NYCxDESIGN’s globally acclaimed design week returns to the city for its 11th edition from May 18-25, 2023, presenting thought-provoking exhibitions, public installations, renowned trade fairs, and robust programming. Celebrating New York City as the destination for world-class design, the annual Festival serves up the talent and diversity of the city’s designers, makers, and manufacturers, along with premier design districts and leading cultural and academic institutions. Attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from the U.S. and abroad, NYCxDESIGN is anchored by key trade shows such as ICFF, WantedDesign and LightFair alongside hundreds of other engaging events across the city.
“We’re thrilled to present the 11th edition of the NYCxDESIGN Festival. Highlighting the strength of New York’s creative economy, the Festival is once again tapping the industry’s brightest minds to create brilliant activations across the city,” said Interim Executive Director Ilene Shaw. “Following 10 successful years of unparalleled inspiration and innovation, the Festival has helped establish New York as a premier design destination.”
The Festival’s annual kick-off event, the NYCxDESIGN Awards ceremony presented by INTERIOR DESIGN, will take place on the opening day of the Festival, Thursday May 18, to honor outstanding architecture and interior projects in the five boroughs, as well as new products launching during NYCxDESIGN. Following the awards, an opening party hosted by Studio by Tishman Speyer with playful and comfortable vignettes designed by Hem will be held at The Spiral – an impressive new skyscraper designed by BIG – followed by a lively after-party at the Chelsea gallery Tuleste Factory hosted by Satu & Celeste Greenberg. Additional programming will be held throughout the week, including a live recording of The Mic podcast hosted by Debbie Millman, sponsored by Flamingo.
Key events include:
Feature Trade Shows
NYCxDESIGN’s anchor events taking place at the Javits Center from Sunday, May 21 to Tuesday, May 23 include ICFF, WantedDesign Manhattan, and LightFair, in a robust showcase of the latest design introductions across hospitality, commercial and residential design sectors. LightFair, North America’s largest architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, is a synergetic addition to this year’s Festival, hosting local lighting installations and a panel with IALD Designery. Immediately following the conference, the Light Fair Trade Show will continue through Thursday May 25. Co-located with the tradeshows for the first time, the industry’s beloved DIFFA by Design event will also be held at the Javits for the first time.
Key events include:
DIFFA by Design Gala at Javits Center, May 22, 6-9 PM
Across the city, the NYCxDESIGN Festival will activate the city’s vibrant design districts with a variety of experiences that are open to the public. Madison Avenue, one of North America’s premier luxury districts, will launch its inaugural Design Week May 20-25, led by the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). The Brooklyn Navy Yard, one of NYC’s most iconic innovation centers, will also open the doors to over a dozen studios across fashion, furniture, and product design on May 20th for its Design Day at the Yard event. The day will include a Deep Space Food Challenge Innovation Showcase with Smart Design and guest NASA. This international competition by NASA challenges teams to create novel, game-changing food technologies that efficiently produce nutritious and delicious food for both those on Earth and Astronauts on long-duration space missions. By shining a light on these creative hubs, NYCxDESIGN aims to inspire connection and innovation that extends well beyond the Festival. The NoMad and Soho design districts will also activate with evening events on May 19th and 20th, respectively.
The Festival not only activates local design hubs, it shines a light on epicenters of design innovation across the world. From May 18-20, Argentina will be showcasing its long tradition of design through The Argentinian Creative Experience, an open exhibition at the Argentinian Consulate. They will also be hosting private viewings, and many Argentinian companies will be activating at ICFF and WantedDesign. Oui Design!, a new annual event that brings together 19 places of excellence in French design and craft in New York, will also allow attendees to experience French design and savoir-faire in a whole new way. This will kick off with a panel discussion and cocktail party on May 17th.
Engaging with local museums has been a hallmark of the Festival for many years. This Spring, attendees have the opportunity to explore exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), The Noguchi Museum, The Guggenheim Museum, and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, touching on a variety of topics ranging from broad discussions on designing equitable cities to deep-dives into the short-lived phenomenon of paper fashion in the 1960s.
Talks and Tours
Once again, the Festival will host hundreds of live talks and conversations from the world’s top changemakers in design to discuss topics that intersect with larger societal issues such as climate change, food insecurity, and more. Prior to the Festival, key speakers from participating museums/exhibitions/
Exhibitions across the city offer fresh inspiration for the design professional and lay design-lover alike. On May 22, ABC Stone’s The Past Is Now Present exhibition will mark the official launch of Borrowed Earth in the tri-state area, exclusively through ABC Stone. The Borrowed Earth Collaborative – through its designs and craftsmanship — brings the Earth’s (past) biography for our (present), everyday surroundings, set with the premise that stone carries geological histories through its texture, striations, and materiality. With a myriad of other exhibitions showcasing everything from advanced technologies to age-old traditions, there’s truly something for everyone. Many exhibitions will challenge visitors to consider important topics such as communal acts of sharing, the concept of reflection and how this relates to the female experience, and much more.
rE-ordering architecture: making machine and material kin – May 5 – 25 at Usagi Gallery
Herman Miller Vintage Pop-Up – May 18-21 at Herman Miller NYC Flagship
Opening Reception: CHIAOZZA – May 18, 6-8 PM at Uprise Art (pictured below)
Upon Further Reflection – May 19 – May 25, 6-8 PM, Location TBD
- ABC Stone: The Past Is Now Present Exhibition – May 22, 6-8 PM at ABC Stone
The wide selection of immersive and experiential installations happening during the Festival provide opportunity for attendees to interact with design concepts in a distinct and memorable way. Whether embarking on a cinematic expedition through Artechouse’s MAGENTAVERSE exploring the Pantone Color of the Year ‘Viva Magenta,’ a virtual scavenger hunt through inCitu’s city-wide 3D-layer of real proposed and upcoming structures, or a surreal journey through physical and meta realities at STAYDREAM by Stellar Works and Sony Design, these experiences are sure to inspire.
Engaging with the future generation of design professionals remains a key aspect of NYCxDESIGN. Each year, the Festival amplifies the creativity of both local and international college students studying design, with multiple exhibitions showcasing outstanding work from students at Pratt Institute, The Fashion Institute of Technology(FIT), Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and the Parsons Industrial Design MFA Program. Produced since 2012, the annual WantedDesign Schools Workshop will also provide international design students with the opportunity to come up with a creative solution to a proposed brief that touches on each year’s theme.
Special Thanks to Key Supporters
NYCxDESIGN thanks its 2023 supporters that make the Festival possible, including SANDOW Design Group, LightFair, NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Bloomberg Connects, ABC Stone, Argentinian Consulate, French Consulate, and Madison Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). This year’s media partners include Metropolis, Interior Design, Luxe Interiors + Design, The Architect’s Newspaper, Elle Decor, Veranda, House Beautiful, SixtySix, and IFDM.
For more information and the full list of registered events, visit the interactive NYCxDESIGN Festival Guide at festival.nycxdesign.org/events
Design is core to New York City’s identity and creative DNA. NYCxDESIGN’s mission is to support, empower, and grow the city’s incredible design sector. Our internationally renowned Annual Design Festival, established in 2013, showcases the immense talent and diversity of the city’s designers, makers, and manufacturers, along with cutting-edge design businesses and districts, and academic design institutions. The Festival attracts 300,000+ national and international visitors to the city with hundreds of events about design and innovation, creativity, culture, inclusivity, and sustainability. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, NYCxDESIGN also runs an impactful year-round program increasing diversity, equitable opportunity, and inclusion within the city’s design professions.