NYCxDesign, the official name for New York’s annual design week, is a firm fixture in the city each May, celebrating all things design, not only in the beating heart of Manhattan but right across the boroughs. For the past 15 years, a growing confidence has emerged from the design scene of this city. Local designers have stopped living in the shadow of the country’s modernist design masters and tried to stand up to the might of European design culture. A more enterprising generation, who are not only designing but also producing and selling directly through digital and social channels, has stepped forward. This was most noticeable at Sight Unseen Offsite, the exhibition of independent designers staged annually by the founders of Sight Unseen online magazine. At Wanted Design, a large exhibition split between Manhattan and Brooklyn, sizeable sections of the show were dedicated to projects that go beyond tables and chairs and attempt to solve some of the major problems of the world. In contrast, Camille Walala’s Instagram-friendly painted mural graced the side of a Brooklyn building. Further north, in Greenpoint (Brooklyn), energetic design center A/D/O unveiled an installation that was at once beautiful, electrifying, disorientating and poetic. Created by British studio United Visual Artists, “Spirit of the City,” comprised of multiple gold-tinted mirror columns that spun within a rather gritty courtyard setting. Underlying its Instagram-friendly nature, the spinning behavior was programmed according to real data harvested from New York, such as taxi use, electricity consumption and flow of commuters. “This is a site-specifc installation. It touches on some of the experiences that you have when you visit a city like New York for the first time. This idea of being in awe of all the architecture, but also the disorientation that you get when you navigate the city,” said UVA’s founder Matt Clark.