The Best Design Museums in New York City

Posted On Tue, July 15, 2014 By

Posted On Tue, July 15, 2014 By In Design, Features

New York is an international center for design. World-famous architects and designers have learned here, lived here, and worked here. And New York shows off the immense talent in the city and elsewhere with some of the world’s greatest design museums. Here is a small sample of some of the best places to see the latest and greatest. And be sure to pay at least one a visit over this beautiful Spring weekend.

the museum of art and design NYC
Images © MAD Museum

Museum of Arts and Design

Upper West Side
2 Columbus Circle
10:00-6:00 Tues-Sun
10:00-9:00 Thursday and Friday
Closed Mondays

The 2008 redesign of The Museum of Arts and Design’s Columbus Circle building has divided architectural critics for years, but it’s the stuff on the inside that counts. Originally founded as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, the space focuses on handmade objects, especially items that stretch the imagination with their inventive and odd takes on familiar items and materials.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

11 West 53rd Street
10:30-5:30 Sun-Sat10:30-8:00 Friday

You probably don’t need use to tell you that MoMA has design popping out of its earholes. The museum’s modernist architecture and design department includes 28,000 works, including everything from the Mies van der Rohe archive to sports cars and a helicopter.

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

Museum Mile
2 East 91st Street
No hours currently posted

The Cooper-Hewitt is currently undergoing renovation to expand its gallery space, but will re-open December 12th. Housed in the former home of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, the design museum’s building is a landmark in its own right. The museum also encompasses the National Design Library, a tremendous historical resource for design which includes material from the 16th century to the present.

storefront for art and architecture
Image © Steven Holl

The Storefront for Art and Architecture

97 Kenmare St
Tues. – Sat. 11:00AM – 6:00PM
Closed Sunday and Monday

The Storefront for Art and Architecture is an incredible space in the heart of Soho that hosts everything from of exhibitions to artists talks, film screenings and conferences — all aimed at forwarding innovation in art, design and architecture. The space itself is one of the most unique in New York, occupying a tiny site that measures approximately 100 feet long and tapers from 20 feet to 3 feet at its west end. In addition to an unconventional shape, the facade, designed by Steven Holl and artist Vito Acconci, features moveable panels that open the gallery up to the street.

AIGA National Design Center Gallery

Flatiron District
164 Fifth Avenue
11:00-6:00 Mon-Sat
11:00-5:00 Friday

The gallery at the American Institute of Graphic Arts prides itself in presenting exhibitions on contemporary design which are, themselves, design pieces. The content of each exhibition is to be presented in a narrative format which both looks beautiful and explains the relevance of the work on display.

NY center for architecture
Image via Center for Architecture

The Center for Architecture

West Village
536 LaGuardia Place
Gallery Hours
Mon-Fri: 9am to 8pm
Sat: 11am to 5pm

The Center for Architecture is the home of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation. Their beautiful space, designed by Andrew Berman, plays frequent host to design and architecture exhibitions, programs and special events aimed at improving the quality and sustainability of the built environment.

Bard Graduate Center Gallery

Upper West Side
18 West 86th Street
11:00-5:00 Tues-Sat
11:00-8:00 Thursday

The Bard Graduate Center presents two design or decorative arts exhibitions every year, paired with events like lectures and concerts. The exhibitions tend to focus on historical design, such as recent presentations on early 20th century New York textile design and the furniture design of early 18th century English architect William Kent.

New York School of Interior Design Gallery

161 East 69th Street
11:00-6:00 Tues-Sat

The free gallery at the New York School of Interior Design hosts student work throughout the year, but also features professional design work, such as a recent exhibition on the stunning work by designers like Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres across the United Kingdom.

Lead Image: © Leong Leong Architects for their installation Past Futures, Present, Futures

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Neighborhoods : Flatiron,Midtown East,Midtown West,Upper West Side



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