written by:
photos by:
December 15, 2010

Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov met as editors at the venerable I.D. in 2005 and both developed a passion for peeking behind the scenes at the creative processes of designers—–access that came with working for an established print publication. Just before the magazine folded in the wake of the great magazine shake-up in the latter aughts, they embraced the opportunity to cast aside the medium’s limitations—–space restrictions and long lead time—–while preserving its take-a-seat-and-stay-awhile sensibility.

 

Sight Unseen
When they aren't traveling the world seeking out design to share with their growing readership (and already loyal followers), Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov are busy writing and editing stories from the comfort of home. Here, they search the web and have a laugh in Singer's apartment.
Photo by 
1 / 4
Sight Unseen Dining Chair
The Sight Unseen gals' personal approach to coverage is evident in their thoughtfully curated slideshows. Khemsurov spent the summer staying at the Berlin loft shared by designers Judith Seng and Alex Valder, and the following are a few shots from her stay (the entirety of which can be seen here). From Khemsurov : "The apartment's huge kitchen offers seating for 10, on an assortment of found chairs Seng painted gray for a previous project. The pendant lamp was assembled by Valder from dual sockets he collected at American hardware stores."
Photo by 
2 / 4
Sight Unseen art wall
Khemsurov: "One of the living room walls hosts a makeshift art installation consisting of photos the pair took on a recent trip to New York, photos from past projects, gifts from friends, and in the upper right corner, their first art purchase — it's part of an art workshop a friend conducted with children in Africa. The chair halves were part of Seng's diploma project at school."
Photo by 
3 / 4
Log Chair by Sight Unseen
Khemsurov: "The blue table is a precursor to Trift, developed in 2008 for Milan's Post Design Gallery. The chair, however, is a kind of inside joke — Seng acquired the broken Thonet frame from her grandmother's house eight years ago, and Valder kept begging her to fix it or throw it out. The feud was resolved during the move in May, when someone rested one of Seng's stumps on the chair's seat by happenstance. "Now we love it," says Valder."
Photo by 
4 / 4
Sight Unseen
When they aren't traveling the world seeking out design to share with their growing readership (and already loyal followers), Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov are busy writing and editing stories from the comfort of home. Here, they search the web and have a laugh in Singer's apartment.

The online result is Sight Unseen. Eschewing the quick-turnover approach favored by many blogs, where new work and ideas ignite and flame out in the click of a mouse, the duo craft their stories to offer an intimate and in-depth look at photographers, designers, and artists through regular features like Studio Visit, At Home With, and 8 Things, which details an individual’s favorite inspirational objects, ideas, people, books, and movies. “We’re always looking for ways to poke deeper behind the curtain,” says Khemsurov. She and Singer research and write every article themselves and take most of the photographs that accompany them; the result has a personal, timeless feel that’s more like flipping through a photo album than scrolling through a press release. The pair also curated the first annual NoHo Design District event to coincide with ICFF in New York in 2010 and would like to pay their respects to paper by, at some point, penning a book.

For an outlet so deeply rooted in art and design, it might come as a surprise that neither has any formal training in the fields. “I think it’s part of what informed Sight Unseen. We were both unfamiliar with this world, and now we want to explore it along with our readers,” Singer says. “It’s a place for people who are interested in what it’s like to live a creative life,” Khemsurov adds.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Chalet in the French alps
An innovative glass addition adds contrast to a timber mountain lodge in France.
February 11, 2016
Aumas' assorted collectables.
Bright colors and vintage furniture are abound in these French homes.
February 11, 2016
Kogan designed a number of the built-in furnishings, including the headboard and cupboard in the master bedroom.The cupboard is deliberately reminiscent of a mid-century stereo speaker. The vintage lounge chairs are by Percival Lafer.
Need to relax? Make your bedroom an oasis from the rest of the house.
February 11, 2016
Modern Florida seaside home with corian island, dornbracht faucet, cees braakman combex chairs and marble knoll table in the kitchen
Read more about Knoll's impressive career here, but in the meantime, explore just a few of her works in these contemporary homes.
February 11, 2016
Modern small box home in Mexico
Letting the warm climate indoors is a common thread through these diverse dwellings.
February 11, 2016
Modern white cabinets under the stairs with skylight above
What could be better than a modest-sized house in a quaintly historic city?
February 11, 2016
dining room lighting
These renovations connect rustic, classic, and modern design in Italy.
February 10, 2016
12362509 211441865858796 1743381178 n1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 10, 2016
modern outdoor garden room plastic polycarbonate
From colorful living rooms to a backyard retreat, Belgian designers reimagine vernacular forms and materials for the modern world.
February 10, 2016
Tel Aviv kitchen with custom dining table and Smeg fridge
Would you go for an out-of-the-box palette for your major appliances? See how these kitchens tackle the trend.
February 10, 2016
Exhibition view, of Klaus Wittkugel works at P! gallery, New York
On view through February 21 at New York's P! gallery, a new show explores the politics of Cold War-era graphic design with a presentation of works by Klaus Wittkugel—East Germany's most prolific graphic designer. Curator Prem Krishnamurthy walks us through the highlights.
February 10, 2016
Reclaimed cedar and gray-stucco home outside San Francisco.
The new kid on the block in a predominantly Eichler neighborhood, this Menlo Park home breaks the mold and divides into three pavilions connected by breezeways.
February 10, 2016
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
From modern interiors hidden within historic structures to unabashedly modern dwellings, these seven renovations take totally different approaches to San Francisco's historic building stock.
February 10, 2016
Delphi sofa from Erik Jørgensen and gyrofocus fireplace in living room of Villa Le Trident in the French Riviera, renovated by 4a Architekten.
The Aegean's all-white architecture famously helped inspire Le Corbusier; these five dwellings continue in that proud modern tradition (though not all are as minimalist).
February 10, 2016
San Francisco dining room with chandelier and Eames shell chairs
Brooklyn-based RBW's work—from diminutive sconces to large floor lamps—shape these five interiors.
February 09, 2016
Glass-fronted converted garage in Washington
These garages go behind parking cars and storing your drum sets.
February 09, 2016
Modern Texas home office with sliding walls, behr black chalkboard paint, concrete walls, and white oak flooring
From appropriated nooks to glass-encased rooms, each of these modern offices works a unique angle.
February 09, 2016
picnic-style table in renovated San Francisco house
From chandeliers to pendants, these designs make the dining room the most entertaining space in the house.
February 09, 2016
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door
From preserved masterworks to carefully updated time capsules, these homes have one thing in common (other than a healthy appreciation for everything Eames): the conviction that the '40s, '50s, and '60s were the most outstanding moments in American architecture.
February 09, 2016
Modern living room with furniture designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba
These oases by the sea, many done up in white, make stunning escapes.
February 08, 2016
A Philippe Starck standing lamp and an Eames chaise longue bracket the living room; two Lawrence Weiner prints hang behind a pair of Warren Platner chairs and a table purchased from a River Oaks estate sale; at far left of the room, a partial wall of new
Texas might have a big reputation, but these homes show the variety of shapes and sizes in the Lone Star State.
February 08, 2016
Montigo gas-burning fireplace in spacious living room.
Built atop the foundation of a flood-damaged home, this 3,000-square-foot Maryland home features vibrant furniture placed in front of stunning views of a nearby estuary.
February 08, 2016
Studio addition in Seattle
An architect couple sets out to transform a run-down property.
February 08, 2016
West Elm coffee table, custom Joybird sofa, and matching Jens Risom chairs in living room of Westchester renovation by Khanna Shultz.
Every Monday, @dwell and @designmilk invite fans and experts on Twitter to weigh in on trending topics in design.
February 08, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment living room vertical oak slats
For the modernists among us, these spare spaces are a dream come true.
February 08, 2016
The square fountain at the courtyard's center is a modern rendition of a very traditional feature in many Middle Eastern homes.
From a large gathering space for family or a tranquil sanctuary, these seven designs feature some very different takes on the ancient idea of a courtyard.
February 08, 2016
stdaluminum 021
Since windows and doors are such important aspects of your home, it’s always a good idea to take the time to evaluate how they fit within the lifestyle you want. Whether you’re in the middle of constructing a new home, or you’re considering replacing your current setup, there are multiple elements to consider when it comes time to make the final decisions. Milgard® Windows & Doors understands how vital these choices are to the well-being of your home and has developed ways to turn the process into a journey that can be just as enjoyable as it is fulfilling. Not sure where to start? We gathered some helpful insights from their team of experts to help us better understand what goes into the process of bringing your vision to life.
February 08, 2016
modern fire resistant green boulder loewen windows south facade triple planed low-e glass
These houses in Broncos Country prove modern design is alive in the Rocky Mountains.
February 08, 2016
french evolution paris daniel rozensztroch living area eames la chaise butterfly chair moroccan berber rug
A tastemaker brings his distinct vision to an industrial loft with a centuries-old pedigree.
February 07, 2016
senses touch products
The haptic impact can’t be underplayed. The tactility of a material—its temperature, its texture­—can make the difference between pleasure and discontent.
February 07, 2016