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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.
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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."
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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."
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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."
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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.

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