What Not to Miss at NYCxDesign


O+A has been a New Yorker for almost a year, so it is with great enthusiasm… no wait, it is with a worldly shrug that we look forward to NYCxDesign, which kicks off next week across the five boroughs. New York’s month-long celebration of design encompasses all facets of the profession from urban planning to fashion, workplace to stage sets, furniture to advertising. New York claims 44,000 full-time designers working at almost 4,000 design firms. And because it’s New York, it’s a crossroads of design for a lot of other industries—which makes this 5th annual festival an event that touches many of the city’s cultural bases. The festival runs from May 3-24. Here are some anticipated highlights:



Where Do You Sit in Life?

Artist Rochelle Udell, whose work is all about chairs—as furniture, status symbol, abstract form, and historical artifact—will expound on the cultural and social implications of sitting May 4 at 1stdibs Gallery at 200 Lexington Avenue. An exhibit of her work runs through the festival.


Architizer Hosts Rendering to Reality

A beautifully-designed space comes to life only through a beautifully-executed build. David Belt from Macro Sea, talks with Architizer’s Mark Kushner about the real-world challenges of turning drawings into physical structures May 4 at Architizer’s headquarters at 1 Whitehall Street.


BKLYN Designs

This is Brooklyn’s fair within the fair at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint, a gathering of designers, architects, planners and builders committed to the continuing flowering of the borough. Key note speaker Todd Bracher wraps up day one May 5 with a talk on good design as good business.


Brooklyn Historical Society/ 100 Clark Street: A Case Study

For those who relish architectural back-from-the-dead stories this event May 8 at the BHS at 128 Pierrepont Street will chronicle the restoration of a pre-Civil War building from stunted wreck to its original 5-story splendor. Simeon Bankoff of the Historic Districts Council joins building owner Margaret Steriker Porres and architect Tom van den Bout for a blow-by-blow.

NY-London Exchange

New York Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and London Deputy Mayor Jules Pipe get together May 9 at The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, to talk about how these two world capitals are coping with explosive growth, a severe housing shortage and the economic shockwaves triggered by their countries’ haywire politics.


A Jazz Age Night in Harlem Walking Tour

In the 1920s Harlem was New York’s nighttime playground with clubs and speakeasies open all night. Historian John Reddick will ignite it all again on May 18 with a Cooper Hewitt-sponsored walking tour of Jazz Age landmarks and historic homes.


Design and the Workplace

Do we ever get enough of workplace design? No, we don’t. This panel May 10 at the Spector Group, 183 Madison Avenue, addresses issues nearest and dearest to O+A’s heart: how design helps a workplace give voice to the client’s culture and liberates people to do their best work.


Design at MOMA

In an increasingly pop-up world, designers have much to learn from museum installations. Ingrid Chou and Derek Flynn of MoMa will meet May 10 on their home turf at 11 West 53rd Street to reveal the secrets of exhibiting art artfully and investing spaces with unexpected meaning.


Rebranding Traditional Industries Through Workplace Design

The workplace revolution started in Silicon Valley, but now that open plan workstations, in-house cafes, huddle rooms, nap nooks and other design temptations are becoming more common, other industries want them too. Spector Group will host a panel on May 17 at 183 Madison Avenue.


Architects Newspaper Design Showroom Cocktail Crawl

Most people don’t need a newspaper to orchestrate their drinking schedule, but on May 17 revelers will travel, not from bar to bar, but from showroom to showroom in the Flatiron District, sampling custom-designed cocktails at each location. It’s all good design whether the building materials are steel and wood or spirits and fruit juice.



It’s no accident that NYCxDesign was launched in May so that its grand finale could encompass New York’s already internationally celebrated design show ICFF. 2017 marks the show’s 29th year with more than 750 exhibitors at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, May 21-24.


Midnight Moment

And if you find yourself in Times Square three minutes before midnight remember to look up. Midnight Moment, billed as “the world’s largest and longest-running digital art exhibition” is a synchronized display on the square’s electronic billboards. For the duration of the festival this concrete plaza that never knows darkness will be design-themed.