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Welcome to So Courant!, deputy editor Sean Santiago’s column spotlighting emerging makers, the newest launches, and the latest design destinations in the world of ELLE DECOR.
The Wandering Barman Settles Down
Designer Harry Nuriev of Crosby Studios recently collaborated with local design studio Team to outfit Brooklyn bottled-cocktail brand turned brasserie the Wandering Barman. The starting point for the eatery’s design? Its signature packaging.
If designing a space around to-go tipples sounds collegiate in theory, the execution is decidedly elevated, featuring a gray concrete interior contrasted by orange-tinted plexiglass space dividers and neon-pink accent lighting to Turrellian effect; the bar even has a pink-tinted view onto the on-site craft brewery. The countdown to viral TikTok recreations of Rihanna’s Work video is on.
A Maiden Name Worth Keeping
Founded in 2019 by Alix Freireich and David Lê, Maiden Name is a New York–based concept store and apparel line with a creative output that straddles art, design, and fashion. For their latest artist commission, the duo worked with ceramist Shane Gabier, formerly of fashion label Creatures of the Wind, to create a collection of one-of-a-kind handcrafted objects including cups, vases, incense holders, and soap dishes.
Made entirely by hand in New York, Gabier’s pieces have a rough-hewn gravitas, skewing Memphis and the Bauhaus influences through a primitivist lens. But all that really matters is that when I left them up on my desktop, multiple colleagues wanted to know whose work they were. Of course, all the best things in life are editioned.
Bookmark These Online Shopping Destinations
Two meticulously curated online shops launched this month to sate all of your artisan needs: First, Tuga, a new e-commerce platform from Tortuga Living, features a curated suite of home goods meant to complement the brand’s in-house offerings. Think a soap dish by Studio Den Den for Sounds, denim tea towels by Atelier Saucier, and a special new blanket collaboration with Mantas Cornejo.
If you find yourself still lacking in hand-hewn brass knobs, Nicko Elliott and Ksenia Kagner, cofounders of the architecture and design studio Civilian, launched Civilian Objects. Broken out into the categories of “labor,” “recreation,” and “rest,” the site’s highlights are its collaborative editions, including wall hooks with Rome-based Poignee SRL and a beautiful broom by sculptor-cum-broom-maker (what else?) Erin Rouse of Custodian.
This Symphony Is Not Bittersweet
We’ve officially entered the “post-pandemic” phase of the exhibition calendar as designers are once again able to fly, ship, and conceptualize across international borders. For Tbilisi, Georgia–based Rooms Studio, founded in 2007 by Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia, their unlocked-down debut is Distant Symphony, on view now through November 20 at Emma Scully Gallery.
The studio’s largest U.S. exhibition to date, the show takes its name from the Georgian folk practice of polyphonic singing, interrogating the need for solitude as a collective impulse rather than a solitary pining. Some of the objects included were designed during forced isolation, making the studio’s typically collective work process untenable. Others are part of their coveted permanent collection, like the sculptural chairs, the half-moon cocktail table, and triple bench.
The grouping is preceded by an antechamber of sorts that showcases the duo’s creative meanderings—sketches, maquettes, and personal effects—accompanied by the low gurgle of prerecorded domestic sounds. It’s a deeply personal exhibition steeped in the complicated history of its makers’ formerly communist homeland, grappling poignantly with the concept of ownership as much as our more immediate shared past of social deprivation and need to come together again. See it with a friend.
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