New collections and out-of-the-box experiences offer much design inspiration this season.
Featuring 12 geometric designs presented in custom-dyed, sun-faded tones like sienna, desert rose and bone, Brooklyn-based author and designer Athena Calderone’s new knotted Moroccan rug collaboration with Beni Rugs, Broken Symmetry, portrays the imperfect perfection of handwoven creations. In designing the collection, Calderone drew inspiration from the structural shapes of Mexican architect Luis Barragán, the asymmetrical repetition of painter Agnes Martin and the deliberate, strong use of color by artist Ethan Cook. “I love to create symmetry and then break it,” Calderone says. “I love repetition, order, but I also love to resist the obvious. Somehow there is common ground and a sense of balance in those very imperfections. How I designed this collection follows the same vernacular.” 13 W. Ninth St.
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Nicko Elliott and Ksenia Kagner of New York-based design studio Civilian recently launched Civilian Objects, a retail platform offering a carefully curated collection of home goods. Sourced from manufacturers around the world that focus on utility, design and material consciousness, every item in the eclectic collection is based on the three segments of a day: Labor, Recreation and Rest. The retailer’s balanced assortment of home goods is always evolving, and, along with its impressive list of heritage brands, Civilian Objects features exclusive, limited-edition collaborations with contemporary studios such as New York-based ceramicist Jessie Lazar, Boston-based glass artist Andrew Iannazzi and more. civilianobjects.com
As a result of creativity sparked in lockdown, internationally renowned home furnishings designer and manufacturer Vaughan recently launched the multifaceted Ellisfield collection. Featuring renditions of brand favorites, such as the Bamboo lantern and the Windermere chandelier, as well as distinctive new lighting pieces, such as the white Ibthorpe lantern, the collection encompasses contemporary and classic styles. “From a familiar table that I would see in my grandmother’s house to a chest of drawers that for years has been placed next to our sitting room, each design brings me a feeling of being at home,” says Lucy Vaughan, chairman and co-founder of Vaughan Designs. “Inspired by the aesthetic of the Arts & Crafts movement, as well as containing considerable Japanese and Chinese influences, the pieces we’ve made have come from a wealth of different backgrounds—undoubtedly adding to their uniqueness and complexity. It is my hope that you equally find comfort and joy in them.” D&D Building, 979 Third Ave., Ste. 1511
Mandala Lab, designed by Brooklyn architecture studio PRO, offers a novel emotional experience.
Designed by Brooklyn architecture studio PRO, recently opened interactive gallery Mandala Lab is based in Buddhist principles and designed to provide an emotional experience for viewers. Situated on the third level of the Rubin Museum of Art, mainly focused on works from the Himalayas region, the immersive gallery features exhibits and activities influenced by five kleshas (states of mind) that cloud people’s cognizance: pride, attachment, envy, anger and ignorance. Each part aims to help people learn from these kleshas, target difficult emotions and provide tools to deal with them. The rectangular design of the space, inspired by the Sarvavid Vairochana Mandala, which depicts Buddhist deity Vairochana, has a spiral staircase at its core surrounded by four quadrants each dedicated to a specific theme. As visitors travel from the south quadrant to the west, north and finally east quadrant, different activities help create feelings of serenity, focus and openness. 150 W. 17th St.