Photo: ©Jenna Bascom Photography
Taking place in one of the world’s most innovative design capitals, New York City’s largest design festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. NYCxDESIGN: The Festival is a showcase of the newest and most creative offerings in furniture, lighting, textiles, and accessories–many of which you’ll be seeing for the next several years in magazines, blogs, and showrooms–with festival attendees from points far and near converging on the city’s five boroughs from May 10–20. Design theory, urbanism, and big-picture issues like the environment and inequality inform brainy panel discussions and workshops. And if modern objects are your thing, you’ll be in design heaven with popular programs like Apartment Therapy’s Small / Cool providing a serious opportunity to get ideas for your own urban living space. Read on for a handful of highlights.
NYCxDESIGN is a not-for-profit organization committed to empowering and promoting the city’s diverse creative community. Two trade shows, ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) and Wanted Design Manhattan, anchor the festival. In addition to launches and showcases, there are parties and opening receptions around every corner, and most neighborhood design shops and studios break out the bubbly for visitors; a full slate of events can be found in creative hotspots like the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Industry City that serve as design hubs 365 days a year. The NYCxDESIGN festival website offers a comprehensive calendar for the full picture.
Photo: ©Jenna Bascom Photography
The big events
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street
The annual three-day high-end and contemporary furniture design fair brings international design to New York City’s Javits Center. ICFF 2022 is an introduction to what’s best and what’s next in interior design for 10,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, representatives, distributors, facility managers, developers, manufacturers, store designers, and visual merchandisers in attendance.
On May 15, an Opening Night Party on the Javits Center rooftop kicks things off; the fair opens its doors to the general public on May 17. Highlights include ICFF Studio, Associative Design: The Best of Portugal, Inside Norway, Wescover Lounge, and Flavor Paper.
WantedDesign Manhattan is once again joining forces with ICFF. Founded by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign is a year-round program of events with the aim of promoting design and nurturing the international creative community. This year’s festival highlights include an annual Launch Pad program that introduces new products and fresh talent, ECO Solidarity 2022, and WantedDesign Talks. Together, ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan bring together over 300 established and emerging design brands from more than 25 countries.
Photo courtesy of NYCxDESIGN
Collectives, collabs, and showcases
Apartment Therapy’s Small / Cool NYC. Small-space home decor site Apartment Therapy has rolled out the first-ever home design event specifically highlighting small space living. Small/Cool NYC features rooms under 120 square feet brought to life by some of the industry’s top design tastemakers, showcasing a trend toward more efficient, lighter-footprint dwellings.
The public is invited to tour and shop among 12 small spaces that reflect innovative design trends with big city living in mind. Every product shown will also be available for purchase on Apartmenttherapy.com. You’ll also be able to speak with experts, editors, and designers IRL or via Instagram Live, attend workshops, and more. From May 13-15, an interactive designer and trend showcase will be offering cool-yet-doable decorating ideas.
Photo courtesy of NYCxDESIGN
Student exhibitions introduce the work of this year’s graduates at some of the world’s leading design schools (which just happen to be right here in New York City): FIT and Pratt, among others, have student exhibitions during this year’s festival, and there’s a Student Showcase Night event.
Canadian company EQ3 designs, produces, and sells modern furniture, and the company is hosting a cocktail reception at their Chelsea showroom on May 10, with a panel discussion on authenticity in design, a DJ, and more.
ADORNO design collective presents “MELT,” an exhibition by thirty New York-based artists and designers in a three-level Williamsburg space. After opening on May 10, the exhibition will be in the space until the end of May, with 3,000 square feet of functional art that “reimagines the living room as a quotidian domestic space.”
The Chilewich Garden Party will introduce the beloved textile company’s newest seasonal product line, on display at their new 59th Street NYC store and showroom in the space’s big backyard garden. For the occasion, the Chilewich design team created a new weave that will only be available at the 59th Street location, with 100 percent sales benefitting World Central Kitchen.
In Brooklyn, the Kings County Distillery is holding a Drinks x Design Happy Hour on May 18th as a gathering of like-minded revelers and a fundraiser for NYCxDESIGN’s year-round programming.
Open Shop brings together the work of Steven Bukowski, Asa Pingree, Brendan Timmins, Hannah Bigeleisen, Zoë Mowat, Office of Tangible Space, and Cooler Gallery for an East Williamsburg open studio and gallery event. Daytime (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) hours will offer iced coffee, tea, and books from HeadHi, and evening hours from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. will have drinks and a food truck.
Radiator is an exhibition of carefully-crafted home goods by a new generation of designers. Their second annual event will be held at ArtCake production space in a converted 1920s industrial building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn from May 11-17, with an opening reception happening from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 14.
Kathryn Robinson-Miller (ceramics), Photo © Radhika Chalasani
Design districts: neighborhood-based retail and studio highlights
Showrooms, shops, and studios in the city’s design-intensive neighborhoods will be staying open late with cocktail-assisted events for anyone who wanders by, and open studios (Check out the design festival’s open studio crawls for walking tours) are a great opportunity to check out the work of local designers and artisans. A few highlights:
The Soho design district lays out the official welcome mat on May 14, with Society Limonta, Tom Dixon, Kartell, Carl Hansen & Søn, and Original BTC, among others, holding events, launching new products, or just offering refreshments and lots of cool stuff to ogle. Many more design events will be happening on other days, so check the calendar if you’re in the neighborhood.
Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn is home to hundreds of the city’s manufacturers, designers, and other creatives. For the occasion, the Industry City Design Festival is offering a full calendar of events from May 12-16, starting with an opening night kickoff party and film screening event. Expect open studios, talks, exhibits, and more.
Photo courtesy of Michele Varian
Atlantic Avenue’s Brooklyn Design District Showroom Tour is a Wednesday, May 11 morning breakfast event that includes standouts like Michele Varian, Mud Australia, and The Primary Essentials.
In the creative zone of Williamsburg/Bushwick, Humboldt Street open studios at 810 Humboldt Street offers a behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary design at four creative studios including Fort Standard, Bower, Patrick Weder, and Adam Rusu Studio.
Design Pavilion FILTER. Rendering by CLB Architects. Image courtesy of NYCxDESIGN
Talks, classes, workshops, interactive events, and installations
DWR Celebrates Women in Design: Join Design Within Reach on May 11 for a discussion with women who lead the design field in furniture, interior design, fashion, and art. (Limited capacity; RSVP only)
Design Pavilion returns to NYC, inviting the public to interact and engage with design in Times Square and neighborhoods around the city from May 10-15. CLB Architects will present FILTER, a 20-foot-tall steel ellipsoid pavilion meant to serve as a “monument to the natural environment in the urban landscape” of Times Square. You’ll be able to enter the structure for a moment of refuge in the crazy Midtown rush.
Dieter Rams / Looking Back and Ahead. German industrial designer Dieter Rams is known for designing items used on a daily basis and for providing an influence to young designers. Organized by Goethe-Institut and curated by Klaus Klemp, this exhibition presents thirty objects selected by Dieter Rams as well as photographs, reproductions, and texts.
Envision Your Career: Emerging Designer Tours. In two sessions on Saturday, May 14, Brooklyn’s Navy Yard will host a program for teens between 15 and 19 who are interested in a career in design and fabrication. The event will include a tour and a chance to meet several working designers in their studios and find out how they started their businesses. Participants will also make a stop at the Brooklyn STEAM Center High School, an innovative on-site high school focused on careers in design and manufacturing.
- All the free outdoor concerts happening in NYC this summer
- A cherry blossom festival with Japanese treats and sake is coming to Green-Wood Cemetery
- Lincoln Center to host summer festival with outdoor dance floor, film screenings, and a speakeasy
- 12 design-forward lounge chairs to update your reading nook