NYCxDesign. Suggestions and tips from New York gallerists

The sixth edition of New York’s design festival has just begun, involving hundreds of locations in all five districts.


NYCxDesign is a festival organised by the city of New York to stimulate and promote the best talents fron the world of design. With 10 schools, 800 museums and galleries, and thousands of designers involved, the 13-day festival (11-23 May 2018) includes exhibitions, installations, debates and events which examine the most diverse of disciplines and projects on a wide range of scales.

Now in its sixth edition, the festival covers all five of New York’s districts, from the very central area of NoMad and the Flatiron Building, to the seafront of Brooklyn, contributing to the regeneration of spaces such as Industry City and Brooklyn Navy Yard.

We asked some of the most important design gallery owners in New York – participants in the festival – for some suggestions on what to see, and to comment on the current state of design in the Big Apple.

NYCxDesign, Design Pavilion, 2017
NYCxDesign, Design Pavilion, 2017

Suggest us a designer to follow during NYCxDesign.

Patrick Parrish: Chris Wolston is doing amazing furniture work in clay, he’s not to be missed and his former classmates at RISD Katie Stout and Misha Kahn as fun to follow too.
Salon 94: Philippe Malouin.
Friedman Benda: There are so many, it’s hard to say.

NYCxDesign, bus shelter
NYCxDesign, bus shelter

An event/exhibition/installation not to be missed.

Jamie Gray (Matter Made): Please don’t miss our exhibition at Matter (405 Broome street NYC) where we’ll be exhibiting the latest collections from Matter Made and Established & Sons, both of which were just launched during Milano Design Week.
Patrick Parrish: Carl Emil Jacobsen opens at my gallery on 17th of May, so everyone should make sure to see that! Also “Designing Women ll – Masters Mavericks, Mavins” opens on May 10th. Some heavy hitters both dead and alive in that show.
Salon 94: Raquel's Dream House at 79 Greene Street, New York.
Friedman Benda: The RISD Alumni panel featuring designers David Weeks, Katie Stout, Jamie Wolfand and Rosie Li., moderated by RISD President Rosanne Somerson. The Future Perfect always has very interesting designers on view.

Lee Broom, Bergdorf, 2017
Lee Broom, Bergdorf, 2017

A comment about how the NYC design scene is developing and how events like NYCxDesign can help to improve it.

Jamie Gray: I think we’re entering the post NYC design scene. It feels like the days of specific regions of the world dominating a particular movement are becoming more and more a thing of the past as we head deeper into a more connected global community. That said, it’s exciting to have our government working so closely with the local design community to give our design week in NY some momentum.
Patrick Parrish: The “design scene” in NYC is vibrant, and NYCxDesign is a foggy window into it, but I feel it gets better every year. We still have a long way to go to come close to the reach and depth of Salone in Milan, but maybe one day…
Salon 94: comment.
Friedman Brenda: ICFF was the furniture show that started to build a spotlight on design in New York in May many years ago. Since then we’ve seen several satellite design fairs launch such as WantedDesign and Sight Unseen which has helped raise the overall visibility of design in this city. Now with NYCxDesign as the main umbrella for which all of these events, exhibitions, and talks it’s much easier to navigate.

NYCxDesign, Design Pavilion, 2017
NYCxDesign, Design Pavilion, 2017

Is it possible to recognize a North American design style or identity?

Patrick Parrish: That’s a question I get asked a lot, and I would have to say no... with the immediacy of social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc), anyone around the globe with a decent phone signal can see anything and everything as it is happening. This levels the playing field, and allows people to be seen from their remote spot on the globe, while simultaneously influencing other people in other regions far far away. Because of this, the “regionalism” of design starts to fade away. It will never be completely gone, but I know the artist and designers I work with want to be just that, artists & designers, not “American artist & designers”.
Salon 94: “It’s a little too early to declare an actual youthquake, but suddenly, after decades of European dominance (Studio Alchymia and Memphis in Italy, ‘Creative Salvage’ in Britain, the Droog collective and subsequent Dutch design), the most vibrant energy in the field seems to be right here in the USA.” [from Glenn Adamson’s review of the “Chris Schanck: Unhomely” exhibition at Friedman Benda] 
Friedman Benda: No, we do not believe it is possible.

Opening dates:
11–23 May 2018
New York, various locations
Interviewed curators:
Jamie Gray (Matter Made), Salon 94, Friedman Benda, Patrick Parrish
Matter Matters:
405 Broome St, New York
Salon 94:
12 E 94th St, New York
Friedman Benda:
515 W 26th St, New York
Patrick Parrish Gallery:
50 Lispenard St, New York

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