Surrounded on all sides by a sweeping Canadian hayfield, the 23.2 House is an angular ode to rural life. Out of “respect for the beams and their history,” Designer Omer Arbel insisted that not a single reclaimed plank—still marked by nailheads and chipped paint—be cut nor altered during construction, which gave the home its striking geometric motif. It’s what he refers to as the “alchemy between material and process,” which also inspired the textured concrete walls and crisply milled walnut furniture.
“Form follows function” has been the go-to paradigm for evaluating good design since American architect Louis Sullivan articulated the idea more than a century ago. For Murray Moss, a former actor and fashion executive who opened his eponymous design shop in New York’s SoHo district in 1994, industrial objects are far more than merely the sum of those parts. “My job is to illuminate someone else’s ideas,” Moss says. Visitors to his carefully curated store-cum-gallery can view one-of-a-kind conceptual commissions alongside traditional crafts and a selection of mass produced pieces. By incorporating the narrative of theater and the drama of couture, he has assumed the role of arbiter, shining a spotlight on modern design’s growing imperative to both show and tell.