VERSO Explores Design Unencumbered by Discipline


If God is in the details – as the famous German idiom truly goes – then finding introspection through emotive objects is akin to prayer. Facilitating this material communion is New York- and San Francisco-based interdisciplinary design studio Office of Tangible Space (OTS) whose first solo show, No Discipline, is proudly presented by the TriBeCa-headquartered gallery VERSO. This exercise marries the maker’s line of inquiry regarding human connection to physical space with the gallery’s affinity for allegorical design works. A congregation of home furnishings comprising creative collaborations between OTS and Made By Choice, Poppy Prints, Thirdkind, Rosie Li, Mondays, Ruxandra Duru, and Aelfie, alongside a debut of their new in-house furniture collection, all serve to answer one question: how might we forge connections between person and product to enhance the experience of place?

Interior of a stylish living room with large windows overlooking a city street, featuring a patterned sofa, green coffee table, and decorative plants.

Area rug from the Niwa Collection designed by Office of Tangible Space for Aelfie

A cozy living space with patterned sofas, two round coffee tables, and a modern chair, accented with decorative vases and a leather pouf, illuminated by natural light.

Area rug from the Niwa Collection designed by Office of Tangible Space for Aelfie

Modern furniture in a stylish room, featuring a unique metal and leather chair with a circular cut-out, paired with elegant sofas on a sleek wood floor.

Pebble Table Lamp by Rosie Li Studio with Office of Tangible Space

Modern living room with a stylish black and wooden armchair, colorful geometric-patterned sofa, and large windows overlooking city buildings.

A modern wooden armchair with black leather cushions and cylindrical elements, positioned on a beige rug in a room with light flooring.

Reversible Lounge Chair by Office of Tangible Space

Aptly named, the curation explores stimulus-response resulting from a variety of design methods unencumbered by a strict definition of technical discipline. It’s almost as if natural mapping principles were applied in order to speak an intuitive, primordial visual and physical language. Themes including functionality, approachability, and playfulness, are prevalent through pieces whose execution varies end-use, material, color, joinery, and form. “The tendrils of connection form in the minds of the viewer and the questions we were asking all along start to have answers,” say Michael Yarinsky and Kelley Perumbeti who helm OTS.

A wooden grid shelf on a wall displaying abstract sculptures, with two artistic chairs and additional sculptures on platforms below.

Rolling Woods Wall Shelf by Office of Tangible Space

Modern dining room interior featuring a long wooden table with various chairs, colorful geometric wall art, and a tall potted plant.

Node Dining Table by Office of Tangible Space; Scene Chair by Made by Choice with Office of Tangible Space

A ceramic bowl with a unique curved design holds dried yellow flowers on a wooden table.

Resting Vase by Office of Tangible Space

Minimalist dining room with a wooden table, mixed chairs, and abstract black wall art featuring curved forms. shelves adorned with unique sculptures and a small vase of flowers add charm.

Clockwise Assembly 1, 2, and 3, by Office of Tangible Space

Objects like their very own reversible lounge chair demonstrate a balance between play and pragmatism. Fashioned from oak, india-dyed oak, and upholstery, the delightfully subversive lounger rests on a fulcrum-like base, which becomes a point from where it may be flipped, rather than rocked, across the horizontal axis delineated in the seat pad. Extruded anodized aluminum also finds new meaning as both room dividers vary in height, as well as partial pedestals for a series of coffee tables. In any case, each elicits curiosity for what may lie beyond, below, behind, or around the corrugated structure’s corner.

Close-up of a modern table corner with a rounded black cushion on top of a black cylindrical leg and a light plywood tabletop.

Modern interior with wooden chairs aligned against a white wall, featuring unique black wall panels displaying stylized wooden objects.

Rolling Woods Low Shelf by Office of Tangible Space

Modern interior with wooden tables, black and beige chairs, a tiled wall, hanging lamps, and indoor plants.

A modern living room corner featuring a beige armchair, a small black side table, a corrugated white panel, and a geometric-patterned wall with a contemporary wall lamp.

Extruded Screen Low by Office of Tangible Space; Maamuna Lounge Chair by Made by Choice with Office of Tangible Space; Sieni Side Table by Made by Choice with Office of Tangible Space

Opportunities to interact abound through other vignettes are encouraged by eclectic upholstery from Weft, wriggly forms from Made by Choice, contrasting colors from Thirdkind, and a diverse palette of finishes all coordinated at the hand of OTS. A particular tease to audiences is their assembly 1, 2, and 3. In this series, several textural black yakisugi cedar planes are oriented, mounted, and then accented by a singular sculptural clear-coated cedar element that appears to traverse each surface by sticking to, slithering across, or slouching on it. The resulting dichotomy is indicative of an approach that blurs the line between digital manufacturing and hand craft.

A narrow doorway set into a wall covered in a geometric black and white tile pattern, with a hint of beige tiles.

The Grid Collection backdrops by Poppy

Modern interior with black tiled wall, wooden round table, abstract metal lamp, and a wooden chair with a minimalist design.

Extruded Coffee Tables Large and Small by Office of Tangible Space; Pebble Floor Lamp by Rosie Li Studio with Office of Tangible Space

A wooden oval table with black stool on a concrete floor, showcasing natural wood grains and a smooth, contemporary design.

Close-up of a wooden table corner with white metal legs on a beige carpet.

As evidenced by the robust exhibition, designs indistinguishable from intention imbue the inanimate with a capacity to connect, all the while elevating the everyday and accessible home furnishing to an objet d’art – without losing its humility. “For me, this type of design is exceedingly rare in a current climate of attention-begging objects that depend on impressive or exotic materials,” says Kate Greenberg, a fellow furniture designer-maker whose work shares a similar integrity. “It takes a lot of thought and understanding of your own values to achieve an OTS attitude about design.”

Modern interior featuring a wooden bench with black cushions, a wooden circular table, and a black table against a white wall adorned with colorful grid-patterned panels.

A tall, white, vertical pleated room divider next to a large, textured vase in a bright, minimalistic room.

Extruded Screen High by Office of Tangible Space

Overhead view of interconnected magnetic blocks in black, blue, white, and gray arranged on a wooden surface.

Modular Candle Holder by Office of Tangible Space

As the show comes to a close, some of the exhibition pieces will remain on view at VERSO’s TriBeCa location while others will be on view at The Crossroads within ICFF. To explore the space visit verso-works.com and to see OTS’s portfolio visit tangible.space.

Photography by Jonathan Hokklo.



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