Dwell on Design Debuts in NYC

Dwell on Design has swapped coasts. Writer Nancy Lazarus visited the anti-tradeshow in its inaugural outing in Gotham.

Architect Daniel Libeskind in conversation with Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron for yesterday’s Dwell on Design keynote. (Photos courtesy Dwell Media)

Dwell on Design has arrived in New York. The three-day event, a long-running hit in Los Angeles, runs through Saturday in SoHo. The design summit includes discussions on topics ‘du jour’ with industry leaders, an open mic forum for up-and-coming designers, a book fair, and installations of innovative products. But don’t call it a trade show.

“Dwell on Design NY has been a long time in the planning,” said Dwell president and CEO Michela O’Connor Abrams. “New York didn’t need another trade show, we needed to galvanize voices and use brands as a focal point of ongoing discussions on local topics, like post-Sandy design and the Freedom Tower,” she added. “We made sure no one brought a trade show booth. Instead, the installations here are meant to bring the brands to life by making art out of building products.”


A varied cast of design experts took the stage on opening day to talk about subjects ranging from landscapes, boutique hotels, and workplace design, to the impact of technology, punctuated by a keynote from architect Daniel Libeskind. Among today’s topics are affordable housing and sustainability, with Architecture for Humanity co-producing some of the programs. Home tours will be conducted on Saturday, along with the open mic designer forum.

Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron led a tour of the installation, including a series of sliding panel doors designed by graffiti artist George “Sen-One” Morillo with New York themes (the doors will be auctioned off for charity tomorrow), a colorful Marimekko display of graphics and textiles (pictured above), a live vertical garden or plant wall, and a Volvo concept car showcase. Visitors can relax at the Vitra lounge and peruse the specially selected products at the Dwell design store.

Nancy Lazarus is a frequent contributor to UnBeige.