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Twelve things to do and see during New York's 2023 design week

This week, New York's design week returns for another iteration. Here, we have rounded up key shows, talks and installations put on by organisations and brands including NASA, Muji and the Female Design Council.

The design week in New York City begins this week, with events and programming oriented around institutions such as the NYCxDesign festival and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).

Hundreds of galleries, showrooms, schools and cultural institutions have planned programming for the week, from talks to the release of special collections.

Most of the events and programming take place in brand showrooms and at institutions throughout the city, from Brooklyn to Hudson Yards and beyond.

However, there are a few clusters where visitors can see many things at once, such as design districts in Soho and around the New York Design Center in Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn Navy Yard and Industry City in Brooklyn.

Design platform WantedDesign Manhattan will return as part of ICFF at the Javits Center, while furniture brand Stellar Works will partner with electronics company Sony for a large-scale installation in its showroom.

Keep reading for Dezeen's picks on what to do and see during New York design week.

Future of Food NASA Smart design poster

The Future of Food by Smart Design and NASA

Brooklyn-based technology design company Smart Design will host a talk on the future of food in collaboration with US agency NASA led by Smart's executive director of technology John Anderson.

Set at the company's headquarters at Brooklyn Navy Yard and also available online on 20 May at 5:00 PM ET, the talk will outline ways in which food technology can prepare people for space travel and for changing conditions on Earth.

MUJI IS wooden trees with display


Japanese apparel and homeware brand Muji is launching MUJI IS, an exhibition at its Hudson Yards location that reveals the genesis of its designs over the past 40 years.

The installation will feature 15 "tree-like" structures showcasing the different words that relate in some way to the brand's history. It will be the first time the installation can be viewed in the United States.

Orior showroom

Mercer Street Block Party

A collection of showrooms in Soho have put together an event that will activate the streetscape on a block that includes a variety of different brands. Irish furniture company Orior will have a special window installation while Stellar Works has teamed up with Sony for a large-scale installation.

Located on the strip between the Canal and Grand streets, the showcase will open up all of the local studios – also including Bocci, Roll + Hill, Atelier de Troupe and Henrybuilt – to create a sense of a larger event and mix street and gallery culture in one afternoon.

Plastic products made from scraps

Eco Solidarity

European design collective Eco Solidarity returns to ICFF + WantedDesign at the Javits Center to promote creators at the forefront of innovative sustainability in design.

The group will also showcase work such as a practical application for silicon waste and upcycled items made from emergency blankets.

It will hold talks at the WantedDesign stage on the showroom floor as well as "neo-futuristic" walking tours, which will lead groups on foot through the city to talk about flooding and the urban environment.

Concrete and colorful piece by Samuel Ross

Coarse by Samuel Ross

UK designer Samuel Ross has put together a new exhibition on show at Friedman Benda in Chelsea. The work uses industrial materials to tell a story of childhood, land and emotion.

Using materials informed by brutalist council blocks in the UK, Ross has infused each piece with colour. Sculptures will be shown alongside early sketches of the works, marking one of the first times the designer has revealed this aspect of his process.

Chair and background for Upon Further Reflection

Upon Further Reflection by Female Design Council and Asian American Pacific Islander Design Alliance

In recognition of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage month in May, the Female Design Council and Asian American Pacific Islander Design Alliance have scheduled an exhibition featuring the work of 20 female-identified artists and designers at fashion brand 3.1 Phillip Lim in Noho.

The show is co-curated by Lora Appleton of Female Design Council, and Andrea Hill of furniture studio Tortuga Forma.

Participants were asked to create objects based on the theme "reflection". Works of furniture, painting and sculpture will all be on view, with the co-curators stating that one of the goals of the event is to build models for expression to be paired with business.

Furnishing Utopia

Public Access by Furnishing Utopia

The Public Access exhibition furthers design collective Furnishing Utopia's project of looking at novel ways that designers can create for a community. The event will include both an indoor exhibition at Head Hi near the Brooklyn Navy Yard and an outdoor component at the nearby Naval Cemetary Landscape.

Curated by Jean Lee of Ladies & Gentlemen Studios, Public Access asked more than 30 designers to respond to themes around DIY aesthetics, the gift economy and decentralized design approaches. Visitors will be able to see realised installations as well as design processes and documentation of the work.

Sight Unseen office scene with wooden chairs

The Sight Unseen Collection

Gallery and media studio Sight Unseen is showcasing work by 23 designers at the Voltz Clarke gallery in the Lower East Side, including work from its in-house collaboration with Best Case.

Designers such as Detroit-based Aleiya Olu and local Kouros Maghsoudi will display pieces alongside the gallery's spring show, which features colourful abstract paintings, a move the curators said was made to move away from the "white box space".

ISLE by Lambert & Fils and Zoë Mowat

Montreal-based lighting studio Lambert & Fils will show its recent collaboration with Montreal artist and designer Zoë Mowat.

The works will combine the steel-and-glass lighting that the studio is known for with Mowat's stone works in Lambert & Fils' Tribeca showroom.

Tuleste factory blue room

Harmonious Proportions by Tuleste Factory

Chelsea gallery Tuleste Factory will showcase an exhibition with "special curation" by spatial designer Ceren Arslan and creative agency Mother New York.

The gallery – where NYCxDesign's opening night after party will also be held – tasked 23 designers with filling the space with a "multi-sensory" exhibition. Arslan will transform one of the gallery's rooms with an installation called EXIT Room #002: Dalmatian Blue.

Staircase with OMET stool

Omet by Vieyra Estudio

Designer Lorena Vieyra founded Omet in Austin, Texas, as a space for Latin American artists and designers and will be showcasing the curatorial project for the first time during New York's design week.

Works by designers such as Mexico-based Hector Esrawe will be on show at a pop-up at 354 Broome in Little Italy. Eleven designers will showcase work all made in Mexico, including modular marble tables by designer Raúl de la Cerda.

Bed with rug

Archival by Tom Delavan

Moroccan firm Beni Rugs will have one of its rare public openings at its New York apartment where visitors can see a new collection designed by T: The New York Style Magazine design director Tom Delavan.

Informed by the Turkish Tulu rug, Delavan has designed a number of long-haired rugs (Beni's first) in collaboration with a Moroccan organisation that works to save the Siroua, an endangered Moroccan sheep species.

New York's design festival 2023 takes place throughout the city from 18 to 25 May. See our NYCxDesign 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.