In its second year, the designer showcase introduces an expanded roster and dynamic programming.

The second annual Next Level designer showcase — open May 17-24 during NYCxDesign month  —  evolves its cooperative approach to designer-led exhibition through an expanded roster and daily programming rooted in community.

Launched in 2018 as an ephemeral design gallery, Next Level challenges traditional profit-led tradeshow formats and conventional gallery curation, blurring the line between art and design. Instead, it operates as a benevolent ecosystem in which over 40 premier independent designers and artists collectively display their work, showcasing community’s role in creation and acknowledging their connection to each other and to the larger world.

This credo comes to life over two floors in NoHo, hosted by Next Level founders: Asher Israelow Studio, a furniture and architecture studio; designer and artist Patrick Weder; Hart textiles; creative platform Here Projects; and Eskayel, a textile design studio. Within the 9,000-square-foot space, a minimalist backdrop honors each participating designer’s unique aesthetic, while allowing for the organic unfolding of a harmonious whole.

Dynamic programming further enriches the progressive setting. Featuring everything from opening and closing events to industry panels and talks to live performances by DJs, dancers and special guests, it celebrates the collaborators’ connecting threads and varied inspirations. 

Next Level also actively acknowledges its role within and responsibility to its greater community through a partnership with world-renowned local design emporium Pearl River, which has donated rice-paper lanterns for customization by 70 New York City artists and textile designers. The lanterns will be displayed over 3,000 square feet within the Next Level space and available for sale, with fifty-percent of the proceeds going to the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization which attempts to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York City.

To specifically assist fellow independent designers, Next Level is also dedicating a corner of the 2019 exhibition to local design students in an effort to foster a new generation of designers with a similarly conscientious approach to creation and community.

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The gallery will be open to the public May 18-24, 11am - 7pm.

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