Tuesday, October 20, 2009

National Design Week -- Oct 18 - 24

In honor of National Design Week and the National Design Awards, the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design is opening its doors to free admission.

Beyond honoring the National Design Winners in New York, the Week is a culmination of educational events around the entire country. An interactive map of all the opportunities is featured here: http://www.nationaldesignawards.org/2009/nationaldesignweek

In NYC alone there are over 160 events affiliated with Design Week. Here are but two of the featured events:

Today, Tuesday Oct 20, there will be a panel discussion with this year's Award winners.. and it's open to the public for free as well.

The official description of the event as per the Cooper Hewitt website is:

"2009 National Design Award winners participate in a panel discussion about their inspiration and drive as designers and the state of contemporary design in America. Please join us for this FREE event from 6:30 – 8:30pm at the New York Times Center"

Online Registration required (scroll down until you see the name of the event and follow the link provided). If you can't make it in person there will be a live webcast starting at 6:30 pm EST.

Here's a list of the winners who will be in attendance:
  • Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute, Design Mind Winner
  • Andrew Blauvelt, Walker Arts Center, Corporate / Institutional Winner
  • Christopher Sharples, SHoP Architects, Architecture Winner
  • Laurene Boym, Boym Partners, Product Design Winner
  • Calvin Tsao, Interior Design Winner
  • Jeff Han, Perceptive Pixel, Interaction Design Winner
  • Steve Duenes, New York Times Graphics Department, Communications Design Winner


Tomorrow's events (Wed Oct 21) include a film screening of Objectified -- a film about the design industry's interconnections with itself as well as the consumers who purchase their products.

The free film screening will take place at the Cooper Hewitt Museum at 1:30pm and 3:30pm. Online registration is required (scroll down until you see the registration link).

Beyond the special events, the Museum's current exhibition schedule and regular collection also promises to be interesting. Design USA: Contemporary Innovation showcases the design innovations of the National Design Winners from the last decade. Design for a Living World focuses on using sustainable materials in innovative ways (i.e. new function).

I haven't personally either exhibits but when I do I will post an update. Feel free to share your comments as well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Shop for a Cause" at Macy's -- Saturday, Oct. 17

Macy's is offering an all day 20% off savings pass for one day only, today Saturday Oct. 17. To obtain the pass, one must donate $5 which will go to non-for-profits which have partnered with Macy's. That's it.

For more info, visit: http://www.macys.com/campaign/shopforacause.jsp

You can get the pass online or in-person at a Macy's store.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Open House New York -- This Weekend!!

Hi Folks... ok so what's one of the most exclusive architectural events that happens every year... but is also open to the public... and free.... ??? It's Open House New York!

You've never heard of it? Ok.. it's definitely time to find out.

The basic concept is as follows: open up some of the coolest private residences, architectural offices, exclusive landmarks, fascinating venues, etc to the public with tours and specially designed events. And make it free. That's basically Open House New York in a nut shell.

The OHNY listing guide sponsored by Metro New York

I participated a few years back and got an exclusive tour of a sustainable bakery in Manhattan and all access tour of a sustainably focused architectural firm in Union Square. Every year the selection changes and its basically up to how much time you have and how adventurous you want to be in your outings.

For a full listing of this year's events visit http://www.opny.org/ or click here for the PDF guide.

By the way, if you like to plan your meal breaks ahead of time, check out the Serious Eater's Guide to this year's Open House New York ( now you know if someone took the time to create a parallel eating guide to accompany a 5 borough wide event it's got to be something big).


P.S. don't forget to share your thoughts/pictures on this blog afterwards.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bryant Park Fall Festival-- September 28 to October 9

Two days left of the Bryant Park Fall Festival. And it's going to be extraordinary.

Bryant Park is one of the few public parks in New York that is lucky to be nestled among the most beautiful skyscrapers but at the same time provide a leafy retreat from the crowded sidewalks of Manhattan. Bryant Park's midtown location also makes it close enough to nearly every train. It is also of Fashion Week fame (the tents are set up right on the lawn each year). So when a free event rolls around, offering the sights and sounds of New York's best performance art and cultural institutions.. you know you've got to at least check it out.

Among the many notable performances featured in this year's Fall Festival was a dance ensemble, Ailey II. The dance group performed exerts from 7 dances part of the Ailey repertoire. The stage was lit in bright purples, reds, blues. The dancers performed in costume and the speakers amplified the music well enough to hear regardless of your seat location. The audience filled half of the great lawn with lawn chairs provided by the park. Some brought wool blankets, others brought snacks. Either way, each dance piece received enthusiastic applause and as well as bursts of approval when the dancers performed difficult combinations. Among the evening sky and crisp fall air, one could almost imagine that they were far off somewhere perhaps in Massachusetts or Upstate NY. However when the performance drew to an end, the subways and everything else Manhattan has to offer was still right there as if you never left.

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009 -- Bargemusic at Bryant Park Fall Festival

The following night, instead of a dance performance, it was Brooklyn's Bargemusic that took the stage. The show featured classical as well as contemporary chamber music (violin, viola, cello, base, and piano accompaniment). Two contemporary composers -- David Del Tredici and DeBorge Pennington -- were even present, and one, Pennington, sang on stage. The neoLIT ensemble performed Cafe Music by Paul Schoenfield, a modern composer, while the Barge's own musicians performed Bach's Concerto No. 1, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12, and four movements from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

The last two days of the Festival are set to feature the Brooklyn Philharmonic this evening-- Thursday, October 8, 2009 -- and Jazz at Lincoln Center tomorrow evening --Friday, October 9, 2009. All performances run from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.

For a full list of performances and more information visit the Bryant Park Fall Festival website.