NYCxDESIGN and Caesarstone announced the winning designers of IMPACTxDESIGN, an inaugural competition to showcase how design can enhance public space and foster engagement in New York City. Evaluated amongst a strong pool of proposals, with over fifty submissions, designers Kickie Chudikova and Karim Rashid each presented compelling installation concepts using Caesarstone’s Outdoor Collection as the primary fabrication material. As IMPACTxDESIGN winners, Kickie and Karim will work closely with NYCxDESIGN, Caesarstone, the Design Trust for Public Space, Dumbo Improvement District, and Downtown Alliance to refine their design concepts for two specific installation sites located in Downtown Manhattan and Dumbo Brooklyn, city-centers for the arts and commerce.
Turn Out by Karim Rashid | Downtown Manhattan
As teased in its name, Karim’s proposal makes creative use of negative space by turning Caesarstone slabs on their side horizontally and cutting out abstract shapes that are then repurposed to form a series of connected benches and tables. The design offers a range of gathering spaces, from semi-enclosed areas to long, linear seating and playful zig-zag layouts. Inspired as a zero waste design concept, Turn Out consists of just three elements cut from a single sheet of quartz to minimize excess material. The benches are also reconfigurable to ensure the installation can evolve with the changing needs of its environment.
“At the moment, we are collectively experiencing a wake-up call from mother nature, urging us to think about slowing down, communicating honestly, consuming less, enjoying and appreciating our existence,” says Karim. “TheTurn Out concept creates a space that engages curiosity and delight.”
As one of today’s most prolific industrial designers, Karim’s portfolio spans product, furniture, lighting, and surface design, as well as brand identity, packaging, interior design, and building design.
Spiral of Life by Kickie Chudikova | Dumbo Brooklyn
Drawing inspiration from the waves of the Hudson River and the sculptures of Isamu Noguchi, Spiral of Life is an adaptive installation that offers a place to sit, contemplate, and re-energize while enjoying the impressive Dumbo vistas. This modular bench consists of waterjet-cut stone pieces connected by a single metal structure, forming an organic shape with a series of generously-sized individual seats for social distancing. Leaving no material to waste, Chudikova devised clever side tables fabricated out of cutouts from the seating.
“Thanks to its modularity, Spiral of Life can be adjusted in size and shape,” notes Chudikova. “It can work as a singular element, a pair of seats, a circle, or a continuous undulating wave, creating the ideal place to gather safely with friends and enjoy the fresh air outdoors.”
Chudikova opened her eponymous Brooklyn-based studio last year, where she designs products, furniture, objects, and lighting.
The final IMPACTxDESIGN installations will be unveiled this fall, coinciding with several city-wide activations and happenings including Design Pavilion, Archtober, LightFair, and NYCxDESIGN’s An Ode to NYC campaign in October and culminating with the annual NYCxDESIGN Festival, scheduled alongsideICFF and WantedDesign, in November from the 11-18. Over the coming months, NYCxDESIGN will capture the project from inception to completion with a documentary-style video series. The winning projects will also receive recognition in the October 2021 edition of NYCxDESIGN’s The Magazine; a virtual conversation with Kickie and Karim; and a feature on the final projects on the IMPACTxDESIGN landing page on nycxdesign.org.