Photos: The Best Of The 2014 Innovation By Design Awards And Conference

Ice cream! Nail art! Drones! Here’s what you missed at Innovation By Design.

On Wednesday, Fast Company’s Innovation By Design Conference and Awards showcased a year full of life-changing designs, bringing together designers, entrepreneurs, and creatives to discuss and debate what it means to be at the forefront of business and design in 2014. Some 450 attendees heard from some of the brightest thinkers in the design industry, from Nest’s Tony Fadell to former RISD president John Maeda to legendary art director George Lois.


Participants also got a chance to sample the finely crafted dessert of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams; commission finger-painted iPad portraits from artist Jorge Colombo (the first artist to ever illustrate a major magazine using just an iPhone); decorate themselves with designer-created temporary tattoos from Tattly; and receive high-end intricate nail art from Fleury Rose, one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.

Exclusive off-site experiences took conference attendees behind the scenes at notable design studios, museums, and more all around New York City, including the MakerBot headquarters, Ideo’s New York offices, Samsung’s startup accelerator, and the recently opened National September 11 Memorial Museum.

Later, Fast Company took over the Metropolitan Pavilion for an evening of cocktails and awards, complete with a surprise appearance from two tequila cocktail-bearing drones. Even more of a surprise–and perhaps a lesson to drone entrepreneurs everywhere–this particular drone delivery service did not go off without a hitch. In an unexpected bit of extra promo for Fast Company’s new video series, Drone Vs, one drone flew just a little too close to a ceiling wire, knocking over its cocktail shaker straight into the drone’s propeller. All party-goers survived unscathed, but the same cannot be said for the drone. Final score: Drone: 0, Tequila: 1.

Check out more of what you missed here.

More From The 2014 Innovation By Design Awards And Conference:

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.