COPYWRITER + EDITOR > Press Releases


Object Society 10th Annual Exhibition
Exhibition: Monday, June 10–Friday, June 21, 2019
Montauk Sofa Showroom
1229 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

CHICAGO, IL–Neocon may be over, but there’s more to see at the Object Society’s 10th annual exhibition, on display now through Friday, June 21 at Montauk Sofa’s Fulton Market showroom (1229 W Lake Street). The Chicago-based Object Society is a group of designers working at the forefront of Midwest design, manipulating a wide variety of mediums from wood and metal to leather and ceramics. Each member is dedicated to approaching interior and product design in a thoughtful way. This year’s exhibition runs the gamut from furniture and lighting to sculpture and textiles, and it’s a who’s who of Chicago design.

(In alphabetical order)

57st. Design combines solid hardwoods and hand-rubbed finishes to create functional and straightforward furniture. Inspiration comes from a variety of styles ranging from American Shaker to Scandinavian modernism to traditional Japanese woodworking.

At AKMD Collection, Mike Dreeben and his partner Ayush Kasliwal are inspired by the production process, always driven to understand the material in hand and the best way to manipulate it. Like much of the AKMD Collection, the chairs on display are simple and unfussy, yet created with meticulous craftsmanship.

Assembly Design, the collaborative work of Pete Oyler and Nora Mattingly, produces a wide variety of objects from glass blown vases to modular tables made of wood. A big part of their artistic identity stems from their fascination with technique, both traditional and experimental.

Fo Wilson and Norman Teague of BlkHaus Studios seek to use design as a catalyst for change and a way to uplift marginalized communities. Their name is a nod to their heritage as African-Americans, as well as their modernist design training.

Bridgette Buckley Bertran’s design sensibilities are deeply rooted in the Scandanavian aesthetic after years spent living and working there. The furniture, lighting, and accessories she designs all bear the trademark of clean lines and a focus on functionality.

A lifelong fascination with midcentury design fuels the work of Carson Maddox and his eponymous studio. A founding member of the Object Society, carson maddox studios is also one of the six members of Dock 6 Collective, a group of makers collaborating inside a shared workshop.

EDS 121 Shelving by Casey Lurie Studio reflects Lurie’s years spent in Tokyo as designer-in-residence for Japanese furniture manufacturer Idée. As with much of Lurie’s work, this storage unit plays with detail, scale, and proportion as well as the use of beautiful natural materials.

Armed with a master’s degree in Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and a background in product design working for some of the biggest names in furniture, Kenny Nelson creates work of his own under the name Chapter Design.

Classical shapes inspire Elliot Eakin of Elliot Eakin Furniture, though each piece has a unique or unexpected element, whether it’s the materials, shape, or scale. This is the case with the Marquetry Side table, a slim table carved from one piece of bronze then polished to a high gloss shine.

Gina Dorough focuses on one-of-a-kind handcrafted textiles and leather products at Gina Dorough Surface Studio. Offering a wide variety of colorways and patterns means that she’s able to suit her clients’ tastes and spaces perfectly, whether they’re looking for hand-dyed leather upholstered dining chairs or hand-painted window sheers.

Designer Andrew Kephart brings a keen eye for detail and a background in engineering to every piece of -ism Furniture. This year, Kephart is showcasing a new woven bench design that can be customized with different colors and weave materials. -ism Furniture is a member of the Dock 6 Collective.

The focus at Jason Lewis Furniture is handcrafted solid wood furniture made with traditional joinery techniques. The result is elegant products built to last like this simple and understated wall mirror with built-in shelf.

Michael Koehler of Koehler Design Build manipulates beautiful hardwood to create furniture and interior spaces for his commercial and residential clients.

Seth Deysach, owner and creative director of Lagomorph Design, collaborates with clients to create extraordinary custom furniture, cabinetry, and millwork. Mixing materials is Lagomorph’s bread and butter, as can be seen with their RCKR on display this year: a modern rocking chair with fluffy sheepskin upholstery and white oak legs. Lagomorph Design is a member of the Dock 6 Collective.

At Lake + Wells Studio, husband-and-wife team Mark Kinsley and Tamera Leigh Staten tell stories that connect modern techniques and time-honored traditions through furniture, lighting, and objects. For instance there’s Jax, a reminaged crystal chandelier featuring high-powered LEDs and Portal, a lighting fixture that straddles the line between sconce and floor lamp to become a beautiful, and functional, sculpture.

Lydia Meyer and Sam Link of Laylo Studio combine solid-wood joinery, fine metalwork, and woven leathers to create one-of-a-kind furniture that speaks to the postmodern perspective. Leather cord woven through brushed stainless dowels makes up the Basso Bench, a combination which is both comfortable and durable.

Ross and Elizabeth Fiersten of Manifold explore the space between sculptural form and functional object inside their manufacturing workshop and storefront gallery. Their Reza side table is made of steel with a two-tone patina.

Manual wants to slow you down. Historically, products made by designer Craighton Berman have focused on celebrating the slow food movement (coffeemakers, cocktail sets, bottle openers). With this show, Berman branches into furniture with Stool Nº1, a combination of a steel wire frame and a hardwood seat, as well as a new collection of minimal steel plant stands meant to be stacked and flipped to create new and interesting profiles.

McKenzie & Keim is a lighting design studio crafting fixtures that merge LED technology with classic materials such as brass, glass, and solid wood. The results are timeless and efficient pieces like the Nova chandelier 6, an elegant and geometric centerpiece with white glass shades and dimmable LEDs.

Designer-fabricator Jacob Wener runs Modern Industry focusing on hand craftsmanship and sustainably sourced hardwoods. The wood he uses is processed and finished by hand, which ensures that each piece will be unique, easy-to-repair, and heirloom-quality.

Navillus Woodworks is a design-build company led by Dan Sullivan, specializing in high-end furniture, millwork, and art installations. Sullivan is showing the latest iteration of his Franklin dining chair as well as a mid-century inspired sideboard with stunning CNC carved doors. Navillus Woodworks is a member of the Dock 6 Collective.

numbskullduggery is a ceramics collection by British artist Polly Yates who handmakes vessels that are both sculptural and functional. Yates is showing work of her own, as well as a ceramic and walnut table lamp collaboration with Manifold, under the name House of Frankie Lou, pictured here atop the Navillus Woodworks sideboard.

Alexander Jones is the designer-fabricator behind Offset Industries and his steel mesh fire pit welcomes guests into the Montauk Sofa courtyard. When creating, Jones’ focus has always been on making things that last.

Ray Doeksen designs and fabricates custom furnishings.

Seth Keller of Seth Keller Design is a faculty member in the Designed Objects department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and serves as the Director of the Sullivan Fabrication Studio, a makerspace there. His Melt Tables play with color and shape, asking the viewer to reflect upon the relationship between what’s natural and what’s manmade.

Steven Haulenbeek is an artist and designer whose fascination with materials and experimentation drive his hands-on design process. Haulenbeek creates products with interesting textures and shapes but also interesting fabrication stories, whether they are bronze cast from ice or made from resin-bonded sand.

At Studio Herron, artist Dee Clements designs blankets, rugs, pillows, wall tapestries, art objects, furniture, and soft goods to be tactile and sensory experiences. Her unique aesthetic coupled with traditional craft methodologies result in products like the Clip Chair and the Conversation Rug, which can be seen as purely utilitarian, made for everyday use, or works of art made to spark joy.

T J O K E E F E aims to create powerful objects through minimalism. At this year’s event, O’Keefe is showing 45, a triangular light that is simple yet striking.

At zakrose, designer Zak Rose leads a team of highly-skilled fabricators crafting furniture and interior objects. Functionality drives everything Rose designs, including the curved shelving units on display, which combine powder-coated steel tubing with beautiful solid pine and walnut. zakrose is a member of the Dock 6 Collective.

Object Society 10 Designer Profiles