Founded by the New Museum and now in its third edition of the biennial, Ideas City open its doors today, May 28th, with this years theme “The Invisible City.” Through May 30th, the Ideas City Festival will host conferences, debates, workshops, performances and architectural and artistic interventions.  In keeping with the theme, they will be exploring questions of transparency, surveillance, and citizenship in a quest for visibility in the city. The event launched this morning with a livestream of the festival, broadcasting the discussions from The Great Hall at Cooper Union.

Here’s a list of events you shouldn’t miss:


ETH Zurich Future Garden and Pavilion is a pavilion created from discarded beverage cartons that will visually float in the narrow space at the First Street Garden, today until 6pm. There’s also a pop-up workshop and gallery at 34 East 1st Street with ETH Zurich’s Assistant Professor of Architecture and Lower East Side group miLES.

At 2pm Thursday, a short screening of Mannahatta: Studies for an Opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacob–it is a mere 9 minutes long.

At 6:20pm, Mayoral Panel: Finding the Invisible City asking if policymaking is a form of design.

At 8pm, a Drone Painting Performance


miLES, PareUp, and ETH Zurich will host a morning dialogue Building from Waste over a breakfast made of (still delicious) foods salvaged from local cafés.

Municipal Art City and Architizer host Pitching the City and Late-Night Screening begins Friday at 7pm, presenting 5 transformative ideas for reshaping our city with a panel discussion and audience vote.

A POEMobile will highlight the language of Quechua from Latin America, which has found a home in New York City.

Art in Odd Places will have ten visual and performance art interventions will be performed throughout the Festival area.

Join City Atlas at the IDEAS CITY Festival and show your love for the city with one of our ten colorful (temporary) tattoos in City Atlas: Share Your City II.


LES STORIES will chalk sixteen sidewalk chalkings covering LES history, ten of which will have a call-in number to hear a recording of either music or text that amplifies the brief chalking with sound.

The Drawing Center will present Balmori Associates’ Meditation Room: Horizon, a constructed continuous wall of paper where the overlapping of two dot matrix systems comes together to create a visible horizon.

The Hester Street Fair will present the IDEAS CITY Food Court bringing together favorite local restaurants, along with exciting new food vendors, for a mini artisanal food festival.

A Lower East Side Public Art Tour featuring 100 painted storefront gates.

miLES will have a Pop-Up Caravan, “a portable-city exposing a working-city out in the open…such is life in the caravan-city.” The works in progress of selected designers, artists, and artisans will be showcased in a portable pop-up structure.

You can contact the author at AFineLyne