Happily, it’s become easier in recent years to find mundane household objects, like dish racks and trash cans, that actually look good. But a Harvard- and Columbia-trained architect named Ray Koh, for one, sees trouble down the line in the mass availability of pretty plungers at the home-furnishings chains. According to Koh, “you’re getting quantity and imitation over quality and innovation.” So he started the Conduit Group (conduitgroup.org) to produce and distribute the work of North American furniture and product designers who may not otherwise have a way to bring their pieces to market. For his first design competition, jurors including design stars Ali Tayar and Constantin Boym chose twelve winning products out of hundreds of entries. They’ll be on sale at Lyonswier Gallery (511 West 25th Street, No. 205; 212-242-6220), along with a selection of the jurors’ own work, from December 11 till January 7. Prices range from $5 for the “Coffee Cup/Vase” by Paul and Chris Massie to $1,800 for Rie Egawa and Burgess Zbryk’s sweater floor lamp.
We suggest snapping up these “first edition” pieces. Once the Conduit collection makes its formal debut next May during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, they’re sure to soar in value.