Must-see design exhibitions in May from around the globe
We’ve scoured the globe to find the most captivating, uncanny and memorable design shows to see in 2018; from retrospectives and major blockbusters to thematic exhibitions and solo shows. So here’s our list of must-see design events this month...
‘Osvaldo Borsani: Repertorio’ at Dimore Gallery, Milan
Following the array of tributes to modernist architect Osvaldo Borsani this year, Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci of Dimore Gallery have opened up their Milan space to display a host of furniture by the 20th-century visionary. Created in collaboration with the Borsani archive, the installation offers a unique view of these pieces via Dimore’s idiosyncratic lens. Sketches and visuals of architectural projects join the work for a comprehensive and artistic entrance into the processes of Borsani.
17th May - 30th June; DimoreGallery, Via Solferino, 11, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
‘Martin Szekely: Construction’ at The Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design, Bordeaux
Exhibited inside a newly converted former jail at the museum, ‘Construction’ presents 40 important pieces created between 1981 and 2018 by French designer Martin Szekely. A seminal figure of his generation, Szekely was born in 1956 and studied at the École Boulle and École Estienne. Over the years, Szekely has become known for his pure and minimal furniture, and a refined sensibility for materials and their construction. His most recent gallery collaborations include Pierre Marie Giraud in Brussels and Salon 94 in New York. Curated by Constance Rubini, this recent show presents a diverse selection of objects together with the music of American composer Morton Feldman, allowing visitors to create connection between visual, sound and tactile elements of the showcase. Writer: Adam Štěch
26 April – 16 September; Madd Bourdeaux, 39 Rue Bouffard, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Poème Brut at Design Museum Gent
Works by the likes of Max Lamb, Nendo, Ben Storms and Olivier van Herpt come together for Design Museum Ghent’s exploration of contemporary craft. Curated by Siegrid Demyttenaere and atelier lachaert dhanis, Poème Brut aims to showcase the eclectic selection of designers as alchemists and experimenters with unique materials. From Formafantasma’s dried flour tableware and Studio Swine’s human hair objects, to the ‘Metal Rock’ collection by Michael Young and Studio Furthermore’s ceramic foam structures, the dynamic designs elegantly pepper the 18th-century mansion for an inspiring look at modern making techniques. Photography: Filip Dujardin
30 March -2 September; Design Museum Gent, Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
‘Coded Nature’ by Studio Drift at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
The Amsterdam-based studio (made up of Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn) has its biggest stage yet with this inaugural solo show. Delving into the duo’s ingenious use of technology to create art and design installations, the show includes greatest hits like light sculpture Fragile Future and Drifter, plus a new installation titled Elementism for a captivating display. ‘One of our missions is to become a serious partner in important technological developments. We cannot approach it from a purely technical point of view. We have to approach from an intuitive and emotional perspective. After millions of years being human beings, we still need safety, we still need food, we still need love – these are the essentials, and technology should support life in that way,’ says Gordijn. Read more here
25 April - 26 August; Stedelijk Museum Museumplein 10 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
‘Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960-today’ at Vitra Design Museum, Basel
The Swiss museum has opened its doors to an exploration of disco design. From Gruppo 9999’s Space Electric (1969) (where the Italian Radical Design crew hung out), all the way through to OMA’s recent graphic proposals for the Ministry of Sound in London, the show looks upon the last 40 years of iconic nightclub design. The exhibition will take a chronological voyage through the glamour of these spaces and subcultures, via mediums including vintage photography, film, poster and even fashion. Read more here.
17 March - 9 September; Vitra Design Museum, Charles-Eames-Str. 2 D-79576 Weil am Rhein, Basel
‘Akari: Sculpture by Other Means’ at Noguchi Museum, New York
The Noguchi Museum is showing an exhibition dedicated to Isamu Noguchi’s modular, collapsible ‘Akari’ lanterns. Starting in 1951, Noguchi designed over 200 Akari models in his lifetime, as a way of marrying an ancient paper craft with electricity. The exhibition includes the largest Akari ever created, the two-metre-wide Akari 200D, made for the 1986 Venice Biennale, in addition to various archival materials. A second, concurrent exhibition, ‘Akari Unfolded: A Collection’, features 26 Akari-inspired lamps created by French studio Ymer & Malta in partnership with Nendo, Sebastian Bergne, Stephen Burks, Océane Delain, Benjamin Graindorge, and Sylvain Rieu-Piquet. Pictured: Nendo’s modern interpretation of the light. Courtesy: Ymer & Malta
28 February 2018 - 27 January 2019; Noguchi Museum, 9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY 11106