The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.
Nilufar’s Open Edition Lands at The Future Perfect
Since its inception in 1979, Milanese gallery Nilufar has been a destination for design enthusiasts from around the world for its array of wares by contemporary and historical design talents. The gallery made waves earlier this year when it launched Open Edition, an in-house line of furniture and décor by of-the-moment luminaries such as Osanna Visconti, Gal Gaon, David/Nicolas, and more.
Until this past week, Americans in search of Open Edition had no other option than a trek to Nilufar’s galleries in Milan. This week, The Future Perfect and Nilufar announced the American design gallery as the sole purveyor of Open Edition in the United States. An 18-piece edit of the line’s 100 works of furniture, lighting, and objects is currently on view at The Future Perfect New York’s parlor level. While each is by a contemporary designer, the boxy sofas, velvet-slub textiles, and geometric lighting channel the more-is-more ethos of the country’s ‘70s and ‘80s-era of design. —Jenna Adrian-Diaz
Saudi Arabia’s Neom mega project has unveiled its latest region, Epicon, a tourist destination located on the Gulf of Aqaba coast. The work of architecture studio 10Design, it will feature two interconnected steel-clad skyscrapers, measuring 738 and 902 feet high, and housing 41 hotel and luxury residences. Epicon will also include the Epicon resort with 120 rooms, 45 beach villas, a beach club, spa, restaurants, library, gym, and leisure facilities. Neom’s ambitious vision comprises 10 regions in total, but it has faced criticism on human rights grounds, including forced evictions and controversial executions in the area.
Giorgio Armani, the 89-year-old CEO and sole shareholder of his fashion empire, has laid out detailed rules for the future governance of the company after his passing. A 2016 document, reviewed by Reuters, outlines principles for potential stock market listings and mergers and commits heirs to maintaining the brand’s elegant style. The bylaws also divide the company’s share capital into categories with different voting rights and powers. Armani’s succession plan involves family members, collaborators, and a charitable foundation, aiming to ensure a smooth transition while preserving the brand’s independence. Armani has also created a foundation to protect the business’s values and reinvest capital for charitable causes.
Renowned artist Radcliffe Bailey has died at 55 in Atlanta after battling brain cancer. Over his three-decade career, Bailey created a significant body of work that integrated found objects and images into sculptures and paintings, addressing the history, present, and future of Black Americans. His works often featured elements like tintypes from his family’s archive, Georgian red clay, shipping tarps, and African figurines, exploring themes of Black history and identity. Bailey’s influential pieces, such as the monumental Windward Coast and Strangest Fruit, delved into the profound impact of slavery and the interconnectedness of Black lives.
Heatherwick Studio has unveiled a mixed-use project in Xi’an, China, in collaboration with CR Land, aiming to revamp the city by countering the emotional and aesthetic void of online shopping. The design takes inspiration from Xi’an’s ceramic heritage, employing an expressive and intricate material palette. Spanning 1.24 million square feet, the development will include offices, apartments, a hotel, and green spaces, emphasizing human interaction, relaxation, and the city’s craft legacy. The district will feature interlocking frames, terraces, and sensorial experiences, with ceramic patterns inspired by the Terracotta Army for a unique visual identity. Construction is ongoing, with a planned opening in 2024.
The four remaining members of the committee responsible for selecting the art director of the next Documenta have resigned in response to the departure of Ranjit Hoskoté, who faced criticism for signing an allegedly antisemitic statement. The committee members expressed concern about the future of Documenta and the stifling of diverse perspectives and discourse in Germany. Hoskoté had resigned due to controversy surrounding his association with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to support Palestinian causes and pressure Israel politically. This development raises doubts about the timeline for announcing the artistic direction of the upcoming Documenta event, scheduled for 2027.