Hairy seating by the Haas Brothers, on view with R & Company of New York at this year’s Collective Design (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

Today the Collective Design fair opens with almost 30 exhibitors at Skylight Clarkson Sq in Manhattan. There’s a thread of material reuse running through the fifth edition, seen in Stickbulb’s lighting installation made with an arch of 300-year-old redwood reclaimed from defunct New York City water towers and Brook Landscape’s “Green Corridor,” with a floor of timber from Rockaway boardwalks destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. Furniture, lighting fixtures, and functional design dominate, but there’s an increase in photography this year, particularly in the displays of New York galleries Yossi Milo and Yancey Richardson.

Overlooking the sleek booths of the main showroom is a dimly illuminated space where a curious white orb rests on the floor, surrounded by colorful concoctions in containers. If you time your visit right this week, you can witness the orb being pushed around by spectators and members of the Viennese design collective breadedEscalope, whose series of Original Stools are formed by filling a silicone mold within the sphere with resin and using motion to create a unique object.

Martin Schnabl of breadedEscalope preparing to create one of the group’s Original Stools at Collective Design

Participants rolling breadedEscalope’s orb to create an Original Stool at Collective Design

Compared to some of the orb’s previous journeys since 2007, including on the Olympic bobsleigh track in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Spain, a roll around the floor of Skylight Clarkson Sq is fairly mundane. “The project doesn’t really need that,” Michael Tatschl, a member of breadedEscalope, told Hyperallergic of the orb’s more extreme adventures. “We believe it’s much more an engaging project where people join in making things.” Martin Schnabl, a fellow member, added that “there’s always a different outcome that’s site specific.”

The Original Stools will be made from Wednesday to Saturday at the fair at 4:30pm, with a final event taking place on Sunday at 1:30pm. The first attempt, during the media preview on Tuesday, was rather tame, as journalists juggled their cameras and phones with Facebook livestreams while tentatively pushing the ball. “We should be more violent next time,” Schnabl commented upon seeing the yellow seat that emerged from the orb, only slightly misshapen. The resin was still warm to the touch, “like fresh bread,” he added.

breadedEscalope’s first completed Original Stool removed from its orb at Collective Design

Completed Original Stools by breadedEscalope, on view with Frederieke Taylor Gallery of New York

More erratic breadedEscalope creations are on view with Frederieke Taylor Gallery of New York. While they’re certainly the most interactive pieces at this year’s Collective Design (although you might be tempted to collapse on one of the Haas Brothers’ hairy-creature-like couches at R & Company), there’s much for fairgoers to discover. The playful work of Swiss designer Matti Bonetti is featured in the mini Collective Influence exhibition. Flavor Paper and UM Project are presenting touch-activated conductive ink wallpaper that illuminates lights and activates fans. Hidden in an industrial corner of the space, the Noguchi Museum’s installation mixes work by its namesake with undulating sofas by Robert Stadler. Below are more photographs from the fair’s assembly of objects by both local and international designers and artists.

“Ambassador” by Stickbulb, built from reclaimed wood from New York City water towers

Waiting Room: Noguchi/Stadler installation, with designs by Robert Stadler alongside work by Isamu Noguchi, presented by the Noguchi Museum

Flavor Paper and Um Project’s interactive wallpaper that uses conductive ink to activate lights, fans, and other features

Chair by Zhipeng Tan on view with Gallery All of Beijing and Los Angeles

Art by Christopher Russell, on view with Julie Saul Gallery of New York

Photograph by Markus Brunetti, on view with Yossi Milo Gallery of New York

Installation by ceramic artist Peter Lane called “Darkroom”

“Dust Furry” sculptures by Linda Lopez on view with Mindy Solomon Gallery of Miami

Photograph by Mickalene Thomas (at left) on view with Yancey Richardson Gallery of New York

Lighting designs by Christopher Boots of Melbourne

Sculptural casts by Fernando Mastrangelo, which often mix salt, coffee, sand, glass, and cement

Table by Fredrikson Stallard on view with David Gill Gallery of London

LOT-EK’s work for Storefront for Art and Architecture’s New Artifacts, which features three limited-edition, commissioned works

Lamp by Sebastian ErraZuriz on a table by Migguel Anggelo, on view with Cristina Grajales Gallery of New York

Work by Mattia Bonetti on view in the Collective Influence exhibition

Work by Mattia Bonetti on view in the Collective Influence exhibition

Chairs from the Railing Series by Aranda\Lasch, on view with Gallery All of Beijing and Los Angeles

Sculpture by Lone Skov Madsen on view with J. Lohmann Gallery of New York

Vase by Marie-Victoire Winckler, part of TheVanguard Series of 3D printed objects with OTHR

Postwar design on view with Donzella of New York

Porcelain urn by Roberto Lugo with Ruth Bader Ginsburg on one side and Geronimo on the other, on view with Wexler Gallery of Philadelphia

Vessels by Seo Kwang-soo, on view with Gallery LVS of Seoul

“Green Corridor” by Brook Landscape, built with salvaged wood from the Rockaway boardwalk damaged in Hurricane Sandy

“Tinsel Town” entry installation by LAB at Rockwell Group

Collective Design 2017 continues at Skylight Clarkson Sq (550 Washington Street, Hudson Square, Manhattan) through May 7. 

Allison C. Meier is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Oklahoma, she has been covering visual culture and overlooked history for print and online media since 2006. She moonlights...