Sixteen furniture designers to see at WantedDesign's Look Book
Promotion: a range of contemporary furniture designers will showcase their work as part of Look Book, a networking event presented by Dezeen as part of WantedDesign Manhattan.
Created to function as an in-person portfolio, the annual event was launched in 2018 as a platform for North American designers to share their work with an audience of architects and interior designers as part of a year-long communication programme.
This year, 48 studios will be highlighted during the event, which will take place at the end of May as part of WantedDesign Manhattan's programme at ICFF.
Ranging from designers that favour geometric forms to studios that aim to highlight the imperfections of raw materials, we've compiled 16 of the furniture designers exhibiting at the event, which runs from 21 to 23 May at Manhattan's Javits Center.
Founded by designer Jean-Michel Gadoua, 8888 is a furniture studio based in Montreal that focuses on developing collections that break away from typical contemporary designs, favouring design that evokes "discomfort".
The studio's work is defined by a dark aesthetic that celebrates raw materials and their imperfections.
Based in New York, Bestcase was founded in 2018 with the aim of simplifying the customising and building process of bespoke metal fixtures.
The studio, under the direction of designers Charles Constantine and Randy Rollner, specialises in making products from sheet metal.
Los Angeles designer Jialun Xiong creates pieces that aim to push the boundaries of construction and explore the idea of duality.
"Xiong's design objects balance positive and negative space as a means of heightening the experience of their users, hovering between weightlessness and weighty," said WantedDesign.
Based in Brooklyn, Nice Condo is a furniture design studio with a focus on creating custom, minimalistic furniture that combines geometric forms with common materials.
Led by designer Chris Held, the studio aims to design furniture with a playful approach.
Founded by designer Christian Lo, Toronto-based studio Anony combines the latest technologies with more traditional methods to create minimally manufactured lighting pieces and products that offer ease of use.
Designed around principles of longevity and timelessness, the furniture designed by Mary Ratcliffe Studio is created to balance beauty with function.
"The studio's devotion to craft is highlighted in the construction of its pieces, with time dedicated to working each surface until it becomes its true self," said WantedDesign. "Every product comes with its own story and the studio is building them to be shared through generations."
Autonomous Furniture is a design and build furniture workshop founded in 2013 by Kirk Van Ludwig.
Based on Vancouver Island, the studio aims to create furnishings that add a contemporary touch to the modern home.
Japanese furniture designer Ayako Aratini works as a furniture designer and sculptor in Michigan.
Aiming to highlight the beauty of handmade products, Arantani creates pieces that use the irregularities of organic elements to evoke a sense of comfort.
Based in Brooklyn, Bowen Liu Studio aims to promote peaceful living by producing furniture informed by life experiences.
Drawing upon Liu's many sailing journeys to Long Island, the designer's 2023 Helle Collection includes living room pieces that reflect the view of the Hell Gate Bridge from New York's East River.
Founded in 2002 by William C Stuart, Costantini works with artisans to craft furniture and lighting works using a variety of materials, ranging from bronze to goatskin.
The firm has studios based in both New York and Buenos Aires.
Cam Design Co
Based in New Jersey, CAM Design Co hand-selects raw materials from local and sustainable sources and aims to celebrate their imperfections.
Founder and designer Christopher Miano uses traditional woodworking techniques to produce contemporary furniture, lighting, and other pieces.
East Otis Studio
Founded by husband-and-wife duo Emma and Will Haughery, East Otis Studio is a Pennsylvania-based furniture and design studio with a focus on producing heirloom furniture and detailed pieces.
Brooklyn-based Hachi is a contemporary product and furniture design studio.
Founder and designer Shuya Iida is from Japan, where 'Hachi' represents eight, a number thought to convey prosperity and enrichment, linking to the studio's ethos to "enrich people's lives" through its designs.
Based in Mexico City, Sebastián Ángeles designs and manufactures detailed pieces of furniture that highlight the natural qualities of materials.
"The studio's goal is to create pieces that go beyond form or even function – objects that, over time, gain meaning and create a lasting connection," said WantedDesign.
The High Key
The High Key is a Brooklyn-based studio focusing on using advanced technology to produce innovative designs.
Its Stitched collection, for example, is created in collaboration with robotic knitting technology NearFuture.
"Each item in the collection leverages knitting to produce a range of repeatable effects, demonstrating the technique’s viability in the commercial production of furniture, interiors, and architecture," said WantedDesign.
Having trained at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Will Choui designs furniture that is based upon repeating sequences of two-dimensional geometries.
Choui bends sheet materials into skeletal, unconventional forms, which he explains as "doing what they have to do and nothing else".
To learn more about the event, register on its website.
WantedDesign Manhattan + ICFF takes place from 21-23 May 2023 in Manhattan, New York. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
This article was written by Dezeen for WantedDesign Manhattan as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.