WantedDesign is a dynamic connector and amplifier for global design, fostering creative synergy and serving as a pivotal crossroad for the international design community across Latin America, North America, and Europe.

From the World to NYC: Industry City + WantedDesign International Residency Welcomes Designers to Brooklyn

From the World to NYC: Industry City + WantedDesign International Residency Welcomes Designers to Brooklyn

How can we create more transatlantic connections and introduce international designers to the NYC and American design scenes? That’s the question that WantedDesign addresses with our design residency program, the Industry City + WantedDesign International Residency, which launched in Fall 2021.

The first resident, French product designer Robin Bourgeois, arrived in November 2021 and was selected in collaboration with École des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD), in partnership with VIlla Albertine and the support of the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller. The first Finnish design resident, Hanna Anonen, selected in collaboration with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York (FCINY), will arrive this Spring, and French designer Steven Leprizé will be in resident later in 2022.

In a time when studio space is at a premium or outright unaffordable for many creatives and in-person connections can be challenging to make, even without a pandemic, the Industry City + WantedDesign International Residency offers international designers both practical support and intangible benefits, from two months of workspace to personal introductions to the design community.

A Passion for International Design Collaboration

As “French New Yorkers” and since co-founding WantedDesign in 2011, Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat have been passionate about initiating transatlantic collaborations. WantedDesign consistently works with many international, cultural and trade organizations to build bridges, to help international designers and companies better understand the US design landscape, and to develop collaborations and long-lasting relationships.

To support the program and to invite designers from different countries to benefit from the residency, WantedDesign partners with New York-based international cultural organizations. The French residency presented in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US is part of Villa Albertine, an ambitious new program of artists’ residencies anchored in 10 cities across the United States, with 80 creators invited for custom residencies in its first season.

From 2023 until 2025, WantedDesign and Industry City will welcome three French designers every year: a young, recently graduated designer selected in partnership with a French school, a more established designer, and a designer-maker. All these residencies will receive the support of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation.

The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York (FCINY), our partner for the Finnish residency, operates in the fields of contemporary art, design and architecture, creating dialogue between Finnish and American professionals and audiences. Later in 2022, we’ll be unveiling exciting news of a Dutch residency partner.

A Creative Community at Industry City, Brooklyn

Industry City (IC) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has been home to the WantedDesign since 2014, including the IC Store by WantedDesign. The Industry City + WantedDesign International Residency brings this partnership to the next level. “We have dreamed about, talked about, this since the very first day we met with Michael Phillips (President of Jamestown Properties) back in 2013,” said Odile.

The Makers Guild at Industry City

Industry City’s campus of 16 buildings, built on 35 acres of repurposed industrial space, houses a creative ecosystem of entrepreneurs, artisans, retailers, filmmakers and makers. Industry City’s creative programs range from The Collision Project of campus-wide murals, installations and sculptures to The Makers Guild on the second floor of Building 5, where makers design, manufacture and sell their work.

The designers selected for the residency are given a studio space for 2 months, close to WantedDesign’s own headquarters. With the guidance of the WantedDesign team and a workspace on the IC campus, the Industry City + WantedDesign International Residency program offers its designers in residence a chance to immerse themselves in this creative community to build their network, take inspiration from New York City, and nurture and prepare for new projects. “This is just the beginning,” promised Cristal Rivera, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at Industry City.

Introducing American Design to International Designers

Robin Bourgeois, an industrial and furniture designer based in Paris, France, was our first resident. His residency included a public presentation of his work at Industry City, as well as various field trips in and around NYC.

Designer Robin Bourgeois in a gallery space at Industry City
Robin Bourgeois, Design Residency, Industry City

“It has been very unique to work on a specific project for two months surrounded by a totally new environment,” he said after the residency. “I was both out of my comfort zone, as a result of being a foreigner in New York, and very at ease: I had a working space for myself, and could schedule my days as I wanted.”

WantedDesign co-founder Odile brought Robin on a visit to the Shaker Museum and Shaker village in New Lebanon, New York, which he described as “one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.” The museum and collection objects made an impression on Robin, providing inspiration for him but he feels, potentially inspiration for Americans as well. “I feel so lucky, but also a bit sad that this is not known and shared as a common heritage by Americans and New Yorkers. I have the feeling that a lot of the American heritage is unknown and would deserve to be underlined and showcased.”

You can learn more about Robin and see images from his residency at residency.wanteddesignnyc.com

From Finland to Brooklyn

When Finnish designer Hanna Anonen arrives in Brooklyn in Spring 2022 for her 2-month residency, she aims to spend her time making business contacts, attending the ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan trade shows and design events during NYCxDESIGN, and developing ideas inspired by NYC, among many other activities.

Hanna, who was awarded the Young Designer of the Year prize in 2021 by Design Forum Finland, was selected for the residency by a jury composed of WantedDesign co-founders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat; designer Katie Stout; Päivi Meuronen, interior architect and FCINY Board Member; and Tiffany Lambert, Curator of Architecture and Design, FCINY.

You can learn more about Hanna at residency.wanteddesignnyc.com and follow along on Instagram at @wanteddesign when we welcome her in May 2022.

We are delighted to bring international designers to our home at Industry City to further develop their creative practices and careers. We look forward to seeing what products and creations develop from the residency program in the near future and for many years to come.

French designers: Would you like to be part of this residency program?

Villa Albertine invites two professional creators from the French fine crafts and design scene to discover the New York creation scene in order to nourish a renewed reflection on their practice.​​​​​​​​
Supported by the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller, these two residencies will take place in 2023 as part of Industry City + WantedDesign International Residency.
Deadline to apply: March 31 at 11:59 PM (French time). ​​​​​​​​

Apply HERE