An Immersive Design Experience in New York City Celebrates Black Ingenuity

In 2018, artist and designer Malene Barnett founded the Black Artists and Designers Guild, a community-driven nonprofit, to increase visibility, equality, and entrepreneurship among the Black creative community. So far, it’s yielded plenty of success: Barnett unveiled a textiles collection with S. Harris, several BAGD designers launched an elevated home collection for Pottery Barn inspired by the concept of “Black joy,” and members have spoken at prominent art schools and high-profile industry events, including NYCxDESIGN. But the guild is just getting started.

On October 26, the Guild makes its New York City debut, hosting an inaugural awards ceremony and fundraiser at Samsung 837, an interactive playground in the Meatpacking District. The BADG OF HONOR, sponsored by Interior Design, celebrates visionaries from all walks of life, with a Met Gala-meets-block-party vibe. Come for some Jamaican bites, cocktails, and conversation with industry luminaries, from 8 to 11 p.m. 

BADG Makers are also extending a warm invitation to their home—that is, their virtual dwelling. VIP ticket holders can take a guided tour of the experiential Obsidian Virtual Concept House, set in the year 2025, which features bespoke spaces from more than 23 BADG members. The concept house showcases an enlightened way of designing for Black families and intends to shatter narratives of monolithic Blackness.

Later, BADG OF HONOR awards will be presented to the winners of each category: Founders Award, Makers Award, Education Award, Collective Circle, and Legacy Maker. And throughout the night, attendees can directly help advance the black artistic community by engaging in BADG’s BLACK JOY Auction, an online affair featuring collectible art pieces, unique experiences, and professional services from the BADG community.

Members of the Black Artists + Designers Guild.
Members of the Black Artists + Designers Guild.

Interior Design is proud to be the media sponsor of the Black Artists + Designers Guild BADG of HONOR Awards, celebrating the extraordinary contribution that Black creatives bring to the growth and development of our industry,” notes Cindy Allen, editor in chief. “We’re grateful to BADG for supporting and shining a light on such amazing talent and are excited to feature and promote the next great generation of Black architects and designers.”

In a well-designed space, there should be room for everybody. “By creating immersive experiences,” explains Barnett, “we foster conversations on how space-making can form the foundation for Black creatives to maintain physical, social, emotional, and creative well-being.”

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