NYCxDesign, New York City’s annual celebration of design in all its forms, kicks off again this week and will run through May 24. Now in its fifth year, the extravaganza triples down on design events, with over 500 things to do across all five boroughs.
The biggest trade fair, ICFF at the Javits Center, is complemented by independent upstarts like Collective Design (combining 20th-century antiques with gallery-level contemporary pieces), Wanted (a platform for emerging design and material innovation), Sight Unseen OFFSITE (young designers with a cutting-edge bent), and BKLYN Designs (more design!.. but in Brooklyn). For 2017, design-centric programming spills into the city’s museums, shopping districts, and public spaces.
Below, read all about what you can expect from this year’s events. Watch this space as Curbed editors roam the shows.
More tech-infused design, from 3D-printing to virtual reality
New to this year’s NYCxDesign is Tech+ (May 23), billed as the first expo to “explore the innovation mindset that is transforming the architectural, engineering and construction industries.”
This means lots of demos on VR-aided design, rapid prototyping, and the Internet of Things. Sight Unseen OFFSITE (May 19 to 22), always delightfully curated with the influential vision of its editor-founders, will also bring furniture trends to life with an eight-room virtual reality experience outlining popular interiors for 2017.
At The Future Perfect, in NoHo, new works by glass designer John Hogan and Tbilisi-based Rooms are on view, alongside three virtual reality headsets, where visitors can view work by TFP’s roster of designers as it appears in situ in Los Angeles, at the Casa Perfect. Certainly cheaper than the price of a plane ticket!
On the 3D-printing front, Othr, purveyor of designer 3D-printed wares, is launching a limited-edition “Vanguard” series at Collective that’s more elaborate—and made from high-end materials like bronze and steel—than what we’ve seen from the brand so far.
Women designers are grabbing back
For a handful of events during NYCxDesign, women artists and designers take center stage. Egg Collective, a female trio with a studio on Hudson Street, has organized “Designing Women” to showcase the work of more than a dozen designer peers based in New York City (a portion of proceeds from the sale of exhibited pieces will go to the STEM non-profit Girls, Inc.).
In Chelsea, Chamber gallery presents “Room With Its Own Rules,” a show highlighting newly commissioned, one-of-a-kind, and limited-edition work relating to living spaces and desired objects. And on the Lower East Side, design retailer Tictail has teamed up with online art platform Absolut Art to put on “Women x Women,” a neighborhood tour of works by emerging female artists.
Shopping gets interesting
Design-loving shoppers have a lot to look forward to this year. First up, Sight Unseen is broadening its NYCxDesign programming with Sight Unseen Presents, an event series that will hit up boutiques like Rachel Comey and Creatures of Comfort. Don’t miss the millennial-pink homage to Luis Barragán at LES shop Coming Soon, along with nearby restaurant Lalito.
Also not to miss are the opening of the first U.S. store of 10 Corso Como, a Milan gem that will bring a “living magazine” experience to South Street Seaport, and the Arita 2016/ launch at MoMa Design Store, a line of contemporary porcelain available for the first time in the U.S.
New spaces to experience design
A/D/O—a former warehouse in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood recently transformed into a creative space for designers—will host “Common Sense,” a day of talks and installations on May 13 about how design can form a shared identity and experience in a fractured society; featured speakers include designers from London industrial design studio Barber & Osgerby and New York studio Playlab, Inc. The 23,000-square-foot complex, which also offers a restaurant, shop, and lounge open to the public, is an exciting example of adaptive reuse in itself. Look for the prism-shaped skylight with mirrors that reflect jumbled views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines.
The newly renovated Times Square will get in on the NYCxDesign action this year as the site of “Design Pavilion,” a five-day public event with interactive exhibits (there’s one on repurposed objects called “Made Out of WHAT?!), a “Design Market” featuring wares from the American Design Club and Kikkerland, and super fun “Spun Chairs” designed by Thomas Heatherwick for Italian furniture company Magis.
In addition to scoping out all the events, Curbed will also be taking part in a few of them. Catch editor-in-chief Kelsey Keith moderating the “Furnishing Utopia” panel on May 23 at Design Within Reach’s space in SoHo, where it’ll be all things shaker. She’ll also speak on May 24 at the closing reception for “Lightness,” an exhibit at the independent design showroom Colony. But first up, this Sunday, May 7, Curbed NY editor Amy Plitt is moderating a panel at BKLYN Designs on Brooklyn’s role in incubating art and design.