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The cityʼs first flash furniture exhibit made itʼs debut during New York Design Week 2012, with record crowds passing through the outdoor location at the intersection of 9th Ave. & 14th St. in NYCʼs Meatpacking District. The show included local designer/makers that were not accepted by a juried show, organizing as a Salon des Refuses (French: Exhibit of the Refused). The exhibit will now move to the Yippie Museum Cafe at 9 Bleeker St. in lower Manhattan.
The SdR NYC event is being held in the tradition of the original Salon des Refuses, an 1867 exhibition that displayed works outside of the official Paris salon.
The works, made of locally reclaimed lumber, and a range of other refuse, are a mix of furniture types – benches, chairs, tables, consoles, and an iChamber (part homage to itʼs location opposite the Apple Store). Whether the furniture measures up to other 2012 Design Week installations (the public and critics will judge), does not detract from it’s celebration of local craftsmanship, sustainability and public accessibility. The exhibit is free to the public. As one Refusé reported, “People have interacted with the furniture and designers, and appreciate the relaxed outdoor spot. We definitely didnʼt feel refused. Other NY Design Week events, by economic necessity, need to charge for admission, though attendees experience an exceptional collection of international and local design. It’s hoped that future NY design weeks serve to engage the public more widely and that the success of the Salon des Refusés in terms of public outreach and the inclusion of designers with limited marketing resources, can be multiplied. Restraint in branding the event critical to it’s happening.
As the Refusés explain, “…employing these materials and processes that are abstract, narrative, or representational of history breaks the exhibition free to explore a labyrinth or questions, while challenging the fluctuating and increasingly limited expectation of peopleʼs attention to strictly time based contemporary design.” The group includes Reliquary Studio, Stanzione Studios, Yoav S. Leiberman, Nairo Noton, Richard Rivero, Radek, S. Peltzer, Whiskey Neat and Miquel Oliveres.</p><p>
The exhibition also makes visible the potential in the cityʼs c & d waste stream, advocating for a lumber recycling law that is now being prepared for debate by the City Council.
The open air location in the Meatpacking District will see the Salon des Refusés set against landmark commercial buildings. It is also diagonal the Apple Store – the furnitureʼs natural handmade qualities across an iconic symbol of modern technology and society. Contemporary design is where they intersect – the opposing energies in the transforming magic of New York City.