Glass reviews this year’s Vibrant NYCxDESIGN

NYCxDESIGN, taking place this year nearly the full month of May, is a city-wide celebration of design in its many diverse media: digital and tech, film and TV, fashion, furniture, architecture, interiors, landscaping, lighting, graphics, theater, product and urban design, and more. It’s an overwhelming network of opportunity for design-interested parties, clients and aficionados. Glass has set out to detail a few of our favorite spots and goings-on this May to help you craft your schedule as you navigate the artful metropolis.

Colony_Lightness

Lightness: The Full Spectrum exhibition at Colony’s showroom in Tribeca by Alan Tansey

Tribeca Design District

Colony

This showroom is consistent in its aesthetic and sensorial punch, but this NYCxDESIGN is presenting something unprecedented. Its founder-curator Jean Lin has produced a sculptural exhibition of mushrooms statuettes, a stark landscape of glaringly all-white curio against which its designers’ collections will be debuted and highlighted. The guiding theme for the collections and installation was “lightness,” and the full show (with accompanying events series) is titled Lightness: The Full Spectrum. Lin speaks to the theme, noting that after America’s devastating presidential election, she and her community “were enveloped in a darkness created by the divisive and vitriolic tenor of our country and our world… [the meaning] of lightness began to take on so much more.”

David Weeks Studio

Industry veteran David Weeks, continuing to push the limits of his output and forge new ground with his materiality, has produced a new collection with Senegalese artisans. The Waaw Collection, all woven furniture and featuring both lighting and seated furniture pieces, will debut in a collaborative presentation with textile designer-sculptor Elodie Blanchard at its Walker Street storefront. Aside from his groundbreaking new collection, David’s incredible humility and his ironic penchant for unexpected humor are both worth a visit to his storefront.

Aardvark-Interiors-Card-BAardvark Interiors: The Debut Collection

Aardvark Interiors’ The Debut Collection

Aardvark Interiors launches its debut collection this NYCxDESIGN at ICFF NYC, the United States’ premier platform for contemporary global design.

Founder Jason Gandy helms the design team at this Brooklyn-based woodworking and design firm, which previously has only done custom work. Each of the collection’s pieces – a mirror, credenza, wall shelf, and desk – is made with splined joinery (detailing “epaulettes,” beautifying the delicate curvatures of each edge) of cascading sapwood-heartwood compositions.

3205The Future Perfect’s Secret Showroom by Lauren Coleman

3259The Future Perfect’s Secret Showroom by Lauren Coleman

The Future Perfect’s Outlines in Its New Secret Showroom 

The Future Perfect is a bicoastal contemporary luxury design showroom (New York City and California) that, this year, is bridging the continental gap with a VR exhibit. The goggles transport viewers to the sunny showroom in Los Angeles from the Manhattan outpost on Great Jones Street – a design bastion on the sceney block, which houses occult clothing stores, infamous food joints, and independent gallery spaces.

And just down the block from its public showroom on Great Jones is a new “secret” space, available for showings on a need-to-know basis. The inaugural collection showing in the office space-cum-secondary showroom features debuting sculptures and hanging mobiles by designer Karl Zahn, the global launch of new furniture pieces by De La Espada, and interior design, lighting and upholstered furniture by For Reference design studio.

maderaA MADERA residential wood flooring project, photo by George Del Barrio

51E25th1368_ver2_webA MADERA commercial wood flooring project, photo by Charlie Bennett

Madera X Reform Showroom

Finished hardwood and reclaimed wood flooring company Madera opens the doors to its new Clinton Hill showroom in a partnership with Reform, a Copenhagen-based kitchen design company that uses Ikea “carcasses” and, partnering with huge design world names, brings them to life with mindfully designed exteriors. The mechanics of the final product are sturdy and high quality (thanks, Ikea!) and the outer aesthetic is mindfully created and unique to each client.

MADERA’s scope isn’t limited to flooring: they do wall surfaces, as well, and aside from their strikingly beautiful collections, they provide customized work on a project basis. To see the lines curated into “rooms” in situ with Reform’s designs, visit the new showroom, which is in fact a repurposed industrial building just outside the art-centric Brooklyn Navy Yard (and which also functions as a creative lab, design world meet-up place, and hosts the miniature art spot, Cooler Gallery!).

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A piece from Fernando Mastrangelo’s collection

EG_Resin Tables_2_HRElyse Graham Resin Tables

Sight Unseen OFFSITE

What would Sight Unseen be without its own VR, too? This year, one of the highlights is designer and art director Tom Hancocks x Twyla, an e-commerce luxury brand that connects art lovers with contemporary artists/their works. Hancocks has designed seven rooms, viewable through headsets as 360-degree panoramas.

Directed at interior designers, aesthetes, private clients or shoppers, and design industry players, Sight Unseen OFFSITE is an approachable setting in which high-end design is not compromised for a comfortable atmosphere. NYCxDESIGN in general, in fact, has mastered that balance of luxury tastefulness and open arms (versus, say, the scene at the Milan industry fairs, which feel somewhat less approachable).

Pushing both literal, spatial boundaries and those of “membership” to the design community, Sight Unseen has partnered with select retailers and restaurants around New York City to further their programming. You can find everything from art- and sculpture-inspired manicures at the hotspot nail salon Paintbox to a debut peppermill design and associated cocktail at the inimitably offbeat Chinatown restaurant Dimes.

Highlights include Fernando Mastrangelo, Elyse Graham, New Tendency, Simon Johns, and the collaboration between Calico Wallpaper and The Principals design studio.

Opening Manhattan-3 WantedDesign Manhattan at the Terminal Stores in Chelsea

WantedDesign’s Design Milk x Modenus Talks Lounge

WantedDesign, always one of the season’s largest players and one of New York City’s most kinetic movers and shakers on the design scene, is hosting Design Milk and Modenus (a digital resource for design industry professionals) this season, who in turn has produced a consciously minded series of public talks. The series involves big industry names and even bigger industry topics: rethinking global forestry, the incumbent influence of technology on our day-to-day, consumption habits in the age of intelligence, and the “can of worms” that is defining Americanism when it comes to design, among others.

Our pick for the talks series is Building Balance: Culture, Context and Inclusion in Design. The panel was curated and will be hosted by Kate McTigue of OTHR, a start-up design company that uses 3D printing technologies to produce the inventive fruits of its design collaborations (and which was co-founded by the prolific design pioneer Joe Doucet).

Again a hard-hitting topic, the discussion will revolve around the value, and dearth, of diversity in contemporary design. Featuring a panel of all women influencers, the talk will address talent, representation, gender and other demographic imbalances and, as it states, will leave its audience “with a deeper understanding of this topic and actionable ways to begin shifting the landscape of design for good.”

by Emily Rae Pellerin