Times Square doesn’t typically scream good design. The Crossroads of the World is more commonly associated with huge, flashy billboards and folks dressed up in Elmo costumes hustling tourists for a few bucks.
But in May, the area will be the home of the Design Pavilion, the de facto hub for the upcoming NYCxDESIGN week. The installation, which will be in place from May 12–20, will be found on the plazas along Broadway and Seventh Avenue between 42nd and 47th Streets. The centerpiece of the works will be an inflatable pavilion created by U.K.-based architecture brand Inflate, which will span roughly 2,000 feet and will house special exhibitions beneath its 25-foot canopy. The work will be accompanied by a lighting installation from L’Observatoire International, a firm whose resume includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the High Line and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.
Other installations that will take up the square during the nine-day stretch include a piece from AIGA (a professional design association) called “Building Community Power,” which aims to push for visitors to vote and be better engaged citizens through messages and graphics on Nasdaq’s digital screens; an odd arrangement of awkwardly reclined seats from zU-studio; and a group show from Pratt Institute students called “The Future of Take-Out” that aims to find alternative uses for fast food packaging.
Design Pavilion will also be home to Design Talks NYC, which brings together some of the field’s leading minds for presentations and conversations on their areas of expertise. Among those featured will be “Design Matters” podcast host Debbie Millman, publisher and editor-in-chief of Metropolis Susan Szenasy, and Pratt Institute president Frances Bronet.
The entire installation is free and completely open to the public. Check out what to expect below, and head to Design Pavilion’s website for more information.