Oct 9 2023
Design Dispatch
Three visions of flourishing climate futures, Coil + Drift thrives in the Catskills, and Lucy Sparrow’s felt bagel shop.
“It’s not just about how it looks—it’s about how it makes you feel.”


At Pioneer Works, Three Visions of Flourishing Climate Futures

What’s Happening: Through the lens of Erica Deeman, Denice Frohman, and Olalekan Jeyifous, a new exhibition at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works finds hope for the climate crisis in artistic strategies of transformation.

The Download: Marine biologist and policy expert Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson’s provocative book on climate futures is called What If We Get It Right? The idea that imagining solutions to challenges that feel overwhelming is possible—is, in fact, made possible by looking to successes in other intertwined, if imperiled, movements like racial and sexual equality—animates an exhibition Johnson has curated at Pioneer Works. “Climate Futurism” offers a trio of commissions from artists who view community engagement and social equity as tools to prevent ecological catastrophe.

In a meditation on the efficacy of small-scale efforts to address global problems, Erica Deeman suspends gypsum cast with seeds from Black farming traditions from the kind of biodegradable fishing line grassroots Jamaican groups used to revitalize local coral reefs. Poet Denice Frohman moves into visual art with a series of neon sculptures and a film that turns her words into a libretto paying tribute to anti-privatization organizing in Puerto Rico. And “architectural utopianist” Olalekan Jeyifous continues his Frozen Neighborhoods series with an installation deploying both AR and 3D-printed scale models in a vision of utopian Brooklyn at once rooted in maroon communities and dreaming of Afro-surrealistic resistance.

The trio are the inaugural cohort of the Headlands Center of the Arts’ Threshold Fellowship, a program designed by the Golden Gates National Recreation Area–based organization to foster engagement with artists in fields outside their disciplines. “Climate Futurism” will expand on their installations with a full slate of public programming throughout the fall, including a conversation series created and moderated by Johnson about food systems and climate diasporas.

In Their Own Words: “I need you to understand that our racial inequality crisis is intertwined with our climate crisis,” Johnson wrote in the Washington Post in a 2020 op-ed. “If we don’t work on both, we will succeed at neither.”

Surface Says: Climate pessimism is a privilege we can’t afford any longer.


What Else Is Happening?

Check-Circle_2x Adam Nathaniel Furman’s latest public art installation features dazzling color-changing tiles.
Check-Circle_2x Canva doubles down on AI with a suite of features that automate a multitude of design tasks.
Check-Circle_2x The opening of Destination Crenshaw’s Sankofa Park has been postponed to February.
Check-Circle_2x A damaged Banksy mural will undergo restoration despite criticism from Venice locals.
Check-Circle_2x The Michelin Guide will begin awarding “keys” to the world’s best hotels next year.

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Coil + Drift’s Latest Collection Sprouts From the Catskills

John Sorensen-Jolink was a modern dancer before he launched Coil + Drift in 2016. “As a choreographer,” he once said, “you spend months creating a new work. It’s performed a few times and then it’s gone. I wanted to make something I could hold on to and pass along.” That attention to form in space can be found throughout his lighting and furniture collections, which are often imbued with warm, intimate touches.

Last year, Coil + Drift relocated to a 3,000-square-foot production and office space at the foot of the Catskill Mountains, and that landscape informs its inaugural line of fixtures designed and manufactured entirely in-house. The series, called Loon, offers a pair of collections of four designs: with its sand-casted structure, the floral Foundry range seems to sprout from the ceiling as it blossoms in mid-air, while Ridge melds the crisp structure of leaves with the weightlessness of a bird in flight for chrome or blackened brass sconces, a pendant with a striking verdigris patina, and an aged brass chandelier.



The Leslie-Lohman Museum Celebrates Queer Creativity

Over the weekend, art, music, and fashion tastemakers gathered for the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art’s annual Fall Gala. The evening was an energetic ode to queer creativity, honoring artist and musician ANOHNI; Chanel Lopez, deputy director of LGBTQIA+ Affairs for Governor Kathy Hochul; and Catherine Opie, whose photograph sparked the museum’s current group show. After remarks by director Alyssa Nitchun, the festivities commenced with a poetry reading by Arlo Parks and a performance by H. Sinno. Guests then enjoyed a vegan menu by Telly Justice and Camille Lindsley, founders of the local queer-led restaurant HAGS.

When was it? Oct. 6

Where was it? The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York

Who was there? Slava Mogutin, Ladyfag, Liz Collins, Kingsley Gbadegesin, Chella Man, Jonathan Lyndon-Chase, K.O. Nnamdie, Cajsa von Zeipel, Eliza Douglas, Kembra Pfahler, and more.


Our weekly scoop on industry players moving onwards and upwards.

It appears that more galleries are on expansion sprees. Almine Rech, the Paris-founded gallery with outposts in Monaco, Gstaad, Brussels, Venice, Shanghai, and London, recently opened its second New York City location in a 19th-century building in the heart of Tribeca. The gallery is kicking off its grand opening with a series of Vaughn Spann’s “hurricane paintings.” It coincides with Stephen Friedman Gallery’s newly opened location in a 10,000-square-foot space designed by David Kohn Architects in London.

Gensler is ushering in a new era of leadership. Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins have, for nearly 20 years, led the firm as co-CEOs, but last week announced the two have been named co-chairs as the firm looks ahead. Filling their shoes are co-firm managing principals Julia Simet and Jordan Goldstein, two longtime employees who will be tasked with overseeing the global architecture firm’s 53 offices, 33 practice areas, and 6,000 employees. The move signals that Gensler’s unique collaborative leadership model, in which two leaders helm leadership positions, shows no signs of slowing down.

Change is also afoot on Art Basel’s leadership team as the fair prepares to welcome its second edition of Paris+ par Art Basel next week. Hayley Romer, the Atlantic’s former publisher, will assume the newly created position of chief growth officer while Craig Hepburn will become chief digital officer. Their appointments came shortly before Adeline Ooi, the fair’s longtime Asia director, announced she was leaving her position at the end of November. Her successor has yet to be named.



Etro: The Essential Bag

Some statement bags—whether excessively large or small—are only fun to scroll past on social media. In the real world, though, timelessness and functionality never go out of style. Etro’s Essential Bag is a scene-stealer in the best way: its leather top flap and brass hardware impart functionality, while its fall-ready hues of beige, burgundy, brown, and beyond, make for easy pairing with any ensemble. From $1,250



Basic Tastes, With the Addition of Ammonium Chloride

A new study from the University of Southern California indicates that the five basic tastes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami have been bolstered by a sixth: ammonium chloride, though it doesn’t roll off the tongue with the ease of its predecessors. Neuroscientist and professor Emily Lipman explains in her research that “if you live in a Scandinavian country, you will be familiar with and may like this taste.” The region’s popular salt licorice candy is an example of a food containing ammonium chloride, which is believed to be linked to the OTOP1 protein receptor within the tongue’s cell membranes.



Member Spotlight: Istituto Europeo di Design

Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) was founded in 1966 from the vision of Francesco Morelli. Today, IED is the only higher-education institution in the creative field to have maintained a completely Italian identity over time. IED Group is internationally recognized and it is located in three countries: Italy, Spain and Brazil. Every year, IED launches innovative training projects in the fields of design, fashion, visual arts, and communication, developing new forms of learning and designing new models for interpreting the future.

Surface Says: Behind many school-trained creatives is an institution that gave them the framework for their practice—and in Italy, Spain, and Brazil, IED is a top institution for aspiring artists and designers.



Today’s Attractive Distractions

McDonald’s and Wendy’s have prevailed in another false advertising lawsuit.

This NASA-approved titanium watch is packed with real meteorite moon dust.

Lucy Sparrow crafts a New York pop-up bagel shop made entirely out of felt.

This artist painstakingly paints Taylor Swift’s face on the back of buzzed heads.


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