From the design fairs in Toronto, New York and Chicago to the Salone del Mobile and Expo 2015 in Milan, here our Azure’s top 12 picks for design and architecture events, festivals and blow-out shows in the months ahead.
1 KBIS, in Las Vegas, January 20 to 22
This is where to get inspiration for your next kitchen and bath retrofit. Taking place next week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show features the latest launches by such premium brands as Poggenpohl (shown), Kohler and American Standard. (See our five must-see products here). For the second year, the show will be co-located with the NAHB International Builder’s Show for light construction, with a combined 1,700 exhibitors.
2 Interior Design Show, Toronto, January 22 to 25
This week, IDS and the Toronto Offsite Design Festival will transform the city into a designers’ playground. The fair proper (taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre) includes such crowd favourites as the Studio North showcase of emerging talent, and welcomes an international roster of speakers, including German designer Sebastian Herkner, who designed the Banjooli line for Moroso (shown). Plus, the main show feature will see Urban Capital and Italian designer Luca Nichetto collaborating on a novel micro-space concept. Meanwhile, TODO, will fill storefronts, galleries and more with eye-popping installations.
3 Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, February 3 to 7
The Stockholm Furniture Fair is the ultimate destination for tapping into Scandinavian design from furniture brands like Swedese, Offecct and Alexander Lervik. Special guest Ilse Crawford – known for several high-profile projects in Stockholm, among them the Grand Hotel’s three restaurants and collaborations with Vitra (shown) – will create an inviting lounge in the main entrance hall.
4 Ambiente, Frankfurt, February 13 to 17
Looking to spot trends or source housewares and seasonal gifts? Head to Messe Frankfurt for Ambiente, which boasts more than 4,700 exhibitors, split into dining, living and giving sections. The German Design Awards for series-made products are also part of the program, with the winners on display in Galleria 1.
5 Coverings, Orlando, April 14 to 17
North America’s biggest expo of all things tile and stone, Coverings returns to the Orange Country Convention Center. The show boasts 900-plus exhibitors from more than 40 countries, but its main source of sponsorship is from Spanish and Italian tile organizations, which ensures that manufacturers hailing from those top tile nations – such as Apavisa and Casamood – get major play.
6 Salone del Mobile, Milan, April 14 to 19
The mecca of design festivals, Milan Design Week is a launch pad for international furniture brands. Its biggest event remains the Salone del Mobile, which this year includes Euroluce – two massive halls dedicated to the latest lighting from companies such as Artemide and Ingo Maurer (whose Toto lamp is shown). Be sure to check out Venture Lambrate offsite and a bevvy of other design events going on around the city during the week.
7 Milan Expo, May 1 to October 31
The world’s attention will remain on Milan for Expo 2015, which gathers 144 nations to examine the theme “feeding the planet, energy for life.” Italy promises to impress with its pavilion designed by Nemesi Studio; and Mexico’s corn husk-inspired volume (shown), from Francisco López-Guerra Almada, will be another standout among 130 unique structures that we are excited to see in their completed glory.
8 NYCxDesign, New York City, May 8 to 19
This week-long-plus festival is annexing more and more of Manhattan and its surroundings. First and foremost, be sure to hit the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javits Center, along with the local talent showcases Wanted Design (shown), in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Collective Design and the Frieze Art Fair also run concurrently.
9 SIDIM, Montreal, May 21 to 23
Held annually in downtown Montreal, SIDIM is the catalyst for an entire week that puts the spotlight on such local talents as the Établi collective (shown) and Pascale Girardin. The main show is held at the downtown convention centre of Place Bonaventure, while offsite events held simultaneously around the city include Haut + Fort and the Code Souvenir Pop Up Store.
10 London Architecture Festival, June 1 to 30
The month-long London Architecture Festival offers one of the most novel ways for the public to engage with design, as events, pop-ups and installations transform the city and its streets. The mobile workshop shown above, by students from the Cass, appeared on last year’s lineup; and the annual Serpentine Gallery pavilion in Hyde Park (this year it will be created by Spanish firm SelgasCano) should not be missed.
11 NeoCon, Chicago, June 15 to 17
Chicago’s Merchandise Mart plays host to NeoCon, the biggest commercial interiors event in North America. Contract furniture heavy-hitters such as Herman Miller (whose Public Office Landscape is shown), Knoll, Steelcase and Teknion are always among the 700 exhibitors, which draw nearly 50,000 visitors each year.
12 AZ Awards Gala, Toronto, June 19
Last but certainly not least, Azure’s own AZ Awards celebrates its fifth year this spring. We’re accepting submissions until February 20 and will announce the winners at an outdoor gala, held at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. See the winners in 2014 and 2013.