Recap: NYCxDESIGN Festival & ICFF 2024

NYCxDESIGN is an annual showcase of New York City’s dynamic design community, bringing together designers, artists, and enthusiasts from around the world. Last week we spent a few days in the Big Apple for this year’s festival, visiting an array of exhibitions, installations, and showrooms highlighting the latest in design across various disciplines. It was industrial designer Natalia Baltazar’s first time in NYC, and we had a blast showing her around the city and exploring the festival through a first-timer’s perspective.

On Sunday we visited Vitra Studios, where we enjoyed their showcase of iconic and new designs. We then explored the second iteration of the MUJI IS exhibition, where the minimalist packaging and unique language of Miyuki Tokunaga’s work were beautifully showcased. The day concluded at the Bang & Olufsen mixer at their retail store in SoHo, where circular design principles were on full display as the showcase of new products provided a glimpse into the future of sustainable design.

Monday began with the Design Within Reach exhibit which offered a comprehensive look at the design process for the Fortune Chair by JUMBO for Heller and a retrospective featuring iconic pieces from Heller’s portfolio.

After getting lost on the subway, we explored the East Village via Citi Bike and eventually rode all the way through Manhattan to the Javits Center to check out the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF). Fur & wool-like textures, 3D printed everything, and the use of cork were all prominent trends of the show.

One of the day’s highlights was the Vignelli Legacy event, presented by Saint Peter’s Church and The Arts and Architecture Conservancy at Saint Peter’s with Heller Furniture and The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). We enjoyed learning about the church’s design and the iconic Hellerware, recently re-released by Heller Furniture, as well as trying out a variety of Vignelli-designed seating. It was great to support long-time friend Josh Owen, Director of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT, who was one of the distinguished speakers at the exhibit reception. The exhibition runs through October 11– stop by if you’re in the area!

We also stopped by NYCxDESIGNxSouvenir which invited over 50 New York-based designers to create unique souvenir objects celebrating the city’s character and diversity, including our friend Steve Cozzolino. This exhibit was a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the local design community.

We dedicated Tuesday to visiting open showrooms and exploring storefronts and other inspiring locations throughout the city. A few noteworthy visits include BDDW by Tyler Hays, where we were captivated by the intricate details of the furniture and especially loved the pool table and fireplace; as well as Blu Dot Furniture and Tom Dixon Lighting, both exemplifying contemporary design excellence. We also connected with Kohler and stopped by the Kohler Design Studio, where we got a peek at the latest in kitchen and bath innovation.

A stroll through Little Island, an award-winning public park in Hudson River Park, provided a refreshing blend of nature and art in a unique urban oasis. We also made a stop by Vessel, the 16-story honeycomb-like structure in Hudson Yards Public Square.

Sending a shout out to some of the other incredible designers and friends we had the chance to connect with while in town: Angela Yeh, Francois Nguyen, Asher Hoffman, Tucker Viemeister, Vincent Lu, and Stuart Constantine. We also had a delightful breakfast at Ess-a-Bagel (our favorite bagel spot in the city) with friend and Sprout client, world renowned pianist Adam Gyorgy. Thank you all for the great conversation and company! 

NYCxDESIGN 2024 was a celebration of design in all its forms. From iconic studios to emerging talents, the festival highlighted the diverse and vibrant design community that makes New York City a global design capital. We left feeling inspired and excited for the future of design, ready to apply the insights and ideas we gathered to our creative endeavors at Sprout.

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