NYCxDESIGN Unites and Stimulates the Community

Our managing editor attended the kickoff event on February 9

02.10.2016
By Christopher Curtland

I recently attended the NYCxDESIGN kickoff event at the Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle, and it was very invigorating to see the design community come together even though many of us (from design firms, product suppliers, and even magazines) are competitors.

Although this might make me sound like a #Midwestnice cheeseball (speaking of, where’s the best bodega for a buffalo mozzarella one?), as a very recent NYC transplant, being at the event and seeing several friendly, familiar faces made me feel very plugged into this community, and almost like a real-but-certainly-not-quite-yet New Yorker.

All of the speakers stressed the importance of that community in drawing more people to New York as a global design capital. But I mean, come on, is there really anywhere else you’d (read: “I’d”) rather be? I can’t wait to hit all these NYCxDESIGN events: (… and whatever else is happening until the full festival in May. Don’t be a stranger: Please email any and all invites to chris.curtland@interiorsandsources.com!)

For more information on NYCxDESIGN, click here or check out the press release below:

NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer and design community leaders today announced that NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s official citywide celebration of design, will include an additional three days of programing in 2016 along with new initiatives and events. NYCxDESIGN, now in its fourth year, will take place from Tuesday, May 3rd, to Tuesday, May 17th. This annual celebration serves as the platform to highlight New York City’s diverse design community and its contributions to the fabric and economy of the five boroughs, together with examples of some of the latest in global design. Details of the program, including the announcement of two new initiatives, were discussed today at a design community kickoff event at the Museum of Arts and Design.

“With over 44,000 practicing designers, the New York City area has more people working in design fields than any other metro area in the US---almost as many as LA and Chicago combined,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “With design jobs growing twice as fast as average overall city job growth over the last decade, we’re seeing even greater opportunity for good-paying jobs throughout the five boroughs. NYCEDC is proud to support programs like NYCxDESIGN that help our designers showcase their innovations and position New York City at the forefront of the design world.”

“We’re proud to be a part of New York City’s citywide celebration of design, and we encourage visitors to experience our vibrant design community and the newest developments, expressions, and trends that will be showcased throughout the five boroughs,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “The world recognizes us as innovative, vital, and visionary because of programs like NYCxDESIGN, and it further promotes New York City as a global design capital.”

Today’s announcement builds on the success of last year’s NYCxDESIGN, which featured 564 unique events at 228 locations, double the number of events held in 2014. These events represented 17 design disciplines including digital, furniture, graphic, architecture, product and urban design. According to the 2015 NYCxDESIGN attendee survey, respondents attended an

average of six events and 97 percent of attendees stated they would return to NYCxDESIGN in 2016. Key findings from the 2015 NYCxDESIGN event organizer survey reported that 80 percent of participants plan to be part of NYCxDESIGN in 2016.

Hosted at venues throughout all five boroughs, NYCxDESIGN 2016 will include events focused on commerce, culture, education and entertainment with a full, varied program including exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, launches and open studios.

New Programming for 2016

NYCxDESIGN Awards

This year, Interior Design magazine and ICFF will present the first annual NYCxDESIGN Awards, a global design competition celebrating outstanding achievement across major areas of design—from architecture to interiors, from products to collectibles, from craft to technology.

“No matter the fair or show, borough of the city or design discipline, it’s about the community coming together for the very first time in celebration of all things design, and it doesn't get better than that!" said Cindy Allen, Interior Design’s editor in chief.

This open and inclusive awards program will serve as a connector pulling together and rewarding excellence in design achievement from the over 500 events that comprise New York City’s showcase of global design. Submissions are open to all fairs, exhibitors, and design firms until April 13th. Winners will be announced on May 14th at 6PM at the MoMA. For more information, go to NYCxDESIGNawards.com.

The Design Pavilion/NYC Design Talks

From May 7-15, Design Pavilion will hold a spectacular 9-day public activation at Astor Place in Greenwich Village. This curated set of interactive displays will bring design and innovation directly to New Yorkers and visitors alike during this year’s NYCxDESIGN.

In conjunction with Design Pavilion, NYC Design Talks will explore the relationship between design and community and will feature talks by some of today’s great design thinkers and relevant insights provided by IBM, Design Trust for Public Space, NYC Department of Design and Construction, AIGA, and more.

“Design Pavilion invites community engagement in celebrating NYCxDESIGN and ultimately encourages the increased awareness of the power of design,” said Ilene Shaw, founding principal of event producer Shaw & Co. Productions. Design Pavilion and NYC Design Talks are produced by Shaw & Co. Productions with creative direction by Harry Allen Design.

Some returning NYCxDESIGN participants for 2016 include:

  • BKLYN DESIGNS
  • Collective Design
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • Design Trust for Public Place
  • FIT
  • Frieze Art Fair
  • ICFF
  • Museum of Arts and Design
  • Parsons School of Design
  • Pratt Institute
  • Sight Unseen OFFSITE
  • WantedDesign (Brooklyn and Manhattan)

In an effort to expand the global impact of NYCxDESIGN, the program was represented at a number of international design weeks in 2015 including Milan, Shanghai, Barcelona and Tokyo. Additionally, international design weeks had the opportunity to participate in NYCxDESIGN, and representatives from various design weeks included Beijing, Ireland, Lima, Mexico, the Netherlands, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo and Toronto. NYCxDESIGN is a founding member of a new World Design Weeks organization that is currently in formation.

Home to more than 44,240 practicing designers (more than any other metropolitan area in the United States), approximately 3,977 design firms and 10 prominent design and architecture schools, New York City is one of the world’s design capitals. The design sector is a strong source of middle-income wages and positive opportunities for income mobility: Employees in the sector earn an average annual wage of $69,500, and 67 percent of those employed in the sector earn at least $50,000 a year. In addition, design employment increased 28 percent between 2004 and 2014, compared to a citywide employment growth of 19 percent over the same period.

Design-related event organizers can submit their events to the NYCxDESIGN website for inclusion on the site’s calendar, leading up to NYCxDESIGN in May.