True to the nature of the city’s design scene, independent and entrepreneurial talents, duos, collectives, and culture-makers pulled their weight during this year’s New York Design Week. A series of retail displays, pop-up exhibitions, group shows, and full-on showroom openings gave the big fairs a run for their money. And yet, a rigorous push for sumptuous though tasteful exhibition-design could be found across the board; setting this year’s event well ahead of past editions. Topping it all off was a tour de force party extravaganza that gave many a renewed sense of belonging and hope that, even in the seemingly most dire of times, good fun could still to be had. Credit goes to Apparatus Studio in this respect. New York design has entered a period of bold yet refined maturity; a collective voice, identity, and approach, it’s now sharing with the world. Here are AN Interior’s top 7 interior installation highlights.
AN Inspired Collection by Kind MODERN & USM
New York design producer-cum-gallery Kinder MODERN teamed up with Swiss heritage brand USM to mount a bold, colorful, and playful environment in the furniture company’s Soho flagship. Top independent design talents from the United States and Europe—Dusen Dusen, Buckley, Fort Standard, Cody Hoyt, Elyse Graham, Paul Ketz, Adrian Kay Wong, Diego Faivre, Rodger Stevens, and Visser & Meijwaardwere—were tasked with the reinterpretation, reconfiguration, and recontextualization of USM’s iconic Haller system. Traditionally formed as shelving units, the modular system was used in a slew of new applications aimed at children: tables, desks, vanities, and beds, mirrors, light fixtures; a window display and even a basketball court. This multi-layered intervention enlivened the revered design classic with new colors, patterns, textures, and plug-ins: textile inserts and whimsical accessories.
Egg Collective Showroom
Celebrated New York furniture practice Egg Collective (comprised of Crystal Ellis, Hillary Petrie, and Stephanie Beamer) opened its new showroom in Tribeca this May. The airy, refined yet material rich flagship encompasses various design elements and details. Rounded corner rooms are treated in different deep matte wallcovering by Callidus Guild while wall-fiber works by Mimi Jung help situate Egg Collective’s new collection of large-scale furniture pieces, generously distributed through the showroom’s three main spaces. At its core, the sprawling storefront, feature a clever workspace, fitted out in the trio’s iconic designs.
Next Level NYC
The annual Next Level cooperative exhibit brought together works by an extensive group of 40 independent creatives and boutique brands. In its second iteration, the ephemeral gallery concept, initiated by Asher Isrealow Studio, Patrick Weder, Hart Textiles, Here Projects, and Eskayel adopted a dramatic set design: employing recycled fragments of rubber tires as a next to nature floor-soil cover solution for the main floor exhibit. This intervention helped tie together an eclectic range of furniture, lighting, accessory, and sculptural pieces. Two subterranean levels featured special projects: an installation of 70 artists painted rice patterns donated by Pearl River Mart and a performance venue programmed by Here Projects. Throughout New York Design Week, the multi-tiered NoHo venue played host to a rich talk, panel, and dance series.
Lindsey Adelman Showroom
This New York Design Week, seminal lighting designer Lindsey Adelman opened a new showroom directly adjacent to her Lafayette Street studio. The new full-floorplate space evokes the characteristics and nostalgia of a classic downtown loft. The sprawling salespoint plays host to various office-cum-domestic amenities. The open-play showroom juxtaposes meeting and display rooms with home-like lounges and a kitchen. Some of the designer’s most iconic decorative luminaires hang throughout the space. Upstairs, Adelman’s design, research, and assembly workshop remain in full swing.
ANDLight at ICFF
Best in show at this year’s ICFF was young Vancouver-based lighting brand ANDLight. Debuting three new collections to the US market, the boutique design house opted for a perforated paper curtain booth design. Indicative of the brand’s minimalist, no-nonsense, geometric, yet playful aesthetic, this mechanical-like scenography formed the perfect backdrop for ANDlight’s latest Pebble, Vale, and Array luminaire series. The Pebble sconce celebrates the beautiful qualities of stones. Enhancing their simple yet sculptural form through translucency while the Vale collection optimizes functionality through its multidirectional luminescence and lighthouse-like lenses. The horizontal Array pendant achieves an ambient aura by means of circular panels.
Dome Life by Design Within Reach and Entireworld
Design Within Reach teamed up with LA-based fashion brand Entireworld to mount a shoppable installation at the former’s SoHo flagship. Comprised of four geodesic domes, the exhibit pays homage to one of architecture’s most quintessentially utopian archetypes. Conceived by Entireworld’s founder, the structures housed four different retail experiences that combine furniture design classics from Design Within Reach’s vast gamut with the fashion brands garments and other accessories. Altogether, the staging played on the idea of modernist principles. One dome even featured a kaleidoscope-like interior which made for an immersive experience.
Ending New York Design Week with a bang was a small but stunningly theatrical display by design newcomer James Stumpf. Entering a small blacked out doorway in Tribeca, visitors were treated to a cabaret mise-en-scene. French music piped through old gramophone horns while a capsule collection of chairs, sofas, tables, and armoires spun on a rotating platform. The new Art Deco-esque assemblage is entitled Avoirdupois, which directly translates from French as “having weight.” Sunburst details in table lamps and sconces carry through to iridescent mirrors and cabinets while sofas and tables featured wicker-inlay elements. The new offering is a breath of fresh air in a market that often stagnated by over-saturated trends.