[ASPIRE Design Tour] Panel Discussion: How to Earn Press?

By Pei Shang


How do you get the media to notice your unique talents in a seemingly ceaseless sea of designers? How do you successfully get your message out? Those who are interested in the answers to these questions may want to check out the programming during next week’s ASPIRE Design Tour!

Coming to NYC, August 22-23, ASPIRE Design Tour’s two full days of programming and events will include a panel discussion on “How to earn press” at the Complete Tile Collection on August 23, 2018 (12:30 – 3:00 pm).  Moderated by the Senior Vice President of Novità Communications, Danielle McWilliams, a lively panel of industry experts will share their insider tips on getting audiences’ favor. Panelists include Lifestyle & Interiors Editorial Photographer, Brittany Ambridge, widely published Interior Designer, Mary Douglas Drysdale, and ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME Editor in Chief, Amy Sneider.


Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 10.13.28 AM


Here’s a little bit more about the panelists:

Danielle McWilliams

With 14+ years of experience in design public relations, McWilliams has a keen marking insight, strategic communication skills and extensive national and international experience. She serves as the PR Chair of the New York Metro Chapter of ASID.

Brittany Ambridge

Ambridge’s editorial work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Vogue, and Architectural Digest, while her portraiture also captures tastemakers like Eva Chen, Christy Turlington, and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff.

Mary Douglas Drysdale

Drysdale’s career and project work have consistently been honored by the design industry. Drysdale’s projects have garnered over 60 career covers both in the US and abroad. She was named 5 years running as one of House Beautiful’s Top 100 of American Design.

Amy Sneider

Sneider has been the Editor in Chief of ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME since 2010. “ASPIRE represents quiet and varied ideas of beauty and shelter,” said Sneider. “We like to savor the subjects and the images, with large dedications to their art/talent and create conversations.”



NYCxDESIGN 2018: What You Can Expect

By Nancy Carmona


Although it is early on, NYCxDESIGN is preparing for its biggest year yet in 2018!  May 11th-23rd NYCxDESIGN will hold its citywide celebration of design, highlighting the creative, cultural, and educational opportunities in NYC through a variety of exhibitions, talks, and open studios.  On January 12th, The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) gave us a glimpse of what’s to come this year at a press conference for NYCxDESIGN in the Brooklyn Museum. 


Opportunities for New & Distinguished Designers

Whether you’re a student or a celebrated designer, there are several opportunities to have your work showcased in NYCxDESIGN this year!

NYCxDESIGN 2017 Tech Office Winner. Photography by Garrett Rowland.

Brooklyn Designs, an event showcasing the collaborative spirit of design, architecture, and art while celebrating Brooklyn’s unique style, will showcase accepted designs from a range of categories at the Brooklyn Museum on May 12-13. 

NYCxDESIGN will partner up with Interior Design magazine and ICFF to deliver the NYCxDESIGN Awards on May 21st, with submissions opening up next month.

Frog Design, focused on creating cultural change through design, will hold a design competition which will include illustrators, architects, woodworkers, and furniture and fashion designers.

WantedDesign is teaming up with Rado  to award the Rado Star Prize with the theme of “Design Inspired by Nature”.  Submissions are open until March and the winner alongside nine finalists will be showcased at WantedDesign Manhattan during NYCxDESIGN.


Educational Opportunities & Talks

There will be a variety of opportunities to learn about and get excited for the future of design both in NYC and internationally!

NYCxDESIGN Q&A with Cindy Allen & Edward Hogikyan.

Domino Sugar Factory will hold a panel event and a tour for its newly designed Domino Park.

Design Trust for Public Space, concentrated on making an a positive change in New York’s public spaces, will hold a discussion and tour for El-Space, a design project set to create a better experience for pedestrians, greater resiliency through changing seasons, and improved lighting.

WantedDesign Manhattan will include conversations with Design Milk, Modenus Media, and others to be announced.

DESIGN TALKS NYC, in part of NYCxDESIGN’s DESIGN PAVILION, will host design leaders in Times Square who will discuss the role of design for the future in several talks from May 14th-18th.



Of course, exhibits, showrooms, and open studios are the bulk of experience at NYCxDESIGN!

ICFF 2017.

Red Hook Design will hold neighborhood walks, open studios, and an exhibition which will feature creators of furniture, glass, textile, and ceramic.

Brookfield Place, in collaboration with artist Carlos Rolón, will show a range of bicycle designs, celebrating bicycles as a serious means of transportation in cities for the future.

ICFF, one of the largest trade shows at NYCxDESIGN, will feature over 3,600 interior designers, architects, retailers, distributors, developers, and visual merchandisers.  Showcasing the newest in high-end luxury furniture and materials, the 30th annual ICFF will include French furniture designs from names such as  Philippe Starck and Jean-Paul Gaultier, and 180 galleries of handmade German art objects.  Collective Design, the New York City based fair showcasing the diversity of material design, will also be launching “Collective Concept @ ICFF”, a platform for selected independent designers to share what they consider “inspirational” and “alternative” thinking.

WantedDesign Manhattan will be hosting a variety of exhibits including their main exhibit, Lookbook, an in-person portfolio for top high-end North American designers to showcase their latest products.  The winners of Launch Pad, the competition for emerging talent in furniture and lighting design, and the Rado Star Prize will also be showcased at WantedDesign Manhattan.  Look out for more exciting exhibitions to be announced for both WantedDesign Manhattan and its sister event, WantedDesign Brooklyn, in the coming months!

Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, School of Visual Arts, Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Cooper Union will host a variety of events and exhibits including student works and interactive exhibits.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Arts and Design, and Museum at FIT will open exhibits showcasing work in a variety of mediums, from photography to fashion designs.

Design districts including East Midtown Partnership, Tribeca Design District, SoHo Design District, and NoMad Design District will have several events and showrooms displaying home decor and decorative art pieces.

The Times Square Alliance, whose goal is to improve and preserve the creative energy of Times Square, will launch prototypes from a program to commission new designs from NYC designers for public spaces, with Times Square as the lab space.

In addition to these events, you can expect plenty of opportunities to purchase your own unique pieces of art and furniture and enjoy the food and drinks of the city. You can also look forward to the list of events growing larger in the coming months leading up to NYCxDESIGN!  Check out the video below to get a better glimpse of what you can expect at NYCxDESIGN 2018, and don’t forget to follow our instagram for more updates on NYCxDESIGN 2018 and other design events!

Tech Meets Decor: CES 2018 Favorites

By Nancy Carmona


With just one day of the consumer electronics trade show CES left, we have been busy experiencing all of the this year’s newest technologies!  This year’s CES includes over 4000 exhibitors marketing products and services from 37 different categories ranging from hardware and software systems, to communication, lifestyle, and entertainment technologies, to our favorite the latest and sleekest in smart home appliances.  CES featured exhibits this year also include Smart Cities, Sports Zone, and the appropriately named Eureka Park, where startups market their innovative services and products to big names in the industry.  

We have also enjoyed the informative  CES conferences, which after receiving criticism for only including male keynote speakers, added several women to the panel including CEO of A+E Networks Nancy Dubuc, Vice Chairman of MediaLink Wendy Harris Millard, and founder & CEO of 605, Kristin Dolan.  As the major convention for the latest evolutions in the world of technology and consumer electronics we are excited to see the inclusion of women leaders in the industry.

Still, we know you are curious about some of the new technologies for the home, and we’ve got you covered! 

Lighting & Decor

deconnect                       lamp

Gloo by Deconnect – Gloo looks like a modern lava lamp, except its color and brightness can be adjusted from an app, it has the ability to deliver 8 full smartphone charges, and it can take and upload photos with its 360 camera controlled completely from your phone.  Coming in different sizes and styles, Gloo is a multifunctional piece that can be transformed to fit any setting.



toilet                         tub

Flotation Tub with Zero Dimension and Neorest NX by Toto–  For your bathroom, Japanese company Toto has two luxurious new products.  The Neorest NX is the crème de la crème of toilets, complete with heated seats, automatic subdued lighting, clean washing technology, and self cleaning and deodorizing capabilities so you never have to worry about touching your toilet again.   The Flotation Tub by Toto keeps you suspended in the Zero Dimension position, freeing you from the strains gravity can create on your joints and granting you full relaxation alongside the tub’s water jets targeted at massaging your muscles. 



sleepace         Nox-Smart-Sleep-Light-From-Sleepace-02

Smart Bedding by Sleepace– In the bedroom, sleep is at the forefront of our minds and smartbeds are big at CES this year.  We love Sleepace’s Smart Bedding which monitors your heart rate and movement throughout the night to give you a sleep score and give you proper solutions to improve your quality of rest. Lights and sound also adjust themselves to give you a natural and soothing wake up every morning.


Backyard & Patio

maxresdefault copy     shadeCraft

SUNFLOWER by ShadeCraft – SUNFLOWER is perfect for any day or night spent outdoors.  Equipped with sensors, SUNFLOWER tracks the sun’s movement to provide perfect shade while simultaneously recharging using solar energy.  There are also lights, speakers, and a camera which can be controlled from your smartphone and used to chat with friends or as an extra security camera.  Also functioning as a hotspot, the SUNFLOWER ensures you will be able to enjoy all of your favorite technologies outside.

For more updates on CES and future events, we recommend following our Instagram!

KBIS Offers Bright New Looks For the New Year

By Nancy Carmona


We’re LIVE from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). The show, which
kicks off today in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center,
gives us a chance to be face-to-face with our K&B industry peers and
experience the latest products to make a splash in the industry. This
year’s show will host over 600 brands. We’re loving this new cobalt blue
and gold kitchen from True Residential, a division of True Manufacturing
Company which focuses upon delivering high quality commercial and home
refrigeration. The vignette was designed by one of our design favs – Vanessa

IMG-7681 copy
We can’t wait for the talks too! This year’s KBIS keynote speech will be
delivered by Cindy Allen, editor-in-chief of Interior Design magazine and
is entitled “Pop Goes the Future: Top Trends Bursting onto the K&B Scene”.
Allen’s speech will deliver important insights for designers on trends and
business topics for 2018 and will be followed by a meet-and-greet with fans
and readers.

And who can forget about the special events, parties, and receptions will
be hosted throughout KBIS. Keep an eye on our social feed as we share some
of our favorite products, people and parties!

DIFFA National Awards Funds to 31 Organizations at Annual Grants & Giving Celebration

By Katherine Smythe


Earlier this month, we attended the annual Grants & Giving Celebration hosted by DIFFA National (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) at Current at Chelsea Piers. With a mission to support organizations nationwide that provide education, treatment and prevention services to individuals with or at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, DIFFA presented $331,500 in grants to 31 nonprofits that share in the cause. Grant recipients traveled from as far as Atlanta and Arizona to attend the NYC-based event.

Representatives from the 2017 Grantees

Representatives from the 2017 Grantees

The Grants & Giving Celebration demonstrates the true reach and impact of DIFFA’s fundraising, supporting a diverse class of grantees that serve communities in need across the country. Fundraising organizations like DIFFA provide the resources many nonprofits depend on to offer full service and care to the communities they serve. Now more than ever, with health care costs rising and insurance policies in limbo, vulnerable individuals and those living with HIV/AIDS are dependent on these organizations for care and treatment. From organizations providing prevention and care, such as Planned Parenthood NYC and Trillium Health, to those that provide housing and support services for at-risk communities and those living with HIV/AIDS, such as The Ali Forney Center and Bailey House, each grant recipient has a transformative impact on the lives of those affected by this disease.

DIFFA Grants and Giving_Kravet

In addition to celebrating the grantees, DIFFA presented a special honor to Kravet Inc. The fifth-generation family business, a leading distributor of fabrics, furniture and wall coverings, is a long-standing supporter of a variety of charitable organizations and DIFFA in particular. Cary Kravet, President of Kravet Inc., offered remarks that evening on the generosity of the design industry. Kravet noted how designers, by nature, commit their lives to making the lives of others better; they demonstrate this both in their work and in their capacity for giving back.

Beloved DIFFA programs such as DINING BY DESIGN and Picnic By Design are just two examples of how the design community donates its time and creativity to a cause that has impacted so many, in our own community and in those we serve. The annual Grants & Giving Celebration reminds us to continue to work together to “make a DIFFArence.”

Big Changes for Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame and Best of Year

By Nicolette Giordano


     Now in it’s 32nd year, Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame is getting a change of scenery. Due to renovations at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, Interior Design had to find a new home for their 2017 awards gala. After much research, they are happy to announce that this year’s Hall of Fame will take place at I.M. Pei’s River Pavilion, located at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The pavilion’s beautiful glass design is a fitting locale for the Hall of Fame Awards Gala, one of the most prestigious events on the design industry calendar.
Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 12.15.40 PM

     Interior Design held their first Hall of Fame Awards Gala in 1985. This black-tie event’s purpose is to recognize designers who have made a significant impact on the industry. Some of the previous inductees include: Antonio Citterio, Clodagh, Thierry W. Despont, Frank Gehry, Albert Hadley, Andrée Putman, David Rockwell, Lauren Rottet, Philippe Starck, and Robert A.M. Stern.

     A different location is not the only change at this year’s Hall of Fame. For many years the designated day for the event has been Wednesday. This year, the Hall of Fame Awards Gala will be taking place on Thursday, November 30th. The Best of Year Awards will be the following day, Friday, December 1st.

     For the 5th year in a row, the Best of Year Awards will be at Frank Gehry’s IAC building in NYC. The Best of Year Awards recognizes the most exceptional work from the past year in every category of design. For the past 11 years, the Best of Year Awards have been setting the bar in the design industry. The December issue of Interior Design will feature this year’s winners.

Composer Yuval Avital crosses barriers and Open(s) Fence

By barbara


NEW LOGO_Open fance

I remember when I was a nasty kid stomping sticks on neighbors fences. I was nasty and noisy but the multimedia artist and composer Yuval Avital (I bet he did what I did when he was a child) transformed a noisy game into a poetic sound sculpture: Open Fence.

1km of iron, 12 tons of weight, 64 metres of length, 4 metres of height, over 320 tubular bells, 900 meters of stainless steel strings is a massive sound sculptures, the biggest ever realized in Italy.


Yuval Avital

Starting from an iron fence realized by designer Mario Milana, Yuval Avital has transformed this architectural object into an instrument playable by everybody, musicians and non-musicians alike, inviting the public to become performer of a collective sound ritual on the day of the solstice of summer, 21 June at the East End Studios in Milan.

The Israeli composer aims to transform a closing barrier into a welcome opening, that goes beyond the physical fence thanks to a unique combination of art, architecture and sound.



Crowd Music Ensemble

Crowd Music Ensemble


Percussionists from from the Conservatory “G. Verdi” of Milan and the Civica Scuola di Musica “Claudio Abbado”


Young and talented performer

A young and talented performer


To visit: 

East End Studios, via Mecenate 88A, Milan

e-mail office@yuvalavital.com




By Dawit Blackwell


On the night of June 21, 2017, Turkish contemporary rug and carpet brand, STEPEVI celebrated the launch of their new ‘SPARKLE’ collection with an elegant red carpet cocktail party at their NYC showroom. THE ‘SPARKLE’ debut attracted various architects, designers, and artists from throughout the greater New York City area. Previously featured as part of Milan Design Week, this brand new collection showed off various handcrafted carpets which present a subtle shimmer that adds a glamorous and eye-catching touch to the already eclectic STEPEVI collection.


The showroom was filled with tons of pieces from the new collection, featuring various colors and textures which illustrate the bold expression of this ambitious launch. As guests danced, conversed and enjoyed gourmet hors d’oeuvres, they were evidently hypnotized by the finely crafted pieces decorating the room. As STEPEVI expands their consumer base throughout residential and commercial sectors of North America, be sure to keep an eye out for these luxury pieces which are sure to make a statement in any setting.



All Aboard: IDLNY to Host Gala at the Intrepid with Special Honoree, Ruth Lynford

By Katherine Smythe


Design fatigue? Not for us. Though we’re enjoying every second of the jam-packed NYCxDesign programming and looking forward to a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend, we’re excited for June 1st. That evening, IDLNY: Interior Designers for Legislation in New York will host its Gala at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. For the second year in a row, IDLNY supporters and design industry leaders will board the USS aircraft carrier for a fun night of sunset cocktails and coalition building. With its mission to advance, promote and monitor the right to practice interior design, IDLNY continues to make strides for our industry as a whole. The gala is the perfect opportunity for our community to re-group before a busy summer, celebrate IDLNY volunteers and look ahead to the work that remains.

Photo from last year's Evening at the Intrepid by Peter Ou.

Photo from last year’s Evening at the Intrepid by Peter Ou.

As if the event’s instagram-ready venue (filled with design friends and colleagues) isn’t enough reason to attend, supporters will have the chance to show their gratitude and respect for this year’s honoree, Ruth Lynford. As a compelling advocate for designers across the state of New York and the collective industry, Ruth founded IDLNY in 1984. Generations of designers can attest to Ruth’s passion and generosity for this community, and IDLNY’s success would not be possible without her leadership. We look forward to taking a moment to raise a glass in Ruth’s honor. We’ll also be adding her book, My Life in Design, to our summer reading list. Copies will be available for purchase during the evening as another way to support the coalition and showcase Ruth’s lifetime of service for our industry.

Though we’re looking forward to this festive evening, those that can’t attend the Gala can still support the coalition. In partnership with Humanscale, IDLNY is hosting a sweepstakes to win one Freedom Headrest chair. We’ve long had our eye on this iconic chair designed by the late Niels Diffrient and can think of a number of spots that qualify as the perfect home for this uber-supportive, sleek chair.

With summer on the horizon, IDLNY’s Gala at the Intrepid promises to be a memorable party to kick off the season and support an important cause to us all.

Drama and Poetry in Installations at Milano Design Week

By Katie Bone


With Milano Design Week just over a week behind us, we’ve had some time to reflect on the installations that continued to resonate long after leaving the cinemas, palazzi or tunnels in which we found them. There were a number of striking exhibits and installations across Fuorisalone this year, but these are the ones that have stayed strong in our minds as we’ve settled back into daily life after a whirlwind week in Milan.

Nendo: Invisible Outlines


Japanese brand Nendo transformed the Jil Sander showroom in the Brera district of Milan into a captivating ethereal landscape defined by outlines and contours. A series of conceptual installations led visitors throughout the space in an exploration of what the eye perceives, based on elegantly minimalist designs that often seemed more a suggestion of an object than an object in itself.

One of these installations (above) was titled “80 Sheets of Mountains.” Upon descending the steps into the largest open space of the Jil Sander showroom, visitors entered a glowing white room filled with the contours of mountain-like shapes. Comprised of thin polystryrene sheets, laser cut and stretched into hills and valleys, the installation created pathways, inviting visitors to wander through the landscape.


The “jellyfish vase” was another captivating installation from Nendo. 30 vases made of ultra-thin transparent silicon were submerged in an aquarium filled with water. The water pulsated with a current just strong enough to cause the delicate vases within to dance and wobble like jellyfish. Created to redefine the traditional roles of flowers and water, the water in this installation is pervasive and therefore almost inconspicuous. The vase does not contain the water, but the water contains the vase. The subtle gradations of color among the vases and the slight movements of the forms in the water currents made this a uniquely enticing and enjoyable installation to witness.

(Photos above by Takumi Ota.)


LG and Tokujin Yoshioka: S.F_Senses of the Future


Winner of the highest prize at the Milano Design Award, the installation from LG and designer Tokujin Yoshioka created an immersive landscape defined by light in an installation comprised of two fundamental parts: The S.F Chair and the Wall of the Sun.

The S.F chair was created as a poetic imagining of a child’s perception of the future. The chair, a form that has been redesigned countless times throughout history, lent itself in this instance to a futuristic image designed to capture the human senses. Each comprised of bifacial OLED signage, a field of S.F chairs throughout the space created a canvas for an undulating light show of glowing forms and colors.

The Wall of the Sun created a backdrop to the scene; a luminous plane that drew visitors further into the exhibit. Inspired by solar flares and with an aim to capture a mystical sense of our planet’s future, a mural of 30,000 OLED lights emitted random pulses and flashes of light. As visitors made their way toward the wall through the field of S.F chairs, the flashes which at first seemed random, became part of a network of more clearly defined OLED light fittings.

The jury for the Milano Design Award remarked on the installation’s “ability to synthesize the conceptual, technological, narrative and emotional aspects in one single project,” – a synthesis made even more powerful through it’s simplicity, using only OLED lights in two distinct forms.


Maarten Baas: May I Have Your Attention Please?


In one of the raw, unfinished vaults of Ventura Centrale, located at the Central Station’s Magazzini Raccordati, the Maarten Baas installation “May I Have Your Attention Please?” invited visitors into a mysterious and playful world of chairs and bullhorns, the latter whispering barely audible secrets. The secrets “are clips taken from all sorts of sources,” says Baas, “and for me they represent the energy of people. I feel like we live in a world where attention is almost as much a currency as money is or power.”

The installation was created to showcase Baas’ new chair for Lensvelt. Due to a slight tweaking of the production process, each chair in the Maarten Baas 101 line is unique. They are each made from the same materials and yet slight variations in color and shape prevent any two from being identical. The cacophony of secrets in the bullhorns represent what Baas was aiming to achieve with this line.  “We are also made up from the same parts,” he says, “but yet again we aren’t identical. These chairs are unique, even in large numbers.”

The whimsy of the installation, from the color palette to the unique, almost childlike forms of the chairs, along with the whispering bullhorns, appealed to all of the senses and left a lasting impression.


COS x Studio Swine: New Spring


In Milan’s historic Cinema Arti, Studio Swine and COS presented an enchanting interactive installation that put smiles on the faces of everyone who entered the space. A “New Spring” was envisioned by the designers as a single large tree-like structure in a dark space, which dropped white “blossoms” on visitors in the form of vapor-filled bubbles. Says London-based design duo Studio Swine, “Inspired by the famous cherry blossom festival in Japan, the installation is designed to create a special moment that brings people together. A fleeting shared experience that evokes the changing seasons.”

Visitors were given a pair of gloves before entering the space. The gloves were in themselves a clear invitation to play with the installation. We positioned ourselves under a branch, as did the other visitors around us, to wait for bubble blossoms to fall from above, catching them in our gloves and blowing them into the proverbial breeze. Upon leaving we looked at the faces around us, overcome with play and wonder, had the sense that the need for therapy in the modern world could be drastically reduced if everyone had access to a mist-filled bubble-blossom tree.

(Image above from COS Stores.)


Lee Broom: The Time Machine

00 Time Machine Salone Del Mobile 2017 (Photo Credit Luke Hayes)

A glowing white carousel showcased ten years of work from British furniture and lighting designer Lee Broom in an unfinished vault of the Milano Centrale train station at Ventura Centrale. Broom’s most iconic pieces including the Carpetry Console and the Drunken Side Table were all reimagined for the installation in a uniform white color palette, lending a sense of brightness and purity to the otherwise dark space. The slowly rotating carousel and the timelessness of the all-white collection hinted at the passage of time and, in a landscape that obscured any reference to the present day, offered the suggestion of time travel.

(Image above by Luke Hayes.)

Next Page »