Discover New York Design Week 2021

New York Design Week 2021 highlights: our guide to the fairs, exhibitions and launches in the city during NYCxDesign, from ICFF to Salon Art + Design, and showings by independent brands and galleries

Four colourful chairs whose bulbous shapes are achieved with felt
(Image credit: press)

Like all other aspects of the city, New York’s annual design showcase NYCxDesign comes roaring back to life with several unprecedented moves since being derailed by the global pandemic. For starters, the design festival’s two stalwart fairs – the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and Wanted Design Manhattan – will come together for the first time to show under the sprawling roof of the Javits Center. Bringing the breadth of ICFF together with Wanted Design’s eye for emerging talent, and an expanded speaker programme, ICFF + Wanted Design Manhattan Talks, this co-location breathes new life into the cornerstones of NYCxDesign.

This year’s timing of the festival, which typically takes place in May, also coincides with Salon Art and Design, a show known for bringing together vintage, modern and contemporary design alongside 20th century art. With both entities exuding an international flavour, but  armed with a strong local turnout, the overlapping of both events means galleries and design showrooms all over the city are putting their best foot forward this week.

NYCxDesign: New York Design Week highlights

ICFF + Wanted Design Manhattan

Side view of three chairs in light blue, mint green and pink, presented by Bernhardt design at ICFF 2021

(Image credit: press)

A wall featuring a composition of chunky tiles in blue and orange, shown in a white room with monochrome white furniture, by Tomma Bloom at Wanted Design 2021

‘Automatic’ chair, by Cory Grosser, for Bernhardt at ICFF (top) and ‘Scene’ tiles by Tomma Bloom, awarded the Best of Launch Pad 2021 at Wanted Design Manhattan (above)

(Image credit: press)

For the first time, ICFF and Wanted Design Manhattan join forces to show under the Javits Center’ newly expanded roof during NYCxDesign. At ICFF, one of the highlights comes from Bernhardt Design, which unveils three new collaborations, with Luca Nichetto, the Italian brand Plank, and the California-based designer Cory Grosser. At Wanted Design Manhattan, where a wide range of emerging talent has always held the spotlight, the Boston-based surface design studio Tomma Bloom has been jointly given the fair’s Best of Launch Pad 2021 accolade, alongside lighting designer Echo Zhan.

14 – 15 November 2021
Javits Center
429 11th Avenue

Salon Art + Design

An abstract sculpture made of red marble, created by Ian Collings and presented by The Future Perfect at Salon Art + Design during New York Design Week 2021

(Image credit: press)

Colourful bulbous chairs designed by Liam Lee and presented at Salon Art + Design during New York Design Week 2021

Sculpture from ‘Primary Data’ series by Ian Collings at The Future Perfect (top), chairs by Liam Lee for Patrick Parrish Gallery (above)

(Image credit: press)

There are highlights aplenty at this year’s Salon Art and Design fair. Spread out in the Park Avenue Armory, some of the gems to be found in 2021’s well-heeled presentation include new monolithic furniture by the Belgian designer Pieter Maes at Atelier Courbet, a fresh array of tactile sculptures by Ian Collings at The Future Perfect and Liam Lee’s psychedelic objects that draw from the natural and biological world, presented by Patrick Parrish Gallery. 

11 – 15 November 2021
Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Ave

DeMuro Das x RISD design competition

A round stone table by Virginia Gordon, featuring abstract shapes applied to the tabletop through a marquetry technique

(Image credit: press)

A screen by Virginia Gordon formed of stacked black pebble shapes and a white organic formed background

Virginia Gordon's ‘Vision Table’ (top) and ‘Surrealist’ screen (above)

(Image credit: press)

During New York Design Week, international design firm DeMuro Das presents the fruits of a design competition that was organised in Spring 2021 with graduate students from the Department of Furniture Design at Rhode Island School of Design, who worked under the guidance of RISD Associate Professor Patricia Johnson and Jean Lin of Colony. Students were asked to design a pair of pieces: one to be fabricated in class by themselves and the second to be produced by DeMuro Das’ factory in New Delhi, India. Exhibited in the firm’s Manhattan showroom, the three winning designs, from Alexis Tingey, Virginia Gordon, and Maxwell Taylor-Milner, represent vigorous rounds of research and a comprehensive creative approach that mirrors DeMuro Das’ own global perspective. 

12 November – 1 January 2022
900 Broadway, Suite 1001

‘Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room’ at The Met

A room installed within the Met Museum dedicated to Afrofuturism

The Met exhibition features a wall installation by Njideka Akunyili Crosby titled ‘Thriving and Potential, Displaced (Again and Again and...)’. Among the works within the room is a set of stools and table by Chuma Maweni (bottom left corner) and stoneware by Andile Dyalvane (right). courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

(Image credit: Anna-Marie Kellen)

Installed within one of the museum’s storied period rooms from the 19th century, ‘Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room’ is a new long-term exhibition curated by production designer Hannah Beachler that brings together art and objects reflecting the African diaspora from within The Met’s collections to foreground generations of Black creativity. Inspired by the real-life story of Seneca Village, a vibrant Black community that flourished on New York’s Upper West Side from the 1820 to 1850s, and was destroyed by the City of New York to make way for Central Park, the exhibition poses the question – what if this community had been given the opportunity to thrive?

A detail of the Met Museum's Before Yesterday We Could Fly, An Afrofuturist Period Room

The room includes furniture and lighting by Ini Archibong and Jomo Tariku. courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

(Image credit: Anna-Marie Kellen)

‘The Met’s distinguished collection of period rooms presents not only outstanding objects and displays, but also complex relationships towards history and authenticity that call for reinterpretation and intervention. As the first to present a constructed space of now and tomorrow rather than a filtered perspective on the past, the Afrofuturist Period Room offers an important opportunity to start new dialogues and illuminate stories that are yet to be told within our walls,’ says museum director Max Hollein.

From 5 November 2021
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue

Under/Over East by Marta in NYC

Two toilet roll holders in dark wood presented by Marta during New York Design Week

Toilet roll holders by Minjae Kim (left) and Nifemi Ogunro (right)

(Image credit: press)

Building upon last year’s memorable survey of toilet roll holders at Marta, Los Angeles, ‘Under/Over’ makes its way to New York with a new selection of design-savvy receptacles. The exhibition’s latest iteration is curated by Emmanuel Olunkwa and produced in collaboration with the sustainable toilet paper company Plant Paper. It unveils new designs by Simone Bodmer-Turner, Minjae Kim, Nifemi Ogunro and Ellen Van Dusen, which are not only on display in the Lower East Side, but also installed within the bathrooms of cherished local haunts around New York City as an open invitation for design fans and passers-by to interact with the pieces.

13 November to 31 December 2021
106 Eldridge Street

Matter Made’s MMXXII collection 

A balloon-shaped white table lamp photographed on a black background, presented by Matter Made during New York Design Week 2021

‘Balloon’ table lamp by Jamie Wolfond for Matter

(Image credit: press)

Matter has been flying the flag for New York design since it first opened its doors in 2003. It has matured into a design brand, gallery and platform with its own furniture label under its belt. The new Matter Made MMXXII collection features a new family of lighting from Jamie Wolfond, lighting and furniture from founder Jamie Gray and expanded collections from Faye Toogood and Ana Kraš. Matter’s longtime showroom space on Broome Street has also evolved to become Matter Projects, a venue solely for hosting exhibitions. 

13 November – 23 December 2021
405 Broome Street

Atelier de Troupe x CC Tapis

A white and yellow rug, featuring a repeating circular motif, photographed inside a modernist house next to a large window and yellow armchair

(Image credit: Mattia Greghi)

Cultures collide beautifully in this joint effort between the LA-based furniture label Atelier de Troupe and the Milanese rug brand CC-Tapis. Inspired by both companies’ cultural origins and the aesthetic of Berber carpets, Le Tapis Nomade is a global pastiche – designed in California and Italy, made in Nepal and presented in New York. The modernist rug design comes in three colours:  wheat, forest and sand. It will be on view at Atelier de Troupe’s Soho showroom alongside its other furniture pieces, and with new moody images of the rug installed at the iconic midcentury Milan residence Casa a Tre Cilindri, designed by Angelo Mangiarotti and Bruno Morassutti in 1959.   

11 – 18 November 2021
19 Mercer Street

William Gray for Stellarworks and Calico Wallpaper

A photograph of Stellarworks New York showroom interior with a wallpaper on the wall featuring large flowers and abstract shapes

(Image credit: press)

The veteran design studio Meyer Davis unveils two collaborations with Stellar Works and Calico Wallpaper this week. Launched together under Meyer Davis’ product label William Gray, the new offerings include a pair of bespoke wallcoverings – the botanically inspired ‘Wilds’ design and the more collage-driven ‘Ephemera’ pattern – that are displayed alongside pieces from the brand’s existing furniture collection with Stellar Works. Transforming Stellar Works’ New York showroom into an evocative living room setting, the warm and eclectic display is hospitality at its best.

11 November – 31 December2021
57 Lispenard Street

‘Join’ at Colony showroom

Gallery interior showing various pieces of furniture

(Image credit: David Mitchell)

Gallery interior showing asymmetric wooden tables on a plinth

(Image credit: David Mitchell)

Colony brings 12 American designers together to explore the meaning and complexity of togetherness after such a prolonged period of being apart. Amongst the new work being presented in the show ‘Join’ is a mother-son collaboration from Bec Brittain, realised in lighting form; an occasional chair from Studio Paolo Ferrari that was designed transatlantically; and a series of vessels from Grain, created in honour of a family member lost during the pandemic. ‘We are all trying to find our footing in this new reality,’ says Colony founder Jean Lin. ‘We’ve never been more acutely aware of the importance of community and collaboration, and chose this theme to honour this inherent need to come together.’

11 November – 10 December 2021
324 Canal Street, 2nd Floor


NYCXDesign runs from 11 – 18 November 2021 across the city

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.