2020 Design Week Overview

On February 10-14, the Design Lab @ NYU MakerSpace hosted their annual Design Week focusing on Sustainability, Design and the Circular Economy. Through a documentary screening, interesting workshops, and a panel with leading experts from fashion, design, and local urban farming, participants were able to explore ways to reduce waste, re-use materials and embrace a circular design mindset. Here’s an overview of the exciting Design Week.

Movie Screening of Tomorrow, 02/10:

This documentary was truly eye opening and emphasized on taking concrete steps towards a sustainable future. The documentary Tomorrow set out to showcase alternative and creative ways of viewing agriculture, economics, energy and education. It offered constructive solutions to act on a local level to make a difference on a global level.

Reducing Food Waste and Cooking Smart, 02/11:


This workshop focused at understanding the problem of food waste and its effects on the climate, economy and ways to reduce these adverse effects. The participants were curious to know more about the smart cooking and shopping tips and learned a lot as the workshop was interactive. The presenters, NYU grad students, Samadnya Kalaskar, Sagarika Limaye and Viraj Karnak concluded with a soup tasting; made with vegetable trims from the Jasper Kane Cafeteria in collaboration with NYU Eats.

Panel with industry experts, 02/12:

The highlight of 2020 Design Week was the panel discussion with industry professionals from fashion, design, food and local urban farming. The panel discussion was engaging and catered to a variety of questions from the audience. Issues of scalability, choice of materials, defining sustainability, designing sustainable products were some of the topics discussed by the panelists.

The panel addressed a variety of pressing SUSTAINABILITY issues

Zero Waste Daniel, Creative Director and Founder of Zero Waste Daniel, a New York based clothing designer and zero-waste pioneer.

Bertha Jimenez, Co-founder and CEO of Rise Products, a food-tech startup that uses its patent-pending process and technology to convert organic byproducts into food-grade ingredients.

Inna Lobel, Associate Creative Director at Frog Design, a product design and engineering leader focused on reimagining products and systems to create thoughtful experiences.

Paula Luu, Project Director at Closed Loop Partners, leading research and cross-brand collaborations which support supply chain innovations and drive investment in chemical recycling.

Jennifer Tirado, Chief Service Officer at Green City Force, a non-profit organization who prepares urban young adults in NYC through service and training to jobs related to the clean energy economy, including urban farming.

This panel was facilitated by Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Innovation, Design and Organizational Studies at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, an expert in socio-material practices, organizational communication, organizational culture, space, design and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

A variety of “Upcycled” snacks were provided by Anna Fitting, a pastry chef who has crafted desserts across NYC for over a decade, primarily in high end boutique hotels.

The Design Lab aims at encouraging such future panel discussions and raising awareness about circular economy and sustainability.

Urban Food Lab & Water Testing, 02/13:


This workshop was led by Omar Gowayed with the Urban Food Lab, a project funded by the NYU Green Grant; he explained the process behind cultivating the hydroponic farm and gave the participants a chance to become water testing experts! The participants were able to try the freshly grown produce and were thrilled by the overall sustainability efforts taken by the Urban Food Lab. Check out the Urban Food Lab to take a look at the sustainable future of farming and get more information about the resources they offer!

Plastics Identification Workshop, 02/12:

The Sustainability team ambassadors work on different innovative projects at the MakerSpace. These projects are recipients of the NYU Green Grant fund And are supported by the NYU Office of Sustainability. This workshop went over over the 7 most common plastics and how to differentiate them. Students created different liquid solutions that can easily separate plastics while going over the different recycling labels.

The 2020 Design Week covered a variety of topics and was a great boost to the Sustainability Efforts taken by the NYU MakerSpace. Stay tuned for more such events and check out our upcoming Design Jam at the Design Lab in collaboration with Zooterra to win a cash prize for your ideas!