New York City-based gallery and manufacturer Matter has a well-earned reputation for realising actual products conceived by up-and-coming American designers.
For NYCxDESIGN 2016, founder and creative director Jamie Gray opted to work with some of his favourites. The brand's 'MMotif' installation included collaborations with New York-based designer Ana Kraš with her 'Slon' series of round stools and tables; Brooklyn textile designer Aelfie and multidisciplinary designer Alex Proba of Studio Proba and Mother NY, who collaborated together on plush, geometric rugs; Seattle glass designer John Hogan, who created weighty glass accessories; and design studio Vonnegut/Kraft, who made a daybed and dresser. ‘We were excited to work with designers who understood our collaborative process and whose work I appreciate and admire... basically my design crushes,’ says Gray.
Matter is also expanding its 'Discus' lighting line to include two new collections, 'Nix' and 'Mega'. ‘We took our design from last year, listened to the comments and thoughts that architects and designers had on it and thought about how we could improve,’ says Gray.
Although the gallery’s new collection looks seamless, with muted tones and circular geometries, there was no overarching goal in mind. ‘It’s a very natural, organic process. Sometimes I look and see what the collection is missing and ask a designer to help me fill that gap – other times I just say “Look at our collection and throw things at me”,’ says Gray. ‘Then, eventually, I see a group of work and it all comes together to tell a story.’