An article in Crain’s New York Business yesterday called the design sector — industrial, architectural, fashion and graphic design — the “unsung hero” of NYC’s economy. WNYC confirmed this as well, stating that a boom in the design industry may have helped New York City’s jobless rate stay below the national average. A study released by think tank Center for an Urban Future, aptly titled “Growth by Design: The Powerful Impact and Untapped Potential of NYC’s Architecture & Design Sectors,” shows that the number of professional designers working in the NY metro area nearly doubled from 2000 to 2009 — and the number of design firms spiked as well — especially in Brooklyn.
So what’s the reason behind the boom? According to the Center for an Urban Future, it’s the increasing importance of web design, a growing awareness of design’s effectiveness in improving sales for various products, and a “cultural liberalization” of countries such as China, India and the United Arab Emirates — who welcome Western fashion designers and architects to their home turf, as they continue to grow.
The study put together a list of recommendations for the city to help encourage this growth in the design sector, some of which include:
1) Establish a high-profile design festival in NYC
2) Help domestic designers export their talent & services to overseas markets
3) Promote partnerships between designers, engineers and tech start-ups
4) Resurrect Brooklyn Designs
What do you think the city should be doing to fuel creative talent and promote opportunity?
So, fellow designers, Design on! We might be the future of the city.