Sight Unseen co-founders discuss their virtual exhibition Offsite Online in live VDF talk

The co-founders of design magazine Sight Unseen discussed the ins and outs of running an online design exhibition in this live talk with Dezeen as part of the VDF x Sight Unseen collaboration.

Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer spoke to Dezeen's founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs about Offsite Online, a new online version of their annual Offsite design fair in New York.

Along with many other design events and fairs, the 2020 edition of Sight Unseen Offsite was put on hold when the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic caused cities around the world to go into lockdown.

Sight Unseen discuss its virtual design fair Offsite Online in a live panel discussion with VDF
The founders of design magazine Sight Unseen will discuss their virtual design fair in a live talk with VDF

The founders have since brought the event online in a virtual showcase of work from 100 designers, brands and artists. Sight Unseen is presenting around half of the work in the exhibition as part of its collaboration with VDF.

"[We're] harnessing the visibility of our existing online platform to create a much-needed creative and commercial outlet for the design community, as well as redefining what a fair can be in the digital age," the founders said about the initiative.

The trio will discuss how you translate design fairs to the digital realm, what the design community can take away from the extraordinary circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of building community in an industry that is more physically separated than ever.

Sight Unseen discuss its virtual design fair Offsite Online in a live panel discussion with VDF
Sight Unseen has collaborated with Virtual Design Festival to showcase the work of 51 designers taking part in Offsite Online

For Virtual Design Festival, Sight Unseen have collaborated with Dezeen to present projects by 51 designers taking part in Offsite Online, as an extension of the virtual exhibition. You can see the full list of what's on show here.

Founded by Khemsuroy and Singer in 2009, Sight Unseen is a digital magazine covering design and the visual arts.

It also frequently organises design exhibitions such as an exhibit showcasing collaborations between designers from New York and Norway during NYCxDesign in 2018 and its Field Studies exhibition which showcased design objects made in collaboration between furniture designers and creatives from the food, fashion, art, film and music industries.

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival runs from 15 April to 30 June 2020. It brings the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.

To find out what's coming up at VDF, check out the schedule. For more information or to join the mailing list, email vdf@dezeen.com.

Photo of Khemsuroy and Singer is by Robert Wright.