ICFF Preview: Assembly Design + New Friends’ US Chair

Two NYC studios' styles collide for a striking, limited-edition furniture collaboration

In anticipation of the second official NYCxDesign week and this weekend’s opening of ICFF, New York-based furniture studio Assembly Design paired up with textile innovators New Friends for a beautiful, limited-edition piece. The “US Chair” perfectly balances and combines the strengths of each studio. Drawing on Assembly’s penchant for traditional designs and methods reinterpreted through a modern perspective, founders Peter Oyler and Nora Mattingly started with their existing exaggerated, high-backed “U Chair” design. “We wanted to work with New Friends because their forward-thinking approach to textiles is very similar to our approach to furniture design,” says Oyler. “We don’t typically collaborate with other design studios but in this instance, we were excited to merge our aesthetics.”

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The large back of the chair gave New Friends founders Alexandra Segreti and Kelly Rakowski a canvas to display their weavings that combine age-old methods with contemporary fine art graphic design. “We were inspired by both materials and imagery,” says Rakowski, “Looking at the New Mexican desert, rock formations and our favorite animal: sheep.” The geometric, clean lines of Assembly’s designs provide a contrast to the organic, natural feel of New Friends’ textile work—and the result is stunning. “We liked the graphic structure of the checkerboard pattern, combined with the swirling, unruliness of the marbled paint,” Rakowski adds.

Limited to just 10 pieces, the “US Chair” is available from Assembly Design for $2,700. If you’re in NYC, be sure to check out ICFF, running 17-20 May 2014.

Photos by Katharina Galla