WantedDesign Manhattan 2022 / Review
Four standout works from emerging international designers.
15th-17th May 2022
DESIGN WEEKS ANYWHERE usually involve running from studios to galleries to alternative exhibition spaces. NYCxDESIGN is no exception and to catch the best the week has to offer can be quite a challenge. That’s where WantedDesign Manhattan stands out: nestled inside the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), at Wanted (as the fair is known), one can see the latest trends from commercial manufacturers whilst also checking out the freshest new ideas from emerging designers from all over the world.
Explaining their curatorial approach, Odile Hainaut, who with Claire Pijoulat is one of the founders of WantedDesign, had this to say, “We look for original concepts and design, we look for products that are not just another chair or another light … and, maybe most of all, we look for personalities and sensibilities”. Hainaut goes on to elaborate, “One of the criteria is that it should be ready, or almost ready, to be developed, produced and launched. Sometimes, it’s not there yet, but we see potential and real talent and we want to give a chance to the designer to be discovered”.
This year, between the Look Book and the Launch Pad sections, 46 studios were shown at WantedDesign. Here are The Design Edit’s top picks:
Born in Paris and educated in France and the US, Lenclos has a design sensibility that combines influences from both countries: elegant French lines with a touch of American humour and lightness. At Wanted, Lenclos showed his ‘aTYPICAL Chair’, a basic, traditional looking chair, but with one of its front legs extending back, reminiscent of someone’s leg position when sitting down. The simple design twist invites thought without falling into gimmicky extremes.
Commenting on the experience of exhibiting his work, Lenclos said: “Showing at WantedDesign meant for me presenting the ‘aTypical Chair’ to an audience expecting to find functional or beautiful design. From a traditional perspective, the chair is somewhat the antithesis of design — it has a simple stick-figure style, uses solid wood with minimum finishes, looks broken at best, unstable, rickety, and useless at worst. It is not even trying to be particularly ‘creative’, beautiful nor special. The chair received the attention I was hoping for from the audience. Everyone who dared try it had an interesting and memorable experience.”
A graduate of The Savannah College of Art and Design, Roseti is interested in using design as means of exploring issues related to how we live in the information age. For this first showing of his work on a major platform, the young designer chose to exhibit two of his side table collections (‘All Over Again’ and ‘An Alternate Metaverse’) together, using the paired juxtapositions to create dialogue. “I was inspired by looking around and seeing everyone on their phones, in their own little metaverse. I presented a side-by-side comparison for each table, one grounded in reality and the other digitally altered — the split realities we are faced with every day”, explains Roseti.
With a rich background that includes being raised in the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and a degree in graphic design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, artist/designer BOA founded OI Studio as an outlet for her passion for creativity and design. Her custom designed and manufactured pieces are mostly minimalist creations, perfectly bringing together form and materials.
At Wanted she debuted three pieces from her new collection, ‘The Drop’, which is inspired by the path of a raindrop and the number three. The collection’s highlight was without a doubt its daybed. “I wanted to switch up the classic silhouette of a daybed and incorporate the curved lines of the rest of ‘The Drop’ collection, hence the rounded footboard”, explains BOA. “Daybeds have always fascinated me. It is like an entry level incursion into upholstered goods: not as difficult to engineer as a chair and not as involved as a sofa.” By combining her sleek aesthetic with a special fabric inspired by Caribbean history and African heritage, BOA gives the design an extra layer. Created by mother and daughter textile makers Yaël et Valerie, the fabric, which is part of their ‘Past & Connection’ motif series, brings BOA’s work full circle, celebrating her Caribbean heritage through her talent and passion to create beauty in design.
A graduate of the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Jerusalem), Orlievsky makes work by combining techniques like 3D printing with traditional materials such as wood and leather. Orlievsky, founder of Espina Corono, says about his hybrid technique: “When there is a specific, sophisticated fitting situation that cannot be solved with wood, 3D print takes over”.
For WantedDesign this year, Orlievsky brought his ‘Silla 1901’ chair. The ‘1901’ is made from leftover wood from the timber industry. The wood, called Lenga, comes from a specific cherry tree found in the Patagonia region, and is of great quality, but the short pieces are considered waste by the timber trade. The seats are made of vegetable leather and the intricate connecting plastic hardware pieces are fabricated using a 3D printer. Orlievsky says of the experience, “I think of showing at events like Wanted as a North star, since it makes me take the time to design new pieces and to dedicate specific time to it and this way I keep my business fresh with new ideas.”