Date: Saturday, July 14, 2012, 2-4:30 pm
Location: First Park, 33 East First Street, a public cultural park, located at last year’s BMW Guggenheim Lab, between 2nd Avenue & Houston Street
Mission: The NYChair lab is an open charrette that aims to generate design ideas for an iconic outdoor chair conceived just for NYC First Park. We want to engage NY designers and all New Yorkers–old and young–in imagining what an outdoor chair could be like, for a specific neighborhood. Forget about the ubiquitous Paris bistro foldable chair!
Background: As public spaces gain a wider presence in the city and in our consciousness, the demand for green space increases drastically and consequently, the time spent outdoor too. How does furniture play into the definition, identity and configuration of public space? Can we imagine a specific look for a NYC chair now that pedestrian street life is a top mandate of the City and public plazas are popping up at every corner? Can a chair help communities and neighborhoods strengthen their sense of place?
Objectives: To influence and inspire public policy, BIDs, DOT, Parks, Design Commission public’s perception of outdoor space, and enhance the role that (industrial/furniture) design has in shaping public space.
Venue: First Park is a public cultural park, located at last year’s location of BMW Guggenheim Lab, between 2nd Avenue, Houston Street, 1st Street, & 2nd Avenue. First Street Green is a community group engaged in programming the park and exploring ways to engage local communities, organizations, institutions, children, nearby residents and businesses in the making of a non-green, cultural art park.


A participatory event, inviting design experts and the general public, side by side, to design the NYChair of tomorrow for a specific neighborhood.

2:00 pm: Introduction by Laetitia Wolff about expoTENtial and desigNYC.
2:10 pm: TODO DA presents brief history of First Park and their modular furniture prototypes for First Park.
2:20 pm: Gail Wittwer-Laird and Celia Petersen present NYC Park’s criteria for public furniture and selection process.
2:30 pm: Presentation of desigNYC’s 2011 Destination Nostrand project by VAMOS Architects, a pilot project that devised a branded furniture line that helped reinvent Crown Heights’ streetscapes.
2:40 pm: Presentation of desigNYC’s 2012 DayLife Urban Backyard by DUB-studios for Lower East Side Business Improvement District, a festival that featured a custom-made, modern, modular push-cart.
2:50 pm: Emily Weidenhof will discuss the challenges, the pros and cons of designing for a specific place versus for mobility and adaptability.

Charrette Format & Schedule:
3:00-3:10 pm
: Formation of teams
3:10-3:50 pm: Everyone at the drawing board
4:10 pm: Teams present their concepts
4:30 pm: Jury deliberates, comments and gives feedback

Online public voting will be available @ Winner will be announced on August 15, 2012. Winning entry will be posted on expoTENtial, designNYC, and First Street Green websites, social media and various design blogs.



Date: May 7, 2011, 11-7pm
Location: The New Museum’s Festival of Ideas for a New City, on the Bowery, tent#99
Mission: Though disliked and dismissed, the worm plays a central role in the health of the urban environment, converting waste into nutrient-rich soil. By educating young New Yorkers about the worm’s profound environmental contributions, this lab aims to change public perception of this little giant.

Date: May 7, 8pm-3am
Location: The Old School on Mott Street, as part of the New Museum Streetfest
Laetitia Wolff presents at Pecha Kucha with some of expoTENtial’s curators, participants and partners.

Date: May 14, 2011, 7pm onward
Location: NoHo Design District, @ Lafayette & Bleecker
Mission: As city dwellers, we often cease to examine our urbanscape as it becomes too familiar. This lab seeks to reignite the curiosity of the passerby, causing them to consider the multi-layered character of the urban in-between, made visible through the combination of art, technology, communication design and social interaction. A projection series in and around NoHo alleys will reveal and reflect the ever-changing perception of our cityscape, providing a snapshot of the city and its living thoughts.

Date: Opening night event, May 16, 6-8pm. On view May 7-31.
Location: Center for Architecture’s Helfand Gallery @ LaGuardia Place
Mission: Through a video collage this lab will examine ways in which design can promote activity and social interaction into the fabric of the urban landscape. How might public space encourage incidental exercise? Could civic elements such as bike racks become multi-purpose?
This exhibit will be supplemented with an overview of the ExpoTENtial initiative, along with an idea box for the 10th lab yet TBD. The curators and an international advisory jury will then select the winning proposal.

Date: May 15, 4PM
Location: Wanted Design Terminal Warehouse, 11th Ave& 28th Str
Laetitia Wolff will be presenting the ins and outs of the project, inviting some participants to expand on their involvement in a lab.