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Showing that things can be better the second time around, WantedDesign NYC returns to New York City May 18–21, 2012. Through a series of exhibits, workshops, conversations, student contests and more this second edition of the three-day event focusing on architecture, industrial, product and interior design, promises to delight and inspire.

Additionally, this year marks the introduction of a transatlantic “Design Students Challenge” where students from six participating schools from the United States and France will have three days to design and construct a unique lighting fixture as well as voting for the first ever Live/Work Design Contest from Dwell and Design Within Reach.

Another much anticipated highlight— Laetitia Wolff, Executive Director of desigNYC’s special presentation on “Recharging Communities” with keynote speaker, New York Magazine author, Wendy Goodman. As described on the WantedDesign NYC website, the event format “reflects what New York is: multicultural, convivial, provocative, contrasted, innovative, full of energy and talent.”

Event organizers Claire Pijoulat and Odile Hainaut answered some questions about what sets WantedDesign NYC apart from other design conferences and what visitors and attendees can expect this year.


Q. What sets WantedDesign NYC apart from other design conferences?

We have built WantedDesign around the idea of being a creative platform, a meeting point, a place to connect for the design industry during NYC design week.

We have put a lot of attention in details that help in making those connections: around the unique installations and exhibitions, we have convivial lounges, a cafe, seating area, and offer La Colombe cafe and Kusmi tea, or Izze refreshment.

The conference program is called “conversation series”: we want people to engage in a very fluid and spontaneous discussion, and invite the public to participate.

Q. What type of experience can attendees expect to have at the conference?

Attendees will be able to meet with both established brands and renowned people from the US design industry, as well as to discover young and up and coming designers from around the world. And again, the experience will be really interactive and engaging.

Q. Who should attend?

Design professionals, designers, interior designers, architects, manufacturers and retailers, design curators and editors, as well as all design lovers! The event is open to the trade and to the public.

Q. Are there any special highlights planned for this year’s conference?

The conversation series (May 19, 20 and 21, 12-1pm) is sponsored by Ligne Roset and will take place in the VIP lounge, hosted by Grimshaw.

All conversations will be live on, as well as on a few of our exhibitors websites (Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum and Corning Museum of Glass).

The program is supported by Metropolis Magazine.

The topics will be “Designing, Producing, Distributing in the USA”, “Material Glass: From Craft to Industrial Application”, and “The value of International Collaborations in the Design Industry”. We will have a special presentation from Laetitia Wolff /desigNYC “Recharging communities”, with keynote speaker Wendy Goodman (Sunday, May 20, 5:00pm). Monday afternoon (3-4pm) will be the presentation of the students projects from the 6 design schools participating at the Workshop.

All special events will be streamed live online.