With New York City considered the design capital of the world, it seems fitting that a citywide celebration of design would fit snuggly into the scenery. For ten days in May (May 9-20), all five boroughs will host free events, exhibitions and studio tours aimed at exposing design to people who don’t normally think about it.
In just its second year, NYCXDesign has promised to trump the 350 events they hosted in 2013. With over 30 pages of event options, it’s nearly impossible to choose. Rather than spending hours at one gallery opening, you could do start at the Bronx Museum for their newest exhibition, Beyond the Supersquare, hop over to a Dynomighty studio tour in Brooklyn and end the night with a gallery opening at Storefront in SoHo. Also in SoHo is Sight Unseen OFFSITE, the first-ever design exhibit from online magazine Sight Unseen, complete with a series of pop-up shops and a café.
Though most events are free, you’ll need to pay for the big names. By combining both international and local design efforts, NYCXDesign pushes the city even further into the design conversation by tying in events like the Freize Art Fair and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. For years before NYCXDesign came into the picture, these events were all the city had to work with. For a price — $43 for Freize and $60 for ICFF— these high-profile events grant you access to names you wouldn’t initially think of. On May 9, you can watch the ladies of Pussy Riot talk about their music and political work at Freize or you could wait until the night of the 17th and hit the ICFF Opening Night Party at the MoMA. The latter comes with an open bar.
To build on last years massive lineup, NYCXDesign opened up vendor registration for any design-related event that happens to be taking place between May 9 and 20. Because of that, you’re given a chance to curate your own design experience—go where you want, when you want. And if you want, it could all be free.
Mariam Aldhahi is a blogger at Travel + Leisure and a design writer who bouces between New York and Miami. You can find her on Twitter at @mariam_aldhahi.