Design June 18, 2012 By Kelly Robbins

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Last month the third annual NoHo Design District Festival filled the downtown stretch between Bowery and Broadway with events and installations from both established and emerging talents. NoHo, with its long-standing reputation as an artists’ community, was the perfect atmosphere for the edgy, collaborative experience NDD organizers had in mind.

FABnyc, a program aimed at reinvigorating public spaces, asked visitors to reconsider the sidewalk beneath their feet with “Music Machine” by multidisciplinary artist Sonni. Bringing life to the otherwise dim alleyway behind the former CBGB was Sonni’s sidewalk mural of bright, primary-colored cartoon illustrations. A designer from Baggu was on hand to paint the pop-inspired brand’s grapefruit, mint, or citron-colored leather pouches with emoticons on the spot. On the second floor patio of the Standard, East Village Hotel, visitors found shelter from the sun inside designer Mat Gagnon’s “Knit Fort,” a flexible, multi-dimensional structure of woven wood and rubber cord that can be expanded and shaped according to one’s needs.