Pattern recognition

Full of Fibers

Those in NYC till the end of the year still have a chance to warm up to some wool at a Benetton pop-up that’s taken over a 2,200-square-foot garage at Broadway and Lafayette. The space is a color-coded explosion of fibers, created by designers at Benetton’s Fabrica – the brand’s residency program in Treviso, Italy. With a concept “to adapt Benetton’s DNA to a more modern vision,” the space is overflowing with interesting and odd uses of textiles, all wonderfully woven in with the brand’s clothing line.

Handcrafted in Brooklyn

Brooklyn has become an incubator for a culinary-minded entrepreneurs – from Mast Brothers to Marlow & Sons to McClure’s Pickles – creating products with typefaces and flavors that are simultaneously retro and contemporary. The borough is blessed with a tremendous sense of community with stores like By Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens (which only sells products made in Kings County), a new food incubator at community and class center Third Ward, magazines like Edible Brooklyn and organizations like The Brooklyn Food Coalition trying to ensure that this new movement is more than just a phase.

(Illustration by Caroline Rodgers)

Swing Away

A new installation in the soaring venue of the Park Avenue Armory in NYC encourages visitors to return to the simple childhood glee of swinging. Artist Ann Hamilton’s “The Event of the Thread,” on view through January 6, includes a giant, billowing white curtain bisecting the space, its movement controlled by the action of swinging on 2-seater swings lining either side of it. The space also includes other little treasures of interaction – brown paper wrapped radio transmitters emit voices reading famous texts, read by actors sitting at tables in wooly capes.

Month by Month

Dutch graphic designer Annelys de Vet created a new type of calendar for Droog, woven into a tea towel. Using traditional Dutch chequered patterns, de Vet designed a towel per month, giving each a narrative relating to seasonal, cultural, or historical events. March (above) is biodiversity, August is summer festivals, and December is multicultural spices.

Stamp Collecting

For her SS13 collection, fashion designer Mary Katrantzou looked to an unlikely everyday object for inspiration: postage stamps. Her elegant, floaty, colorful prints mimic and build upon the intricate beauty of international stamps. The playful results make us want to travel everywhere in them.

Traveling Memories

On one of the biggest travel days of the year, we are looking beyond the long lines and delays, finding some zen in this lovely new project. The NY Times asks – “what do you bring home as souvenirs” when you travel? The responses are a wonderful little glimpse into memories, and how objects hold significance beyond their first / functional use. Mementos include heart-shaped rocks from various beaches, a jar filled with currencies from different countries, and a brick from a family blacksmith shop.

Virtual Museum

It can be tough for large, institutional museums to keep up with new artists working in new mediums. Seeing that digital works were under-represented in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, Amber van den Eeden and Kalle Mattson took things into their own hands, creating a temporary virtual gallery for these artists. The site shows the work of Amsterdam’s digital innovators – those creating animated gifs and websites, using technology in new and interesting ways.

Machined Difference

Can the same machine-made objects be unique? Stratigraphic Manufactory – a project and exhibition for the Turkish Design Biennial – explores this question. Antwerp designers Unfold sent 7 different rapid-prototyping manufacturers around the world the same 3D files to create porcelain cups. Each manufacturer printed the same cups differently, selecting the materials and machines used, with the results showing unique “tool marks” for each. On view in Istanbul through Dec. 13.

Tribal Adornment

Photographer Phyllis Galembo has traveled the world – Nigeria, Cuba, Brazil, Jamaica, and Haiti – documenting and creating gorgeous photos of local tribe’s traditional rituals of dress. Her wonderfully rich, colorful work presents the masquerade attire with respect, always cognizant of the cultures she is portraying, highlighting the incredible costumes themselves. On view now in NYC at Three Squares Studio.

Fold, Pleat, Eat

As if we needed another reason to like chocolate, a collaborative project between a Dutch design team and a chocolatier are exploring the form and making it more beautiful and interesting. Edible Surfaces, the result of their explorations, is a series of chocolate that has been folded and pleated like fabric, showing off the material in soft, geometric form. The chocolate will be on view alongside the textile pieces of inspiration next week as part of Dutch Design Week, Oct 20-28.

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