Are you designing a new product or concept offering new sustainable solutions focused on ecology, climate change or public well-being, aligning with the Green New Deal? Then this open call is for you.

Co-organized and presented by Arts Council Mata in New York together with the Polish Cultural institute in NY and other EUNIC (European Union National institutes for culture) New York cluster members, in partnership with WantedDesign

ECO Solidarity is a multidisciplinary design initiative started by the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, Studio Rygalik, in partnership with WantedDesign. It seeks unity and solidarity through design + architecture focusing on Ecology, climate change, the key concepts of the Green New Deal, sustainability, public well- being, public health and their social implications in public spaces, facing new pandemic challenges in COVID 19 era. This is an opportunity to initiate more exchanges and collaborations between European and US designers.

We are looking for Maltese and Malta-based designers and design brands to represent Arts Council Malta in New York. If you have never participated in a US-based design fair before and strive to implement environmentally conscious principles in product design or architecture, we want to hear from you. The chosen designer will receive an honorarium for participation of 1,000 USD.

If chosen, you will take part in a virtual trade show, product launch, brand/project presentation, panel discussions and an online exhibition on the platform.

Panel Discussions will feature European and New York City based designers, manufacturers, journalists, professionals in the field of design and academics from a range of different disciplines. They will exchange ideas, possible collaboration between European and US designers on innovative sustainable human centered solutions in design, new business partnerships and address urgencies of the ECO Solidarity objectives.


February 5th, 2021

Deadline for designers to send in their applications

March 1st, 2021

Applicants notified of the results

May 16-18, 2021
CLOSEUP 2021 Virtual Trade Show broadcast from New York
produced by WantedDesign Manhattan + ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair)

This will include the Product launch, Brand / project presentation by each designer and panel discussions with a US moderator.

June 15 – August 15, 2021
Online exhibition on

ECO Solidarity principles address the urgency for:  

  • Human-centered, Green New Deal-aligned product design, architecture, and public space
  • Sustainable design solutions focused on climate change ecology, public wellbeing, public health.
  • Real-life applicable solutions addressing Covid-19 public health crisis.
  • Inclusivity and diversity: providing visibility to women, LGBTQIA+ communities providing equal opportunity to designers from all genders and races
  • Prioritizing European emerging designers interested in developing collaborations in the US and who have not yet participated in a US-based design trade show.

Designer nomination criteria:

  • Emerging or established designers and design studios that address ECO Solidarity key principles
  • The main selection criteria will be based on the quality, originality and relevance of the proposed design project.
  • Project can be at a conceptual stage or recently produced in the country the designer will be representing for ECO Solidarity

Apply for this open call by sending the items listed below to Arts Council Malta in New York at by Friday February 5th 2021. Late submissions will not be considered. 

Applications must include the following:

  • Your portfolio
  • Website link + social media
  • Your bio + any potential/ recent publication
  • Description of your project for ECO Solidarity (PDF including visuals/renderings and/or photos/video link – 6 Pages max)
  • A short motivation letter (designer’s statement/why are you interested?/ previous design trade show participation?)
  • A copy of your Maltese ID card, residence permit, or passport


For a glimpse of last year’s CLOSEUP virtual tradeshow watch this short video: