Best Of New York City Design Week: Postmodern Revival | Décor Aid

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Best Of New York City Design Week: Postmodern Revival

pink yellow modernist

If any one design style has defined the past several years, it is Midcentury Modernism. With names like Eames, Saarinen, Mies, and Neutra acting as inspiration, the utopian ideals and purported objectivity of capital “M” Modernism have been the guiding force behind many of the last decade’s design trends. If this year’s New York City Design Week was any indication, though, an entirely different sort of revival is soon to be upon us—that of Postmodernism. Exchanging utopian objectivity for pluralistic subjectivity and formal experimentation, this reactionary design shift finds its roots in the 1970s and 80s, a time when design studios like Memphis were pushing boundaries with structure, material, pattern, and meaning.

This time around, we find designers applying similar aesthetics to contemporary philosophies, now emphasizing ideas like sustainability, ethical production, lasting material, and cultural intersection. Filtered through a minimalist lens, these new designs look both familiar and remarkably fresh. Below, we’re sharing ten of our favorite designs from this exciting movement.

OS and OOS

postmodern style pastel furniture

The creation of Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen, Netherlands-based OS and OOS makes formally experimental objects that blend a minimalist context with Postmodern abstraction.

Anna Karlin

pastel colored geometric stools

These stools from multimedia designer Anna Karlin combine simple shapes with bold, complex pattern.

Aelfie & Studio Proba

geometric pastel area rugs

This collaboration between textile studio Aelfie and Studio Proba features rugs crafted by cottage industry makers in India.

Bower

colored glass nesting tables

Brooklyn-based design studio Bower creates elegant,modern designs using simple geometry and unexpected composition.

Earnest Studio

rough edge marble tray

This lidded tray from Earnest Studio juxtaposes rough-cut natural stone with clean geometry to create subtle complexity.

Umbra Shift

blue pattern throw blanket

An offshoot of the iconic Umbra brand, Umbra Shift produces small objects from emerging designers with a focus on contemporary design currents. Paired together, Shift’s objects represent a dialogue about material, form, and color.

Zoe Mowat

minimal desk design

Montreal designer Zoe Mowat’s furniture combines simple shapes and contrasting materials to create abstract, functional compositions.

Studio Medium

modern pastel daybed

Constructed from steel, copper, and glass, Vancouver-based Studio Medium’s Halo Light showcases everyday forms and materials in a new way.

Vonnegut Kraft

modern minimal vanity

Brooklyn-based studio Vonnegut Kraft pairs simple, legible construction with quietly playful color for a look that is both warm and minimal.

London-based design studio took home The ICFF Editor’s prize for Best Furniture and it’s no surprise why. Their luxurious furnishings combine the formal vocabulary of Postmodernism with Deco sensibilities and materials, a pairing that is at once beautiful, accessible, and cutting-edge.

Best Of New York City Design Week: Postmodern Revival

pink yellow modernist

If any one design style has defined the past several years, it is Midcentury Modernism. With names like Eames, Saarinen, Mies, and Neutra acting as inspiration, the utopian ideals and purported objectivity of capital “M” Modernism have been the guiding force behind many of the last decade’s design trends. If this year’s New York City Design Week was any indication, though, an entirely different sort of revival is soon to be upon us—that of Postmodernism. Exchanging utopian objectivity for pluralistic subjectivity and formal experimentation, this reactionary design shift finds its roots in the 1970s and 80s, a time when design studios like Memphis were pushing boundaries with structure, material, pattern, and meaning.

This time around, we find designers applying similar aesthetics to contemporary philosophies, now emphasizing ideas like sustainability, ethical production, lasting material, and cultural intersection. Filtered through a minimalist lens, these new designs look both familiar and remarkably fresh. Below, we’re sharing ten of our favorite designs from this exciting movement.

OS and OOS

postmodern style pastel furniture

The creation of Oskar Peet and Sophie Mensen, Netherlands-based OS and OOS makes formally experimental objects that blend a minimalist context with Postmodern abstraction.

Anna Karlin

pastel colored geometric stools

These stools from multimedia designer Anna Karlin combine simple shapes with bold, complex pattern.

Aelfie & Studio Proba

geometric pastel area rugs

This collaboration between textile studio Aelfie and Studio Proba features rugs crafted by cottage industry makers in India.

Bower

colored glass nesting tables

Brooklyn-based design studio Bower creates elegant,modern designs using simple geometry and unexpected composition.

Earnest Studio

rough edge marble tray

This lidded tray from Earnest Studio juxtaposes rough-cut natural stone with clean geometry to create subtle complexity.

Umbra Shift

blue pattern throw blanket

An offshoot of the iconic Umbra brand, Umbra Shift produces small objects from emerging designers with a focus on contemporary design currents. Paired together, Shift’s objects represent a dialogue about material, form, and color.

Zoe Mowat

minimal desk design

Montreal designer Zoe Mowat’s furniture combines simple shapes and contrasting materials to create abstract, functional compositions.

Studio Medium

modern pastel daybed

Constructed from steel, copper, and glass, Vancouver-based Studio Medium’s Halo Light showcases everyday forms and materials in a new way.

Vonnegut Kraft

modern minimal vanity

Brooklyn-based studio Vonnegut Kraft pairs simple, legible construction with quietly playful color for a look that is both warm and minimal.

London-based design studio took home The ICFF Editor’s prize for Best Furniture and it’s no surprise why. Their luxurious furnishings combine the formal vocabulary of Postmodernism with Deco sensibilities and materials, a pairing that is at once beautiful, accessible, and cutting-edge.

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