An exhibition about nightclubs at the V&A Dundee and the first-ever Mexico Design Fair are among the events listed in Dezeen Events Guide this May, while the Venice Architecture Biennale is also taking place after its postponement last year.
Other in-person events this month include NYCxDesign, Iceland’s largest design festival DesignMarch and the debut International Architecture Film Festival Barcelona, as a number of countries around the world tentatively ease coronavirus restrictions.
Head over to Dezeen Events Guide for a comprehensive list of the architecture and design events happening in May and beyond, or read on for some of the highlights this month.
Night Fever: Designing Club Culture
1 May 2021 to 9 January 2022
While music venues remain closed across the UK, the V&A Dundee is opening its doors for the first time this year with an exhibition celebrating nightclubs as a “total design experience” that aims to unify sound, lighting, architecture, fashion and performance into one immersive spectacle.
From Italian discos in the 60s to today’s virtual pandemic raves, the show explores club culture as an environment that encourages radical design and takes a look at iconic spaces from Berlin’s Berghain to B018 in Beirut and the Hacienda in Manchester.
A special section of the exhibition will be dedicated to its local context and Scotland’s contribution to the rave scene, including The Rhumba Club night and Sub Club in Glasgow. The latter opened in 1987 and is reportedly home to the longest-running house and techno club night in the world.
Mexico Design Fair 2021
21 to 23 May
Clad in permeable palm panels traditionally used to form informal beach huts, the structure exemplifies the same emphasis on local character and identity that the event hopes to nurture.
The fair is curated by architect and designer Carlos Torre Hütt and will showcase a selection of contemporary work by more than 20 designers, alongside 13 galleries and brands that are reinterpreting the country’s distinctive vernacular.
Among those represented will be furniture design studio ATRA, rug brand Odabashian and the Galería Mexicana de Diseño, with one person set to be awarded the first-ever Designer of the Year prize for their contribution to the Mexican design industry.
Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
22 May to 21 November
After being delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition will finally kick off this May with 112 international participants from 46 countries, including first-time entrants Iraq, Grenada, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
Participants will present their answers to this question across five different scales, from the individual and the household all the way up to the planet, while the Meetings on Architecture lecture series will see the topic debated by scholars and practitioners.
Highlights include The British Mosque, a special exhibition created by architect Shahed Saleem for the V&A pavilion, which will look at the ways that three self-built London mosques have adapted former pubs and residential houses into new hybrid architectures.
28 to 30 May
Due to coronavirus restrictions in Belgium, the Collectible design fair will be taking place digitally this year under the name Collectible Salon, accompanied by a pared-back programme of exhibitions in locations across Brussels.
In a bid to replicate the feeling of an in-person event, there will be a number of virtual talks, while a special Whatsapp feature will allow visitors and exhibitors to connect in a way that approximates real-life conversation.
Noteworthy contributions include a special project curated by Beirut non-profit House of Today that will spotlight Lebanese design and a curated section called Tension, which will feature work from emerging designers addressing the climate crisis.
Hella Jongerius: Woven Cosmos
29 April to 15 August
For her solo exhibition at Berlin’s Gropius Bau, Dutch designer Hella Jongerius paid homage to the building’s history as an art school and workshop by moving herself and her Jongeriuslab team into the historical building in the months leading up to the event and producing many of the exhibits on site.
Under the title Woven Cosmos, the show examines the spiritual, healing qualities of weaving as well as its high-tech applications through a number of interactive installations, including a special loom that allows fabric to be woven along multiple axes to create three-dimensional structures.
In a live talk with Dezeen, Jongerius explained that this kind of 3D-weaving technology could one day help to “replace concrete and cement in the building industry” and create lighter, more flexible architecture.
Due to tightened coronavirus restrictions in Germany, visitors will need to content themselves with a virtual, 360-degree tour of the space for the time being. But once lockdown measures are eased, members of the Jongeriuslab team will be coming into the exhibition every day to work on the different looms.
About Dezeen Events Guide
Dezeen Events Guide is our guide to the best architecture and design events taking place across the world each year.
The guide is updated weekly and includes virtual events, conferences, trade fairs, major exhibitions and design weeks, as well as up-to-date information about what events have been cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Inclusion in the guide is free for basic listings, with events selected at Dezeen’s discretion. Organisers can get enhanced or premium listings for their events, including images, additional text and links, by paying a modest fee.
In addition, events can ensure inclusion by partnering with Dezeen. For more details on inclusion in Dezeen Events Guide and media partnerships with Dezeen, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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