Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in New York.

October 2017
Petrus Palmér
Founder/CEO of Hem

While Hem is based in Stockholm, there are some go-to institutions I look to as a reliable source for exceptional design-related shows and events when I visit New York City. But on my upcoming October visit, I’m excited to break out of my usual routine. The Ettore Sottsass exhibit at The Met Breuer is at the top of the list for me. This long overdue retrospective chronicles his work over six decades and brings in objects from the Met’s collection that inspired him.


I’m also looking forward to a guided visit of the Judd Foundation in Soho, which has been on my bucket list for some time. I’m a big fan of Donald Judd, who purchased the cast-iron building on Spring Street in the ‘60s, it served as his New York residence and studio where he first developed a permanent installation. Through December, the Judd Foundation exhibits paintings by maximalist pop artist Yayoi Kusama in Judd’s hushed minimalist home.   


As a visitor to New York, I’m often amused by the souvenir shops hawking kitsch miniatures of the Empire State Building and other landmarks. In their new exhibition, Storefront for Art and Architecture takes a critical stance on these modes of representation, casting them as “the ultimate cliché in the representation of a city.” Souvenirs: New New York Icons brings together over four dozen designers to question what symbolizes New York City.


The democratization of design is a hallmark of Hem, so I’m excited to see this mission carry through the “Democratic Architecture” focus of the traveling Swedish Design Moves program, which spans several days at the Center for Architecture and Van Alen Institute. Here, designers will present and explore Swedish architecture and design solutions with installations, conversations, and charrettes with an eye on bringing better design to a wider public.  

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