Kicking off its 10th year in New York City, the NYCxDESIGN festival is a 10-day celebration of global design and innovation, held May 10 to 20. Thousands of participants come from all over the world to see installations and hear lectures from top names in art and design.
For this edition, each of the five NYC boroughs will host events and exhibitions in galleries, museums, hotels and restaurants. The festival has also teamed up with various ultramodern boutique hotels to offer discounted rates to festivalgoers in an initiative called STAYxDESIGN. Attendees can take advantage of special offers at places like the Ace Hotel (both the Manhattan and Brooklyn locations) and the Civilian Hotel.
For those who don’t have time to get to each installation and lecture, we’ve picked out six events not to miss.
NYCxDESIGN has partnered with Eater and Punch for the DRINKSxDESIGN series, for which select stylish restaurants and bars will offer themed, bespoke cocktails available exclusively during the festival. Don’t miss the celebratory happy hour at Kings County Distillery (May 18, 5–7pm). Other participating bars include Turk’s Inn in Bushwick, Llama San in Greenwich Village and Dear Irving on Hudson in Times Square.
May 7–15, 11am–9pm
Father Duffy Square, Times Square, Manhattan
CLB Architects designed Filter, an installation in the center of Times Square, to give visitors a moment of solace and quiet contemplation amid the chaos of the City. Constructed out of steel and wood, the structure surrounds a specimen tree. Following the festival, the piece will be moved to a permanent home in a public park.
May 11–17: Wednesday–Sunday 10am–6pm, Monday & Tuesday by appointment
Art Cake, 214 40th St., Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Following last year’s successful debut, Radiator Show returns to showcase new and up-and-coming designers. Focused specifically on household objects including furniture and lighting, the show features forward-thinking designs but appeals to a wide audience. It’s open to the public, and an opening reception will be held on May 14.
May 12–14 & 19
On select days, NYC x Design will host neighborhood-specific walking tours of local studios. Observe the inner workings of a sculptural wood furniture studio in Red Hook; see how neon signage is made for Broadway and Hollywood productions in Long Island City; learn how a Brooklyn Navy Yard studio is designing against species extinction; and tour the inside of the Manhattan’s Flatiron Building. Each tour runs around two and a half hours.
Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
This festival within the festival offers lectures, exhibits and open studio tours at Industry City. Marvel at bold outdoor sculptures by the Collision Project; hear talks on art, design, film and fashion (free for the public; no reservations required); and shop for locally made items. The opening night event (May 12; 6–8pm) features live music plus local food and drink.
The Responsibility of Design: A Talk Series of NYC design luminaries led by Laura Kohler, Kohler Co. and Debbie Millman
May 13, 4–8pm
Kohler Experience Center,6 W. 22nd St., Flatiron District, Manhattan
Renowned artist and designer Debbie Millman is perhaps best known from her Design Matters podcast. Millman, along with Laura Kohler, head of sustainability at Kohler Co., host three separate talks focused on designing for the environment, wellbeing and community.
Millman and Kohler will lead these live conversations with industry leaders, which will be recorded for NYCxDESIGN’s The Mic podcast. Note: While these sessions are fully booked, you may sign up for the waitlist should any tickets open up.
See NYC x Design’s full list of events so you can plan your week.