Five New York designers and studios to watch
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Five New York designers and studios to watch

New York 2016: in the wake of last month's New York design week, Dezeen's US editor Dan Howarth highlights five designers and studios that are set to become an important part of the city's design scene (+ slideshow).

This year's edition of NYCxDesign took place from 3 to 17 May 2016, and saw a crop of local creatives also showcase their work across the city's venues, alongside major international brands.

The Sight Unseen Offsite exhibition and the Collective Design fair proved the best places to spot New York's talent, who presented a variety of unusual material combinations and visually striking shapes.

We've picked out five designers and studios that caught our eye and could become a key part of the city's evolving design scene:


Fernando Mastrangelo

Fernando Mastrangelo's Drift bench
Fernando Mastrangelo's cast-sand Drift bench demonstrates his use of unusual materials. Photograph by Cary Whittier

Although his career began over 10 years ago, Fernando Mastrangelo has received a recent surge of attention after exhibiting his work in New York.

The designer and sculptor uses materials like salt, coffee, sand, glass and cement to transform otherwise simple furniture and homeware pieces into works that straddle the boundary between art and design.

At the Collective Design fair in May, he showed a series of blueish cast-sand pieces called Drift, which were influenced by glaciers in Patagonia and looked as if they had been carved from rock.

Fade cement furniture by Fernando Mastrangelo
Mastrangelo's Fade furniture is formed from layers of pastel-coloured cement

Over at the Sight Unseen Offsite exhibition, the designer presented a furniture collection made from dyed cement. The pieces in the Fade series are set in pastel-coloured layers that gradually shift from darker to lighter across each design.

Fade forms part of Mastrangelo's MMaterial series of designs, which also includes dining tables, seating and planters comprising planar surfaces made from combinations of cement and a variety of textures.

Mastrangelo was formerly one half of Amma Studio, a collaborative project with designer Samuel Amoia, which resulted in a series of stools and tables that mixed moulded cement with a range of unexpected materials.


Samuel Amoia

Samuel Amoia's brass shavings console
Samuel Amoia's tables and consoles with legs covered in brass shavings were launched by New York's DeLorenzo Gallery

The other half of Amma Studio, Samuel Amoia, is now also making a name for himself in his own right.

He recently released a set of tables and consoles with white onyx tops and thin legs covered in brass shavings with New York's DeLorenzo Gallery to coincide with the city's design week.

A version of the sculptural console was commissioned for the flagship Dior boutique in Cannes, created from recycled aluminium shavings rather than brass.

"For this collection we aimed for a timeless, sophisticated and elegant assortment of work," Amoia told Dezeen. "Work that could make its way into museums and auction houses, and inevitably in the hands of great collectors."

Samuel Amoia's Mineral Terrazzo podiums for Dover Street Market NY
Amoia was approached by Dover Street Market New York to create versions of his cylindrical Mineral Terrazzo podiums

Amoia was recently approached by the New York branch of fashion store Dover Street Market to create versions of his cylindrical Mineral Terrazzo podiums, which mix 15 different Brazilian rocks with cream plaster.

He has also completed a variety of high-end residential interiors in Miami, New York and Belize, and was given a Designer of the Year award at the Maison&Objet Americas fair in Miami last month.

"We are also working on a lower line of new production pieces and lighting that will be showcased on a television platform," he said "The show will focus on my studio work and interior design work overseas, as well as showcasing other cool NY and international designers and craftsmen."


Gabriel Tan

Gabriel Tan's Stove chair and Domino peg rail for Furnishing Utopia exhibition
Gabriel Tan's Stove chair and Domino peg rail featured in the Furnishing Utopia exhibition of Shaker-influenced designs

Tan, a co-founder of international design collective Outofstock, is another branching out alone and setting up his own studio.

Splitting time between New York and Singapore, he recently contributed to the Furnishing Utopia exhibition as part of this year's Sight Unseen Offsite.

Designers were challenged to create furniture and homeware based on Shaker artefacts. Tan's pieces included chairs and stools that could be hung on wall pegs, and containers that were assembled from flat sheets of coloured leather using poppers.

With Outofstock, the designer was involved in a range of interior, furniture and product design projects. A Singapore restaurant with egg-shaped window cutouts, shelving inspired by suspension bridges and scent diffusers made from ceramic exhaust filters are among examples.


Ladies & Gentlemen Studio

Equalizer lamps by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio
Ladies & Gentlemen Studio's Equalizer lamps feature colour-tinted pendants that change colour when switched on

Operating between New York and Seattle, Ladies & Gentlemen Studio founders Dylan Davis and Jean Lee create lighting, furniture and accessories with a focus on geometry and texture.

During this year's New York design week, the duo showcased special editions of their Equalizer lamps for The Future Perfect design store.

They collaborated with glass blower artist John Hogan to form colour-tinted spherical pendants that change colour once the LED light inside is turned on.

Kazimir lamp by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio
The studio's Kazimir lamps are based on the paintings of a late 19th-century Russian artist. Photograph by Kaarem

The pair also presented the Kazimir Chandelier for US lighting firm Roll & Hill. The design was influenced by the late 19th-century Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, whose abstract multi-layered paintings informed the lamp's overlapping sheets of textured glass.

Roll & Hill also produces Ladies & Gentlemen Studio's Shape Up lamps, formed from strings of geometric pendants, which were exhibited at Sight Unseen Offsite in 2014.

Davis and Lee founded their studio in 2010, and have since also completed a range of small objects and jewellery pieces.


Fort Standard

Fort Standard's Relief stone cabinet
Fort Standard's Relief stone cabinet is part of the studio's Qualities of Material collection

Brooklyn-based Fort Standard was previously known for its smaller accessories, but founders Ian Collings and Gregory Buntain have recently decided to upscale their material experiments into larger furniture pieces.

"We've been interested in evolving that conversation about how we can push these materials further and do different things with them," Buntain told Dezeen.

Working with soapstone, wood and leather, the designers created the Quality of Material collection shown at Collective Design. The soapstone was turned into a stacked cabinet with triangular patterns milled into its side.

Assemblage wooden furniture by Fort Standard
The Qualities of Material collection also includes furniture made from tessellated wooden prisms

Maple wood slats were glued into prisms and tessellated to form a coffee table, dining table and bench, while the tanned leather was stacked and rolled to produce a chair.

During their five years of collaboration, Collings and Buntain have created products that range from aluminium bowls raised on slim piers to sets of faceted wooden toy blocks.