Collective Design Fair: When Opposites Attract

It’s hard to imagine for some, that an occasional day in the office at White Webb entails going to a design fair and spending the day looking at pretty things. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it! We spent part of our day last week strolling through the exhibits at the 2016 Collective Design Fair, which takes place at Skylight Clarkson Sq. in west Soho.

It’s easy to get caught up in gazing at the jaw-dropping designs, but as designers it’s beneficial to go to a show like this so that we can see what’s new in the marketplace, take note of innovative approaches to design, pick up on how current events shape design, and okay YES get caught up in gazing at the jaw-dropping designs.

If you know White Webb, you know we love well-executed juxtaposition. So maybe we’re more likely to notice pieces that do just that. But we couldn’t help but notice the continuing theme of combining opposite materials to form one balanced end result. The mixing of opposing materials (such as hard and soft, lustrous and matte, heavy and light) can be a challenging task, but when it’s done right the end result can be gorgeous. It seems more and more creatives are finding methods for dissimilar materials to interact with each other in new ways. Here are just a few pieces of many at the Collective Design Fair that did just that:

A console made of Carrara Xtra C marble and hand blown Murano glass, by Badled Emmanuel at Twenty First Gallery

A console made of Carrara Xtra C marble and hand blown Murano glass, by Badled Emmanuel at Twenty First Gallery

 

 

 

 marble and bronze table, by gt2P at Friedman Benda

Marble and bronze table, by gt2P at Friedman Benda

 

 marble and bronze table, by gt2P at Friedman Benda

Marble and bronze table, by gt2P at Friedman Benda

 

ombination of sand and mirror, by Fernando Mastrangelo

Combination of sand and mirror, by Fernando Mastrangelo

 

Wallpaper using digital printing of watercolor paintings and silver leafing by Calico Wallpaper

Wallpaper using digital printing of watercolor paintings and silver leafing by Calico Wallpaper

 

When designing with opposing forces, you can choose to either create a visual tension between the two or create a harmonious interaction.  While juxtaposed design is no new concept, we can’t help but notice the ever-growing theme of two materials not only connecting in harmony without disturbing or offending the effects of the other, but two materials interacting in a way where they enhance one another. Design themes can certainly act as a reflection of the political and social issues occurring around us. So it’s easy to argue that this theme is a personification of our modern day Utopia where we could all interact not only without disturbing each other, but also enhancing one another. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? 

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