2016 promises to be an exciting year for interior design. From innovative furniture designs to bold color schemes, 2016’s interior trends will no doubt surprise and excite any interior devotee. Another important feature of 2016 will be the numerous interior design events scattered throughout the year. Internationally renowned events, trade fairs and design festivals can be enjoyed worldwide and many attract tens of thousands of visitors. The LuxPad has collected the very best of these events from across the globe. We’ve divided the events by broad geographical location, and then by date, to help you keep the diary up-to-date in 2016.
Modernism Week aims to celebrate and foster appreciation of mid-century architecture and design, which is generally accepted to cover the years between 1930 and 1960. The event is hosted in the Palm Springs area of Southern California, a city noted for its many examples of mid-century architecture. The week has become so popular that Modernism Week now runs a ‘fall-preview’ of their upcoming February event in October.
New York Design Week signifies New York’s city-wide celebration of design. The events are staged across five boroughs of the city and are mostly free for anyone to enjoy. New York Design Week hopes to encourage commercial opportunities, promote emerging design practices and increase appreciation of design by all audiences.
The American Institute of Architects Convention is one of the largest gatherings of architects and design professionals in the US. Whether you’re learning hands-on from one of the 800 exhibitors or listening to dynamic seminars led by industry leaders, the convention provides ample career-enhancing opportunities.
San Francisco Design Week is an opportunity to experience the region’s unique design talents. From household products you use in your home and car to tech you wear or carry in your pocket, San Francisco is a hub of innovation like no other. The San Francisco Design Week spans the entire Bay Area, from Silicon Valley to the main city hub.
NeoCon is the largest commercial interiors show in North America. The three-day event attracts over 700 exhibitors from a range of industries and prides itself on showcasing the latest innovations, next generation products and technologies all under one roof. The exhibits are complemented by a range of thought-provoking seminars from over 100 keynote speakers.
Design Miami is an international design show which brings together some of the most influential collectors, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. The show has gained an international reputation since its inception in 2005 and has since expanded to Basel, Switzerland. Design Miami has quickly become one of the premier venues for collecting, curating and exhibiting high-end and coveted design pieces.
One of the UK’s leading trade shows, Top Drawer is known for its vast range of top quality and innovative new products. Divided into four distinct ‘worlds’, Top Drawer has designated sections for Home, Craft, Fashion Accessories and Gifting. This is a trade-only event that brings together buyers and suppliers from across the country and beyond. Top Drawer’s fall show will take place in September 2016.
The Architect @ Work events take place in many countries across Europe, all specially tailored for architects, interior architects and designers. All exhibitors go through a selection process to ensure the high-quality displays that visitors have come to expect of the venue. Each show is laid out to ensure maximum contact between suppliers and creatives, with visitors being led automatically along a single route through the exhibition.
Surface Design Show is the place to find new and innovative surface solutions, materials and products. The show features the latest materials and products from over 130 exhibitors. It attracts a wide range of professionals from the design world, including architects, buyers, surveyors and property developers.
Now in its third year, the Wearable Technology Show (WTS2016) brings together some of the greatest minds in the technological world to discuss and engage with this rapidly developing trend. WTS2016 showcases cutting-edge technologies from a wide range of sectors – from smart home and healthcare to fashion and fitness. If you’re a business looking to develop your use of smart technologies in 2016, this event is for you.
FutureEverything is a year-round digital innovation lab, with its annual FutureEverything Festival the highlight of its calendar. The festival brings together pioneering individuals and ideas from the art, music and digital culture spaces and has been conceived as a ‘living lab’ for participatory experiments in these fields. The Festival has been named by The Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festival in the world.
- Clerkenwell Design Week
- 24th – 26th May 2016
- Clerkenwell, London
Clerkenwell Design is an internationally renowned event that has grown in size and stature enormously during the course of its seven year history. The three-day festival takes place throughout Clerkenwell, an area of London that has been synonymous with craft, creativity and innovation since the Middle Ages. Clerkenwell today is home to the highest concentration of architectural practices in the world, and Clerkenwell Design Week is a celebration of this extraordinarily influential area.
Discover more about Clerkenwell Design Week 2015.
This festival is a month-long, city-wide celebration of architectural experimentation. It is made up of public projects selected through an open call as well as a selection of events from leading cultural and academic institutions. The festival has grown rapidly from a local, biennial event in Clerkenwell, to an annual celebration that attracts thousands of visitors and hundreds of events.
Read more about London’s 2015 Festival of Architecture.
New Designers has been championing the work of young designers for 29 years. Its long-standing reputation attracts a high-profile audience of nearly 20,000, all hoping to establish relationships with the next generation of leading graduate designers. There are two halves to the event, with the first four days focused on Textiles, Fashion & Costume Design, and Jewellery & Contemporary Design Crafts. The second four days look to Furniture, Product, Spatial & Industrial Design and Visual Communications.
The London Design Festival is another city-wide event that celebrates London’s thriving design sphere over nine days. The events are staged at 400 different venues across the city, although the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum is a good place to start as the festival’s main hub. Major features of the event are the extraordinary projects and installations that are commissioned throughout the city at inspiring locations. World-leading architects and designers have worked on installations at London’s Southbank, Tate Modern and Trafalgar Square in previous years.
Read more about LDF 2015.
Decorex International is synonymous with luxury, and is internationally renowned for being one of the best events to discover the most coveted products from an unrivalled collection of 400 hand-selected exhibitors. Decorex has become a key event within London’s Design Festival.
Read more about Decorex 2015.
100% Design is the largest and longest running contemporary design event for industry professionals in the UK. The event represents the commercial cornerstone of the London Design Festival taking place in the same week. The award-winning show is divided into four key industry sectors; Interiors, Workplace, Kitchen & Bathroom and Design & Build.
Another integral part of the London Design Festival, Tent London is a popular trade show open to both trade visitors and members of the public. Tent London, along with its sister show Super Brands London, hosts over 450 diverse and inspiring independent designers and brands. The Super Brands section of the show remains exclusively for established global brands.
Imm Cologne is an annual international furniture trade show that sets the stage for furniture and design trends across the coming year. It is regarded as a market-leading furniture show that showcases a huge breadth and depth of products. Imm Cologne is open to exhibitors, suppliers and trade professionals during the week, with its door opening to the general public from Friday.
Formex is a 4 day event being held in January at the Stockholm International Fairs in Stockholm, Sweden. This event showcases the best of Nordic interior design and includes products from Architecture & Designing, Building Construction, Electronics & Electrical Goods, Gifts & Handicrafts industries.
Often cited as the most important event in the interiors calendar, January’s Maison et Objet in Paris attracts industry leaders from across the globe. Reserved for trade professionals only, thousands flock to Paris in January to get familiar with the hottest trends for the year ahead. A similar show takes place in September. Maison et Objet has extended its influence into other continents including: Singapore, 8th – 11th March 2016 and Miami, 10th – 13th May 2016.
Learn more about Maison et Objet 2015.
Stockholm Design Week is the world’s largest meeting place for Scandinavian Design. The main event is Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair which attracts around 40,000 visitors and 700 exhibitors from all around the world. The entire city of Stockholm gets involved and is filled with high-profile design events, showrooms and exhibitions throughout the week.
Ambiente is a leading international trade fair for consumer goods. The exhibition is divided into three distinct areas – Dining, Giving and Living – with each section demonstrating world-leading consumer goods from their area of expertise. While many of the 140,000 visitors come with the aim of discovering and viewing new products, a large proportion view the show as an opportunity to network and develop new business connections.
Tendence (27th – 30th August) is the international trade fair based in Frankfurt that focuses on the second half of the year. Its products and design services reflect the seasonal changes.
- Munich Creative Business Week
- 20th – 28th February 2016
- Munich, Germany
Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW) is the largest design event in Germany for designers and contractors. Diverse events are organised across the city, attracting a wide range of industry professionals. MCBW differentiates itself from other design events by its annually changing themes that reflect current trends in society. For 2016, the focus of MCBW will be ‘Design connects visions for the economy’.
Every spring, the festival fills Reykjavik with design. From fashion to furniture, architecture to food design, the festival showcases the best of the local design scene alongside exciting international names. Events spread across the town from the fishing harbour to the main street, enveloping the most Northern capital in the world in all things design.
La Triennale di Milano is held once every three years and invites all the countries in the world to participate. The event has not taken place officially since 1996, so this year sees a return to Milan’s renowned celebration of design. The 21st edition of La Triennale di Milano takes place in 2016 and will allow participants to exhibit their work across a variety of prestigious locations across the city.
Milan Design Week is the largest trade fair of its kind in the world. It has been showcasing the excellence of Italian furniture since 1961. Today, it is a truly international affair, with half its 300,000 visitors coming from across the globe. The show is open to the general public on 16 and 17 April only.
- Basel, 29th April – 1st May 2016
- Stuttgart, 11th – 13th March 2016
- Hamburg, Vienna, Munich and Zurch dates tbc.
Blickfang is an annual event that has been held across many different European cities for 15 years and today takes place in six design hotspots in Europe. Blickfang showcases the best of furniture, jewellery and fashion from the young and international design scene. Blickfang attaches great importance to the origin of their products and their authenticity and the style of their shows reflects this.
Designmonat Graz is a month-long design extravaganza that consolidates the region’s creative energy into a few weeks. In this, the event hopes to raise the profile of the creative industries. Last year, Austria’s second largest city hosted 86 different events including festivals, workshops, discussions and exhibitions. 2016’s event promises the same level of inspirational activities.
- DMY Berlin
- 2nd – 5th June 2016
- Kraftwerk Mitte, Berlin
DMY Berlin is an annual design festival that aims to demonstrate the powerful potential of contemporary design. It has become a place of communication between aspiring designers and established professionals and has a strong emphasis on research opportunities as well as innovative market-ready products. For the first time in its history, the 2016 show is open to participants of all disciplines – from fashion design to graphics and digital design.
What Design Can Do (WDCD) is an annual international conference that discusses in-depth the benefits of design and its impact on the world around us. Founded in 2011, the conference aims to raise awareness among professionals, designers and the public about the potential of creativity. The conference is growing in popularity, and expanded to Sao Paulo for the first time in 2015.
The Cannes Lions Festival is a 7 day celebration of all things creative. It is considered the world’s largest gathering of advertising professionals, with approximately 11,000 individuals gathering to showcase new creative ideas, attend workshops and network with one another. Taking inspiration from the Cannes Film Festival, the Cannes Lions Festival aims to give advertising film makers recognition through their giving of numerous awards.
Europe’s answer to the New York 3D Print Show, this annual business-to-business show provides a platform for manufacturers, engineers, designers and educators to demonstrate pioneering and industry-leading technologies. See live demonstrations of the latest machinery and materials, meet world-leading suppliers and experience global trends and technologies. Attend as either a visitor or exhibitor.
Scheduled to overlap with the September Maison et Objet, Paris Design Week invigorates the city as industry professionals and members of the public come together to discover the best of Parisian design. Late-night openings, high-profile debates and installations kick-start the early-fall season.
Dutch Design Week takes place in October each year and is one of the largest design events in Northern Europe, attracting over 250,000 visitors. Events throughout the week are spread across the city – with exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies and debates making up some of the opportunities on offer. Dutch Design Week aims to encourage and nurture young talent, and consequently places strong emphasis on the future of design.
In 2015, the festival attracted over 2000 architects and designers to its current base in Singapore. This year, in Berlin, the festival promises to be even bigger. Industry-leading projects are entered into the festival’s competition, and of these 200 shortlisters are invited to attend the ceremony. Previous winners of the prestigious World Building of the Year Award include Singapore’s Interlace building and The Chapel in Vietnam.
Rest of the World
- Toronto Design Week / Toronto Design Offsite Festival
- 18th – 24th January 2016
- Throughout Toronoto
Toronto Design Week is also called The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO), so named for its unique premise which aims to take design out of the studio and on to the streets of the city. Storefronts set up exhibitions and galleries host installations in a way that engages the whole city. TO DO transforms Toronto into fun and accessible design show that celebrates Canada’s energetic design scene.
The India Design Forum started in 2012 as an initiative to engage in the movements of Indian design. The festival began by focusing on the evolution of design in India and its position within global contexts. In recent years, the emphasis of the show has shifted and it is now an informal celebration of Indian design culture that attracts a diverse audience. The aim now is to create a platform for the design community to collaborate, discuss and engage with one another.
The Design Indaba Festival has been held annually in Cape Town since 1995. Lasting 10 days, the festival aims to unite various cities in South Africa through its celebration of film, art, design and creativity. The highlight of the festival is a three day conference, which is broadcast live across various cities and is often heralded as one of the best creative conferences in the world.
The Mextrópoli Festival aims to position Mexico City as an epicenter of architectural prowess and hopes to promote culture, urban regeneration and artistic heritage within the area. Held principally in the historic center of the city, Mextrópoli combines conferences, round tables and workshops to generate new ideas and celebrate the creativity of Mexico City.
This four-day event attracted over 42,000 visitors in 2015, and has established itself as Asia’s leading international design event. Showcasing the best of China’s ever-growing design community, Design Shanghai provides a fantastic opportunity to network and establish relationships with some of Asia’s leading lights in the interior space.
With over 2200 attendees from 14 countries, the International Design Festival in Costa Rica (FID) is considered one of the most relevant multidisciplinary design events in Latin America. The festival has a celebratory atmosphere throughout its three days and includes talks, workshops, exhibitions and, of course, plenty of parties!
The International Furniture Fair Singapore (IFFS) is regarded by industry experts as one of Asia’s most exciting design platforms. The event is held in conjunction with the ASEAN Furniture Show (AFS). Aiming to connect design, inspiration and trade, both these shows feature a comprehensive range of furniture, furnishings, decorative accessories, interiors and fittings by a diverse portfolio of quality exhibitors.
Design Days Dubai is the first fair in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to luxury and limited edition furniture and design objects. The fair presents the work of leading international designers and galleries alongside up-and-coming designers from across the world. There is also a strong non-commercial focus, with the fair including educational workshops and performances.
- Moscow International Furniture Show
- 5th – 8th April 2016
- International Exhibition Centre, Moscow
The Russian Interior Show is an ideal platform for those hoping to enter into Russian and Eastern European markets. Manufacturers from Russia, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and other countries will represent all areas of the construction and interiors industry.
This festival based in Cape Town lasts 12 days and celebrates the impact of design as a driver of economic, environmental and social development. The festival aims to be accessible to all, and particularly encourages participants from a wide range of backgrounds and communities. The Open Design Festival states that its mission is to ‘develop a culture of design’ that will in turn cultivate future socio-economic growth.
Since 1993, Furniture China has propelled Shanghai’s design and furniture scene to new heights. The show demonstrates the country’s importance as a hub of international design and has quickly gained a reputation for attracting a wide range of high-quality designers and manufacturers. There is a strong focus on contemporary furniture.
As a key part of Dubai Design week, Downtown Design is the main platform in the Middle East for the region’s trade professionals to discover high-quality design from across the world. Downtown Design is dedicated to providing a dynamic environment for buyers and brands to do business easily and efficiently and includes a number of industry talks.
Which interior events will you be attending in 2016?