Over the past twelve years, hundreds of designers have passed through the doors of New York design stalwart Jamie Gray’s SoHo showroom, Matter. Since premiering the space in 2003, Gray has hosted over 50 shows, exhibiting the work of everyone from local emerging talents to international design superstars. In 2008 he introduced Matter Made, an eponymous in-house collection designed, developed and manufactured at the brand’s Brooklyn workshop, which has grown year on year.
During last week’s NYCxDesign* the New York brand presented its 2015 collection, which comprises the work of five North American designers as well as new lighting from Gray himself. “I’ve wanted to collaborate with all of them for a while,” says Gray, “but it takes a while to land on something that resonates.” The resulting pieces include a maple coffee table by London-based, Canadian-born Philippe Malouin as well as a lightweight maple chair that was previously made in 2013 by the designer as a limited edition in sand-cast aluminium.
NYC-based Serbian designer Ana Kras makes her debut with a collection of tables named ‘Slon’ (elephant in Czech). With round wooden tops set onto wide cylindrical bases, the pieces are arranged across the showroom to form a landscape of warm terracotta, pale grey and blue paired with bold black and white stripes. “Ana wanted to do something with color,” explains Gray, “so I told her to go crazy. I never in a million years would have thought of or picked these colours and so when she came with this it was perfect.”
Also making their debut at the SoHo showroom are Brooklyn duo Vonnegut Kraft who have created a multi dimensional blown glass pendant called ‘Origin’, while Joseph Guerra and Sina Sohrab of New York studio Visibility have crafted a line of round-edged desk accessories in marble and cast iron. Gray’s own studio has also been hard at work on two new sculptural lighting designs – ‘Landscape’ – a pendant with a low sloped cast aluminium shade and ‘Pyramid’ – a more elaborate inverted pyramid piece that, when lit, makes a dazzling prism effect.
NYCxDesign will return in 2016 even bigger and better in a mission to raise the profile of New York City as one of the world’s design capitals.
*NYCxDesign is New York’s celebration of design and creativity and, this year, it ran from 8 to 19 May. The fourth edition of the event took place in various venues, museums, galleries and fairs across the city. The celebration encompasses a vast ensemble of different creative events, related to design, architecture, graphics, fashion, technology and urbanism.