When we attended WantedDesign's inaugural debut during NYC Design Week 2011, we knew that the fledgling venture was a force to be reckoned with. While ICFF remains the main attraction, WantedDesign drew our attention for bringing American and New York-centered design into conversation with the dominance of the Milan and Stockholm Design Week crowd. Spearheaded by French founders Claire Pijoulat and Odile Hainaut, the satellite fair has grown from meager origins to include 50 exhibitors alongside a multitude of talks, workshops, presentations and social spaces.
This year's WantedDesign will be returning to take over 22,000 square feet of the Terminal Warehouse (former home of the historic nightclub "Tunnel") as designers both domestic and foreign gather to show their wares and spread ideas. Focused on the city's creative community, the response from last year's event bodes well for the four days of design celebration to come this May.
Pijoulat and Hainaut created WantedDesign in part to combat the major shortcomings of design fairs—namely, the lack of interaction between creatives. With this in mind, the 2012 event will feature a conversation series as well as a stream of workshops with eminent designers and craftsmen. Manhattan Neon—a decades-old vendor of neon works—will be hosting a neon-centric workshop. An exhibition entitled "New Finnish Design" celebrates Helsinki as the 2012 World Design Capital, and 3M Architectural Markets will be presenting an experimental installation called "Lighfalls" in partnership with Todd Bracher.
Also on tap is the "Design Students Challenge", which calls on students from six design schools in the U.S. and France to build a lighting prototype in the span of three days. Using one material, one concept tool and one fabrication tool, the students' creations will then be judged by the public and a panel of design professionals. Focusing on the Americas, highlights from the fair include a group exhibition of Brazilian design curated by Objeto Brasil as well "America Made Me", an exhibition that bridges fashion, art and design curated by Bernhardt Design.
As with last year, the 2012 exhibition will feature a pop-up shop curated by iGet.it with domestic furniture, accessories and objects for sale in-store and online. Cafe Intramuros, sponsored by Intramuros Magazine, will be serving La Colombe Coffee and is one of a few spaces offering creatives a chance to sit, meet and discuss ideas.
There will of course be some stellar design objects premiering and showing at the fair. While many of the specifics remain to be seen, major events include a book launch from Rizzoli, a showcase of next-generation designers hosted by Dwell and DWR as well as numerous new products and prototypes.
18-21 May 2012
11 Avenue between 27th and 28th