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There’s hardly a more exciting time to visit New York City than in May — definitely not because of the weather, but the million design events, shows, launches and pop-ups happening to celebrate NYCxDesign, the city’s largest celebration of design in all forms. I couldn’t find a good guide for the 2019 edition so I decided to create one of my own (scroll to the end to save the events on your Google Map). This guide is divided into 5 parts:

  • Major events: major industry trade shows and showcases.
  • Design school shows: graduating classes of New York’s design institutions showcase their final projects.
  • Special exhibitions: museums, galleries, and foreign culture institutions set up curated exhibitions on furniture, graphic design and arts.
  • Pop-up events: special screenings, receptions, immersive experiences, workshops, and open houses.
  • Design nights: neighborhood-wide celebrations when showrooms in SoHo, Tribeca, and Nomad stay open late for refreshments and new product launches.

BKLYN Designs

Major Brooklyn design event for contemporary furniture and lighting will also feature special pop-ups, and a curated program of speakers and workshops.

May 10—12
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Free Admission

WantedDesign Brooklyn

The fair features exhibitions around design research, immersive installations, workshops, and cultural collaborations. Design education will be a major focus with the largest grad show featuring 30 international schools.

May 16—21
Industry City
Free Admission

WantedDesign Manhattan

Larger and more focused on individual brands than its Brooklyn installment, WantedDesign Manhattan offers a sharp look at elevated makers and small studios from around the world.

May 18—21
The Terminal Stores
Free Admission


For over 30 years, ICFF has built a solid reputation as North America’s main platform for global design. Over 900 exhibitors from across the globe will present to over 38,000 industry professionals looking to be inspired by what’s best & what’s next for interior design.

May 19—22
Javits Center
Tickets $60+

SVA Design Criticism Thesis Symposium

The class of 2019 at SVA’s most studious design department present their year-long thesis research, and stay afterwards for a convivial reception to celebrate their achievement.

May 13, 6:30 to 10 pm
SVA Theatre
Free admission

Student Design Showcase Night

Hosted at Parsons School of Design the show is featuring leading design students from 5 different schools including Parsons, SVA, Pratt, FIT, and Cooper Union. The theme this year’s event will be “Power”.

May 13, 7—9 pm
Alvin Johnson Hall
Free with RSVP


A special show by Parsons MFA Design & Technology department will showcase nearly 100 projects by emerging artists, designers, coders, makers, hackers, educators, and thinkers. The event series will feature live project demos, performances, and a symposium.

May 14—17
Parsons School of Design
Free with RSVP

FIT Graduates Exhibition

Fashion Institute of Technology showcases the work of 800 students graduating from the School of Art and Design throughout the FIT campus.

May 15—29
FIT Museum
Free admission

Pratt Student Shows

This end-of-year exhibition and presentation of work by Pratt Institute’s 1,233 graduating students represents years of critical thinking, creative inquiry, and practice to celebrate celebrate student work.

May 15—21
Pratt Institute
Free admission

Columbia Graduate School of Architecture Show

Columbia GSAPP marks the end of each academic year by celebrating the work of its students from across academic programs at the annual End of Year Show. Opening with a public reception on Saturday, May 18 at 5pm, the exhibition of drawings, models, photographs, installations and other documents remains on view through May 23, 2019.

May 18—23
Columbia GSAPP
Free admission

Cooper Union End of Year Show

This annual exhibition transforms the classrooms, hallways, and studios of The Cooper Union into galleries showcasing work from the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, the School of Art, and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. The opening reception will be on Monday, May 20, from 5 to 9 p.m.

May 20—June 9
Cooper Union
Free admission

Manuel Estrada: Painting with Letters

Type Directors Club put up an exhibition by Manuel Estrada, the recipient of the Spanish National Design Award. Most of works shown are award-winning book covers, but the exhibition also features posters and logos that are built around the same principle — typography as the main tool of graphic design.

Through May 28
Type Directors Club
Free, RSVP required (email

Punk Graphics 1976—1986

The exhibition explores the visual language of punk through hundreds of its most memorable graphics, from the remixes of expropriated images and texts to the DIY zines and flyers that challenged the commercial slickness of the mainstream media.

Always in Style by Horst P. Horst

A photo show by pioneering fashion photographer Horst P. Horst features 25 photographs from the Horst Estate — to celebrate a master of the medium and brings together a timeless body of work.

Through June 22
10 Corso Como
Free admission


An exhibition hosted at Mast Books celebrating an assemblage of works that question the physical condition of both books and design objects. It will bring together new work from various Spanish designers, ranging in material and typology: Pablo Alabau, Tomás Alonso, Colectivo la Cosa, Miguel Leiro, Jorge Penadés, Sara Regal and Julen Ussía.

May 16—31
Mast Books
Free admission

Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial 

Co-organized with Cube design museum in the Netherlands, the exhibition will feature more than 60 groundbreaking works from designers across all disciplines who are collaborating with scientists, engineers, farmers, environmentalists, and nature itself to design a more harmonious and regenerative future.

Opens May 10
Cooper Hewitt
Admission $16+

Corks by Jasper Morrison

The exhibition puts on view Morrison’s first complete series of furniture realized in cork. As limited editions, these pieces mark a departure from the designer’s usual methods of industrial production. A domestic exhibition design will bring together examples of Morrison’s chaise longue, a fireplace, chairs, stools, and bookshelves.

May 9—June 29
Kasmin Gallery
Free admission

The Chair

An exhibition of one-of-a-kind chairs from an international roster of artists and designers. The final selected works, which range from fully functional examples to pieces of pure art and sculpture, will be one-of-a-kind pieces for sale exclusively through The Future Perfect.

Through end of May
The Future Perfect
Free admission

Le Corbusier and His Associates

An exhibition with works by Le Corbusier showcasing 40 pieces of his iconic furniture and interior designs from his urban planning and commissions in France and India during the twentieth century.

Through end of May
The Future Perfect
Free admission

An Accelerated Culture

The exhibition brings together a selection of the most progressive contemporary designers from the so-called ‘Generation X’. Using the generational grouping as a way into the varied views and expressions, An Accelerated Culture, highlights how the major cultural, economic and societal shifts that occurred during the decades before and after the turn of the millennium influenced and informed design practice today.

May 3—June 8
Friedman Benda
Free admission

Slow Motion by Aldo Bakker

Dutch designer Aldo Bakker presents sculptural stools, tables and vessels made of stone, metal, porcelain, plastic foam and Japanese lacquer.

Through June 22
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Free admission

Next Level

Featuring work from 35 participants throughout the 9,000-square-foot space, a minimalist backdrop honors each designer’s unique aesthetic, while allowing for the organic unfolding of a harmonious whole. In collaboration with Pearl River Mart, the lower level will be transformed into an installation of 70 paper lanterns painted by NYC artists. 

May 18—24
718 Broadway

Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Each year, celebrated interior designers transform a luxury Upper East Side home into an elegant exhibition of fine furnishings, art and technology. Over the course of four decades, this project has grown into a must-see event for thousands of design enthusiasts.

May 2—30
36-38 East 74 St.
Admission $40 (includes a print journal)


London’s most vibrant magazine shop sets a special pop-up at Vitsœ showroom — highlighting best international magazine titles alongside the magazines leading the way in the New York indie scene. All the magazines will be available to buy.

May 13—June 1
Free admission

A Sense of New York

In the workshop, you will create inspiration and ideas through storytelling and sharing to develop new sensory interactions with the metropolitan fabric of NYC. By sharing sensory experiences of your own—that recently inspired you or represents a memorable time for you—you will collectively create, emphasize and translate this personal experience into a new sensual map of our City.

May 14, 5:30 to 9 pm
Free with RSVP


New York-based interior design studio Coil + Drift opens a temporary showroom for the launch of their latest collection, Assemblage composed entirely of lighting, as well as furniture pieces from Coil + Drift’s existing collection, many shown in new finishes.

May 15—19
2 Rivington St.
Free admission

Unnatural Habitat

Furniture show space Pelle opens a conceptual environment and exhibition of new work, with a cocktail opening.

May 15, 6—8 pm
Free admission

Talks at Totokaelo

Hosted at Totokaelo’s Crosby Street store , a series of conversations co-produced with GRAY magazine will present GRAY’s editorial director, Tiffany Jow, and three creatives — Indiana-based designer Jonathan Nesci (May 15), Brooklyn-based designer Simone Bodmer-Turner (May 16), and Dakin Hart, senior curator at the Noguchi Museum (May 18) — who’ll each create an exclusive collection or installation for Totokaelo.

May 15—18
Free admission

100 years of Adjustable Light

In 1919, Midgard founder Curt Fischer patented the movable electric light solving the issue of poor lighting in workspaces. Architects of the Bauhaus took note, and incorporated Midgard lights into the school at Dessau, using them also in staff apartments, as shown in the 1927 documentary of the Bauhaus made by its faculty. Come view this rarely shown short film.

May 15, 7—9 pm
Goethe-Institut New York
Free admission

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Designer & photographer based in New York City