a whiskey distillery – at this New York store called Coming Soon. He makes pots specifically for the plants they’ll hold, so of course we’re going to sell his vessels paired with the plants.”


Bloc Studios and Thévoz Choquet

“Bloc Studios, an Italian manufacturer that works primarily in marble, collaborated on this light with Thévoz Choquet, the studio name of this young duo that both went to school in Switzerland. Bloc Studios is actually showing two more collaborations at Offsite, too: one with Apartamento magazine, and one with Table of Contents, which is a store and design brand from Portland.”


Jean-Pascal Gauthier “We discovered this Montreal designer on Instagram – he makes these lights that are kind of inspired by Alexander Calder mobiles and Pierre Guariche lights, all from beautiful raw materials like brass and marble and some colorful metal. He usually does a light on one side and then a balance on the other, so it’s this really pretty hybrid work with a slim, balanced profile.”


Eric Trine “Eric’s known for his wonderful color palette and works primarily in this powder-coated metal, which you can see in this nice Pop-y interior accessory. He’s doing this whole collection for Offsite called Pre-Classical Post-Nouveau Pop Perf Collection, which is a nod to a classical arch shape with everything from these nesting tables to a toilet paper holder.”


Bianco Light & Space “Brooklyn artist Anthony Bianco has a kind of dual practice: half beautiful, sculptural lighting; and half sculptural objects. These sculptures are glass, and many of his lights also have these really striking glass shades.”


John Hogan (Join) “Join is this collective of designers from the West Coast that does themed exhibitions with its members. At Offsite, their theme is “reflect,” and my favorite in it is John Hogan’s. He’s a Seattle glassworker who’s become known as the design glass guy because of his collaborations and beautiful, sculptural glass objects. This one’s so cool because it looks like a crazy glass brain.”


Elyse Graham “Elyse is an L.A. sculptor and designer who works a lot with layered, colored resin. Here, she’s taken that idea and turned it into a sophisticated piece of furniture – if you look closely at the tops of the legs, it’s almost like a cross section.”


Germans Ermičs “Monica and I discovered Germans in Milan last year at an exhibition of Dutch designers – he’s Latvian-born, but based in Amsterdam. He showed these beautiful glass ombré pieces that were kind of experiments with color, which he’s since expanded. For Sight Unseen, he’s creating a series of mirrors with that same ombré effect.”


Julie Thevenot

“Julie is a French designer in New York who makes jewelry and these fiber wall hangings, but she’s creating more sculptural objects for this show.”


Object & Totem “Julianne Ahn started Object & Totem a few years ago with beaded necklaces that had these interesting glazed treatments. Now she’s taking that and moving more into the realm of ceramic pieces that aren’t necessarily functional, but more like sculptural objects.”


Object & Totem and Pat Kim

“This is the second year in a row Julianne from Object & Totem has collaborated with Pat Kim, who’s a designer that works mostly in wood, They made this wooden room divider with ceramic hooks, an abacus, and a mirror built into it, so it’s kind of like a fun dressing room. “


Ouli for Arborite

“Our favorite kind of project is to pair a cool manufacturer or supplier and with an emerging designer and see what they can create together with a material – this time laminate from a Canadian company called Arborite. We thought of Ouli, which is run by this L.A. designer named Brooke Intrachat, because she’s done work in laminate before, and she turned the material from Arborite and into a series of tables and chairs that’s very abstract and geometric, mixed with materials like wood.”