This Month’s Festivities Cemented Tribeca as the Epicenter of the New York Design World

At this point, everyone agrees that we need a new name for what happens in New York during the month of May. NYCxDesign, always a slightly clumsy sobriquet, refers only to a specific set of dates and activities; New York Design Week has, over the past few years, ballooned into New York Design Month — another moniker that lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. But while no one can quite find consensus on a naming convention, everyone seems to agree on the new neighborhood hub: Tribeca, everyone’s favorite up-and-coming zip code cemented itself this year as the epicenter of the New York design world. Several designers opened permanent showrooms there, joining Egg Collective and others — including Giancarlo Valle, whose studio we’ll be featuring next month, and In Common With, whose epically scaled, decadently furnished 8,000-square-foot loft, dubbed Quarters, is a showroom, bar, concept store, library, and event space all wrapped into one. Some designers opened up their homes, like Athena Calderone, who showed her Art Deco–inspired Beni Rugs collection in an historic, wood-paneled apartment, once the corporate offices of Borden Dairy. Three separate events — the annual Head Hi lighting exhibition, a dinner for Xavier Donnelly’s Backdrop wallpaper collab, and the Becky Carter x Wallpaper Projects–curated Family Style, took place at 102 Franklin, a mutable new event space conceived by Arley Marks and Sarah Meyohas. And the neighborhood’s design gallery anchors — which started a generation ago with R&Company and continued post-pandemic with Tiwa, Jacqueline Sullivan, and Verso — were joined by Superhouse, which crept westward from its original Chinatown home, and Colony, which moved into a storefront space on West Broadway (and which we featured earlier in May). Below, enjoy a sampling of all the wonderful things we saw in the proverbial triangle below Canal Street this month.

Quarters by In Common With

Quarters, from Felicia Hung and Nicholas Ozemba of In Common With, is unlike any other design space in New York. Its closest peer, scale-wise, is Apparatus, but rather than operating on an appointment-only basis, Quarters invites the public in — to drink, to shop, to gawk at each immaculately designed room. The space features the entirety of In Common With‘s lighting catalog — including its beloved Sophie Lou Jacobsen collab — as well as new furniture pieces, including slab-built ceramic lights in the form of seahorses, fish, and more, made in collaboration with Shane Gabier (who also created Quarters’ selfie-worthy ceramic-tiled bathrooms). A fresco above the bar was painted by artist Claudio Bonuglia, and the space is rounded out with pieces by Danny Kaplan and Simone Bodmer-Turner as well as an epic vintage furniture collection. Photos © William Jess Laird

Lindsey Adelman at Tiwa Gallery

At Tiwa — a place I ended up so many times I started referring to it as the Peach Pit of design — lighting designer Lindsey Adelman debuted her first collection with gallerist Alex Tieghi-Walker: a collection of 32 oil lamps, some hanging, some resting on unglazed ceramic bases, blown in collaboration with Adelman’s longtime partners Michiko Sakano and Nancy Callan. In the gallery, amber-colored oil lamps sprouting horn-like flames hung from chains, framed by an installation of hand-stitched patchwork panels by textile artist Sarah Nsikak. After so many years perfecting the electrified experience, Adelman wanted to explore fire for its ritualistic properties, its transformative power, and its connection to a more primordial version of ourselves. “Oil lamps are the oldest lamp in existence, preceding electricity by over 6,000 years. Along with incense lamps in cathedrals, there’s this incredible history and mythology associated with their use in sacred rituals. I love that there is a power beyond the literal activity of what we can see — the idea of a collective of people dissolving into one energy,” says Adelman. On view until June 8. Photos © Brian W. Ferry

Athena Calderone for Beni Rugs

In Salon, her second collection with the Moroccan-based rug brand Beni, Athena Calderone took inspiration from the intricate geometries of Parisian and Viennese Art Deco. Initially inspired by the wood-paneled interior of her Tribeca home and by her discovery of a 1930s pen-and-ink building facade drawing by Josef Hoffmann, Calderone traveled first to Vienna and then Paris, sketching as she went. One rug in the series is patterned after the glass ceiling of the MAK museum; another is inspired by the exterior of the Theatre des Champs-Elysees by French architect Auguste Perret (whose home some of these images were shot in. The others were photographed in Athena’s Tribeca loft). “Everything came together and I began to play with the very same lines, rectangles, layered shapes, and repeating cubes that were the building blocks of this period — the historical facades, window frames, gates, and doorways I had spotted in my travels,” she says. Photos © Clément Pascal and William Jess Laird

House For Two Sculptors by Egg Collective

As famous as she gets, and as beloved as she is by the current generation of young designers, Eileen Gray will likely never get her due, considering how much her relationship with Le Corbusier tends to overshadow her work, and how little stewardship there is of her archive. Hilary Petrie, Stephanie Beamer, and Crystal Ellis — the women behind Egg Collective —set out to rectify that in some small part during this year’s design month as a continuation of their Designing Women series. After coming across Gray’s pencil on paper plans for a never-built “House for Two Sculptors” — and reading that the plan was designed around an “egg-shaped” atelier — the trio spent a year digitally deciphering and rendering Gray’s plans in vivid detail, using the space as a place to stage pieces from their latest collection as well. In their Tribeca gallery, they brought the broad strokes of Gray’s interior to life, pairing pieces from their own collection with work by two sculptors, Taylor Kibby and Molly Haynes. Installation photos © Nicole Franzen

Let Them Eat Cake at Superhouse Gallery

In a one-night-only event, Stephen Markos of Superhouse and Caleb Engstrom of Rest Energy paired up to curate an exhibition and dessert tasting featuring 50 plates by 50 designers. My ardor for singlesubject exhibitions is well-documented at this point, and this one was particularly satisfying. The plates were unlabeled when we arrived, and circling the serpentine table, trying to guess each plate’s authorship, was half the fun. Some were obvious, like Sean Gerstley’s, whose multicolored slabs resembled his coffee tabletops shrunk down to size. Some made sense only upon learning who made them, like Studio Ahead, whose giant, cloud-like soft-touch blob called to mind their ethereal headboards. Several of the designers were delightfully unknown to me, like Joël Brodovsky-Adams, the recent Alfred University grad who made the chartreuse picnic-tablecloth platter from which I ate. Photos © Jason Lê

Paige O’Toole

Joël Brodovsky-Adams

Alex Kerr

Ficus Interfaith


Studio Ahead

Family Style by Becky Carter x Wallpaper Projects

Another one-night-exhibition featuring a snaking tablescape, Family Style was curated by interior designer Becky Carter and Amanda Dandeneau of Wallpaper Projects and featured some of our favorite pieces from the week. Among our picks: Kelsey Fairhurst’s chunky stainless steel flatware (and portable acrylic versions too!); Chris Wolston’s cast aluminum serving utensils; Concrete Cat’s marbled Lazy Susans; Teruko Kushi’s steel and bronze vessels, whose surfaces feature wild flowers, pressed and hand-painted with an oxidizing solution to leave behind a floral patterned patina; and The Perfect Nothing Catalog’s jewel-encrusted wine chiller.

Xavier Donnelly x Backdrop

Backdrop partnered with Ash creative director Xavier Donnelly to debut four wallpaper designs, each translated from Donnelly’s hand-painted artworks, which are made using the “alla prima” technique of applying wet paint to previous layers of still-damp paint, resulting in a kind of ethereal brushstroke. “The collection takes inspiration from Donnelly’s travels to ancient sites throughout Italy with imagery drawn from classical antiquity, conjuring the dreamlike state of witnessing a majestic landscape through the lens of the past.” One features relics found along Rome’s Appian Way, while another simply depicts a dreamlike cloud state. Photos © William Jess Laird

Head Hi Lamp Show

The Brooklyn coffee shop and multidisciplinary space Head Hi — run by curator Alexandra Hodkowski and artist Alvaro Alcocer — debuted its fifth annual Lamp Show, featuring a serious range of talents. In addition to the ones below, we particularly liked Armando Aguirre‘s Lego and LED–built lamp and Jude di Leo‘s light-emitting exhaust pipe.

Alain Grossenbacher

Claws Design Studio

Gabriel Jewell Vitale

Pat Kim

Qiaosen Yang

Sheerly Touch Ya

Studio Atomic