Design in Times Square!

City centre and now, thanks to the Design Pavilion, the symbolic heart of NYCxDesign. Times Square approaches the world of design with initiatives promoted by the new show, which - through exhibitions and cultural events - aims to transform the renovated square into a new experiential destination for design and art. We discussed about it with Ilene Shaw, Founding Producer of Design Pavilion


Why Times Square?

We were thrilled when Times Square Alliance invited us to bring Design Pavilion’s expanded and extended program of installations, exhibitions, and talks with leading design thought leaders, brands, and institutions to Times Square in celebration of NYCxDESIGN. Times Square is the center of New York City—and for New Yorkers and visitors, the center of the world. Design Pavilion is now the public centerpiece of our city’s official design week and a fantastic celebration of how design is shaping our future. I will add that Times Square administrators, the Times Square Alliance, have proven their dedication to the arts and design through their acclaimed Arts Program and now with its newly-renovated plazas designed by world-class architectural firm, Snohetta. It’s a shining example of design’s great influence on civic planning.


Installations, Talks. Which kind of experience do you want to offer at Design Pavilion, compared to the other events of the NYCxDesign?

Our mission is to bring attention to the contributions designers make to our culture and society. We will show, in simple and engaging ways, how life can be improved and enhanced through good design. During NYCxDESIGN, there are so many wonderful events focused on the trade. I came out of a trade show background, and I co-developed the first decade of ICFF. I adore and support these shows. However, Design Pavilion is all about the consumer and providing them with an incredible experience. This variety of events and exhibits together make for a stronger and more visible industry and worthwhile NYCxDESIGN. There is something for everyone and all ages! At Design Pavilion, our small Design Market offers the public the opportunity to go home with well-designed gifts and products, while our Design Talks, free and open to anyone, offers a more detailed and in-depth look at the issues concerning designers these days and how they envision the future.


The novelties of the 2018 edition?

We are proud to have our first custom designed pavilion this year. It was always our intention to encourage a special temporary structure annually. This year, our pavilion is designed by our very own Creative Director, Harry Allen. Together with Inflate’s founder, Nick Crosbie, Harry created a really special inflatable which will be lit by world renowned lighting designers, L’Observatoire with Philips Lighting. We are also featuring lots of work by young emerging designers and design student (for example the Pratt Institute or Arts Thread). Magis Mural Competition involved the local New York community, design schools, and design students in developing a site-specific installation to creatively showcase its iconic chairs. Avery Dennison’s ‘Bright New Things’ Competition features the winning designs. A newly-formed partnership with Nasdaq brings us right back to the purpose of the Design Pavilion to recognize the impact of design on our future. Nasdaq understands that design and innovation is good business and they fully support our public effort with a Design Interview broacast series beginning on May 14.


This is the third edition of the exhibition: what is the response of the public and of the brands involved?

In our first year we displayed seven exhibitors welcomed 25,000 visitors in three days on one city plaza. In our second year we displayed 12 exhibitors, met with one million visitors in five days and across three city plazas. This year, we are working with 21 companies, anticipate three million visitors over nine days, and now on four city plazas. And we are in the center of the world!