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NYC Design Week 2011

Our top-ten preview of the U.S. design event of the year

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 11 May 2011

Many try, but few succeed in creating the kind of citywide hum that an event like ICFF brings to NYC each May. We once saw the editor of one Los Angeles-based site navigate using a sheet of printer paper with scribbled notes on the many launches, openings, appointments and cocktail parties she planned to hit. With such an overwhelming agenda, we made this hit list to assist on decisions of where to go and what to see. So find a sheet of printer paper, jot down some dates, times and addresses or, if you're not in the Big Apple, get a sneak peek of what's coming next in the world of design.

Noho Design District

First on the list of "what not to miss" is the second-annual Noho Design District, which runs from 13-16 May 2011. Concentrated primarily around Great Jones and Bond streets, you'll find product showcases, a film screening room, Sight Unseen's pop-up shop and much more.

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With Sight Unseen lending their design expertise for the second year in a row to produce McMasterpieces, the showcase of 15 design objects created entirely out of parts and raw materials from McMaster-Carr has some of our favorite local designers in it. Head to The American Design Building at Great Jones Lumber (45 Great Jones Street) to check it out.

Sharing the same location as McMasterpieces and with several more of the NYC designers that we've come to know and love, The American Design Club presents Use Me, an exhibit of "unapologetically functional objects" by 45 young American designers.

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While cruising the many new Noho venues, make sure to check out Sight Unseen's first-ever pop-up shop, featuring a collection of eccentric and handmade wares—Iacoli & McAllister's perfectly-simple Hex bottle opener—by many rising talents in art, fashion and design. The pop-up shop runs May 13-16 and is located at 45 Great Jones as well.

Swing by Partners & Spade at 40 Great Jones for even more rising talent (that in this case is based mere blocks away). There Rich Brilliant Willing will show an exhibition of new large-scale Delta Lights handmade in the Tri-State area. Also keep an eye out for the limited run of table lights inspired by Estes model rocket kits and born out of a collaboration between Partners & Spade and RBW.

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Take a few steps over to 55 Great Jones and you'll find yourself at The Future Perfect and their showcase of new furniture and lighting by a wide array of talents. Included in the exhibit will be Matt Gagnon, who will be building his wrapped Prototype lamps on site, and Mark Moskovitz' Facecord Cabinet.

ICFF

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair returns to NYC this weekend to showcase the work of over 24,000 designers, architects, developers and more all under one roof of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from May 14-17.

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Emerging lighting brand Roll & Hill will present their second collection of new products since launching in 2010. Find time between May 14-17 to swing by ICFF to catch a glimpse of the stunning fixtures that brought the Brooklynites so much attention in the past year.

Designboom's mart, an exhibition of 40 designers worldwide, always has something fun. The installation allows for patrons to meet young designers and purchase their work on the spot, directly from the talent themselves. Each mans a booth with their projects for all to see, hear, and touch. Make sure to bring some extra cash to this spirited event open for all on 14-16 May 2011 from 10am-4pm.

Fans of Spanish design shouldn't miss a special presentation at the Javits Center where the Spanish design association Interiors From Spain in collaboration with our sister company Largetail brings together Stone Designs, Santa & Cole, Estudihac and Luis Eslava will give short presentations on what inspires their process and the significance of living and working in Spain. Cool Hunting and three other sites will be present conducting live interviews with the designers and exploring a variety of themes. The event is open to all ICFF attendees and takes place on Sunday, 16 May 2011, from 2pm-3pm at the Spanish Pavilion.

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NYC Design Week

Over on Bowery, a handful of goings-on make a good next stop after checking out Noho. Private Property, a show presented by New York Art Department, Alife, and Uhuru, features high-end sustainable furniture design inspired by NYC graffiti culture including the likes of Earsnot, Jim Joe, Semen, KR and the beloved hangout Max Fish. Be there for the opening reception Friday 13 May 2011 from 6-8pm at The Hole on 312 Bowery. If you can't get into the opening the show, don't worry it runs 14-17 May 2011, from 12-8pm everyday.

Take a quick stroll over to the Chelsea Art Museum to see a more diverse showcase of design at Model Citizens. Over 90 designers from here and abroad come together to present their latest works of furniture, products, ceramics, glass and jewelry. There is also a show retail shop in case something in particular catches your eye. It runs from 13-15 May 2011.

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