With NYC Design Week 2016 coming to a close, there were hundreds of beautifully and innovatively designed products, technologies and architectural masterpieces presented at the show. NYC Design Week is an annual celebration of design. The celebration encompasses all design disciplines including architecture, design education, digital and technology, do-it-yourself and craft, engineering, fashion; film, media and television, furniture, graphic design, industrial and manufacturing, interior design, landscape design, lighting, product design, theater and urban design.
The show features numerous events within each discipline to attend and learn more about that area of design as well as view new ideas. This is the ideal show for those who have a career in some form of design as it provides ideas and inspiration as well as education and knowledge about industry trends and innovations. With so many incredible pieces on display, it can be difficult to narrow them down to only a few takeaways.
However, the following is a list of 10 of the Most Amazing Designs from NYC Design Week 2016.
Featuring over 200 works of design, many of which are never publicly showcased, Aaltos is a blockbuster show that this the work of Artek and their two founders: Aino Marsio-Aalto and Alvar Aalto. The designs were full of elegance and surprise. This is the first exhibition in the United States that showcase the history of the brand using a variety of painting, drawing, lighting, furniture and textiles integrated into the show.
In 2013, Studio Gorm, an Oregon-based design firm, launched a research project focusing on the various classic Shaker designs. This led to a traditional American design that was so captivating, the company decided to invite like-minded designers to contribute to an entire collection inspired by Shaker’s minimalist design principles. Known as the Furnishing Utopia, this collection showcases new works by Norm Architects, Jonah Takagi and Ladies & Gentleman Studio alongside eight other creative studios and designers.
This is the second year that alternative design collective, Grouphug, has decided to focus on design’s ability to conjure and enforce positive change into the community and world as a whole. 2016’s themed exhibition confronts one of the most pervasive issues in society to date: prejudice. The group show known as, “Judge Me,” invites designers to create objects that respond to any type of discrimination they have experienced.
The works range from conceptual explorations to market-ready products and deliver a thoughtful foundation for an extensive discussion regarding modern prejudices that continue and are experienced by those in the group. Several of the most standout projects include, a “Pantone Guide” for human traits known as Humantones and M.E.O.W, a wearable clothing accessory that discourages cat-calling when walking down the street.
Brought to you by the organizers of the American Design Club, the Growth presentation will tackle the great indoors as their New York Design Week theme. This spectacle was part of the new Design Pavilion launched at Astor Place and will feature designs will plants and flowers.
For those who have a tendency toward the nostalgia for physical photography, The Impossible Project will include a special product launch. This collection showcases the heroes of Polaroid instant film which boasts an I-1 Camera to pay homage to the Polaroid camera while simultaneously integrating digital controls allowing for functionality such as aperture remove triggering and shutter speed control via an app.
With so many large brands being showcased throughout the week, it is refreshing to find a group of designers who are presenting the second round of Jonalddudd which highlights objects utilizing furniture and housewares as their jumping off point for creative expression and innovation. This is one of the more unique exhibitions that can be found during the week.
Kar-a-Sutra Frieze Project
Kar-a-Sutra is an interesting design project from Italian designer and Olivetti consultant Mario Bellini which was replicated by artist Anthea Hamilton so visitors to Frieze New York can experience the original vision with an entire cast of mimes. Visitors can engage with the cast and explore the recommendations set forth by Bellini when living on the road
Narrative of Making
Featuring a dual presentation in New York and Milan, the Textile and Furniture Design students from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), have been busy preparing for their upcoming intercontinental presentation. Known as the Narrative of Making, the presentation collaborates the design process between students from both of these departments that are focusing on qualities of the materials and different designs that evoke authenticity and emotion.
Nendo Poetic Cabinets
Nendo, a prolific Japanese design firm, debut a collection of poetic cabinets that are prototypes of sketches which are used to present the way in which doors and drawers swing open. Known as the Trace collection, the exhibit playfully pairs wood cabinetry with metal frames in an elegant installation. Visitors begin at the entrance of the fair and navigate through the venue with the Collective Influence annual presentation debut. This event highlights the career and work impact of one designer.
As the seeds of spring traverse NYC’s buildings and streets, editors from the Museum of Art and Design as well as PIN-UP held a day-long conference about the art of the garden alongside cultural, spiritual and physical cross-pollination. Guest presenters include eco-architect James Wines, Bjarke Ingels, Nori Noda and even Pamela Anderson. Yes, it is the same Pamela Anderson you are thinking of.
NYC Design Week is so gigantic it is impossible to see every exhibit, attend every event, and enjoy the works of every single designer at the show. Like with any art and design, these are completely open for interpretation most will agree to the inspiration that these 10 works provide. Traversing multiple categories of design, this show brings forth the best efforts of the design community allowing for innovation, experience, and knowledge.