Instagram-Friendly Spaces Abounded At NYCxDesign

Instagram-Friendly Spaces Abounded At NYCxDesign
Design

The number of design week installations created by brands to be more photogenic and sharable continues to grow, exploring attention-grabbing themes in the process

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 30 may 2018

The core purpose of New York’s annual design week has always been to promote new prototypes and products of the design trade. However, there’s a steady increase each year in special exhibitions that focus more on creating an experience—typically a photogenic one—for visitors. Brands are moving in this direction to generate buzz both by word of mouth and on social media, with Instagram being a favored platform. The lifespan of these installations is sometimes only a few days so they have to be compelling to visit and share across the ‘gramiverse.

PSFK compiled our favorite Instagram-worthy installations from NYCxDesign 2018:

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Spirit of the City by United Visual Artists (UVA)

Debuting during NYCxDesign, Spirit of the City is a site specific installation within the courtyard of A/D/O in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Designed by London-based United Visual Artists, it features a series of kinetic mirrored columns. Each of the nine-foot-tall columns rotates in unison with the others and creates a surreal pattern of reflections.

Spirit of the City - United Visual Artists at A-D-O Brooklyn-2.jpg

The installation invokes the feeling of exploring NYC for the first time. One of the best aspects of the installation is wandering through the columns and seeing the reflections of reflections, creating a slightly disorienting effect. The custom copper-colored mirrored glass panels deepen in color as they are reflected into each other, making the hue vary in intensity and resulting in some interesting filter-like photos. Spirit of the City is open to the public until September 2, 2018.

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The Five Senses by Alessi

For the U.S. launch of a new home fragrance collection developed by designer Marcel Wanders, Alessi wrapped the walls and floor of a space at WantedDesign in patterns from the packaging. The large-scale patterns created a lot of visual impact and helped to divide the area into separate ‘seasons.’

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With the products themselves being quite small, the space itself became the attention grabber. This is one example of how going overboard with 2D graphics can lead to to interesting product snaps and, of course, selfie backgrounds.

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Reverse Room by SITE/James Wines

Legendary designer and founder of experimental design firm SITE James Wines created an inverted room inside Foscarini’s SoHo showroom. The installation features a series of limited-edition sculptural lightbulbs Wines designed for Foscarini.

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The Reverse Room flipped the ceiling over at an angle that made the suspended bulbs appear weightless. A table and set of chairs along with the collection of lights served as the spot for gravity defying portraits.

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Foscarini has something of a reputation for staging unique design week installations in its showroom. Past installations have tackled plastic pollution and covered the space in colorful paint splatters.

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Ligne Roset × Sunbrella by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance

To launch a new outdoor version of designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s seating, he created a heavyweight installation at WantedDesign. Over the course of about two days, several thousand bricks were laid to form a series of curving walls and seating spaces.

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Duchaufour-Lawrance’s seating collection was originally designed for indoor use. Ligne Roset partnered with Sunbrella on adapting the collection for the outdoors. The installation brings works a bit in reverse, bringing the outdoors in.

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The display was only up for about four and a half days. We inquired what was going to happen to the meticulously constructed brick walls after that and got no confirmation of any plans. Anyone in the tri-state area looking for good masonry might want to give Ligne Roset’s NYC showroom a call.

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MUJI Material Garden by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio

Coinciding with NYCxDesign 2018 is MUJI’s 10th anniversary of business in the U.S. To highlight the occasion, MUJI debuted its first ever collaboration with American designers in the form of an installation. Brooklyn-based designers Ladies & Gentlemen Studio created a take on a zen garden with separate sections featuring MUJI products and the raw materials that made them.

The installation was one of the more calming experiences on the typically frenetic design week calendar. The Material Garden allowed visitors to walk on a crushed stone path and see different composed vignettes.

The installation was meant to show the range and quality of materials MUJI uses. Examples of products were paired with their raw material counterparts in varying states of production. These included clay/ceramic, sand/glass, wood fiber/paper, aluminum and water. The garden made for interesting photo opportunities like the shot above.

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Niche Lighting at ICFF

Niche is a lighting company based north of NYC in the Hudson Valley. Their booth at the ICFF was a simple colorful box, possibly making a nod to architect Luis Barragan. Light and photography go hand in hand and Niche was playing that up here. A tagline on the side read, ‘We want to see you in the best light possible.’

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The archways that featured different pendant and chandelier lighting from Niche were flanked with messaging encouraging photo and selfie taking. On one hand the messaging felt a little pushy, but it represents a shift in attitude. Photos at trade shows are still typically frowned upon unless asking permission first or having a press badge.

NYCxDESIGN


Images: A/D/O  | Alessi | Ligne Roset x Sunbrella | Niche (Dave Pinter) | Foscarini (Foscarini, Dave Pinter) | MUJI (Charlie Schuck for MUJI)

The core purpose of New York’s annual design week has always been to promote new prototypes and products of the design trade. However, there’s a steady increase each year in special exhibitions that focus more on creating an experience—typically a photogenic one—for visitors. Brands are moving in this direction to generate buzz both by word of mouth and on social media, with Instagram being a favored platform. The lifespan of these installations is sometimes only a few days so they have to be compelling to visit and share across the ‘gramiverse.

+advertising
+Alessi
+beauty
+Compelling Packaging
+Design
+Europe
+Food
+Grocery
+home
+Instagram
+installations
+muji
+NYCxDesign
+packaging
+packaging & product engagement
+Packaging & Storytelling
+Social Media
+Social Media
+UK
+USA

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