During her 'Smith College Commencement Speech' on 19th May 2013, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington quoted Archimedes in her address to her audience: ''Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world.'' Now, although my name may be Costas and not Archimedes, I too can say that I managed to move the digital world whilst standing – well actually sitting - in front of my iMac screen over the course of the last few days. And the quest I hear you ask? To search for anything written on twitter, received in my mailbox, shared on instagram or posted on thousands of Facebook profiles related to this year's New York Design Week. The event officially came to an end not only with the closing of the 25th four-day (18-21 May, 2013) annual ICFF / International Contemporary Furniture Fair 2013 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center but also with the ending of the 12-day (10-21 May, 2013) inaugural citywide event NYCxDESIGN which aimed to celebrate New York City’s diverse design scene.
Between the 10th and 21st May 2013, the Big Apple was hit by a design storm which spread far and wide from the Meatpacking district to Tribeca, all the way to the former home of the Ladies’ Mile shopping district to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Falling just a month after the world famous Milan Design Week in Italy, the NY Design Week, despite the fact that it does fall victim to a few repeat performances from the world of well-known European design brands, is nevertheless, a great place to see new discoveries from the Americas and limited editions that are created exclusively for the U.S. market, up close.
The landmarked districts bordered by Broadway and the Bowery, Houston Street and Cooper Square which once featured old factories and warehouses with cast-iron facades not only brought back memories of the gritty and vibrant arts scene of the 1960s and ’70s but now set the scene for the array of handmade and one-of-a-kind objects by artists and designers carefully selected and curated by Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer of Sight Unseen as part of a four-day design festival entitled 'NOHO Design District' which has grown from strength since its inauguration in 2010.
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The former infamous Tunnel nightclub located at 220 Twelfth Avenue, in Chelsea in the Terminal Warehouse Company Central Stores Building which closed its doors late in 2001, constituted the venue for the third iteration of WantedDesign, a four-day event and exhibition founded by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat back in 2011. In the space of two years, participating designers’ numbers have doubled. Attendees now dance along to the new, amazing 'rhythm of design' whilst discovering designs from Latin America, not to mention other treats from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Here highlights included the Matrice crystal collection of lighting fixtures by Kiki van Eijk for French crystal manufacturer Saint-Louis, Debra Folz’ Radial Stools and the amazing 'EXPRESS YOURSELF: ART OF BLENDING' exhibition presented by Raison Pure NYC, an exercise in translation and re-definition, driven by five personal takes on the traditional Russian ritual of tea drinking.
While scrolling down this page you will discover my personal favourite projects, products, artworks and exhibitions from NYDW 2013 which I have managed to collect without actually attending the show in the flesh. So please don't judge me and let me apologise in advance if you find work from already established, talented artists and designers that I hadn’t come across before. A few of the selections that you will discover include: The 'Vivere alla Ponti' [Living Ponti-style] exhibition presented by Molteni&C and Dada at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura New York, the new GUESTS created by the outstanding American Artist Gary Baseman for Lladró, the product line ‘Neri&Hu' designed by Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu and manufactured by De La Espada, the stunning HIGHWIRE lighting fixtures by Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson of APPARATUS studio, the uniquely handcraftedCARNIVAL and BUTTERFLY backgammon boards from Alexandra Llewellyn, the 'Off the Grid' exhibition atGallery R’Pure featuring new pieces from Brooklyn based but French born François Chambard and New York basedFrederick McSwain, the Guggenheim Museum Architectural Sculpture by Chisel & Mouse, the TRAVEL show byField and Various Projects, the FLUFF & WAFFLE series from textile designer Hiroko Takeda, the ''Wonder Cabinets of Europe'' project by Maria Jeglinska & Livia Lauber (where I saw my face in Matylda Krzykowski'sDrawn Interviews' cabinet), and last but not least, the MatterMade collection from contemporary design shop and manufacturer 'Matter'.
The Future looks like it will indeed be perfect if your name is David Alhadeff. The founder of 'The Future Perfect' stores has been successfully expanding his retail empire from Brooklyn in 2003 to Downtown NY store in 2009, to the recent store opening on the West Coast in San Francisco and his design selections were on display all over New York city as part of several events. However, if your last name isn’t Alhadeff and you are a talented designer based in the U.S. or any other country, don’t miss the chance to participate in next year's NYDW and possibly be discovered through any possible means – preferably my next year’s real-life attendance of NYDW 2014. Till then, enjoy the endless scroll down of my discoveries.