NYCxDESIGN Presents Design Pavilion with Three Inspiring Public Installations in the Meatpacking District’s Gansevoort Plaza and The Podium at One World Trade Center



Activations to Inspire Discussions around Materiality, Sustainability, Social Justice, and the Abundant Creativity that Energizes New York City

This October 12-18, NYCxDESIGN will present Design Pavilion, New York’s premier public design exhibition, for another year of experiential installations that engage, inform and inspire. Taking place during Archtober – New York’s month-long celebration of architecture – this year’s edition of Design Pavilion will feature three activations by creative visionaries from multiple disciplines that evoke motifs of materiality, sustainability, social justice, and more. Two built installations, Bamboo Cloud and Public Display both on display in the Meatpacking District’s Gansevoort Plaza, will act as ‘urban oases’ for passersby as well as temporary forums designed to inspire community gathering, productive conversation, and personal reflection. The third exhibition, I Was Here, will be a digital art projection on the World Trade Center Podium, a bold statement reflecting on our country’s legacy of enslavement and the wish to heal wounded sites.

The organization’s Design Talks series will also continue, this year held at the Gansevoort Plaza installation with a particular focus on conversations around sustainability, repurposing, and elimination of the world’s waste.

“As we kickstart the months of preparation that lead up to the NYCxDESIGN Festival in May 2024, we’re excited to partner with AIA New York and The Center for Architecture in celebration of Archtober, by offering the public a vision of stellar sustainable and ethical practices through the lens of design,” said Ilene Shaw, NYCxDESIGN’s Executive Director, and Design Pavilion Founder.

Gansevoort Plaza, Meatpacking District
October 12-18, 11am-9pm Daily

Hovering over Gansevoort Plaza, Bamboo Cloud by Shanghai-based architecture studio llLab. was designed to challenge the traditional applications of bamboo, exploring its potential as an organic, sustainable building construction material, following a similar installation in Guilin in 2020. While still retaining the beauty of a handcrafted basket with its woven structure, the installation breaks the conventional boundaries of the material by boldly showcasing its strength. Composed of bamboo strips woven into a porous surface, the pavilion naturally uses its internal force for form finding and eventually stabilizes as a hollow space, which is structurally resilient with the potential to be used at building scale. Working in collaboration with world-renowned architectural lighting design firm L’Observatoire International and high-efficiency lighting suppliers Nanometer Lighting and Color Kinetics, Bamboo Cloud will also be washed aglow with light from below, elevating it to another level of beauty.

“The Bamboo Cloud defines a temporary new space offering visitors a seat under its playful game of light and shadow, to contemplate the beautiful views of the river. Its materiality spreads a golden light that marks this Hudson River Pier,” said Hanxiao Liu, co-founding partner at llLab.

“The idea was to create a sense of floating space at night above the pier in a mysterious way, finding the balance between the bamboo’s texture and the sensation of depth and immateriality,” said Hervé Descottes, founding principal at L’Observatoire International.

Gansevoort Plaza, Meatpacking District
October 12-18, 11am-9pm Daily

Just south of this, Public Display will sit at Gansevoort Plaza – a spatial composition crafted to facilitate public gathering for connection and communication. The installation was conceptualized by Michael Bennett, former Super Bowl Champion and NFL defensive end, who is now exploring architecture as the Founding Principal and Creative Director at Studio Kër. Bennett found inspiration in the profound interplay of materials and space, becoming particularly fascinated by the properties of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). Balanced to perfection, Public Display relies on the qualities of CLT, elevating the concept of “mass” to an art form that enhances the weight of mass, the lightness of space, and the poetry of connection. Tension arises when a weighty object occupies space, yet it instills a sense of peace and tranquility. The installation not only holds substance in form, it also holds space for dialogue and revelation, making it the ideal conversation pit for this year’s edition of Design Talks. With programming curated by Stockholm-based industrial design studio Form Us with Love, the talks will explore waste management, the circular economy, and other sustainability-related topics.

Public Display is a tribute to our environment, with a commitment to sustainability and an artistic presentation. Plus, the space offers a series of community conversations. To listen is to love, so we create sacred space to listen,” said Michael Bennett, Founding Principal and Creative Director at Studio-Kër.

The Podium at One World Trade Center
October 12-18, 7pm-9pm Daily

Making its NYC debut during Design Pavilion, the I Was Here project is a series of public art installations that began in 2016 in Lexington, KY, to serve as a reverent acknowledgment of American history, presented in a variety of mediums and methods. Hosted by Spireworks this October, animated Ancestor Spirit Portraits will be projected on all four sides of The World Trade Center Podium, 200 feet above the ground. Conceptualized by Marjorie Guyon with video and animation co-created by Marc Aptakin, Roy Husdell, and Yoel Meneses of Yes We Are Mad, the presentation will commemorate those whose names we will never know and begin the process of healing wounded sites from the legacy of enslavement. This site, so deeply significant to our recent American experience, also neighbors the New York Harbor and the intersection of Wall Street and the East River, the second largest auction site for enslaved Africans in the country. Following this activation in Lower Manhattan, NYCxDESIGN will continue support of I Was Here over the next year around the city through projections, digital experiences, Augmented Reality, monumental Spirit Portraits, soundscapes, poetic narratives, and dance.

“When I was three, I took the ferry and climbed to the very top of Lady Liberty to see the land and sea through her eyes.  Like the Statue of Liberty, the Ancestor Spirit Portraits of the I Was Here project are iconic  – their presence allowing our city, our country, and our world to see through their sacred, ancient eyes,” said Marjorie Guyon, artist and founder of I Was Here.


NYCxDESIGN was kick-started by the City of New York in 2011 to help organize and galvanize the largest design community in the world, uniting all its design sectors. As a 501c3, NYCxDESIGN produces NYC’s annual celebration of international design, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe. Taking place each May, the NYCxDESIGN Festival celebrates a world of design and showcases over a dozen design disciplines through exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, tours, product launches, open studios, and more. Like design itself, NYCxDESIGN is everywhere, with events taking place across the city’s five boroughs. Brought to life by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in conjunction with a steering committee of leading members of New York City’s design community, NYCxDESIGN highlights the unique creative, cultural, educational, and economic opportunities in New York City. @nycxdesign


Design Pavilion is New York City’s premiere public design exhibition, free and open to all.  First founded and produced in 2015 by Ilene Shaw with art direction by Harry Allen, Design Pavilion, serves as a public face for NYCxDESIGN and aims to increase awareness of the importance of design by engaging millions of visitors annually in ideas about design and our future.  Host to a series of experiential installations featuring emerging and established designers, architects, and visionaries from around the world, with curated public programs, Design Pavilion is a highly energized cultural happening and exhibition forum to a mass audience of local businesses, design industry professionals, and local and international consumers.  Messages on the future and innovation are further supported by more in-depth discussion from thought leaders at the Design Talks. @design_pavilion_official