February 27, 2024

All the Design Events Happening This September

After summer’s relatively slow pace, the design world kicks back up into high gear in September with a wealth of exciting events around the globe. In particular, London and Paris will each host a number of major events, including the London Design Biennial and the famed Maison&Objet.

It doesn’t stop there – cities from Detroit to Shanghai are also getting in on the action.

A scene from Feria Hábitat in 2017.

Image courtesy of Feria Hábitat.

Detroit’s Month of Design

When: Sept. 1–30
Where: Detroit
Website: www. designcore. org

Formerly known as the Detroit Design Festival, this month-long celebration of all things design brings together the city’s educational institutions, emerging studios, and established companies to show off their latest work. The project is organized by Design Core Detroit, which was behind the city’s bid to become the first UNESCO City of Design in the U. S.

London Design Biennial

When: Sept. 4–23
Where: Somerset House, London
Website: www. londondesignbiennale. com

The London Design Biennial returns this year with the theme Emotional States, which aims to explore the ways design influences our emotions. The biennial will take over Somerset House with interactive installations, art, and design solutions by participants from 40 countries, cities, and territories.

Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires

When: Sept. 6–12
Where: Buenos Aires, Argentina Website: www. artbasel. com

Art Basel is launching its Cities initiative with Buenos Aires as its first partner. The Argentine capital will host a citywide week of programming curated by Artistic Director Cecilia Alemani, who curated the High Line in New York City and the Italian Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Highlights include a “cemetery for the living” installation by Italian provocateur Maurizio Cattelan, a sculptural installation along Río de la Plata by Argentine artist Eduardo Basualdo, and a series of talks.

Knoll’s setup in Saint-Germain during Paris Design Week.

Photo by Julien Crégut. Image courtesy of Paris Design Week.

Paris Design Week

When: Sept. 6–15
Where: Paris
Website: www. maison-objet. com

Concurrent with the renowned Maison&Objet fair, Paris Design Week brings together 250 participants showcasing new releases, hosting late-night openings, and engaging in debates. Participants range from showrooms and boutiques such as Deyrolle and Fortuny, to institutions like the Picasso Museum. As part of the festivities, the Rado Star Prize will be awarded to an emerging designer.

Helsinski Design Week

When: Sept. 6–16
Where: Helsinki
Website: www. helsinkidesignweek. com

The self-proclaimed “largest design event in the Nordics” will host more than 200 events relating to this year’s theme, Trust. Popular events from past editions will return, including open studios, an Architecture Day seminar, and Design Diplomacy discussions at ambassadors’ residences. There will also be a Design Market, product launches, exhibitions, and parties all over the city.

The design market at Helsinki Design Week.

Image courtesy of Helsinki Design Week.

Bienal de São Paulo

When: Sept. 7–Dec. 9
Where: Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo
Website: www. bienal. org

As the world’s second-oldest art biennial (second only to Venice), the 33rd São Paulo Bienal is one of Latin America’s most important art fairs. This year’s edition will feature seven group shows and twelve individual projects by Latin American artists. The fair will take place in an iconic building designed by Oscar Niemeyer.


When: Sept. 7–11
Where: Paris
Website: www. maison-objet. com

The French capital’s semiannual trade show returns with 3,000 brands, including 600 new exhibitors. This year the fair honors Belgian designer Ramy Fischler, founder of RF Studio, with its prestigious Designer of the Year Award.

Furniture China

When: Sept. 11–14
Where: Shanghai
Website: www. furniture-china. cn

One of Asia’s leading trade fairs, Furniture China draws 120,000 attendees and 2,175 suppliers from 155 countries and regions. It’s a behemoth of a fair, spread out over 300,000 square meters of exhibition space at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

London Design Festival

When: Sept. 15–23
Where: London
Website: www. londondesignfestival. com

The V&A is the main partner for the London Design Festival, which unrolls over 11 districts stretching from Shoreditch to Mayfair. Now in its 16th edition, the festival will bring a range of installations and exhibits to the museum as well as daily tours, workshops from Global Design Forum, and other events. Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London, has called it “a fantastic event which brings together designers from across the globe and demonstrates the capital’s position as a powerhouse for creative industries. ”

Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings

When: Sept. 15, 2018–Jan. 20, 2019
Where: The Royal Academy of Arts, London
Website: www. royalacademy. org. uk

London’s Royal Academy of Arts pays homage to Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano with the city’s first major exhibition of his work in 30 years. Curated in collaboration with Piano himself, the exhibit will feature rarely seen drawings, photography, models, full-scale maquettes, and a new film.

Feria Hábitat Valencia

When: Sept. 18–21
Where: Valencia, Spain
Website: www. feriahabitatvalencia. com

Promoting the Made in Spain ethos, Feria Hábitat Valencia gathers many of Spain’s most established and emerging furniture designers. As part of the fair, Salón Nude will act as a platform for work by emerging designers focused on new materials and functionalities for everyday living.

Design China Beijing

When: Sept. 20–23
Where: Beijing
Website: www. designshanghai. com

An offshoot of Design Shanghai, the inaugural edition of Design China Beijing will be the anchor event for Beijing Design Week. Ranging from local design firms to international brands like Kartell and Interface, the 80 participants will present at the National Agricultural Exhibition Center, drawing visitors to this architecturally rich metropolis.

Istanbul Design Biennial

When: Sept. 22–Nov. 4
Where: Istanbul
Website: www. aschoolofschools. iksv. org

Organized by the nonprofit Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), the Istanbul Design Biennial aims to explore a wide range of fields within design. Titled “School of Schools,” this year’s theme is design as learning and learning as design. Belgian curator Jan Boelen is responsible for the programming, which aims to reframe educational models like the academy, the laboratory, the studio, and the museum to create something new.

Design Matters

When: Sept. 26–27
Where: Copenhagen
Website: www. designmatters. io

This two-day festival in Copenhagen focuses on digital design, with speakers from major brands like Amazon, Netflix, and Shopify slated to give talks. There are three themes this year: Design for Change, Immersive Worlds Mixed Realities, and Be a Design Rebel!

Expo Chicago

When: Sept. 27–30
Where: Navy Pier, Chicago
Website: www. expochicago. com

Chicago’s historic Navy Pier will host the most global edition of this annual art fair to date, with participants hailing from 27 countries and 63 cities. Presented in partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art and Art Design Chicago, a symposium titled “Present Histories: Art Design in Chicago” will engage artists, curators, and professionals in a series of talks.

Vienna Design Week

When: Sept. 29–Oct. 7
Where: Vienna
Website: www. viennadesignweek. at

Austria’s largest design festival comprises a wide range of exhibitions, talks, and parties spread out in various venues in the city. Participants will explore both practical and experimental approaches to design as it manifests itself in a variety of genres, including graphics, products, furniture, industry, and social design.

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