Design News

The Tenement Museum's expanded visitor's center.Photo: Courtesy of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

A New Home for the Huddled Masses
The Lower East Side’s beloved Tenement Museum yesterday opened its expanded visitors’ center designed by Perkins Eastman Architects, the team behind Times Square’s TKTS center. The Sadie Samuelson Levy Immigrant Heritage Center at the corner of Orchard and Delancey Streets (cobbled together from the ground floors of three separate former tenements) affords the museum an additional 10,000 square feet, featuring new classrooms for children’s education and language-learning programs, plus a demonstration kitchen, gallery space, and theater for film screenings (103 Orchard St., at Delancey St.; every day 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; 212-982-8420;

The Art of Bling
The difference between sculpture and jewelry boils down to a matter of scale. Pablo Picasso certainly thought so, as did Georges Braque, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, and many of the twentieth century’s other best-known artists. The Museum of Arts and Design is the latest home for “Picasso to Koons: The Artist As Jeweler,” a traveling exhibition of artist-designed jewelry curated by Diane Venet. This Thursday, Venet will give a talk-back at the French Institute Alliance Française’s Le Skyroom about how how many of the exhibition’s objects came to be (22 E. 60th St., nr. Madison Ave.; $25, $20 for FIAF members or with code FIAF20; 7 p.m.; book signing to follow;

Design Within (Everyone’s) Reach
Last week, the nonprofit design organization DesigNYC inaugurated its second annual exhibit of pro bono civic projects, currently on view at the GD Cucine showroom through October. Among the finished collaborations is a a multilanguage guide to financial rights for immigrants designed by Rodrigo Corral and the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, and a schematic design for a hydroponic greenhouse to be built on abandoned lots in East New York (227 W. 17th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; M-F, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; 212-419-9356;; through October 1).

Antiques for Whippersnappers
The Avenue Antiques, Art & Design Show comes to the Park Avenue Armory this Thursday, and before you reach for your orthopedic shoes, let them reassure you that this is “not your grandmother’s antique show.” Among this year’s 65-plus exhibitors from Canada, England, Italy, and Turkey are a dozen dealers in twentieth-century works, including L.A.’s Patrick Dragonette, whose wares includes a selection of Billy Haines furniture from the famed Brody estate (643 Park Ave., nr. 67th St.; 9/22–9/25; Th-Sa 11 a.m.–7:30 p.m.; Su 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; 626-442-1627;

No More Subway Surprises
Cartography buffs who used the MTA’s new “Weekender” website last weekend might have noticed subway maps similar to Massimo Vignelli’s famed design, used by the city from 1972 to 1979. The map was controversial for its casual geography (lines ran at 45- and 90-degree angles only, and Central Park was represented as a square) but revered among designers for its visual clarity (it’s now part of MoMA’s permanent collection). The new interactive feature allows riders to visualize their journey in the context of planned service changes, represented by blinking and blurred out dots at the individual stops (

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