What To Explore At The 2023 NYCxDESIGN Festival


nycxdesign festival times square design pavilion

NYCxDESIGN readies for its 1th edition with hundreds of exciting activations set across the city’s five boroughs. Here is the 2022 Design Pavilion in Times Square. (PHOTO: MATTHEW CARASELLA)

Get ready for an invigorating and inspiration-filled week with the return of the NYCxDESIGN FestivalNow in its 11th edition, the annual celebration of all things design will run May 18 through May 25 with exhilarating exhibitions, installations, trade fairs, open studios, and more across New York City’s five boroughs.

“Highlighting the strength of New York’s creative economy, the Festival is once again tapping the industry’s brightest minds to create brilliant activations across the city,” said Interim Executive Director Ilene Shaw. “Following 10 successful years of unparalleled inspiration and innovation, the Festival has helped establish New York as a premier design destination.”

As thousands ready to flock to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx for this year’s impressive showcase, here we outline happenings worth adding to your agenda.

Gear Up For Awards + Trade Shows

NYCxDESIGN wastes no time celebrating excellence: Festivities open with Interior Design’s NYCxDESIGN Awards (May 18), honoring outstanding architecture and design projects and products. An opening party at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)-designed skyscraper The Spiral will follow—with an after-party at Tuleste Factory to boot. Tickets are open to the public.

Members of the trade can head to the Javits Center (May 21-May 23) for ICFF, WantedDesign Manhattan, LightFair, and for the first time, the DIFFA by Design event. Attendees can take in the latest in hospitality, commercial and residential design, while also enjoying DIFFA’s ever-inspiring design showcase that raises awareness for AIDS, homelessness, food insecurities and mental health issues.

contemporary living room in lee broom penthouse that will be open for nycxdesign tours

Peek at Lee Broom’s Divine Inspiration collection in a residential setting, as the lighting designer opens his Tribeca penthouse. (PHOTO: STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON WITH STYLING BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS)

Can’t-Miss NYCxDESIGN Experiences + Exhibitions


Through hundreds of new and exciting events, NYCxDESIGN highlights creative hubs across the city, but the Festival also prioritizes showcasing the importance international influence and innovative thinking. 

Locally, Madison Avenue’s inagural Design Week (May 20-May 25) is slated to queue up programming within home furnishing stores, showrooms and galleries from East 57th to East 86th streets. For a more international POV on design influence, head to the Argentinian Consulate for the Argentinian Creative Experience (May 18-May 20) or to Villa Albertine for Oui Design! (May 17), celebrating French design and craft in New York.

Looking beyond global impact, Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Design Day at the Yard (May 20) will spotlight a Space Food Challenge Innovation Showcase with Smart Design and NASA that challenges teams to dream up food technologies to create nutritious meals for space-lovers and astronauts alike.

Other engaging experiences and exhibits include: Artechouse’s MAGENTAVERSE (through May 29), which invites guests to cinematically explore Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year “Viva Magenta;” “Generation Paper: A Fashion Phenom of the 1960s,” on display at the Museum of Arts and Design (through August 27);  Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest” (May 18-25), which dives into the world of Navajo Weaving with artist interviews and stunning imagery; the Herman Miller Vintage Pop Up (May 18-21) for a chance to snatch up collectible pieces from the iconic brand or peruse memorabilia; plus, a peek inside lighting designer Lee Broom’s Tribeca penthouse which doubles as a showroom and private residence (May 18-May 25, by appointment).

nycxdesign architecturenow exhibition photo of lush waterfront urban park with boardwalk

The “Architecture Now: New York, New Publics” exhibition, running though July 29, spotlights 12 public-facing projects across the city that weigh sustainability, accessibility and equity. (PHOTO COURTESY NYCXDESIGN)

Listen Up: Talks + Tours


The weeklong festival of design not only celebrates creativity, but it also encourages introspection and exploration of topics and ideas.

Attend one of various ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan Talks, where 100-plus speakers will take the stage over the course of the week to chat topics like global trends, diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, public safety and wellness. Plus, don’t miss the Emerging Designers Showcase (May 21)—moderated by designer and media personality Amy Devers (who also hosts the popular Clever podcast)—where new talent pitches ideas to a panel of leading industry professionals.

For more action-packed courses of discovery, make time for tours including the “Phenomenal Museum: The Met” (May 18-May 21), which invites attendees to “engage all levels of consciousness to more fully engage with your mind, body, and world;” Lightfair’s VIP lighting tours (May 23-May 24) which offer stops at the High Line, One Vanderbilt, One Bryant Park, and 3 Times Square; and the virtual Circular City Tour (May 18-May 24), which offers design enthusiasts a chance to explore neighborhoods and become acclimated with businesses putting sustainability front and center.