WantedDesign Manhattan 2023


MAY 21-23



Unbounded by any preexisting definitions or illusions of domestic bliss, Rewilded Domesticity represents a collection of objects that express a collective yearning for connection through bold, organic materiality, honest structure and the inherited wisdom of found artifacts. Acknowledging the angst of displacement, migration, disharmony and inhospitable conditions, these objects fiercely reclaim the agency to make a “home” in any situation and with any chosen collective. Created not as products, but as tools of in-person interaction, models of care and attention and vessels of meaning, these objects speak loudly of what is deemed to be missing in keyboard strokes, mouse clicks and digital socializing by choosing to demonstrate the physical, emotional and creative labor essential to establishing and nurturing genuine bonds. Not so much a nod to a former existence or traditional techniques, though many are deftly deployed, they serve as an intentional grounding in processes more earthly than virtual. The result is a form of generative utility that facilitates the reciprocal and life-sustaining feedback loop of meaningful connection.

Michelle Jiaxin Huang  Eternal Recurrence - Landing

BFA 2023 FD

mild steel

Eternal Recurrence – Landing, is the second half of a speculative project investigating a search for cyclic life. It serves as the “landing pad” for a philosophical escape from linear time and seeks to contextualize cyclic life through a specific ambiguity in form, suggesting ideas of birth, transport and communication.

website: michellejxhuang.com

instagram: @michjxh

Samuel Aguirre  Chair 03v08 Lite

MFA 2024 FD

post-consumer paper pulp, corn starch, woven cotton

Chair 03V08 Lite, is a plant-based, compostable chair. It consists of three primary raw materials: post-consumer paper pulp, corn starch and woven cotton. Chair 03V08 Lite is built to last as long as you'd like and designed to compost in less than a year at the end of its life. The use of commercially available materials is intentional as it tells us what is possible, at scale, here and now, to directly address our dependence on oil. Chair 03V08 Lite is a proof of concept: proof that our hurdle is not a matter of resources, but design ingenuity and industriousness. 

instagram: @sam_indaman

Kira Wilson  Oak Chest

BFA 2024 FD

steel, paint, #2 pencil

Made of steel, Oak Chest draws on little everyday absurdities that often go unnoticed, like the plastic laminate printed with oak woodgrain that covers school desks. The oak pattern is hand drawn with a #2 pencil and etched into the surface, creating a faux woodgrain pattern while simultaneously exposing the steel underneath. Oak Chest pokes fun at the casual artiface that we are so accustomed to in our day-to-day material world and questions why we attach value to some materials and disguise others. 

website: kirawilson.org

instagram: @kirawilso

Yuxuan Huang Twig Chair

MFA 2024 FD

Baltic birch plywood

Composed entirely of Baltic birch plywood, Twig Chair intends to reveal the inconspicuous beauty inside this material and its mundanity. With CNC-milled laminated plywood, the contour lines of birch veneer gradually shape a pattern resembling the growth rings of trees. Inspired by waterfalls and the human figure, Twig Chair's minimalist sculptural form is a metaphor for humanity: through its form and materiality, it prompts a contemplative dialogue between humans, nature and industrialization. Twig Chair could be produced by recycled and wasted commercial plywood to create a sustainable, economical and aesthetic future product. 

website: yuxuan-huang.com

instagram: @yuxuan_huang__

Han-Ray Jahn  New Land

BFA 2023 FD

steel tube, braised bronze

New Land is a reflection of the Asian American experience. The chair takes the traditional form of the Ming Dynasty ox bow chair but alters it through new materials: steel and bronze. This way, the chair creates a physical metaphor by translating the old culture into a new land through new material. 

instagram: @hanraysquared

Callum Houck  Chained Basket

BFA 2023 FD

copper pipe

This piece is made from a collection of copper pipes found at the scrapyard that have been repetitively processed into the form of six chains trapped within a frame to form a basket.

instagram: @callumhouck

Theju Nimmagadda Yellow Study

BFA 2023 FD

one cedar 5x5, yellow oil pigment

This piece is the result of an entirely spontaneous making process, where a cedar 5x5 has been segmented, glued together, painted and then slowly cut away without any predetermined model or drawing dictating its form. Based on imagery of paint peeling and chipping from surfaces to reveal the true material underneath, this chair aims to assign value to mass-produced, big-box lumber through the platform of design, deprogramming associations of disposability in regard to cheap materials. 

website: thejunimmagadda.com

instagram: @theju.nimmagadda

Aydan Huseynli Fraser Bench

BFA 2024 FD

Douglas fir, found branches, pine tar, linseed oil

To memorialize the gently rocking docks by the Fraser River in Fort Langley, British Columbia, the Fraser Bench embodies forms of the site. The Douglas fir, sourced in Rhode Island, is inlaid with branches and driftwood collected on the river’s shores. Bringing the two into one surface explores the transient nature of home and accumulation of memory. 

website: ay-dan.com

instagram: @aydannova

Jan Rybczynski Bowline Chair

BFA 2023 FD

ash, shellac, paste wax

This chair is an exploration in woven wood bending. An object built to better wrap my head around new ways of thinking: the incredible ability of steam, the hidden softness of lignin, the brute strength of glue and the deceptive similarity of chipboard. Inspired by marlinspike seamanship sailing traditions, this chair demonstrates how laminated and steam-bent wood can be tied into a knot.

website: janrybczynski.com

instagram: @ryb.czy.nski.studio

Bill Carroll Day Mantle (Heart of the Home)

MFA 2023 FD

ash, ash plywood, dust

Day Mantle (Heart of the Home) is an exploration of adornment and surface treatment. Composed of ash, ash plywood and dust, a material developed and explored by Bill Carroll in his 2022 piece Dust Chair, Day Mantle (Heart of the Home) replaces usual methods of adornment found in fireplace surrounds such as marble with material left behind from the piece’s becoming. Day Mantle (Heart of the Home) is an exploration towards a “new beauty,” one that honors the life of the materials in each state of their being and makes this life apparent through ornamentation and the crafting of a living surface. 

instagram: @_billcarroll

Cam Lasson Sauna Stove

BFA 2024 FD

carbon steel, sea stones

Sauna Stove was designed focusing on the spiritual personality that inanimate objects contain, speculating on the nature of the spirit that the stove might house with years of use. The patina is a naturally occurring oxidation that happens on the surface of the metal when a fire is burned inside, a physical manifestation of the spirit of the stove. Considering the inherent contradictions between the industrial and traditional, the stove was inspired by both ubiquitous industrially made objects like the moka pot and smokey joe barbeque and the traditional wood-fired sauna stove.

website: camlasson.com

instagram: @cameronlasson

Jake Stockman Planar Chair

BFA 2023 FD

beech, danish oil

This chair was made using traditional Windsor construction methods in an unusually reductive and rectilinear manner. Material was excavated from the square wooden components with precision planar cuts in contrast to the usual round turnings found in this type of chair. By defying convention, the chair's industrial manner presents the wood as a descriptive surface, unmoored from tradition and tree.

instagram: @jake_stockman

Jonathan Samuel Dinetz Untitled

BFA 2024 FD

poplar, speckled spray paint

This sled is an exercise in destabilizing a total reality: a transportation vehicle offering a mode for speculation and dreaming, beyond presumed constraints. 

website: jonathandinetz.com

instagram: @jonnyneverlanded

Lisa Sacco Reflection Plane

MFA 2023 FD

red oak, quarter-sawn; polished steel

Poetic and subdued, Reflection Plane is a hushed arrangement of two elements: oak and steel. A mirror created from a single plank of red oak and a circle of polished stainless steel serve as both a functional and sculptural object. 

website: lisasacco.com

instagram: @lisasaccodesign

Louis Cohen Sinew Table

MFA 2023 FD

European beech, soap finish

Designed with the intention of pulling people together towards its center, the Sinew Table uses a series of tangentially continuous curves to blend forms and keep the eye moving inward. Gently sloping surfaces present an invitation to the hand, while the table’s scale suggests opportunity for intimate gatherings.

website: louis-cohen.com

Samuel Aguirre Vessel 01

MFA 2024 FD

mild steel, ferric nitrate patina

Vessel 01 is an exercise in intuition. Let go of a destination and allow play to find an intuitive use of the shapes available.

instagram: @sam_indaman

RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) is a creative community founded in 1877 in Providence, Rhode Island. Today, we enroll 2,620 students hailing from 59 countries. Led by a committed faculty, they are engaged in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and supported by a worldwide network of over 31,000 alumni who demonstrate the vital role artists and designers play in today’s society.

Beyond facts and figures, what is the spirit of this community? Through a cross-disciplinary curriculum of studio-based learning and rigorous study in the liberal arts, RISD students are encouraged to develop their own personal creative processes, but they are united by one guiding principle: in order to create, one must question. In cultivating expansive and elastic thinking, RISD seeks to activate a critical exchange that empowers artists, designers and scholars to generate and challenge the ideas that shape our world. RISD’s mission, at both the college and museum, is not only to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, but to transmit that knowledge and make global contributions. Learn more at risd.edu

About Furniture Design at RISD Students in RISD’s Furniture Design department embark on a course of study encompassing theory, skills, context, research and professional practices. Drawing from a rich tradition, they are encouraged to experiment and work with a wide range of emerging materials and technologies, developing individual voices through the process of making. The program emphasizes the principles and practice of furniture design as well as the social value of art, design and responsible citizenship. Learn more about the Furniture Design at RISD here.

organized and directed by faculty Amy Devers, Lothar Windels and Meg Callahan

graphic design by Casey Callahan

photography by Erik Gould

View the press release HERE

For press inquiries, please contact:

Jaime Marland

RISD Public Relations

401 427-6954


For information on specific works, please contact:

Marilyn Grear

Furniture Design Department, RISD