“Locally Grown. Internationally Known.” is the slogan for the 10th anniversary of “BKLYN Designs” which opened on May 10th at St. Ann’s Warehouse in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn.
The show had a two year pause and is back this year with 33 jury-selected Brooklyn-based designers exhibiting contemporary furnishings and accessories for the home. Reclaimed materials is the undisputed theme of the show. Mark Jupiter showed a low-table made from wood he found after Hurricane Sandy. Dog Tag Designs “upcycles” and re-purposes objects such as cameras, toy trucks, and cigar boxes into functional objects such as phones and table lamps. Urban Chandy makes sconces and chandeliers from reclaimed wood and salvaged materials. In the sea of mediocrity some pieces stood out, those belonging to Pickett, who showed a Morkt Samfunn Console a “throwback” to the entertainment consoles of the 1940’s and 1950’s. The wooden console is beautifully outfitted with a record player and sophisticated speakers; Eric Manigian’s multi-wood puzzle-like curio cabinet, and Matthew Mullen’s Arts and Crafts-inspired walnut chest-on-stand.
On Friday night, West Elm, which opened its first brick-and-morter store in Dumbo in 2003, hosted a panel discussion called “Discussion on Design.” The panel moderated by West Elm’s Creative Director Vanessa Holden, included Francesca Connelly co-founder of Remodelista.com, Penny EmmetofFrom The Source, Katrina Vonnegut & Brian Kraft of Vonnegut/Kraft, and Richard Velloso of Olga Guanabara. These Brooklyn-based designers have helped to shape the Brooklyn design scene and have partnered with West Elm on several projects. Velloso, whose shop Olga Guanabara is just down the block from West Elm, is known for his dining and coffee table made of reclaimed wood and metal, recently completed a capsule collection for the global-retailer that includes a coffee table, side table, and console table. The main question of the night was what makes Brooklyn different from any other place in the world. The unanimous response: its energy. Here’s to you, Brooklyn!
BKLYN Designs, May 10-12, 2013, St. Anne’s Warehouse, DUMBO,