USA: Virtual Design Show

Events in the States get reinvented in virtual space: from WantedDesign to NeoCon, cases of lockdown creativity. The online world has become the new stage for international fairs, in a myriad of ‘smart shows’ to explore and reimagine

Submerge Installation @ Artechouse NYC

Reinventing things on a virtual level and creating an innovative experience by digital means has revealed an even more democratic vision of design culture, amidst platforms that enter homes and smart fairs that attract a vast audience. In this dimension of time-out for the ‘real’ world, even the most outstanding events – from Design Week in New York to NeoCon – are presenting a range of original programs. Totally open to the public.

WantedDesign Manhattan with Design Milk + Clever has begun to produce live conversations with special guests like Ayse Birsel – author of Design the Work You Love – Giulio Cappellini, Humberto Campana, and Rosanne Somerson, President of the Rhode Island School of Design. The hosts include the founders of WantedDesign, Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat; Jaime Derringer of Design Milk, Amy Devers of Clever and Caroline Baumann, former director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The program is supported by AIANY Center for Architecture, Be Original Americas, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), Polish Cultural Institute of New York and NYCxDESIGN. (Talks: 11-22 May 2020 – Eastern Time: h. 14.00-15.00).

Wudo Studio @ LauncPad 2020

Presented with Design Milk and EQ3, LaunchPad 2020 of WD celebrates its 8th anniversary in a smart working context. The international platform for emerging talent sheds light on prototypes of furniture, accessories and lighting made by international studios and independent designers. The creations can be seen at the website of WantedDesign, while the selected studios for 2020 are at design-milk.com (until 31 May 2020).

Many initiatives are offered by NYCxDESIGN in its innovative virtual experience on New York, including films, webinars, online galleries, talks and seminars. In the selection, DesignTV by Sandow opened on 4 April 2020 and will be on view for an entire year on Facebook Live, presenting exclusive contents of Interior Design magazine and other brands like Luxe Interiors+Design, Metropolis, Galerie and ThinkLab.

Belcanto Chair by Jason Mizrahi @

Curated by Design Pier, until 30 May 2020, Japan Ingenious unveils a selection of very creative objects and furnishings for collectors, by the most famous Japanese studios, while The Chair – form.function.fascination is an excursus on one of the most anthropomorphic objects, the chair. On view: Atelier Barda, Cini Boeri for FIAM, Haase for Todd Merrill, Jason Mizrahi, Matthew Coutts, Skram Furniture…

Town Hall Series offers a space for the New York community to share design innovations in a moment of extreme uncertainty. Every session is hosted by the author and pioneer of podcasts Debbie Millman of Design Matters.

Proposed by the Museum of Arts and Design, until 28 July 2020 the new digital platform of the museum offers participation in the Online Learning Lab, drawing on a vast archive of videos, essays and artistic activities. Spotlight on the work of famous producers, artists and designers as a source of inspiration.

“Design61: Dealer’s Choice” (until 31 May) is a series presented on Instagram by Interior Arts Building, an entire building in Manhattan devoted to boutique design. Focusing on crafts and art design, the programming covers the most highly acclaimed producers, including weavers, gilders and painters who reveal the secrets of their crafts (Instagram @interiorartsbuilding).

NYCxDesign Awards 2019

Scheduled for 18 May 2020 on Facebook Live, the NYCxDESIGN Awards are presented by Interior Design and ICFF. The global competition that rewards the best projects in various sectors will reveal the winners in a virtual ceremony, prior to the in-person awards in the fall of 2020 (ET: h. 13-15; admission fee $200).

In spite of the closure of schools in New York, students are still very active. On 12 May the website of NYCxDesign will host the annual Student Design Showcase Night with Parsons, SVA, Pratt, FIT and Cooper Union. The theme? “URGENCY” of course. (ET: 18.30-20.30).

A series of films and shorts, in an event that brings the community of architecture and design together in New York, opens the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF), online from 17 to 20 May. A different film every evening, with programming that includes a live introduction, special guests and a Q&A with the director. (ET: h. 20-22; admission fee: $1.99).

There is also a virtual tour for the New York edition of Frieze opening on 8 May, on contemporary art and design, including the special exhibition of Collective Design “’COLOR and Production’: Room 3/Material” curated by Libby Sellers, with masterpieces created by Ettore Sottsass, Martino Gamper, Maarten Baas, Nathalie du Pasquier, Gaetano Pesce, Joanna Grawunder. 

For the commercial design industry, the event NeoCon which began in Chicago in 1969 becomes virtual this year. In June 2020 the new hub of the digital community NeoConnect presents intense programming with exhibitors and media partners. To share ideas, to learn, to support… and celebrate.