NYCxDESIGN 2019: A guide to New York City’s annual celebration of design

May 6, 2019

Photo courtesy of NYCxDESIGN

You can expect to see the stars of NYCxDESIGN–sinuous sofas, luminous lighting, fab furniture, terrific textiles, and amazing accessories–for the next several years in magazines, blogs and showrooms, but you’ll be seeing them here first. It’s not strictly for design geeks only, but if modern objects are your thing, get out your calendar and get ready for design heaven. ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) anchors an international celebration on a par with the Milan Furniture Fair and Stockholm Design Week, with hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe converging on the city’s five boroughs from May 10–22; much of the mid-May action happens in Manhattan, but Brooklyn weighs in with a full calendar of collective events in hotspots like the Navy Yard and Industry City that serve as design hubs 365 days a year. Read on for a handful of highlights.

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design weekImage courtesy of NYCxDESIGN

In its seventh year, NYCxDESIGN is a collaboration between the city and a steering committee composed of design institutions, retailers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, curators, educators, editors and designers to promote and spotlight one of the world’s largest design hubs–a city that’s home to almost 8,000 design establishments and 53,000 design professionals. NYC is also home to 10 of the most prominent design and architecture schools in the country, and a special part of the upcoming celebration is the inclusion of graduate student events, giving the next generation of designers an exciting opportunity for exposure. It’s a great way to get an early introduction to undiscovered future stars.

Last year, over 347,000 people attended events throughout the city. In addition to launches and showcases, there are parties galore, of course. Neighborhood design shops and studios break out the bubbly for visitors, and there are rooftop shindigs and building-wide loft soirees. The NYCxDESIGN website offers a comprehensive, searchable listing of every single event, and ICFF offers attendees an online planner to keep track of the booths you’d like to visit.

The big events

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design week


Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street
May 19-22
The annual four-day ICFF NYC is a high-end and contemporary furniture fair that brings international design to New York City’s Javits Center on Manhattan’s west side. As the anchor event for NYCxDESIGN, ICFF 2019 will present the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next in interior design to more than 38,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, representatives, distributors, facility managers, developers, manufacturers, store designers and visual merchandisers in attendance from 900+ exhibitors from across the globe. On May 21st, a glam Opening Party at Pier 17 follows the NYCxDESIGN design award ceremony honoring outstanding products and projects. On May 22nd, ICFF opens its doors to the general public with exhibits and events. The sheer number of participants may seem overwhelming; some cool ICFF picks to check out include Fermob, Mermelada Estudio, Ferm Living, Reform, Artifort, and Flavor Paper along with the many national collaborations and collectives that will be pooling their talents.

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design week

Wanted Design
Wanted Design Brooklyn (Industry City, 274 36th Street): May 16-20
Wanted Design Manhattan (Terminal Stores, 269 11th Avenue): May 18-21
Founded by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign is a series of international design events in two locations, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. WantedDesign aims to provide a platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the international creative community at large throughout the year. Manhattan highlights include a “launch pad” concept that introduces new products, Artish Studio: Art and furniture you can play with and Arrangements by Michael Anastassiades at WantedDesign

In Brooklyn, don’t miss the happenings at Industry City, a rising hub of local makers and designers with an emphasis on items made in the borough.

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design week

May 10-12, 8am- 6pm
Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 77
BROOKLYN DESIGNS brings together unique designs–from furniture to sculpture–and designers from around the world in the burgeoning Brooklyn Navy Yard, with studio tours, workshops and other opportunities to focus on the latest in design and manufacturing. Highlights include The Stoop (a tribute to that classic Brooklyn “furniture”) and tours that highlight the Navy Yard’s past, present, and future and offer a behind-the-scenes look at industry studios. Gourmet goodies, of course, are never far away; on the building’s ground floor you’ll find fresh refreshments from anchor tenant Russ and Daughters, wine from Rooftop Reds and coffee roasted on site from Brooklyn Roasting Company. A (free) opening night party kicks things off.

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design week

Cool collectives, collabs, and showcases

A few standouts among the many, many creative collaborations include:

  • Design Diplomacy Denmark. Design Diplomacy is a concept created by Helsinki Design Week and opens doors to the prestigious consular residences in a series of exclusive talks. Each Nordic Consul General – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden – will host a Design Diplomacy talk with two designers discussing life and work over a playful card game.
  • Next Level. The 2nd annual Next Level exhibition features work from over 35 participants throughout the 9,000-square-foot space, a minimalist backdrop honors each designer’s unique aesthetic. In collaboration with Pearl River Mart, the lower level will be transformed into an installation of over 70 paper lanterns painted by NYC artists.
  • Pas de deux at Colony. Each of Colony’s designers will showcase a new work of design, furniture, lighting, textiles or object, paired with a work of fine art of their choosing.
  • California dreaming: A rooftop party. A rooftop gathering presented by NYC sound studio One Thousand Birds in collaboration with LA furniture company LAUN in celebration of women designers in the Golden State.
  • Errata at Mast Books. At the very cool Mast Books bookstore on Avenue A, this show of works by Spanish designers questions “the physical condition of both books and design objects.”

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design week

Design districts: neighborhood retail and studio highlights

Soho, Tribeca, and Nomad lead the pack, each getting a chance to shine in the design galaxy with showrooms, studios, shops, and galleries staying open late with cocktail-assisted events for anyone who wanders by.  A few highlights:

Talks, workshops, interactive events 

NYCxDESIGN, ICFF, Wanted Design, Brooklyn Designs, design week


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