Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BKLYN DESIGNed

Sunday I moseyed over to DUMBO and BKLYN DESIGNS™. Lest you forget, the event is "New York’s hottest exhibition of designers and manufacturers of contemporary furnishings, lighting, and accessories made and/or designed in Brooklyn, all handpicked by a jury of editors from leading design and shelter magazines."

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This is the show's seventh year but my first visit. Taking place in St. Ann's Warehouse, the 37 booths were basically spread across two large spaces, with a 38th at Jane's Carousel down the street. The exposed roof joists and decking lend the exhibition a very Brooklyn air, separating it from expos like next week's ICFF at Jacob Javits. The furniture and other objects on display, though, are a fitting snapshot of design trends (recycled materials, prefab, CNC fabrication, etc.) that are at the margins but not outside or considered avant-garde, kinda like DUMBO itself.

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[Levent and Romme's Weave Screen (foreground) greeted visitors | photo by archidose]

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[St. Ann's Warehouse | photo by archidose]

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[an impressive piece by takeshi miyakawa design| photo by archidose]

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[detail of a table by Palo Samko | photo by archidose]

Architects were represented by two firms: Nandinee Phookan Architect's new subsidiary I Make Studio and Garrison Architects, hawking their series of modular residences (urban, townhouse, rural/suburban). The latter's Nzinga Townhomes in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood are supposedly going ahead with construction at a time when many projects are stalled. Perhaps future BKLYN DESIGNS will see architects stepping into territory typically tread by furniture makers and designers who create pricey objects, but ones still much cheaper than architectural creations. It certainly couldn't hurt a profession in need of not only clients but justifying itself in the face of such.

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