The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Guggenheim Museum, HarperCollins Turning Seaport Into 'Culture District'

 An installation by arts and technology group Eyebeam, now on view in the Seaport, features clothing created with new technologies and traditional craftsmanship.
An installation by arts and technology group Eyebeam, now on view in the Seaport, features clothing created with new technologies and traditional craftsmanship.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Irene Plagianos

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — Empty storefronts once home to retail chains are getting an arty overhaul in the South Street Seaport.

The newly announced Seaport Culture District is aiming to transform shops once viewed as tourist traps into a temporary hub for compelling art and design installations, organizers said.

With several partners — including the Guggenheim Museum, publisher HarperCollins, art and technology group Eyebeam and the AIGA, a professional association for design — programming is filling stores that have remained empty since Hurricane Sandy washed through the historic district.

"This neighborhood is so rich in history, there's no reason it shouldn't be a cauldron for art, design and innovation," said James Sanders, a noted architect and the curator for the Culture District. "We're creating a home for some of the most talented and creative people in the city, compressed within a few blocks, and we're very excited to see it all come together."

The program, sponsored by the Seaport's owner, the Howard Hughes Corporation, is part of its continued revitalization efforts, the company said in a statement.

Most of the exhibition spaces will be open by next week, Sanders said, and programming will continue through December, with rotations of installations.

Arts and technology group Eyebeam already has its "Making Patterns" exhibit open at 117 Beekman St. The show features quirky fashion, designed using a variety of technologies: 3D printing, embedded electronics and bio-sensing — like clothing made with thermal ink that changes depending on the temperature.

Other exhibits soon to open include Portrait Project, an immersive installation featuring the photos and voices of underprivileged city kids speaking about their hopes and dreams. The exhibit is a collaboration of Art Start, an organization that runs creative workshops for homeless and underserved young people, as well as engineering group Arup, which has its offices in the Seaport.

In October, the Seaport will become the center for a month-long architecture and design festival, known as Archtober, as the American Institute of Architects' New York chapter will also make a temporary home in the Culture District.

Along with the installations, Sanders said there will be more than 100 lunchtime, after-work and weekend events, including panel discussions, screenings, walking tours, sketching workshops and photography classes. All the exhibits and programs are free.

For more information, head to the Culture District website. By next week, there will be a fuller listing of the numerous events and installations, along with a map available online and in print, Sanders said.

"I hope and I think that this type of creativity will really bring something engaging to the people who live here and work here, and to all New Yorkers," Sanders said. "The Seaport has a special place in my heart, and we're hopeful about this transformation over the next few months."