Photography: The Big Button/Needle Threading A Button 2/22/23


Back in 1996, the Garment District Alliance renovated an existing kiosk structure and erected the first Big Button, designed by James Biber. The new information kiosk offered business-to-business services to thousands of people each year, but with the use of smartphones made the information kiosk unnecessary.

In 2017, the Garment District Alliance began a collaboration with Local Projects, an experimental design firm to explore content and design concepts for the future of the kiosk. Through interviews and workshops with community stakeholders, they confirmed that while a physical kiosk was no longer necessary, the Big Button was a beloved local landmark — and that it should be enhanced as a pop art sculpture and placemaking amenity. Local Projects’ concept of the Big Button supported by a needle and thread was an immediate hit with stakeholders.

Earlier this month, the new Big Button was unveiled to the public. Whereas the previous Big Button was black, the new one is a bright, taxi cab yellow. The new Big Button honors its predecessor and celebrates the Garment District’s rich history and dynamic future.

I was with my friend and taking photos of the Big Button, when a couple of random passerby stopped and remarked about how cool it was.