Why No Instagrams Allowed Made "This Is Competition" by Tino Sehgal the Best Thing at Art Basel

Curator: Alex Mustonen
date: July 25, 2014
Categories: Architecture, Experience Design
Tags: architecture, art, Basel, Herzog & de Meuron, Tino Sehgal
The best thing at Art Basel this June was an empty room containing a piece by Tino Sehgal called "This Is Competition." Two gallerists representing Sehgal stand and introduce themselves as well as the work, which involves discussing, re-enacting and ostensibly selling past works by the artist. 

The brilliant and entrancing aspect of the performance is that the gallerists speak by saying single, alternating words with each other in an ongoing, improvised speech that's also a choreographed, cooperative monologue and a lilting, competitive dialogue. 

Sehgal's work is immaterial and impressively undocumented. This piece and his portrait are represented only as empty grey boxes without descriptions in the official materials for the exhibition. The very fact that "This Is Competition" can't be photographed and shared via Instagram made it an indelibly memorable moment.

The empty room in question was one of 14 in the "14 Rooms" exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach, which was a powerful experience. The show's success was in part determined by the architectural environment designed by Herzog & de Meuron. A freestanding box within Hall 3 of Messe Basel, the interior contained a massive corridor with mirrored walls at either end. Along each side of the corridor were seven mirrored doors, each with a unique, sculptural wood handle. Only by opening the door and entering the room would you discover what was occurring within--an experience a little like playing "Let's Make A Deal" in a hall of mirrors.
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Various Keytags by Various Projects Brings Me Back to a Simpler Time in CNC Milling

Curator: Alex Mustonen
date: July 24, 2014
Categories: Product Design
Tags: product design
My first introduction to any kind of digital fabrication was through my 7th grade tech ed class. One of our assignments (CAD/CAM technology) was to make a desk name plate by typing our name into a computer and watching it magically appear in a single-line font CNC milled into a piece of colored plastic. I'm glad to see Various Projects bringing it back in a smart, playful way with their Various Keytags. It's a simple concept, successfully realized.

Their pigeon is still one my favorites.

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Clock Clock by Humans Since 1982 for Victor Hunt

Curator: Alex Mustonen
date: July 23, 2014
Categories: Experience Design, Product Design
Tags: clock, product design, video

The clock clock white by humans since 1982 from Humans since 1982 on Vimeo.

Humans Since 1982 and Victor Hunt killed it on this one. You really have to see Clock Clock in person to fully understand and appreciate how mesmerizing it is. I love that it's driven by relatively advanced technology, but it's experienced in a very direct way through a well-designed, physical object. 

This is at the top of my list of works that I would love to have in my house, but unfortunately won't be able to afford anytime soon.
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Why Public School's Fall/Winter 2014 Collection is Just. So. Good.

Curator: Alex Mustonen
date: July 22, 2014
Categories: Experience Design
Tags: Fashion
The experience of seeing Public School's Winter 2014 show in New York this past February was a little unreal. The excitement in the room was electric, like watching your hometown team move up to the majors. 

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Gridlock by Philippe Malouin for Roll & Hill

Curator: Alex Mustonen
date: July 21, 2014
Categories: Environmental Design, Product Design
Tags: Lighting, product design
When we worked with Roll & Hill to design their exhibition for ICFF in May, I got to see one of the early prototypes from the Gridlock lighting collection at their shop, and I was really impressed. These pieces are incredibly intricate, yet with just a single bulb at the center they're incredibly simple, too. There's also a nice relationship between the industrial aspect of the structural grid and the ancient form of the stepped pyramid. It's another example of a piece that really transforms when you see it in person depending on how the light reflects and diffuses through it.
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