Published on May 1, 2019

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illustration by aaron bengochea

New York’s newest art and design fair isn’t about luxurious sofas or 30-person dining tables. Object & Thing—as its to-the-point name suggests—is all about the little things that fall in between. “I was really inspired by a conceptual desire to bring together both art and design. I thought objects were a perfect way to do this ” says Abby Bangser, founder and creative director of the new exhibition.

Running May 3 to May 5 at 99 Scott in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the inaugural showcase will feature over 200 object-based works from both renowned and emerging artists. While the fair as a whole was created with accessibility in mind, to really drive the point home, Bangser added a shoppable portion to the space where visitors can snag high-design, low-budget items on the spot.

“I wanted to ensure that Object & Thing made acquiring beautifully made objects accessible to a wide range of budgets,” shares Bangser. Although the pieces in the central exhibition range from $1,000 to $50,000, the majority of pieces featured in The Shop will ring in under $100. The space will feature nine vendors, including The Good Liver from Los Angeles, Momosan Shop from London, and Blue Hill Market from upstate New York.

“I also really admire these independently owned businesses and the dedication they have in scouring the world to find just the right glass spoon, wooden bowl, or cup,” continues Bangser. “These are the places that my friends and colleagues all know and love. They are the shops I seek out when I travel.”

In case you needed a reminder that good design doesn’t have to cost a fortune, we got a sneak peek at some of the affordable goodies you’ll discover at Object & Thing this year. Psst: They’re all under $100.

If You Want to Take Your Time with Dessert…

These tiny glass spoons will make for a sweet addition to your after-dinner snack. Whether used to stir your tea or scoop ice cream, you’ll want to savor every minute they’re on your dining table.

If You Consider Seasoning an Art Form…

When not in use, these salt and pepper grinders will look like two miniature sculptures on your kitchen counter.

If You Eat Cheese for Every Meal…

Blackened walnut is bound to bring an edge to any traditional gathering. Even if you’re snacking on gruyere by yourself, a cool cutting board and extra-sharp knives are all you need to justify extra dairy for dinner.

If Waco Is Your Spirit Town…

The product of a collaboration between Blue Hill and Dana Brandwein Oates of DBO Home, this sweet plate features a wispy grain of wheat that sets it apart from your standard white serveware. We’ve all got a little farmhouse in us.

If Living Sustainably Is at the Top of Your To-Do List…

You’ve made a conscious effort to ditch the paper towels—now it’s time to follow up. Designed for longevity and maximum absorption, this cotton and rayon kitchen towel made it through 40 rounds of prototypes. Now, that’s staying power.

If Your Morning Coffee Is the Best Part of Your Day…

Kirstie van Noort’s Cornwall mugs might not feature sturdy handles, but the beauty of their simplicity isn’t hard to grasp. Don’t worry about unwanted spillage—their copper-tone finish will disguise any coffee that drips down the side.

If You’re Only a Minimalist When It Comes to Florals…

Take a cue from Momosan’s laid-back display and arrange a single stem in this contoured vase. Bouquets will never be the same.

If You’re Still on a Kondoing Spree…

If these handmade copper boxes don’t spark joy, we don’t know what will. Use it to disguise mail, keys, and other everyday belongings in the entry or organize bedside treasures on the nightstand.  

If Washing Dishes Is Not Your Forte…

Warning: This adorable blue sponge will even inspire litterbugs to get up from the table. Developed for food manufacturers in Japan, the industrial-grade sponge is coated with special rubber that can clean dishes without much soap and won’t deteriorate in one week’s time.

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