“ART SAN DIEGO 2011 was for Germen Studio a great opportunity to expose my work as a designer to the local San Diego / Tijuana community. I met other colleagues in the design field, and more importantly saw the reaction and interaction of the people with the work. Over all we had very good results exposing some of our furniture works in the Fair, with pieces like the Loitering Benches that refer to the difficulties and contradiction in the use of public spaces in California with confusing and over-ruled laws of anti-loitering.” – Giacomo Castagnola, Spotlight Designer | Germen Studio
David Weeks Studio. Brooklyn, NY, USA
In 1990, David Weeks graduated from Rhode Island School of Design after studying painting and sculpture. He relocated to New York City where a chance job painting jewelry designer Ted Muehling’s store, led to an apprenticeship. While working under Muehling, Weeks’ interest shifted from fine art to design—in particular, to the idea of infusing functional objects with grace and sculptural style. He started a metal-fabrication shop where he constructed curtain rods, tables and bookshelves for friends, eventually gravitated to lamps.
David Weeks Studio was established in 1996, and headquartered in a timeworn factory in Brooklyns DUMBO neighborhood. Employing his sculpture background, Weeks developed a line of lights possessing both the clean perfection of machine-made products and the creative freedom of one-of-a kind objects. His custom lighting is marked by uncommon attention to detail and evocative materials: spun aluminum and steel, oxidized metals, nickel-plating, and two-tone powder coated shades.
Tanya Aguiñiga. Tijuana, BC, MX – Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tanya Aguiñiga (b.1978) is a Los Angeles based furniture designer/maker raised in Tijuana, Mexico. Tanya’s work is informed by border experiences: the interconnectedness of societies, the beauty in struggle and the celebration of culture. She uses furniture as a way to translate emotions into a three dimensional objects and tell stories trough color and touch. Her work encourages users to reconsider the objects they use on a daily basis by creating work that explores an objects’ unseen aspect, such as half chairs that rely on the wall to function and whose image is only complete as its shadow is cast upon the wall.
Castor Design. Toronto, Ontario, CA
Castor is Brian Richer (a trained Architectural Stone Carver with a degree in English Literature) and Kei Ng (a trained Architect with a background in set design). Castor’s work has been described as a cross between Guy Maddin and Larry Clark with a side of stompin’ Tom Connors. They are interested in the middle ground between high design and Ribald Yokelism. Materials and reuse of materials is also an important part of Castor’s aesthetic. Burnt out bulbs to make lighting, a rusty shipping container to make a sauna – this re-contextualization of materials is a primary design consideration for Castor.
Domestic Pleasures. SDSU Furniture Design Program, San Diego, CA, USA
Curated by: SDSU Professor Wendy Maruyama and San Diego Architect Jennifer Luce
A selection of works by San Diego State University faculty, students and alumni that extends our perceptions of furniture and the role that these objects can have in a domestic setting.
Furniture has always been an object of domesticity – often sitting unnoticed in day to day life but constantly a part of our world. These works are both artful and provocative, many of which are functional in more ways than one. Works by: Jennifer Anderson, Erin Dace Behling, Reuben Foat, David Fobes, Matthew Hebert, Adam Manley, Wendy Maruyama, Marcus Papay, Todd Partridge.
The mission of the Furniture Design Program and the School of Art, Design, and Art History is to foster and nurture a strong philosophy of cross-disciplinary and collaborative learning based in the traditional processes of craft and material, while encouraging sculptural, innovative, and experimental endeavors within the field.
Giacomo Castagnola. Lima, PE
Giacomo Castagnola (b.1976) is originally from Lima, Perú, he has lived and worked in the border region of Tijuana / San Diego, where he established Germen Estudio of architecture and design. He explores materiality and interconnectivity through mobile furniture design that starts from an understanding of furniture as manufactured matter related to the body. His furniture behaves as functional objects and as mechanisms that involve and generate movement, growth, and exchange.
Working in the interstitial space connecting the body and the building, Castagnola’s furniture exists between the scale of a chair and the scale of the room. It exploits the expansiveness of this in-between dimension starting from a micro unit, as a unique entity, and expands and multiplies towards the macro scale of modular systems.
Aguíñiga and Castagnola were both part of our “Art Talks” this year, a fruitful new project that gives the art fair visitors a unique and intimate opportunity to sit and talk—literally over-the-table—with some of the best artists in the California / Baja California region.