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Do design influencers exist? Here’s who to follow on Instagram (spoiler alert: they are all in New York)
7 profiles to follow to find out what is going on in the Big Apple during the week dedicated to design — but not just then
After the initial euphoria and the ‘hunt’ for public figures, when today we decide who to follow on Instagram, we do so on the basis of affinity and common interests: some Instagram profiles, for instance, can act as perfect tourist guides, which need to be calibrated according to preference and interest to discover each city as a true local. To prove this theory, we tried to select a team of very special Sherpas who can walk us through the streets of the Big Apple during New York Design Week 2017: critics, designers, and journalists to help us identify the most stimulating exhibitions, the right meeting places, and even the parties one would do well not to miss.
We can only start with Alice Rawsthorn, a critic covering the goings-on in the design world from the columns of The New York Times. As if her Instagram profile were her journal, since January 1st 2015, she has been talking to her followers (now over 35,000) about a specific aspect of design every day, tackling a different topic every week.
A German living in New York City, Felix Burrichter founded Pin Up — a semi-annual publication that defines itself a “Magazine for Architectural Entertainment” — through which Burrichter collaborates with publications like The New York Times or Girls Like Us, aside from writing books. His Instagram profile is not as rigorous project as Alice Rawsthorn’s, but it is a view on life and, as a consequence, on New York City: from exhibitions to local news, while paying special attention to design and architecture.
Besides being a contributor of the WSJ Magazine, Sarah Medford is part of the team behind Collective Design Fair, the New York City event that promotes debate on design and contemporary art. Now in its fifth edition, the fair supports the creative process and the different material cultures of the world (read also → La carta da parati che si illumina). To her followers, she supplies details about the city, stores to explore, and exhibitions that ought not to be missed.
During Design Week, the London-based designer Philippe Malouin flies to New York to present his idea of office in the collection of screens designed for Hem. He also posts photos of the city, of the behind-the-scenes of his work, and of his projects, most interestingly even capturing the way they are used and interpreted by people.
Even the Instagram account of French designer Constance Guisset turns star-spangled during Design Week. Through carefully selected photos, she highlights what she likes and feels inspired by: according to her latest posts, the exhibition Solid Doubt by the Austrian designer Robert Stadler at the Noguchi Museum is a must-see (incidentally, based on Instagram posts, it also left an impression on Malouin).
There’s no shortage of reasons to follow Joe Gebbia’s Instagram profile, not least given that Airbnb has proven one of the most visionary companies of the past few years; but an additional rationale does indeed exist today: together with Bernhardt Design, Joe will present during ICFF his first furniture collection, naturally called Neighborhood. At the moment, there is no trace of it on Instagram, but it must just be a matter of hours!
Let’s finish with Studio Gorm, founded 10 years ago by John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong-Arndt: from Oregon, they are on their way to WantedDesign to receive the American Design Honors, dedicated to young talents. On Instagram, however, they talk about their projects in detail, with many work-in-progress images (read also → L'anteprima di WantedDesign).
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