All photos by Loek Blonk, courtesy of Chamber.
Nestled amongst the art galleries and warehouses of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood is Chamber, New York City’s newest design destination. The gallery showcases limited edition design objects and newly commissioned works curated by the founder, 26-year-old Juan Garcia Mosqueda.
Inspired by reliquaries, a narrow corridor draws visitors deep inside the concrete and metal interior designed by MOS Architects. Every two years Mosqueda, a former assistant to Murray Moss, will work with a new curator to help fill his chamber of curiosities with new design objects. For its opening this week, Mosqueda tapped Belgian designers Job and Nynke Smeets of Studio Job to select a range of 100 works for Chamber.
Inside the gallery, a range of items from smaller items like Studio Job x Montblanc pens to furniture like Glas Italia x Nendo’s “Deep Sea Low Table” prototypes can be discovered on shipping crates doing double-duty as pedestals and behind a central service station. Works from legendary designers like Alessandro Mendini’s 24K gold-plated “Camino” totem sit next to emerging designers like Dirk van der Kooij’s “Diffuser Cabinet” in a delightful mix of products.
A number of interesting food design projects are amongst the debut offering. Tom Dixon continues his Flame Cut series with a steel wine rack and cake stand, each blackened in the time-honored tradition. “Able to withstand kitchen fire, this stand is so hard-wearing that it exaggerates its primal function, which is to hold and display cake,” the series description explains. “The stand’s permanence is juxtaposed with the ephemeral act of the consumption of every last slice of cake that disappears from it.”
“Raw,” by Amsterdam-based designers Studio Formafantasma, is a commissioned project, a table set made from natural horn and glass by an artisan in Vienna. Taking inspiration from the natural world, the designers incorporate different materials—the unprocessed, discarded, recycled and raw—in the set.
There are two trays, each made of different colored horn. In one, an oyster shell becomes a salt well and a small glass bowl with spoon holds pepper. On the other tray, hand-blown glass bottles hold oil and vinegar. The bottles are the same shape but one has the texture of burnt wood, bringing an element of nature into a man-made object. In the video below, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Studio Formafantasma walk us through the process behind “Raw.”