Built/NYC Will Partner Local Designers With City Projects

By Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
August 14, 2013 Updated: August 15, 2013

NEW YORK—Independent New York designers can now apply to design furnishings for planned city construction projects. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner David Burney made the announcement Aug. 14 at a press conference at downtown Manhattan design store The Future Perfect. 

Called Built/NYC, the program will enable the city to “leverage its buying power to support local designers,” said Quinn. 

Quinn said the city spends millions on furniture and furnishing each year.

Instead of buying a desk from a catalogue, “Built/NYC will allow DDC to purchase that desk from a designer working out of a studio right here in the five boroughs,” said Quinn. DDC partners with city agencies to build needed facilities such as firehouses, libraries, schools, courthouses, police stations, parks, and city offices.

Built/NYC aims to stimulate the local design sector and give designers more exposure by incorporating their designs in public building projects. Designers who are chosen to work on city building projects will submit designs for furniture, lighting, textile, and other furnishings.

“We are looking at added value, if we have a new design, a custom design that brings extra value and we can do that with a little addition of money, that is the goal,” said David Burney, commissioner of the DDC. Burney said each building project will have $8,000 to $50,000 to spend on the work of the selected designer, with a total of $400,000 to fund 10-20 projects in 2013-2014.

Before designers can apply to work on specific planned building projects they must be pre-qualified. Those designers chosen “will work with the main design team delivering the overall capital project, so they become part of that design team; they will identify a particular component, whether it be lighting or a desk or something and that will be incorporated into the construction process,” explained Burney. 

The program is a spin-off of NYCxDesign, pronounced “NYC by design,” which was a 12-day art expo held in May 2013 that included more than 200 events across all five boroughs to showcase and promote local design.

Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak