New York Design Week saw the fourth installment of Models Citizens, an annual showcase of work by independent and emerging designers. This year's exhibit, which ran May 19-21, featured a diverse group of designers representing various disciplines — objects on display included furniture, jewelry, lighting and conceptual pieces.
Begun in 2008 by designer Mika Braakman, the series aims to foster a global community of kindred spirits; organizers actively reached out to numerous emerging designers to curate the show. With the work of professionals and students alike on display, experience level was a consideration secondary to ingenuity, vision and enthusiasm.
Semi-activity under the interactive "Cosmic Quilt"
The exhibition celebrated both the hand and the digital, existing gleefully at the juncture of handicraft and novel technologies. The interactive, environmentally sensitive Cosmic Quit installation by The Principals and students from the Art Institute of New York comfortably held court in the same space as small-scale, handmade objects such as Melissa J. Tyson's silver and steel pendants. Shapeways was expectedly present, its display exalting the techno-utopian, or at least democratizing, possibilities of 3D printing not too far from Colleen & Eric's meticulously steam-bent compwood light fixture, its formal uniqueness an artifact of the fabrication process.
"EVK Light" by Colleen & Eric
"Wave" lounge by 0 to 1, comprised of recycled cardboard cores
"Onion Chair" by Nils Dahl, part of UPenn School of Design group display