San Francisco exhibition features “off-center” Bay Area furniture design


Stools from local designer Caleb Ferris and design firm Prowl Studio were among the works displayed at a San Francisco exhibition centred around contemporary Bay Area design.

The Works in Progress show displayed stools, chairs and other furniture from local designers to highlight the diversity in methods and backgrounds of an evolving Bay Area design scene.

Two chairs and a fuzzy stool displayed on podiums
The recent Works in Progress exhibition held in San Francisco highlighted Bay Area designers

As the Bay Area creative scene evolves in real-time, there are boundless possibilities for how it might bloom,” said curators and designers Kate Greenberg, Kelley Perumbeti, and Sahra Jajarmikhayat in a statement. 

For now, we are here to acknowledge its depth and say: it’s a work in progress.”

stool by Caleb Ferris
Caleb Ferris showed a duck-footed poplar stool

The team distributed the exhibition’s pieces across metallic platforms supported by foundations of bricks.

Pieces ranged from a curvacious, duck-footed poplar wood stool marked with paint and silver leaf by Caleb Ferris, to Prowl Studio’s cubic stainless steel stool wrapped in a 3D knit cover.

Stool by Prowl Studio
Prowl Studio wrapped a stainless steel stool in a 3D knit cover

“Across a range of materials, forms, and functions, the participants have found a groove in the original, the introspective, and the off-center,” said the team. 

Designer Ido Yoshimoto displayed a sculptural side table made of old-growth redwood and finished in a dark red textured hue. The table consists of a geometric, curved corner that runs into a darkened raw edge.

Furniture by Ido Yoshimoto
Designer Ido Yoshimoto showed a sculptural old-growth redwood side table with a raw edge

Studio Ahead created a fuzzy Merino wool stool informed by northern California rock formations, which contrasted with the smooth surface of a glass stool by curators Jajarmikhayat and Greenberg.

Other works included a baltic plywood side table with grooved sides and small, chunky sky blue legs by NJ Roseti and a white oak chair topped with a wild fleece and suede cushion by Rafi Ajl of studio Long Confidence.

Office of Tangible Space showed a flat-legged chair designed in collaboration with CNC design studio Thirdkind Studio, while Duncan Oja of Oja Design displayed a charred white oak stool with an organic, rough-sawn profile.

Fyrn Studio showed a charcoal-black hardwood stool with aluminium hardware created with replaceable parts and studio Medium Small and designer Yvonne Mouser both displayed chairs made of ash, one blackened and the other not, supported by bases of elegant, simple lines.

Work by Kate Greenberg and Sahra Jajamikhayat
Studio Ahead and Kate Greenberg and Sahra Jajarmikhayat made stools with rock-like forms

As simple as it sounds, the soul of this exhibition is in the representation of physical craft and the people behind it. It’s important to shine a light on this vibrant slice of the Bay Area that is not always as visible amidst a city focused on the digital realm,” said Perumbeti.

“There’s something really exciting brewing in this community that is just beginning to get teased out,” said Greenberg.

Wooden stool and chair
NJ Roseti created a baltic plywood side table supported by light blue cubic legs

Works in Progress was part of the wider San Francisco Art Week, which highlights art and design from the city and took place from 13-21 January.

Other recent furniture exhibitions that highlighted California designers include INTRO/LA with pieces by Adi Goodrich and Sam Klemick and the first Miami edition from Milan-based design exhibition Alcova held in a motel during Miami’s art week.

Works in Progress took place at the American Industrial Center in San Francisco from 18 to 23 January 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.

The photography is by Sahra Jajarmikhayat unless otherwise stated. 


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