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Feature> On the Town
During ICFF week in New York, three design-savvy outposts showcase the young, the talented, and the talkative.
The WantedDesign exhibition space in Chelsea's Terminal Warehouse.
Courtesy of Respective Event Organizers
Left to right: Typographic furniture from Tabisso at WantedDesign; French designer Olivier Dolle and his Biblio bookshelf; The Lantern by 718 Made in Brooklyn.
[+ Click to enlarge.]


WantedDesign brings designers, craftsmen, and editors together to showcase and discuss design in Chelsea’s historic Terminal Warehouse Building. The three-day event, sponsored by Dwell magazine, promises conversations with movers and shakers in design and architecture, along with crafts demonstrations, the launch of a new furniture label, and products from established companies. In a live collaboration, crafters LMC, Gohard Gilding, Ateliers JeanJoseph, Santo and Jean Ya will join designers Marc Thorpe and Brooks Atwood in re-working traditional materials to make one-of-a-kind pieces that will be unveiled on May 16 at the closing party. On May 14, there will be talks led by Cooper Hewitt’s Matilda McQuaid with designers about the synergies between architecture and furniture. And on May 15, Sam Grawe, the editor-in-chief of Dwell, and Rama Chorpash, head of product design at Parsons, discuss design education and making the transition from designer to entrepreneur. On May 16, six designers examine the role of design in Mexico, New Zealand, France, Italy, and the United States.

Table by Fort Standard in NoHo Design District (left) and Vivian Chiu's Chair Within Chair (right).


When curatorial consultants Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov of Sight Unseen set out to create a satellite ICFF event in 2009, NoHo struck the pair as the perfect destination. The neighborhood was home to emerging talent, legendary artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Frank Stella, and Chuck Close, and such architectural highlights as Herzog and deMeuron’s Bond St. condo. Inspired by the Meatpacking District Initiative, the former I.D. editors along with Maria Cristina Rueda from Uhuru Design collaborated with local businesses to create a four-day festival of pop-up shops, exhibitions, talks, parties and performances. Now in its second year, the NoHo Design District promises new venues and more blocks. Sight Unseen will present McMasterpieces, an exhibition that invites designers to create a new object constructed with parts from the McMaster-Carr catalog, an under-the-desk resource used almost universally by American designers to create prototypes. In line with the event’s mission of incubating emerging talent, showroom Relative Space on Bond will present a show of young Berlin designers, and the American Design Club will present “Use Me: Functional Designs for the New America,” a show of products with the ability to do one thing extremely well, designed by promising young designers from all over. Sight Unseen will also host NoHo Next, its annual showcase of young designers which will include the latest furniture collections from Iacoli & McAllister, Jonah Takagi, RO/LU, Brendan Ravenhill, Fort Standard, and four designers from RISD’s furniture design program.

ExpoTENtial celebrates "city moments."


Through installations located around downtown, ExpoTENtial seeks to harness the power of design to better the urban experience, whether bus stop shelters or sunken plazas. The event will feature a series of ten labs in which curators and design teams work with non-profits and city agencies like the Parks Department and the Department of Information Technology to produce ideas for innovative design in New York that could influence city policy. The labs, produced by curators Julie Lasky, Anna Cosentino, and Shonquis Moreno and designers Tucker Viemeister, Jennifer Kinon and Smart Design, will address climate change, transportation, energy efficiency, and recycling. In NoHo, the Urban Alchemy Lab, a projection series produced with the NoHo Design District, will seek to change people’s perception of the cityscape, while the Par Corps Lab will feature a video collage that examines ways in which design can promote social interaction. On May 15, event co-founder Laetitia Wolff, who’s known for interdisciplinary projects like Value Meal: Design and (Over)eating will talk about urban design interventions and how they can revitalize New York at Chelsea’s Terminal Warehouse.

Katherine Fung