Artist Anish Kapoor helped city officials kick off this year’s edition of NYCxDESIGN, a three-week citywide effort that celebrates design in all its forms.
With more than 7,500 design firms and 50,000-plus full-time designers based here, New York is has more designers than Los Angeles and Chicago combined. Having seen a 30 percent gain in the number of design firms in the last decade, the sector brings in more than $555 million annually in city tax revenue. The average full-time designer earns $50,000. New York’s design workforce is being groomed in part thanks to 10 design and architecture schools that turn out twice as many design and architecture students as any other American city.
Wednesday morning’s press event at Brooklyn Bridge Park doubled as the opening of Kapoor’s installation “Descension,” which is presented by Public Art Fund as part of its 40th anniversary season. Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development, was also joined by Interior Design magazine’s editor in chief Cindy Allen, among others. This year’s event will run through May 24 and features new tie-ins such as retail partnerships, design-focused events, window displays and installations at Brookfield Place, the MoMA Design store, the Microsoft store, WantedDesign shops and such design districts in SoHo and TriBeCa.
Another new addition is the Times Square Hub’s “Midnight Moment,” where electronic billboards are synchronized every night for the three minutes before midnight. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and curated by Times Square Arts, this month the screens of Times Square will feature animation from “A Marvelous Order,” a multimedia opera about the battle over New York between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. The Times Square hub will also have a Design Pavilion Market from May 18 to 22, as well as special events during that time.
From May 23 to 25, the first Fashion Future Graduate Showcase will be held for 100 fashion graduates from leading design colleges and universities. NYCEDC and the CFDA are teaming up to help them transition from college to a career by connecting them to professional opportunities across different areas of design. In addition, a digital platform will live on the CFDA’s site for one year.
Once this year’s NYCxDESIGN winds down, design fans can still take in Kapoor’s latest installation near Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park until Sept. 10. For a more immersive view, people can stop by 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge for whirlpool-type cocktails inspired by the exhibition or the eco-friendly hotel’s Whirlpool Package.