Art Design


An al fresco furniture show pivots with a new virtual vision.

Inside~Out, the second annual exhibition of outdoor design curated by Kin & Company, premieres 40-plus new works from emerging and established independent designers. Originally conceived as an interactive design show highlighting social engagement, the 2020-2021 works are instead presented virtually within otherworldly landscapes created by the artist Duyi Han.

Left to right: Kickie Chudikova / Naomi Clark / Teruko Kushi / Charles Osawa / Slash Objects
Teruko Kushi Sit and Listen

The virtual works of Inside~Out, ranging from functional to conceptual, are placed in small groups within Han’s nine ethereal landscapes. The ambiguous spaces, suggesting other planets and times, leave ample room for the viewer to create their own narratives. 

The inaugural edition of Inside~Out, launched in 2019, focused on bringing the exciting work of the burgeoning American design scene to the outdoor space. The outdoor furniture market had been largely overlooked by the independent design community and many designers jumped at the opportunity to fill the void by participating in the first and only NYCxDESIGN show to feature exclusively outdoor work. Located at Vale Park, the idiosyncratic elevated green space adjacent to Brooklyn’s William Vale hotel, Inside~Out created an opportunity for visitors to interact with contemporary design in a personal and casual setting. 

Left to right: Gregory Beson / Simon Johns / Erickson Aesthetics / Sebastián Arroyo Hoebens & Elena Boils

For the newest edition of the show, Kin & Company planned to delve deeper into the vision of an interactive outdoor design show, focusing on exhibiting new designs that create opportunities for social engagement and discovery. 

The exhibition was slated to include completed, in situ works of furniture and art that engage a wide and diverse public audience and highlight how interactive design can enrich everyday experiences. With the design fair’s postponement and the hotel (the planned venue for Inside~Out) temporarily closing down, Kin & Company began to envision new opportunities for design in our collective new normal. 

“We are living through the most vivid connecting of dots between objects, spaces, and people. With limited connectivity to friends and family, the relationship shared with the home becomes more important and the objects it holds become the carriers of stories, histories, culture, and feeling. This perspective now informs and molds our design practice.”

Left to right: Evan Z. Crane / Atang Tshikare (top left) / soft-geometry / Bjarke Ballisager / Humble Matter (top right)
Bjarke Ballisager Together and Apart

As the world moved into a virtual landscape of Zoom calls and Instagram lives, the need to continue to find spaces for creativity became a driving force. Inside~Out was reconceptualized as a self-produced, virtual show, and Kin & Company solicited the help of the local creative community as well as the participating designers. 

In spite of the separation from one another, sharing our current experiences—through visual expressions—is an essential part of processing and understanding our complex world. While these pieces, and functional art in general, are normally produced with the express purpose of being used, we are now seeing work through a new lens, creating shifted meaning.

Left to right: Sarah Sears / Zay Michele Studios (front) / Creteur / The Urban Conga

“My interest in reconnecting humanity with a nature that we too often live apart from has always been present in my work. The current chaos only makes the urgency more apparent.”

—Designer J McDonald

The pandemic has isolated us from each other, asking us to reconsider the meaning of connection and community, and forcing us all to re-envision the role of design today, and tomorrow.   

To learn more and to view the entire show, go to

Curated and produced by Kin & Company | Landscapes and rendering by Duyi Han | Graphic design by Our Studio | Contributing editor Emily R. Pellerin | Additional modeling by soft-geometry, Maryam Turkey, George Ziegler, Preston Welker (Creteur), Sebastian Arroyo-Hoebens, Ravi Raj, and Kin & Company.

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