A Rising VanguardCurated by Ryan Waddoups, senior editor of Surface Magazine
With unconventional approaches to design and craftsmanship, this cohort of ascendant makers offers a taste of things to come in the burgeoning collectible design sphere.
Agnes Studio: Lana Chair (2018)presented by AGO Projects
A promising Guatemalan workshop founded by Estefania de Ros and Gustavo Quintana Kennedy, Agnes Studio dials into our collective affinity for neotenic design with the Lana Chair, shown at AGO Projects in an exclusive terracotta virgin wool. Named after the Spanish word for “wool,” Lana replicates the clouds, mist, and ethereal ambiance of afternoon treks through the Mountain Ranges of Momostenango. For homebody design lovers like myself, it feels akin to a cumulus cloud’s gentle embrace.
Katie Stout: Untitled (2021)presented by Jeffrey Deitch
Katie Stout may be a marquee name in Miami by now, but her carefully crafted ceramic work in eye-catching color gradations always merits a mention. Though many of her larger pieces have employed papier-mâché sourced from found materials like leftover Amazon Prime boxes and fabric scraps scattered throughout her studio, the Brooklynite has recently returned to experimenting with hand-glazed ceramic. The fruits of her labor are evident in this cartoonish chandelier, which graced the mezzanine of Jeffrey Deitch’s critically acclaimed “Clay Pop” exhibition in the fall and triggers nostalgia by evoking the scattered pieces of a Bop-It toy.
Joyce Lin: 1-800-GET PINK Chair (2020)presented by R & Company
Fascinated by internal mechanisms and humanity’s inextricable link to the world at large, Joyce Lin channels her existential anxieties into creating far-out furniture that tackles the opaqueness and obfuscation of industrialized society. For the bulbous 1-800-GET PINK, she exposes a bloated chair’s foamy innards like flesh wounds gaping from an otherwise pristine metallic surface—a plea for the internal parts composing the whole to be better understood.
Tadeas Podracky: Armchair (2021)presented by Side Gallery
It’s difficult to pick just one highlight from Tadeas Podracky’s breathtaking Metamorphosis series, which the recent Eindhoven graduate crafted at the onset of pandemic shutdowns. During the stillness, in which he gathered an assemblage of plastic, wood, glass, textile, foam, and car lights strewn near his Prague studio, he reconsidered how materials relate to one another. Here, they’re imaginatively melded together in a process that he likens to a bird weaving its nest. It feels creatively unbound, carving a promising path forward for material innovation while still honoring the classics. It’s rare to see a design debut this fully formed.
Zizipho Poswa: uTsiki (2021)presented by Southern Guild
Most of Zizipho Poswa’s striking stoneware ceramics draw from the spectrum of her South African heritage, whether replicating the head-bearing loads of rural women or the bold hairstyles of young cosmopolitans. She continues her totemic meditations with uTsiki, a glazed stoneware and bronze piece that pays homage to the Xhosa welcoming ritual where a bride-to-be eats the meat and drinks sour milk from a goat born into her fiance’s family. With sculptural flair, the horns fit squarely into the design language she’s mastered over the past two decades while gently disrupting it.
Ian Collings: Stone End Table (2021)presented by The Future Perfect
In his early career, Ian Collings co-founded the Brooklyn furniture studio Fort Standard with fellow Pratt graduate Gregory Buntain. He departed in 2018 to dedicate himself fully to sculpture—an inspirational hiatus that saw him live in Costa Rican rainforests for three years. He recently returned with newfound clarity and a renewed appreciation for stone, which he sources from a breadth of international locations to craft a series of pristine end tables that reveal the personality of each stone variety in an honest, revelatory state.