If you look around your living space, there’s a good chance that all the furniture in it is designed for adult use and comfort. This is fine, of course, if you’re an adult. But not all people can easily use full-size household objects. With the youngest of those in mind, the New York–based design gallery Nalata Nalata’s upcoming exhibition, “Starter Chair” (May 14–22), celebrates furniture that was lovingly made on a different scale—one specifically for children.
The show celebrates the beginning of a child’s physical independence: the moment when they’re able to hold their bodies up, and can start exploring the world around them on their own terms. Featuring 25 handmade chairs designed by an array of American and Japanese designers—including one by Nalata Nalata’s married co-founders, Stevenson Aung and Angélique Chmielewski-Aung—alongside pieces commissioned by the gallery, each sculptural, considered form combines child-focused features with lasting, high-quality materials.
Take, for instance, the Kinoe Kids Chair, by Japanese artist and furniture designer Ibuki Kaiyama. Featuring a seat made of chestnut with spindles and legs of beech, the chair’s top rail consists of a small branch of sugi wood from the Japanese conifer with elegant, fanned foliage. The small branches, a byproduct of the country’s forest management system, typically don’t lend themselves to larger pieces of furniture. But their diminutive size is perfect for use as the crowning piece of the chair, connecting all who touch it to the natural beauty of its materials.
The Toddler Chair—created by Ryo Kashiwazaki, founder of the Japanese footwear and design label Hender Scheme—also incorporates repurposed items. A discarded, traditional Japanese kindergarten chair forms its frame, and the seat, backrest, and feet have been reupholstered with raw vegetable-tanned leather. This material, a Hender Scheme signature, handsomely ages with use, forming a visual record of the person who uses it.
Aung and Chmielewski’s Keepsake Kids Chair draws on their own childhood experiences. Featuring a small storage space at the bottom—which is mounted on a child-safe, soft-close magnetic hinge to prevent accidents involving tiny fingers—the white oak seat is a place for stashing prized items such as coloring books, crayons, and stuffed animals. Inspired by the designers’ memories of storing sheet music in piano benches, the chair offers its user the opportunity to claim a personal space of their own.
Though “Starter Chair” was originally planned for the 2020 iteration of the NYCxDesign festival, pandemic-related delays gave Nalata Nalata’s co-founders a chance to reflect on the exhibition’s furniture, and on how the lives of the users it was created for were disrupted in the midst of Covid-19. As an acknowledgment of this interruption, the gallery will randomly select—via a free raffle available to those who visit the presentation—a number of children who were born between 2020 and 2022, and give each of them a chair from the show, personalized with an engraving of their names and birthdates. (Winners will be announced at the end of the exhibition.) Through this effort, Aung and Chmielewski seek to build a sense of community among the youngsters, and to provide them with an enduring, functional symbol of growing up in a moment when care and generosity regularly overcame uncertainty.
Nestled in a cozy pocket of Newburgh, in New York’s Hudson Valley, is an architectural gem designed in 1949 by Philip Jograppling with how to address Johnson’s legacy in the aftermath of his fascist views becoming more widely known—the property was purchased and restored by Jiminie Ha,With Projects, and art director Jeremy Parker. Determined to establish the residence as a symbol of inclusivity, the two have reimagiWolfhouse, a community-focused cultural space and incubator with public programming centered around art, architecture, and design
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A Digital Museum Tells Time-Honored Stories of the Indian Subcontinent Through Everyday Objects and Family Heirlooms
A gold dial Titan quartz wristwatch with a worn-out brown leather strap. A 32-caliber Colt pistol. A dekchi, or brass cooking pot for cooking the traditional rice dish biryani. A signed letter from Mother Teresa. An Imperial Bank of India checkbook. These are but five items in the collection ofMuseum of Material Memory, an online repository of objects from across the Indian subcontinent, dating from or before the 1970s, including books,
Those who have come to embrace CBD—short for cannabidiol, a chemical abundant in the cannabis plant that, unlike its sibEpidiolex, to treat rare seizure disorders; the majority of scientific studies on the chemical have been conducted on animals.) T$16 billion by 2025, fueled by users who report relief from afflictions including anxiety, depression, and stress. So it seems only natural
For Lorne M. Buchman, president of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, the creative process rarely conYves Béhar, Paula Scher, and Frank Gehry, as well as companies such as Apple and Tesla, attest to such experiences in Buchman’s neMake to Know: From Spaces of Uncertainty to Creative Discovery (Thames & Hudson), as archetypes that demonstrate the value of embracing the unknown as a way to unleash new ideas.
A Fashion Designer Transforms Deadstock Textiles and Upcycled Sleeping Bags Into Wearable Life-Saving Shelters
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A New Film Highlights Fashion Designer Margaret Howell’s Admiration for Understated Japanese Objects and Materials
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Since ancient times, people have looked to the sun, moon, and stars to create a sense of rhythm and order in their livesLittle Lange 1 Moon Phase watch elevates the poetic movement with a copper-flecked, midnight-blue silver dial that shimmers like the night sky, a
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Vietnamese-American Stylist Beverly Nguyen Pays Tribute to Her Family and Friends With a New Pop-Up Shop
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For many diners, using “biodegradable” or “compostable” takeout containers is one way of doing their part in protecting don’t break down in a backyard composting bin and require special conditions to degrade. The Canadian company Case has a better solution: a circular system for food receptacles.
Because of its ubiquity, it’s tempting to describe Emeco’s iconic Navy Chair, designed in 1944, as basic. But that would
As the vaccine rollout continues, previously closed galleries and museums have, thankfully, continued to steadily reopenWhen Practice Becomes Form: Carpentry Tools from Japan,” on view through July 11, presents an ode to the tradition of Japanese architecture and handcraft. On display are an atōryō. The collection of beautiful saws, chisels, and planes demonstrate the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Japanese joiner
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Imagine shopping a trove of objects that are at once elegant and ethically made—no post-purchase consumer guilt necessarGoodee, an online marketplace of homewares and clothing that make a positive impact on people and the planet. Founded by Montrundulating Pakurigo baskets handwoven by artisans in Ghana from locally sourced vetiver grass, vegan seaweed soap that cleverly uses coriander seeds and peppercorns as exfoliants, and the sought-after Goodee Hoodie, recently released in three new colors (dusty rose, Egyptian blue, and alabaster) and made from Egyptian cotton by the Kotn. There’s also a handsome German Douglas pine daybed from Danish B Corp Skagerak, topped with Kvadrat upholstery, and a Japanese windmill palm fiber “corner brush” designed to dust the undustable. Feel like decking the halls? Try these multihued Jipi Baubles tree ornaments, handmade from Jipijapa palm tree leaves by Colombian artisans in the Andes. For those on our gift lists, including the
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Japanese culture is known worldwide for its meticulous approach to hospitality—and, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, thTokyo Toilet project invited 16 world-class designers to rethink this humble, often overlooked, piece of public infrastructure.
Abby Bangser, founder and curator of the art and design fair Object & Thing, shook up the New York scene last spring with a refreshing debut that freely mixed online commerce with curated, exhibi
Toilet paper, like so many everyday items, has become a political point of contention in this maelstrom of a year, one t$31 billion tissue-paper industry in North America, as designers Benjamin Critton and Heidi Korsavong, co-directors of the Los Angeles art and design galMarta, point out. And with their latest installation, “Under/Over,” on view through Nov. 1, they’re addressing this dark underlayer of the Big T.P. industry with a group show examining thPlant Paper (which makes toxin- and tree-free toilet paper using only fast-growing, FSC-certified bamboo), Critton and Korsavong in
When New York Fashion Week announced its anemic lineup for this month’s showings, the writing on the wall was as plain aEp. 69 of At a Distance, the fashion and apparel industry is a known top contributor to environmental pollution worldwide—and, as it grapples w
To an industrial designer, plastics and metals are typically a native language while natural materials are a foreign tonBradley Bowers didn’t touch them until graduate school, at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and discovered an approach to manipHalo, debuted this past spring. Bowers’s flair for transformation shines through each fixture, where sheets of cotton paper,
Getting a full-body exfoliating treatment is an experience, to say the least—one that will leave you feeling silky smootGoshi towel, made in Gunma, a prefecture of Japan touted for its textile and silk manufacturing, is no mere loofah. Woven wit
Finding a new exercise routine that provides total-body training can be a challenge, especially as we spend more time inWaterRower rowing machine, designed in 1987 by John Duke and carried exclusively by the MoMA Design Store, is built around a patented fly wheel tthe high-tech Hydrow.)
We’re living at work, working at home, and, on good days, working out somewhere between, in the same space every day. ItSupernatural, offers precisely that in the form of a VR exercise class. The next-level experience offers a range of cardio, upper-bo
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Bicycling has seen a welcome boom in recent months, as the pandemic has made restless city dwellers wary of both public transportation and gyms, and in nAngell, designed by Ora-Ïto and currently available for pre-order, may be the most stylish and affordable e-bike option we’ve inflatable prototype) can tend to look a bit goofy, the Mate City eBike combines performance and style for the more serious cyclist seeking a longer-term investment. The Danish company also pthis high-performance model with fashion brand Moncler). If neither space nor budget are an issue, look to the Dutch bike-maker VanMoof’s S3, a top-of-the-line offering that boasts a near-silent electric mechanism and a distinctive frame that conceals the batt
A skilled gardener or houseplant parent is never without a good pair of quality shears. In addition to removing damaged Felco shears have remained virtually unchanged for decades, and for good reason: They get the job done, and are a worthwhile additiothese elegant Japanese gardening tools from the Beijing- and Hangzhou-based Fnji Furniture, made with solid-cast zinc-aluminum alloy that will accrue a pleasi
People have been bemoaning the decline of penmanship since the earliest days of typewriters, the once-newfangled, speedynote card and stationery sets from the Canadian startup Maurèle add an artful, personal touch to the analog communiqué, with a range of customizable designs and distinctive typefaces
Self-care is always a good idea—and given the anxieties and uncertainties of living in a pandemic, a crucial way to mainsake soaks by Basin take your home-bathing ritual to the next level. The bottled concoctions, made from Japanese sake and a blend of all-na
Anxiety and stress can take a serious toll on your health—and your skin. This may, in part, explain why the wellness worgua sha, a traditional Chinese medicinal technique for relaxing and relieving tension to aid in myofascial release. The method gua sha facials have garnered a particularly fervent following in recent years. You may have noticed, if you pay attention to tgua sha tools: small, handheld stone instruments that come in a number of shapes and contours, designed to smooth and scrape ovBrooklyn-based holistic healing studio Lanshin carries some of the best, carved from materials including rose quartz, jade, and nephrite. Founder Sandra Lanshin Chiu,online tutorials to get you started on your new favorite facial workout. Think of the small spatula- and spoon-like implements as doing