The Diary in May and June

The best design events coming up this month and next

Words by Sophie Tolhurst

1. DesignMarch, Iceland (rescheduled)
19–23 May
Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s annual design festival, usually held in March, brings together local and international designers for a provocative and inspiring few days. Highlights are the DesignTalks conference and DesignDiplomacy, which pairs up foreign and Icelandic creatives for discussion.

2. London Design Biennale 2021
1–27 June
Somerset House, London

Curated by Es Devlin, the 2021 biennale has, as its centrepiece, Forest for Change, a temporary ‘forest’ in the courtyard of Somerset House, driving awareness of the climate crisis ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, due to take place this November in Glasgow.

3. German Design: 1949–1989 Two Countries, One History
20 March–5 September Vitra Design Museum,
Weil am Rhein, Germany

Image Credit:  Jochen Gros Image Credit: Jochen Gros

The first major overview of post-war German design considers the differences, parallels and crosspollinations of design from both sides of the Iron Curtain; looking at the era’s major designs and the way they entwined with identity, ideology and global politics.

4. Night Fever: Designing Club Culture
1 May–9 January 2022
V&A Dundee, Scotland


Celebrating the relationship between club culture and design, the exhibition follows the evolution of nightclubs from the 1960s to today, visiting escapist landscapes like New York’s Studio 54 and Manchester’s Haçienda – without forgetting those of Scotland’s own frequently vibrant club culture.

5. Biennale Architettura: La Biennale di Venezia (rescheduled)
22 May–21 November
Venice, Italy


The 17th Architecture Biennale is curated by architect and scholar Hashim Sarkis. Its theme, ‘How will we live together?’, encourages participants to engage across professions and with the general public, using the ‘collective architectural imagination’ to move towards a better future.

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