NYCxDesign, the annual showcase of design that encompasses Manhattan and Brooklyn, was especially impressive this year. Alongside the central fair of ICFF, the offsite circuit included design showrooms (Artemide, Moroso, Flos, Lee Broom, Molten&C, Kasthall and more) in SoHo and beyond, the Sight Unseen showcases, Design Within Reach’s ode to Shaker furniture, and WantedDesign’s double-perch in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
There was lots to see and many trends stood out, from romantic, expressive lighting fixtures that verged on installation art to the return of artisanal textiles – but with a modern twist. Think: kilims, quilts and showpiece rugs. Here are a few of the highlights that caught our eye.
One of our faves of NYCxDesign, curator Jean Lin’s annual group show in her Canal Street studio has become a must-see event over the years. This time around, the narrow, second-storey space featured indigo-painted walls and blue bouquets as backdrops to some of the best design pieces, including Hiroko Takeda’s dreamy textiles and Toronto designer Paolo Ferrari’s Circular Lounge chair. It was a capsule of what’s hip now.
RAQUEL’S DREAM HOUSE
“Have you seen Raquel’s Dream House?” was a constant refrain during NYCxDesign. This four-storey Greene Street townhouse lived up to its name, with a vintage Memphis collection of colourful treasures out of a 1980s reverie. In the basement: an exhibit of three foam-constructed chairs by UK talent Max Lamb.
Canadian designers were everywhere in New York. Among them, Hinterland, Peter Coolican, Speke Klein, Castor and Good Thing showed at ICFF; the new brand EDITS, Studio Lani and Jake Whillans Studio showed at WantedDesign Manhattan; Paolo Ferrari and Hollis + Morris (also at ICFF) showed at Colony – and that’s just scratching the surface. New York’s design week is now the place to be for Canadian designers who want to expand their horizons and be seen on an international stage.
ZERO WASTE BISTRO
We loved Zero Waste Bistro. Tucked into WantedDesign Manhattan, it was a secret doorway into a calm, resplendent world amid the chaos of design week. And – fashioned with ReWall arches, a Durat table, and classic Finnish furniture and accessories – it spoke to everything that is relevant in design today: creative sustainability, timeless quality and community.
ILSE CRAWFORD FOR KASTHALL
TIMES SQUARE DESIGN LAB
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to attract people to Times Square – the exuberant heart of Manhattan is always bustling with street performers, tourists and Broadway-ticket buyers. But The Village, Joe Doucet’s house-shaped seating pieces created in collaboration with the Times Square Design Lab, were a natural hit in an area that has in recent years put pedestrians, performers and passersby before cars.
MUJI GOES ZEN
Seattle’s Ladies & Gentlemen Studio devised this Zen garden for Muji – a lovely respite in the middle of the city.
THE SHED / THE SALT SHED
PATRICK PARRISH GALLERY
This Tribeca gallery offered up many delightful surprises. Reminiscent of Rossana Orlandi’s Milan mecca, the space’s lower floor was a trove of unique design and art pieces – the kind of space you could spend hours discovering. The main floor was taken over by Don’t Know What Shape I’m In, an exhibition of pieces by Danish sculptor Carl Emil Jacobsen.
One of the main attractions of NYCxDesign, Sight Unseen captures the zeitgeist of the contemporary New York design scene. This year, the Field Objects pieces – auction-bound collaborations with designer-makers and famous folks, like actor Seth Rogen – filled the main floor with collectible items while the lower level was replete with young studios.
SOLVING SOCIAL PROBLEMS THROUGH DESIGN
At ICFF, ECMH and UDB presented its Design For Vulnerability project, where you purchase a water-purifying device in order to supply a villager in El Majahual, El Salvador with a water-collection device.
LAMBERT & FILS + MONTAUK
FLOS & FOSCARINI
FRITZ HANSEN AT SEAGRAM
Three key aspects made the Fritz Hansen event at NYCxDesign uniquely momentous. Firstly, the party took place on the 32nd floor of the Seagram building by Mies van der Rohe. Also, the Danish company was celebrating the 60th anniversary of Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair. Finally, there was the reissue of the mid-century Modernist Paul McCobb’s tables. Largely forgotten in comparison with his contemporaries, McCobb created elegant pieces that feel as current today as they did in the 1960s.
When a hip fashion brand teams up with an it-designer, sparks will fly. In this case, Opening Ceremony turned over its SoHo shop to Crosby Studios, which created retail display furnishings in a buzzing purple palette. The limited edition collection was also on display at ICFF – but the store was the place to really feel its electric energy.