8 Must-See Design Exhibitions During NYCxDESIGN

Metropolis’s editors, in collaboration with NYCxDesign, choose the best design exhibitions to catch this season in New York City.

Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

May 4 – Sept. 4, The Met Fifth Avenue, metmuseum.org

An icon of avant-garde designs that challenge and subvert notions of beauty, function, form, and taste, Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo is the subject of this year’s spring exhibition at the Costume Institute. Nearly 150 of Kawakubo’s womenswear pieces for Comme des Garçons, the company she founded in 1969, will be on display, with items drawn from the early 1980s to the present day.

Liam Young: New Romance

Through May 13, Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, arch.columbia.edu

Autonomous drones, fragments of outsourced renderings, manipulated laser scanning, and data are among the tools used by artist, speculative architect, and filmmaker Liam Young, whose first U.S. solo exhibition is presented at Columbia GSAPP’s Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery. The show features three recent films and a selection of research, materials, and props that offer a window into the fictional narratives and groundbreaking technology that drive Young’s experimental practice.

New York Crystal Palace 1853

Through July 30, Bard Graduate Center Gallery, bgc.bard.edu

Peruse graphic prints, furniture, decorative objects, and various ephemera at this exhibition on the New York Crystal Palace—the glass and cast-iron pavilion that hosted the first World’s Fair held in the United States and once stood on the site of current-day Bryant Park.

Courtesy John Bachmann

Room with Its Own Rules

May 4 – July 15, Chamber Gallery, chambernyc.com

Matylda Krzykowski, a founding member and artistic director of Depot Basel, presents the last of her four guest-curated shows at Juan Garcia Mosqueda’s design and art gallery, Chamber. Titled in reference to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, the final series installment features a mix of unique, limited-edition, and newly commissioned works by a cast of women designers, including Mira Nakashima, Ana Kraš, Lindsey Adelman, Hilda Hellström, and Kiki van Eijk.

Courtesy Petter Johansson

Design Within Reach Presents: Furnishing Utopia Shaker Design Influence Now

May 20 – 24, DWR Soho Studio, dwr.com/furnishingutopia

Furnishing Utopia, an ongoing project exploring the continuing influence of Shakers on contemporary design, presents a new collection of Shaker-inspired works at the DWR Soho Studio. On display will be more than 50 objects by a group of international designers, including Anderssen & Voll, Bertjan Pot, Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, and Studio Gorm, with select items available for purchase.


May 4 – June 10, Friedman Benda, friedmanbenda.com

A longtime neighbor to the many leading art galleries found in Chelsea, contemporary design mainstay Friedman Benda celebrates its 10th anniversary with an exhibition of works by a diverse roster of talents— ranging from late legends such as Shiro Kuramata and Ettore Sottsass, to contemporary figures like Ron Arad and Marcel Wanders, as well as young rising talents like Misha Kahn.

Courtesy of Joe Kramm/R & Company

Ali Tayar: Systems & One-Offs

Through June 15, R & Company, r-and-company.com

Downtown design gallery R & Company presents the first comprehensive survey of work by the late Turkish-born designer Ali Tayar, who passed away last year. Trained as both an architect and an engineer, Tayar ran a New York–based practice called Parallel Design, a reflection of the rigorous, multidisciplinary approach that informed his wideranging body of work across all scales. Co-curated by Dung Ngo, the presentation includes designs, objects, and furniture that exemplify Tayar’s synthesis of kit-of-parts modularity and classic Modernism.

The Paperweight Show

Through June 4, Fisher Parrish, fisherparrish.com

Design gallerists Patrick Parrish and Zoe Alexander Fisher inaugurate their new joint project, Fisher Parrish—located at Fisher’s former 99¢ Plus Gallery in Bushwick, which closed in December—with an exhibition of original small sculptures (some of them indeed paperweights) by over 100 contemporary artists and designers, including Bari Ziperstein, Chris Wolston, Lex Pott, OOIEE, Wintercheck Factory, and more.

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