Virtual Design Festival

Sight Unseen presents virtual design fair and live interview as part of VDF

Sight Unseen presents online design fair, exhibitions and graduate shows as part of VDF

Today's VDF takeover comes courtesy of New York design magazine Sight Unseen, which is presenting new work from 51 designers featured in its Offsite Online event via a digital programme of exhibitions and shows for Virtual Design Festival.

Sight Unseen is presenting half of the more than 100 designers, brands and students, which are currently showcasing their work as part of the publication's Offsite Online exhibition.

The magazine's Offsite exhibition usually takes place annually as part of New York design week. But this year, the show has migrated online and reinvented itself as a virtual exhibition under the name Offsite Online.

As part of Virtual Design Festival, we are featuring highlights from the Offsite Online show via two exhibition round-ups, two graduate shows and a virtual design fair showcasing work by six designers. Plus, Sight Unseen co-founders Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer spoke to Dezeen' editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs in a live talk.

Scroll down to find out more about the collaboration and start browsing the exhibitions, graduate shows and design fair.

11 more must-see pieces from the Offsite Online: Selects showcase
11 more designs from the Offsite Online: Selects showcase

Selects exhibition spotlights a diverse range of designers

Every year, the Selects section of Sight Unseen's Offsite exhibition unites work from different designers within one group show.

Across two roundups, we've compiled 24 of these projects, including a chair made from denim and compressed paper as well as a lamp modelled after NASA footage.

The exhibitions include work from: Anahit Pagosian
, Joel Edmondson, Gaspard Graulich, Bronsin Ablon, Richard Clarkson, Garza Studio, Objects & Ideas, Vissio, Konekt, Daniel Nikolovski, Ian Cochran, Soft Geometry, Hannah Bigeleisen, Hayden Richer, Martina Guandalini, Another Human, Upstate, Winston Cuevas, LikeMindedObjects and Ordinal Indicator.

Explore the Selects exhibition round-ups ›

School of the Art Institute of Chicago students share 18 visions of utopia
SAIC students share 18 visions of utopia

Graduate shows feature work from 27 students

With many of this year's graduate shows cancelled, design schools are moving their events online. Sight Unseen is presenting two virtual graduate shows as part of its takeover of VDF.

Among them is the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which is presenting a series of furniture that ranges from a fluorescent cabinet to an ottoman that pays homage to Finding Nemo.

Students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), meanwhile, are using Offsite: Online as a platform to share a collection of objects called Eighteen Perspectives on Utopia, which explores what an ideal society can or should be.

Among the students featured are: Joy Zhuo, Emma Fague, Winslow Funaki, Erik DeGiorgi, Xiangyu Wang, Ayumi Kodama, Zihe Gong, Kainan Liu, Will Choui, Hans Hwang, Rachel Bergamini, Nadia Kiblinsky, Shengxun Lin, Lola Dement Myers, Rio Chen Sheldon Bess, Paula Moreno, Sam Link, Tim Karoleff, Nicolas John, Kazuki Guzmán, Jessie Stone and Grace Jeon.

Explore the graduate shows ›

Cuff Studio's furniture unites "femininity with some testosterone"
Cuff Studio's furniture unites "femininity with some testosterone"

Furniture and homewares fair pays homage to its surroundings

Sight Unseen is also showcasing six furniture and homewares collections as part of a virtual fair.

Many of these are imbued with a distinct sense of place, such as Simon Johns' Outcrop collection which is designed to reflect the geology of the Appalachian mountains that surround his studio.

Similarly, Studio POA's woodwork pieces gives voice to its founder's Guatemalan heritage and BZippy & Co.'s oversized ceramics mimic Brutalist architecture.

Beyond that, Lambert & Fils has expanded its "radical" family of Dorval lamps, Field Tiles has released monochromatic renders of its handmade tiles and Cuff Studio's Common Ground series unites "femininity with some testosterone".

Browse the furniture and homewares collections ›

Studio POA gives voice to Guatemalan heritage through furniture and homeware
Studio POA gives voice to Guatemalan heritage through furniture and homeware

Live interview about design fairs going digital

Dezeen's Marcus Fairs hosted a live interview with Sight Unseen founders Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer about the ins and outs of hosting a virtual design fair as part of our Screentime series of interviews.

Beyond the logistics of going digital and lessons the design world can learn from these extraordinary circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the trio will also discuss the importance of building community in a design world that is more physically separated than ever.

Watch the talk ›

Craft and found objects feature in "non-traditional" RISD student collection
RISD students incorporate found objects and craft techniques into "non-traditional" collection

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival is the world's first online design festival, curated and powered by Dezeen and taking place from 15 April to 30 June 2020.

About Sight Unseen

Sight Unseen is a New York-based digital magazine that covers design and visual arts, as well as curating exhibitions such as the annual Sight Unseen Offsite event.

The VDF x Sight Unseen collaboration presents projects by 51 international designers as an extension of this year's virtual version of the exhibition, called Offsite Online.