In conjunction with NYCxDESIGN, DESIGN TALKS NYC is a community based talk series, presented to the public and sharing the thoughts, goals, pressures, and responsibilities of design for the enhancement and improvement of our future.


In its second year partnering with NYCxDESIGN, IBM brings a curated program of insightful design thinkers and thought leaders as they share their perspectives of the impact of design. On May 16th, learn how design thinking, user centered design, and storytelling lead to successful outcomes. Hosted at The Cooper Union Rose Auditorium.



  • Wednesday, May 3rd  •  6:00–7:00pm

    Rain date Thursday, May 4th

    Times Square at the Red Steps between 46th – 47th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue

    Times Square Transformation

    Times Square has undergone a remarkable transformation. After decades of proposals grappling with how best to handle the pedestrian congestion in Times Square, Snøhetta’s world-class design for the Broadway pedestrian plazas cleared out decades of old infrastructure cluttering the square while doubling the amount of pedestrian space in what had been a notoriously crowded vehicular district. This discussion will look at Times Square before, during and after the transformation, from pedestrian and traffic studies in the early 2000s, to the pilot project closing of Broadway to traffic in 2009, to the permanent plazas completed this year. The conversation will address how the innovative and carefully-considered design of our urban landscapes can have a measured positive impact on public safety, air quality, and economic output, and how Times Square’s vision might stand as a model for world-class civic spaces across the globe.



    Craig Dykers,
    Snøhetta Architects
    Tim Tompkins,
    President, Times Square Alliance
    Susan Szenasy, Publisher/
    Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine


  • Friday, May 12th • 3:00–4:00pm

    Fashion Institute of Technology, Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, 227 West 27th Street, Manhattan

    Livable Cities: The Role Urban Design and Architecture Play

    Join us for a lively conversation between architect Carol Ross Barney and editor-in- chief William Menking, The Architect’s Newspaper.  Learn the behind-the-scenes stories of the development of the Chicago Riverwalk. 15 years and two mayoral administrations in the making, Ross Barney will discuss the Riverwalk's transformation and the importance of urban density as a key to a sustainable future in the cities in which people live and play.


    The Chicago Riverwalk, a one-and-a-half-mile-long civic space between Lake Michigan and the confluence of the north and south branches of the Chicago River utilized derelict infrastructure to reconnect the daily experience of the city with the dynamic and changing life of the river.  Conceived as a series of rooms, the Riverwalk acts as a thread tying the city fabric to the water’s edge.


    What might have been unimaginable years ago, has been achieved; an activated riverfront in the heart of a booming urban core.  This reinvention of urban life is at the heart of a new economic chapter for Chicago. Prime real estate with sweeping views and connectivity now tout an invaluable civic amenity.


    Speaker:                 Moderator:

    Carol Ross Barney,
    principal designer at Ross Barney Architects
    Carol Ross BarneyWilliam MenkingWilliam Menking, founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Architect’s Newspaper

  • Tuesday, May 16th

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



    A Full-Day Conference

    Keynote by Ryan Caruthers



    9:00 - 10:00

    Morning coffee and networking


    10:00 - 10:30

    Ryan CaruthersKeynote: Ryan Caruthers, Creative Director, Design at IBM

    Lessons from Stories Unknown




    11:00 - 11:45

    Christopher PollardChris Pollard, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Anon Design Collective

    Purpose Design < > Design Purpose


    12:00 - 1:30



    Adrian FranksAdrian Franks, Design Director-Creative Strategist, IBM

    Creative Democracy




    3:00 - 3:45

    Julie AnixterJulie Anixter, Executive Director, AIGA

    The Incredible Shifting Design Career



    4:00 - 4:45

    Whitney CaseyWhitney Casey, Founder, Finery, author, journalist

    User-Centered Design




  • Thursday, May 18th • 6:00–7:00pm

    Fashion Institute of Technology, Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, 227 West 27th Street, Manhattan

    How Can Innovative Park Design Connect and Sustain Communities?

    Urban parks and open spaces are viewed as essential infrastructure that support equitable, resilient, and sustainable communities. This panel will consider the power of high-quality design to inspire and connect residents and communities. Speakers will also reflect on the need for robust engagement, effective interagency collaboration, and efficient processes to ensure that our public spaces serve the needs of current and future New Yorkers.


    NYC Parks is excited to partner with NYCxDESIGN for this exciting installment of the Parks Without Borders Discussion Series.





    Justin Moore,
    AICP, Executive Director of NYC Public Design Commission
    Justin MooreSigne NielsenMitchell J. SilverSigne Nielsen
    FASLA, President, NYC Public Design Commission; Principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, P.C.
    Mitchell J. Silver,
    FAICP, Commissioner, NYC Parks


    Save the date!

    The next PWB discussion will explore the role of agency guidelines in design and development. Join us June 15, 9:00-11:30am, at The New School.


    The Parks Without Borders Discussion Series explores ideas for the next generation of parks and public space and considers opportunities to build greener parks, healthier communities, and more resilient neighborhoods. Events will be held through 2017.


    CM | 1.0 / LA CES Pending


    For accessibility information, contact Scott Ritter by May 15 at (212) 360-8217 or scott.ritter@parks.nyc.gov.


  • Thursday, May 18th • 6:00–7:00pm

    Times Square, 43rd-44th Street Plaza on Broadway east of 7th Avenue

    Designing to Sell

    Join us for a discussion on the challenges and rewards of designing products to sell on a national, and even global scale, from boutiques to big box stores.


    Our panelists will discuss how designers and manufacturers work together and maintain a vision while creating commercial products; and they will discuss how to grow your design brand in New York City.



    Stuart Constantine, founding partner,
    Core 77
    Stuart ConstantineJan van der LandeKiel MeadJan van der Lande,
    founder Kikkerland
    Kiel Mead, founder American Design ClubJosh Owen, Designer, Professor of Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of TechnologyJosh OwenAlissia Melka-TeirchroewAlissia Melka-Teirchroew, founder of byAMTModerator:

  • Friday, May 19th • 3:00–4:00pm

    Thomson Reuters
    3 Times Square, 30th fl

    New York School of Interior Design Presents

    Landmark Interiors and Preserving History

    An inside look at how landmark designation works, how it contributes to the urban experience, and how the inclusion of interior landmarks enhances our understanding and appreciation of design, artisanry and the legacy of past generations that enriches our daily lives in an ever-changing city.


    Four expert panelists will discuss the history and accomplishments of the program granting landmark status to significant New York interiors, illustrating the conversation with images and background stories of some of its most successful outcomes…. and a few less fortunate ones. The panel will shed light on the issues surrounding landmark designation, as well as the challenges faced as modern buildings and interiors become eligible for nomination.





    Jeff Greene, founding President, EverGreene Architectural Arts Jeff GreeneJudith GuraMatthew A. PostalJudith Gura, design historian, author and educator, New York School of Interior DesignMatthew A. Postal, researcher, Landmarks Preservation Commission of New YorkKate WoodKate Wood, President of Landmark West

  • Friday, May 19th • 4:00–5:00pm

    Thomson Reuters
    3 Times Square, 30th fl

    Virtual Design and Construction

    Please join Matt Shaw, senior editor of Architect's Newspaper for an informative conversation with Tom Wilcock, Associate Principal, Arup, Brooks Slocum, AIA, SGA, and Jose Elizardo, from Autodesk.  This panel of experts will discuss the ways in which VDC is transforming design practices, and how they offer innovative, practical and cost-effective solutions.


    Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) is revolutionizing the way buildings are designed and built. Though digital modeling and documentation tools have been an integral part of architectural practice for decades, VR technologies are creating new opportunities for high-level collaborations among trades, data-rich building models, and realistic looking renderings that enable precise design decisions.





    Matt Shaw, Senior editor from Architect's NewspaperMatt ShawTom WilcockBrooks SlocumTom Wilcock, Associate Principal, Advanced Technology + Research, ArupBrooks Slocum, Project Manager SGAJose ElizardoJose Elizardo, 3ds Max Technical Specialist, AutodeskModerator:

  • Friday, May 19th • 5:00–6:00pm

    Thomson Reuters
    3 Times Square, 30th fl

    Branding Outside the Square:
    The Future of Design

    Join Architectural Record’s Senior Editor Josephine Minutillo for a lively conversation with branding experts about why the need for brands to maintain their authenticity and potential for category disruption even as they scale up to become players on the national stage.


    Jett Butler of FÖDA, Marc Scibelli of Infor, and Cass Calder Smith of CCS Architecture, designers working in the graphic, experiential and digital realms, discuss what practices are having the most impact and where design and design thinking can be put to better use.





    Josephine Minutillo, Senior Editor, Architectural RecordJosephine MinutilloJett ButlerMarc ScibelliJett Butler, Founder & Creative Director, FÖDAMarc Scibelli, Chief Creative Officer, InforCass Calder SmithCass Calder Smith, Principal CCS ArchitectureModerator:

  • Friday, May 19th • 6:00–7:00pm

    Thomson Reuters
    3 Times Square, 30th fl

    Design, Politics & Governance

    From toothbrushes to taxi hailing apps and smart phones to healthcare services, ‘design’ touches every aspect of our lives today. From the moment we are born to the very end of our lives, we each utilize a multitude of products and services designed by somebody. Design can now claim to have ‘a seat at the C-suite table’ where its role has evolved to developing systems and processes.


    One system that impacts our lives in a major way is that of governance. What happens when design meets the world of politics and governance? The terms: innovation, design thinking and prototyping are taking the world by a storm. What happens when the power of design process is applied to the design of power? The value proposition of the Design professions is the promise of betterment of the quality of our lives. What is the voice of design when it comes to the practice and implementation of policy and ordinance?





    Vijay Chakravarthy, Chapter chair, IDSA NYC & Lead Service Designer, DesignitVijay ChakravarthyJoanna Peña-BickleyHumberto MatasJoanna Peña-Bickley,
    Global Chief Creative Officer, IBM iX
    Humberto Matas,
    Global Managing Director, Designit
    Puneet Kaur Ahira,
    Co-founder of Shared Magic and Omission Studio
    Puneet Kaur AhiraMarco PerryMarco Perry, Principal founder, 

  • Sunday, May 21st • 11:00am–12:00pm

    Anita's Way, Performing Arts Theater in
    Times Square, 135 W. 42nd Street

    Material Trends 2017+: A Global Panel Discussion

    Join an international panel discussion with a group of global thought leaders in design. This talk will touch on current trends in material choice, why these materials are being chosen and how they impact design. The panelists bring views from the U.S., Brazil, Europe, Japan and Canada.


    Moderator:            Speakers:

    Marc Kushner of ArchitizerMark CushnerGinger GildenBarry RichardsGinger Gilden, IA Interior ArchitectsBarry Richards, The Rockwell GroupGuilherme Torres,
    Studio Guilherme Torres
    Guilherme TorresAsaf GottesmanEiri Ota and Irene GardpoitAsaf Gottesman, Gottesman–Szmelcman ArchitectureEiri Ota and Irene Gardpoit, UUfie

  • Sunday, May 21st • 2:00–3:00pm

    Anita's Way, Performing Arts Theater in
    Times Square, 135 W. 42nd Street

    Design the Life You Love presented by
    Ayse Birsel

    Design the Life You Love is a joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve

    always dreamed of.


    Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints—time, money, age, location, and circumstances. You cannot have everything, and if you want more out of it, you must be creative about how to make what you need and what you want co-exist. This requires design thinking.


    Based on Ayse Birsel’s acclaimed workshops of the same name, Design the Life You Love uses her simple but proven creative thinking and design process, Deconstruction:Reconstruction™, to give people new tools to think about life differently, and includes fascinating examples from the world of art and design

    that relate to each step of the process, plus guided creative exercises.


    Ayse Birsel tells the story of how she applied her design process to her life, her most important project and discovered that most of us also want to be the designers

    of our own lives. Using constructive metaphors, playful tools and optimistic visualizations, she draws from concepts in fields as diverse as fashion, design, art and

    gastronomy-looking to the work of creative thinkers such as Issey Miyake, Ferran Adria, James Dyson and Steven Jobs.



    Ayse Birsel,
    Co-founder and Creative Director of Birsel + Seck
    Ayse Birsel

  • Monday, May 22nd • 5:00–6:00pm

    Anita's Way, Performing Arts Theater in
    Times Square, 135 W. 42nd Street

    Humanizing Hard Spaces with Art and Architecture

    The collaboration between designers and artists to create unique public art and architectural installations.


    Invention is a loop. Inspiration leads to visualization, that leads to a design concept, that leads to proof-of-concept prototyping, that leads to discovery, to enlightened perspective, to refinement and, against hard deadlines, to construction, installation, and public participation. Artists and designers bring common yet different expertise and experience to the process of creating unique installations.


    What happens when inspiration collides with application? When the emotional elements of creativity intersect with the physics of construction? When passion meets practicality? And how do these conundrums breed new invention systems and engineering solutions?


    Kayne Horsham and Ned Kahn draw from disparate experiences including blockbuster films, large-scale outdoor art installations, and civic infrastructure projects.


    Speakers:                                                   Moderator:

    Kayne Horsham,
    founder and CEO Kaynemaile, Art Director Lord of The Rings
    Kayne HorshamNed KahnKendal HenryNed Kahn, kinetic sculptor, MacArthur Foundation FellowKendal Henry, Director, Percent for Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

  • Tuesday, May 23rd • 6:30–7:30pm

    The Strand Kiosk, Times Square
    43rd and 44th Streets on Broadway

    Justin Davidson: Magnetic City @ TSQ

    Join us at Strand's Times Square Kiosk to celebrate NYCxDESIGN with Justin Davidson, author of Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York. Magnetic City takes us to popular destinations as well as to residential neighborhoods rarely on the casual traveler’s beat.


    His New York comes alive as we read about the stories behind landmarks and street corners, about the visionaries and architects who created the city by constantly destroying and rebuilding it. Each itinerary is a trip you can take by foot (or bike, or ferry) … or a journey you can take in your mind without ever leaving your armchair.


    There will be a 30 minute talk with a Q&A to follow, and time for a signing after. Books will be available for purchase at the kiosk; this event is free and open to attend.



    Justin Davidson,
    New York magazine’s classical music and architecture critic
    Justin Davidson