New York 2017 – US magazine Sight Unseen‘s editors created a cross-cultural exchange called Norway x New York, pairing 5 American studios with 5 Norwegian studios, who spent six months working together long-distance on objects that utilize an American workshop for fabrication and can be independently manufactured for future sales. Norway x New York is on Show at Sight Unseen OFFSITE exhibition untile May 22 – 100 Avenue of the Americas.
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“America and Norway are surprisingly similar when it comes to design. Both countries have far more skilled young talents than they do manufacturers.” Explain Sight Unseen editors Monica Khemserov and Jill Singer. “In the past 10 years, many American designers have shifted away from a reliance on brands and more toward self-initiated production and distribution. Norwegian designers are also beginning to embrace their independence”.
Construction materials inspired New York Studio Vonnegut/Kraft and their Norwegian colleagues Kneip to design a collection of tables and containers made of grainy light and dark bricks. At the start of the collaboration, they discussed an interest in developing sculptural forms using materials that had been re-appropriated from their originally intended use.
Moving Mountains (US) and Runa Klock (NO) teamed up with a Brooklyn glassblower to create colorful vases. “We chose glassmaking because it has remained unmechanized since ancient times, and because its process has a mystique they sought to unlock.” Say the designers
Both Oslo-based industrial designer Thomas Jenkins and Brooklyn-based Slash Objects found out they share a common interest in bold structures and forms that have an element of interaction. The designers joined forces to shape a lighting design composed of a concrete cylinder base cast with a light-reflecting pivoting brass disc.
Split Bench is a heavyweight indoor/outdoor steel structure that marries Sigve Knutson and Jamie Wolfond’s love of unusual forms with Jamie’s approach to sheet-metal bending. The design draws attention to the inherent beauty of galvanization, a finishing method most commonly found on highway guardrails and lamp posts. BUE a stool was initially inspired by a 1940s Swiss prayer knee-rest and comes in American oak wood and Norwegian wool. The seat was created by New York studio Visibility and Norway based Noidoi.
Photos by Charlie Shuck and The White Arrow – Courtesy of Sight Unseen.