With a new year comes a new calendar of events for all things design.
In the run-up to Milan’s big Salone del Mobile trade fair in April, there is a wealth of furniture and design events taking place across the rest of Europe. For those who can’t wait until April, here are just some of them!
Maison & Objet 18-22 gennaio
The winter edition of Maison & Objet has just come to a close in Paris. This was just the first of two exciting events in 2019. This year’s motto was “Excuse my French!”, an exclamation that really captures the French savoir-faire and exuberance that can be found in the designer labels and decor made in France. This year, there was contamination from all around the world, as well as the coveted “Designer of the Year” prize awarded to Sebastian Herkner, a creator of pieces for Nude, pulpo and Ames.
If you missed out on the event this time, never fear! Maison & Objet will be back for another (warmer) edition 6-10 September.
Stockholm Design Week, 4-10 February
For lovers of Scandinavian design, prepare yourselves for a full week exploring all things new in this sector.
At a time when Nordic style is at the height of popularity, this trade show is an absolute must, with over 200 events spread around the city and hundreds of exhibitors, designers, architects and influencers all carrying on one of the world’s most successful design traditions. Come to see and feel the very best of Scandi style for yourself in its homeland!
Madrid Design Festival, 14-16 February
The new entry on the design event scene for 2019 is the second edition of the Madrid Design Festival, first thought up last year by the “La Fabrica” foundation.
This young, ambitious event presents a democratic, accessible version of all of the various design disciplines, against the backdrop of Spain’s capital city. From interior design and graphic design, through to communication design, all kinds of creativity are mixed together here in a multidisciplinary approach that stretches across different sectors.
This year, the trade fair will also host the “Made in Creative Quarter”, a project run by The Institute, an organisation from Bucharest behind Romania’s own “Design Week”. This collaboration is all about creating connections among new influences and design landscapes.
Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne, 21 March-22 April
This French contemporary design event is back again with another full month of events, workshops, conferences and seminars. Organised every two years since 1998 by the Saint-Étienne Regional School of Fine Arts, it is and presented and managed by the Cité du Design.
Each edition is organised around a theme relating to contemporary living. For 2019, the leitmotif is “Me / You / Nous – Créons un terrain d’entente” [creating common ground]: the focus will be on the contemporary need to connect and meet people, cultures and also disciplines. Among the keynote speakers invited to the event from the worlds of philosophy and science are: psychoanalyst and political scientist Cynthia Fleury, who will talk about the link between philosophy and design; philosopher François Jullien, who will compare Chinese and European aesthetics; and geographer Michel Lussault, who will talk about the role of design in the Anthropocene – the era during which humans have had the greatest influence on nature. In short, the 2019 event is looking to be packed with ideas and thoughts to take away, to see design from new and unexpected perspectives.
Arctic Design Week, 18-24 March
The northernmost design event in the world is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, famous for its fabulous festive Christmas village, transforms into the home of design for a week in March. The idea is to explore the creative Arctic design scene and bring to light its importance in daily life in these faraway lands. This mission is also reflected in the theme chosen for this year’s edition: “Design for happiness”. With events, pop-up shops and exhibitions, this festival will explore the ways and means in which design can contribute to improving people’s lives.