In conjunction with DESIGN PAVILION, DESIGN TALKS NYC 2016 offered inspiring topics featuring some of today’s most insightful design thinkers exploring the relationship between design and community, the affects of design on everyday life and how it is shaping our future. Sessions were held at The Cooper Union, Parsons School For Design at The New School, and Fashion Institute of Technology.


DESIGN TALKS NYC is intended to widen the understanding of the many design disciplines, and to enable and encourage design thinking as part of every day life.


Audiences reached full capacity.


Where and WheN

Fashion Institute of Technology
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre

7th Ave & West 27th Street

May 9th and 11th


Parsons School of Design
at The New School

63 Fifth Avenue

May 10th


The Cooper Union
The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

41 Cooper Square

May 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 17th



  • Tuesday May 10th at 4:30-5:30

    Parsons School of Design at The New School,
    Hoerle Lecture Hall UL105, 63 Fifth Avenue
    Doors open at 4:00 pm

    AIGA/NY presents:
    A Sense of Place: How Graphic Designers Makes Cities Too

    Taking recent AIGA/NY civic initiatives, including Identity Design Action: East New York, Dumbo Fitness Loop, and Design/Relief this panel will investigate similarities and differences in process and approach and participants will compare notes around key issues such as community engagement, urban transformation, and community identity building.


    An introduction will be made by Manuel Miranda, AIGA/NY VP and David Frisco, AIGA/NY Treasurer.



    Alicia Cheng,
    AIGA/NY board member  and principal, mgmt. design
    Jodi Terwilliger, Creative Director, HUSHAlexandria Sica,
    Executive Director, DUMBO BID
    Vanessa Smith & Megan Marini,
    principals, 3x3 Design
    Lauren Coakley-Vincent, Director, Neighborhood Development Division, NYC Small Business Services


    Laetitia Wolff,
    AIGA/NY Program Director


    The final hurrah for the Identity Design Action: East New York campaign included the ribbon-cutting of a 200-feet long mural installed on Liberty Avenue, along a major fence wrapping the Industrial Business Zone, which has been under the spotlights as part of the city’s comprehensive community redevelopment efforts. Photo: Angelica Flores

  • Tuesday May 10th at 6:00-7:00

    Parsons School of Design at The New School,
    Hoerle Lecture Hall UL105, 63 Fifth Avenue
    Doors open at 5:30 pm

    IDSA presents:
    Design for Social Impact: How can design help shape better societies and a progressive future

    Design has established itself as a powerful change agent and the guiding principle of design is to better the world around us. The driving force behind design is the practice of business for profit. Is this a conundrum? How can a marriage be facilitated between the two ideals? Social impact design, a term that has come to mean: 'the practice of design for the public good' has been attracting powerful interest in recent years. Increasingly, both practicing designers and students are seeking opportunities in this field. While there is a lot of emphasis on 'Human Centered Design', how will the discussion change if we re-frame that as 'Society Centric Design'? How might we support such ventures as we go about evolving the design approach in a professional arena? How can we effectively prepare future generations of designers for this growing area of design?


    To discuss these matters, we have with us, a panel of diverse design professionals who have experience in the art of Design for Social Impact.



    Karen J. Stone, Director of Design, Knoll, Inc.Lisa Tziona Switkin, Principal, James corner Field OperationsRob Van Varick, Principal – Insights & Strategy, Michael Graves Architecture and DesignDeborah Alden, Managing Director, Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator
    Mark Randall, Principal, WorldstudioVijay Chakravarthy, Chapter Chair, Industrial Designers Society of America, NYC chapter

  • Wednesday May 11th at 6:00-7:30

    Fashion Institute of Technology,
    Katie Murphy Amphitheatre,
    7th Ave & West 27th Street

    Sustainability in Fashion, Aurora James, the designer behind the brand Brother Vellies

    The Fashion Institute of Technology’s School of Art and Design and School of Graduate Studies present a series of conversations with leaders in sustainable practices for the fashion industry hosted by Simone Cipriani, founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative.


    The Hand of Fashion series brings together industry leaders in sustainable fashion practices, as well as friends and collaborators of the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI). The EFI is a United Nations program that connects and enables artisans in developing countries to work directly with top fashion brands on an ongoing basis. Having worked with some of the most innovative fashion designers around the world, the EFI has developed a set of pioneering sustainable practices for the fashion industry. The EFI also mentors new designers from Africa and collaborates with high-end retailers all over the world.


    Simone Cipriani, the founder of EFI, presents the various aspects of sustainability in fashion through conversations with a number of key industry experts, managers, and designers. All the guests have collaborated with the EFI, and each bring different aspects of innovation in sustainable fashion to their work.


    The series of discussions are intended to widen the understanding of sustainability in fashion design and to enable and encourage sustainable thinking as part of fashion, which will help establish a new normal in the industry.


    Sustainability in Fashion

    Aurora James,
    Founder of Brother Vellies
    Aurora James, the designer behind the brand Brother Vellies, will discuss sustainability in design and the future of fashion.



  • Wednesday May 11th at 6:00-7:30

    The Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square.
    Doors open at 5:30pm

    DuPontCorian® presents:
    Blurred: Design Beyond the Edges

    An evening brought to you by DuPontCorian® that celebrates the shifting face of design - exploring the transformative spaces where boundaries blur. Moderated by design advocate Susan Szenasy, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis Magazine, the session will spotlight creative practitioners who are transforming the face of things to come – from the virtual to the built environment – giving us a glimpse of the creative talent needed to design the future.



    Rama leads multidisciplinary teams of designers, filmmakers, coders, editors, engineers, and VFX artists to create new kinds of cinematic experiences. He runs Mill LAB, an arm of The Mill focusing on the intersection of art & technology, prototyping the future of film through experimental projects and the invention of creative technologies.



    Emilie creates playful and unconventional interactive work that moves people to discover new worlds one lick, suck, bite, sniff and gulp at a time. Drawn to expanding the idea of what it means to feed ourselves, she is founder of UNICORN EXISTS, a boutique innovation studio that hunts for what does not (yet) exist to create new possibilities in the world.



    Assoc. Principal and Director of Virtual Design & Construction, John has been instrumental in the development of technology and process and has contributed to several of the firm’s most technically complex and innovative projects including the Barclays Center. Current projects include the Botswana Innovation Hub, a new academic building for FIT, and a cultural center in Detroit.



    Founder of Patten Studio and TED Fellow, James specializes in interactive experiences and user interfaces that go beyond traditional screen based interactions. With a PhD from the MIT Media Lab, his practice explores interactivity in the physical environment that provokes curiosity, invites play, and incites imagination.



    SYPartners applies a unique human-centered approach to business and social challenges – helping leaders, organizations, teams, and individuals design great futures. Winklemann’s creative leadership focuses on inspiring fresh attitudes toward visual narrative, engaging a broad network of creative talent across design and storytelling disciplines.


    Susan Szenasy – MODERATOR

    Publisher & Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine

    For more than 30 years, Susan S. Szenasy’s voice has resonated as an editor-in-chief, writer, teacher, moderator, filmmaker and lecturer. In all of these roles, her advocacy for ethical, sustainable, human-centered design has been her guiding light. Known for decades as the editor-in-chief (and now publisher) of Metropolis magazine, one of the most influential design magazines in the world, Szenasy has led the charge on all relevant design issues concerning us today.

  • Thursday May 12th at 4:30-5:30

    The Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square.
    Doors open at 4:00pm

    NYC Department of Design and Construction presents:
    Design and Construction Excellence 2.0

    Join DDC’s Chief Architect Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo and Public Artist in Residence Mary Miss in conversation with architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang to explore how together we can build public structures that are welcoming to all, and public spaces that link people to their communities and to each other.


    The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has been the capital construction agency for New York City since 1996. Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 is our program that partners with renowned design and construction professionals to deliver innovative public buildings and infrastructure. Through Design and Construction Excellence 2.0, the Office of the Chief Architect supports the mayoral lenses of growth, equity, sustainability, resiliency and healthy living throughout DDC’s work.



    Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo,
    FAIA, LEED AP,  Chief Architect, NYC Department of Design and Construction
    Mary Miss,
    Public Artist in Residence, NYC Department of Design and Construction
    Jeanne Gang, FAIA, LEED AP, Founder and Design Principal, Studio Gang Architects

  • Thursday May 12th at 6:00-7:00

    The Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square.
    Doors open at 5:30 pm

    The Design Trust for Public Space presents:
    Arts Connecting Staten Island:
    Powerful Civic Tools for Transformation

    “Staten Island’s Turning Point?” asked a New York Times headline not too long ago, announcing the big wave of real estate development on the doorsteps of NYC’s fastest growing borough. Multi-million dollar projects are now underway along the North Shore waterfront in the Naturally Occurring Cultural District of St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton.


    Join us for a discussion about how photography can be a powerful civic tool in this time of transformation. The Design Trust for Public Space’s Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellowship, in partnership with Staten Island Arts and the Alice Austen House, expresses a critical perspective on the diverse cultural community of Staten Island’s North Shore. The selected fellow Gareth Smit’s photography will complement the parallel Design Trust project, Future Culture—an experiment in ways for artists and developers to engage in planning their community together, including long-term strategies for neighborhood revitalization, sustainability, and equitable economic development.



    Gareth Smit,
    Future Culture Photo Urbanism Fellow
    Paul Moakley,
    Deputy Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise, TIME; Caretaker and Curator, Alice Austen House
    Monica Valenzuela, Deputy Director, Staten Island Arts


    Susan Chin,
    Executive Director Design Trust, FAIA, Hon. ASLA


  • Friday May 13th at 4:30-5:30

    The Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square.
    Doors open at 4:00pm

    IBM presents Big Design

    Todd Simmons and shares the design transformation at IBM now, and the future vision.


    Todd Simmons

  • Friday May 13th at 6:00-7:00

    The Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square

    The Related Companies presents The Hudson Yards Project with Michael Samuelian

    In 2005, NYC rezoned the west side of Manhattan to accommodate a city the size of Downtown Boston. Now planned as the first post-digital community in the nation, Hudson Yards is harnessing the power of data in order to create a community embedded within the creative economy that is so central to today’s American cities. Today, with over 6 million square feet currently under construction, Related Companies is building on the far-reaching vision of the city over a decade ago, creating an entire neighborhood from scratch.

    In spite of their popularity, planning successful new large-scale mixed-use centers poses significant challenges for both public planners and private developers. Using the Hudson Yards project as a case study, Michael Samuelian, Vice President of Design & Construction at Related Hudson Yards, will focus his presentation on the public and private sector’s response to these challenges. This will include an emphasis on the research-intensive approach to defining primary neighborhood attributes essential to the changing demographics in New York City – specifically, the growing presence of influential tech-savvy millennials.

    Central to the development of this new neighborhood is the requirement that over 50% of the site be dedicated to public open space. Reflecting a growing trend, the landscape design of the project creates a singular common ground that unifies the site and the mixture of architectural styles deployed in the development. The infrastructure supporting the open space will be an engineering marvel, implementing advanced technologies. This process will ensure a sustainable contemporary design establishing a green corridor, stitching together the adjacent High Line and Hudson Park and Boulevard while creating an iconic and forward-looking landscape for Hudson Yards.

    After over a decade in the making, this project is now under construction and slated to open its first building in the spring of 2016 with the entire first phase to open in the fall of 2018. Not since Rockefeller Center, has a project been planned and developed with the scale and ambition of Hudson Yards.


  • Saturday May 14th at 2:30-3:30

    The Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square.
    Doors open at 2:00

    Radically New Hotel Experiences

    Hotels are the ultimate laboratory for design. Fun, fresh environments are in demand and hospitality spaces are taking big risks on style and service.


    Each year, the Radical Innovation competition searches for the next big hotel concept – and the talents behind them – with a global call for entries. Ideas for co-working hotels, pop-up hotels, floating hotels and more have all passed through the competition, with some now in the process of being realized. Hosted during DESIGN PAVILION at DESIGN TALKS NYC, we will unveil the top new ideas from the 2016 call for entries. Join us to hear the latest trends in design and experience and meet some of the talent scouts looking for radically innovative ideas.



    Jim Woods, President and COO, The Bowls – Brooklyn BowlMatt Turner, Editorial Director, Sleeper magazineLarry Spelts,
    Vice President, Business Development, Charlestowne Hotels
    Jon Kastl, Principal, Champalimaud DesignJohn Hardy,
    CEO, The John Hardy Group and Founder, Radical Innovation
    Edwin Hendriksen,
    SVP Development and Investments, Citizen M


    Tara Mastrelli, President,
    Studio Tano