Design – During New York Design Week 2021, the Join exhibition is Colony’s first group show in almost two years and showcases its independent designer community’s ingenuity and enduring nature. All the furniture, lighting, textiles and objects were designed around the theme of coming together after a long, forced hiatus due to the pandemic.
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“We are all trying to find our footing in this new reality that COVID-19 has left us with,” says Jean Lin, founder and creative director of Colony. “We’ve never been more acutely aware of the importance of community and collaboration and chose the theme JOIN to honor this inherent need to come together.”
Key pieces include Noo Lit, a lighting design made of finished aluminium and glass prisms by Bec Brittain in collaboration with her five years old son. “I envisioned what would happen if we engaged his mode of thinking with my process of making,” Explains Brittain.
A Space studio created two armchairs for slow conversation, a nook where deep-seated shouts can surface in a moment of shared meditation. Made of Lebanese cedar wood sourced from the remnants of a construction site in Turkey. The traditional Japanese shou sugi ban technique produces an elegant dark finish, which contrasts organically with the lighter natural colour of cedar wood, exposed by some geometrical carvings.
Hiroko Takeda has woven her Social Fabric design to highlight the uncertainty of unity when unexpected circumstances create tension and conflict. With her mounted work Gathering Ill, she brings together a multiplicity of colours and textures to celebrate community.
In the wake of such absurd months, Erickson Aesthetics created the Tibar table, a three-dimensional manifestation of the impossible Penrose triangle. Conceived from the infamous optical illusion by Sir Roger Penrose, the triangle breaks the rules of geometry that inspired and troubled mathematicians, philosophers and artists.
Grain designed a set of urns/vessels to honour a beloved family member lost during the pandemic. “We envisioned the Join urn as a cremation vessel that could be used by a family – father, mother and child – at rest together. The seemingly separate components form one volume on the inside. We see this piece as an individual work that could be designed to meet the needs of any family that finds beauty and comfort in the community.”
Allied Maker’s Ellipsis 3 chandelier is composed of hand-bent brass tubes joined together in repetition to create a looped arching pattern. “The form drops into blown-glass elliptical globes that spread diffused light over the length of the fixture.”
On show also works by colourful and gouache paintings Payton Turner created for Flat Vernacular’s newest wallpaper pattern, quilts Meghan Callahan crafted during the pandemic, a monumental travertine sculpture by Studio Paolo Ferrari and designs by Vonnegut/Kraft, Phaedo and KWH.
All photos by David Mitchell, courtesy of Colony.