Friday, March 18, 2011

It's All About Design

It's the New York Design Festival!

Scratching your head? I did too when I finally got the memo. Trying to capitalize on the fact that hordes of architects, interior designers and all related and peripheral industries descend upon the town for the annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 94, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared the festival official.

This is actually a good thing. There's much going on this week into next, and it would be a shame not to catch at least some of it while there's still time.

The week got off to a good start Monday night with the pre-renovation party for this year's Kips Bay Designer Show House, scheduled to open April 28 on East 63rd Street. The house—once owned by John Hay Whitney, an ambassador to the U.K. under Dwight Eisenhower and a lifelong philanthropist—finds the benefit show back on the Upper East Side of Manhattan after an Upper West Side real estate kerfuffle last spring resulted in a much-delayed run. (I hope that won't permanently bar the folks at Kips Bay from considering a future UWS site.)

More on this year's Kips Bay show house:

On Tuesday, the A&D Building hosted the second annual Educational Forum for Design Professionals, a daylong series of seminars that included breakfast, lunch and cocktails for participants. (If you attended, make sure to turn in all required paperwork—the seminars are good for up to 6 credits for AIA, IIDA and NCIDQ.) Wednesday was quiet, but engines revved up again for this month's 7 West Designer Day (when the gift/home/tabletop/textiles showrooms open their doors directly to designers in addition to the usual retailers), scheduled to coincide with the AD show; and AIPAD Photography Show New York, presented by fine art photography galleries from around the world.

7W New York:

Thursday also marked the debut of the Artist Project. Unlike most shows, where the interested buyers connect with third parties such as dealers and auction houses, the Project allows collectors and the curious alike to interact directly with more than 150 independent artists. In this economic climate, any breaking down of walls, real or imagined, is welcome.

The Artist Project:

And so that all doubt is laid to rest about this sustainability thing, the design festival ends on Monday, March 21, with GREENleaders, a six-hour training program in green home furnishings presented by the AD show, the New York Design Center and the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

More about the Sustainable Furnishings Council:

The real draw this week, though, remains the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, which continues until Sunday, March 20. In its tenth year, the event features the latest in residential design, from furniture to kitchens, decorative accessories and technology. Lectures, seminars and cooking demonstrations round out the four days of exhibition. Participants include vendors large and small, local and international. Skram (New York), Ligne Roset (France), Sub-Zero (United States), USM-Haller (Europe) and Val Cucina (Italy) are but some of the 300 or more showing their wares.

WolfHome's beautiful silk fabrics (above & below)

Home goods in wool felt, handmade in Kyrgyzstan
Beautifully constructed fun, made in Brooklyn by Aviva Stanoff 
Glass by Nine Iron Studios

The biggest trend this year? Color. Rich reds and stunning yellows found their way into the usual collection of neutrals. Natural fabrics and handmade goods are back as well.

DIFFA Dining by Design, the annual tabletop design showcase that benefits AIDS research and outreach, wasn't immune. The best tables celebrate color as well as texture.

Hurry before it all ends. Festivals like this don't grow on trees.

Winter wonderland by Scandia
Kravet's DIFFA contribution
Even Coca-Cola got into the act.
Table by BFA & MFA students of New York School of Interior Design
Garden fantasy by David Beahm Design

1 comment:

  1. We are at Architectural Digest Home Design Show, visit our stand at 221 and surrender to our lamps.