Ones to Watch
3 objects that define design right now
The dawn of a new year feels like the perfect opportunity to scan the design landscape for standout forms, materials, and approaches. In our new series The Edge, Design Miami/Editors spotlight contemporary objects that define our current moment.
Tastemakers agree: ceramics are the material of the moment, and the work of Chicago-born, Philly-based ceramics artist Gerald A. Brown offers a compelling example. Her Sacred Objects series accentuates the warm, sensual tactility of clay as she hand sculpts each piece to embody the emotional states of both vulnerability and resilience. Her goal is, in her words, “to demarcate space for ancestral as well as descendants of Strange Fruit, an expansive lineage of African Diasporic people in America.” The resulting objects possess an aura of intimacy that invites connection—an antidote to the disruptions and divisions that have marked the past few years.
The vibrant energy pervading the field of contemporary ceramics today extends across scales, fomenting a veritable renaissance of ceramic furniture. One of the most in-demand ceramic artists currently creating furniture is Chicago-born, LA-based Bari Ziperstein. Though entirely functional, her series of ceramic tables are charmingly spirited, featuring intricately glazed surfaces and eye-catching, sculptural compositions. Such light-hearted, well crafted objects excel at making a house (or apartment) feel like a home, particularly now as we all spend more of our lives at home like never before.
New York designer Sam Stewart similarly specializes in creating witty and well considered objects that lend tons of personality to their surroundings. His new, uncharacteristically demure Lamellae Lamp is an understated beauty and quite the conversation piece. Produced in collaboration with expert New York tailor Victoria Yee Howe, it’s composed of intricately hand-pleated, hand-stitched raw muslin—nearly 18 yard per lamp—layered over a hidden steel structure. So simple, so elegant. The warming glow emanating from its exquisite folds has a welcoming, comforting effect. ◆