The design show is hosted principally at St. Ann’s Warehouse and Mark Jupiter’s in DUMBO, but this year saw that expand to four additional locations in the neighborhood.
“[The] BKLYN Designs show isn’t just Brooklyn’s premier design event, it’s a showcase for the kinds of jobs that are attracting the talented and creative people to our borough and driving economic activity here to new heights,” Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura said.
Designers must apply to be showcased and are selected by a committee including editors from International Design Magazine, New York Magazine and remodelista.com.
Fifty Brooklyn-based designers exhibited their work, and this year they were joined by ten designers from Osaka, Japan, whose work has been inspired by Brooklyn.
“BKLYN Designs has become a must-visit show, not just for New York’s design community, but for designers everywhere who want to see the next big thing in design,” Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Denise Arbesu said. “The inclusion of Brooklyn-inspired designers from Japan this year shows just how far Brooklyn has come as a brand that the whole world wants to be associated with.”
Designers were excited to display their work for the thousands of people expected to walk through the exhibits. For many this was their first trade show — an indicator of the true up-and-coming nature of the showcase.
Romina Gonzales and Edison Zapata, who create distorted glass lighting and vessels for their company Off Centre, met each other two years ago in Brooklyn and have been working together ever since.
Their designs are inspired by other materials, such as string or paper, which can be seen in the uneven and imperfect surfaces of the glass fixtures they make.
“In glass, everyone blows in molds, or they’re all about being symmetrical,” Zapata said. “We want to get totally away from that.”
“I’m very excited,” he added. “We heard good things about BKLYN Designs.”
Aaron Schiller, who is an architect and furniture designer, has been around BKLYN Designs for awhile, though this was his first year showing work from his own company, Schiller Designs.
“I used to prototype furniture as an intern and a fabrication assistant for people who showed here, so it was kind of nice and full cycle for me to come here,” Schiller said.