New York’s Annual Design Festival Expands its Scope for Opportunities and Partnerships to Reenergize City as Creative Hub
NYCxDESIGN is proud to announce its new status as a NY not-for-profit corporation. The transition positions the organization for long-term success supporting NYC’s design community and comes at a time when the city is facing unprecedented challenges. NYCxDESIGN believes that design is part of the solution and that the organization can help lead the response to rebuilding and reenergizing the city as a design destination and creative hub. As a not-for-profit corporation, NYCxDESIGN will build off of its long-standing objectives to bring together diverse stakeholders across many creative verticals, showcase the City’s leadership in design thinking and manufacturing, and engage and educate the public in promoting the impact of design. Its work will be focused on the annual festival, as well as year-round activations, awards, podcasts and publications and the first ever NYCxDESIGN grant focusing on entrepreneurship in independent design.
Led by Program Director, Valerie Hoffman, the organization will work closely with the NYCEDC as well as its Steering Committee of leading event, educational, museum and association leadership. It is in the process of forming a Board of Directors and exploring Executive Director candidates for the newly formed entity.
According to Hoffman, “In 2019, the City of New York transitioned management of NYCxDESIGN to SANDOW, a company deeply rooted in design, to strengthen and grow the program. After assessment by SANDOW and several members of the NYCxDESIGN Steering Committee, it was determined that NYCxDESIGN should transition to a not-for-profit entity to best serve our community. Core to the not-for-profit’s values are diversity, purpose, cultural placemaking, economic opportunity, and creativity and inspiration. These pillars will serve as the foundation for all NYCxDESIGN programming and content. We are looking forward to new avenues of support and to engaging more media and organizational partners in our work.”
In 2021, NYCxDESIGN will present a series of Design Days taking place May 13–18, showcasing NYC’s talented design community. The program will feature primarily virtual events, in addition to outdoor experiences, select tours, and other small gatherings, depending on COVID-19 protocols at that time. The annual NYCxDESIGN Awards program, hosted by Interior Design, will take place virtually to celebrate and recognize exceptional design in NYC. The May timeline also includes Design Pavilion’s Open to the Sky, a special, city-wide installation activating all five boroughs with small, built structures that embody messages of hope and spirit, and an expanded edition of ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan’s virtual CLOSEUP event. In addition to partner organized events, the NYCxDESIGN team will curate special offerings including self-guided journeys and broadcasted interviews and tours that will be broadcasted on DesignTV by SANDOW, reaching millions of viewers globally to further promote NYCxDESIGN programming. Those interested should stay tuned for more information on event registration, opportunities to participate, and how to attend.
Beginning in 2021, NYCxDESIGN will launch a grant focusing on entrepreneurship in independent design. The grant will seek to fund a designer/design business that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of NYC and is pushing ahead in terms of diversity, sustainability, and innovation. Additional details will be announced in January 2021. The organization will also continue to produce The Magazine, the first edition of which features dozens of contributions from NYC designers, as well as NYCxDESIGN’s new podcast hosted by Debbie Millman entitled The Mic. These platforms highlight NYC’s most creative minds and provide ongoing opportunities for the creative community through Open Calls.
In recent months, NYCxDESIGN has led several campaigns and partnered on initiatives to offer visibility, foster connection, and unite and inspire New York City’s design community to ensure the revitalization and continued strength of not only the design industry, but all creative sectors in NYC. In partnership with NYCEDC, AIANY, and Design Advocates, NYCxDESIGN introduced Design Corps in July, a network aimed at supporting local businesses through pro bono design services. The program assists restaurants across the five boroughs in improving their space and ensuring compliance with the requirements of outdoor and indoor dining. In October, NYCxDESIGN launched the An Ode to NYC poster campaign featuring a bold collection of graphic expressions dedicated to New York City’s enduring creative energy by twenty-one local designers. The posters were on view throughout the city’s five boroughs to inspire and delight. The posters are still available for sale exclusively at the Poster House SHOP with proceeds going to the Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG).
NYCxDESIGN was first established in 2012 as a City Council initiative to convene and promote the design industry in New York. City organizations including NYC & Company and NYCEDC managed the “design week” for six years, growing it into one of the leading design festivals in the world alongside Milan, Paris, and London. The annual festival originated in the month of May to leverage the success of long-standing design events in NYC including ICFF and WantedDesign. Over the past eight years, new anchor events have been established to celebrate design week including Design Pavilion, the NYCxDESIGN Student Showcase, and NYCxDESIGN Awards.
NYCxDESIGN is a not-for-profit organization committed to empowering our city’s creative community through design and leveraging design in all its forms to foster transformation and progress forward. The organization makes a difference through live and virtual programs, content, education, and experiences that promote equity, diversity, and purpose in design. Operated by SANDOW, under agreement with New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYCxDESIGN also hosts a festival each year, providing emerging and established designers alike the opportunity to showcase the amazing design processes, products, and projects that are born in New York City.