WantedDesign 2017 will kick off its seventh year during NYCxDESIGN on May 17. Each year, WantedDesign puts on a series of workshops, launches, conversations, and events to bring together designers of different disciplines and backgrounds.
The weeklong event is split between Manhattan and Brooklyn, a move made in 2015 to acknowledge Brooklyn’s growing influence in the design community. To continue growing WantedDesign Brooklyn, a new event was added this year, WANTED Career Day, which will provide young designers opportunities to network with professionals, companies, manufacturers, and brands.
WantedDesign Brooklyn will start off the week of festivities at Industry City in Sunset Park on May 17, with WantedDesign Manhattan kicking off on May 20 at the Terminal Stores building in West Chelsea. Both events will conclude on May 23.
In anticipation of WantedDesign, The Architect’s Newspaper spoke with its co-founders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat about what architects can expect at WantedDesign and what they hope the event will do for the design community.
The Architect’s Newspaper: WantedDesign focuses a lot on connectivity: designers to manufacturers, students to professionals, U.S. designers to international designers, etc. Are you hoping to forge a long-lasting difference in how different professions in the design world work together?
Odile and Claire: Absolutely. We strongly believe that great ideas [and] great projects come from great people from diverse backgrounds working together. We build [on this] year after year…and this is certainly the most interesting part of what we are doing: building solid and long lasting exchanges, resulting in sustainable and long-term collaborations.
Speaking of connectivity, how do you see architects and product designers working together in the future and pushing design forward?
Architects and product designers are definitely two different “families,” even if there is more and more crossover and architects going to products and vice versa. There is certainly a specific learning and skills needed for each activity, and one can’t replace the other, but working together is a great thing and for sure pushes design forward.
The WANTED Career Day is a new event this year. What led you to start this event? What are you hoping will come out of this for the candidates and recruiters involved?
May is the time [that brings into] town all professionals, established names of the industry, as well as freshly graduated students starting their creative career and dreaming about meeting those professionals. We have this mix at WantedDesign of established and young talents and design schools… we are committed to supporting young creatives.
All year long, we [had] companies telling us they are looking to hire and are desperate to find good candidates. We thought it was just bon sens to organize this, and also feel that’s part of our responsibility, and part of NYCxDESIGN’s mission to facilitate job opportunities. Our goal is certainly to make good “matches,” and to organize a new Career Day during the year, and certainly in May 2018.
How do you see events like WantedDesign influencing the design community and sparking innovation?
We offer a platform that is very different from any other design fair or trade shows, offering manufacturers and designers a place for creative and storytelling installations, that very often offer different approaches, visions, or capabilities.
We certainly propose a new way to inspire and connect people that is more engaging [and] more exciting. We envision WantedDesign more as a design forum and not just a place to launch products…. Equally, [it’s] a place to share ideas [and] engage meaningful conversations and collaborations.
Maybe the way we influence the design community is in emphasizing the quality of the relationships and in building a valuable and rich network.
For visitors coming to WantedDesign from an architecture background, what would you say is the most interesting event(s) for them to attend?
We will very much [be] focusing and talking about well-being and about [the] responsibility that comes with design and production.
[A] few great installations to look at specifically for architects at WantedDesign Manhattan this year:
Mohawk Group, Wolf Gordon, and certainly 3M presenting the latest innovative materials/surface collection. The Wanted Interiors /Creative Life Space presented by Sony Life Space UX will be really interesting as well. That’s a new program that we are particularly enthusiastic to launch this year. It reflects our search for [a] new way for our visitors, and in particular architects, to discover products and possible application, interpretation, and transformation.
[A] few not to be missed talks at WantedDesign Manhattan for this audience:
Saturday, May 20, 2pm-3pm – “Designing for Movement” – Conversation Room at Grimshaw. Moderated by Susan S. Szenasy, Publisher/Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine, with Randy Fiser, chief executive officer, American Society of Interior Designers, Joseph White, director of workplace strategy, design, and management, Herman Miller, Anastasia Su, co-founder and creative director of 13&9 and Martin Lesjak, co-founder and creative director of 13&9 and CEO of INNOCAD Architecture.
Sunday, May 21, 2pm-3pm – 2017 Color + Design Vision – At Mohawk Gallery. Join Royce Epstein, director of design segment for Mohawk Group, as she presents the 2017 forecast of color and design trends. This inspirational lecture looks at how cultural shifts affect design, and how trends today impact design across multiple disciplines to create a new visual language.
One talk to put on the calendar as well at WantedDesign Brooklyn:
Thursday, May 18, 6pm-8pm – Adapt & Reuse: New approaches for recycling Urban Fabric. A discussion presented by WantedDesign and New Practice New York AIA NY
with David van der Leer, Van Alen Institute, Daniel Pittman, design director, A/D/O, Thomas McKnight, executive vice president, planning, development & transportation, NYC EDC, and Andrew Kimball, CEO, Industry City. Moderated by Carol Loewenson, FAIA, partner at Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, with special guests Stacey Anderson and Karen Zabarsky of MakerPark.
For more information about the events going on at WantedDesign or for tickets, visit the WantedDesign website here.