The Top Happenings in the Design World, January 29–February 4, 2020

Updated: May 29


Nature Morte Vivante by designer Patricia Urquiola at the Madrid Design Festival



Harriet Bart: Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection Weisman Art Museum, 333 E River Pkwy., Minneapolis

Multidisciplinary conceptual artist Harriet Bart (cofounder of the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota) is receiving her first retrospective and monograph, Harriet Bart: Abracadabra and Other Forms of Protection. Each will explore themes of memory, war, gender, and the artist’s Jewish ancestry through nearly 100 fiber works, sculptures, prints, books, and multimedia installations. Additionally, the exhibition features a newly commissioned installation recalling the ancient Jewish tradition of genizah—establishing sanctuaries for old religious texts that might otherwise be discarded. (February 1–May 24; times and prices vary)

Madrid Design Festival Various Locations in Madrid, Spain 

The lofty goals of Madrid’s third annual design festival include striving to improve the environment, democratize design, and spur social change through creative innovation. With 66 exhibitions, including Nature Morte Vivante by designer Patricia Urquiola and I Work! Because that’s what I’m like, a look at the past century of industrial design, at the Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa, the citywide event invites well-established practitioners and newcomers alike to share perspectives and ideas for the design industry’s future. (February 1–29; times and prices vary)

Stockholm Design Week Various Locations in Stockholm, Sweden 

Occurring in tandem with Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, this year’s Stockholm Design Week provides twice the opportunities to engage with Scandinavian design. With keynote speakers such as rising star architect Vo Trong Nghia and Gregg Buchbinder, CEO of furniture brand Emeco, cocktail gatherings, gallery tours, and exhibitions from hundreds of Scandinavian creatives, the annual design fair is a feast of connectivity and ingenuity. (February 3-9;  times and prices vary)

GRAY x Blu Dot Panel Discussion Blu Dot, 1308 NW Everett St., Portland

You’re invited to Design At Work, a riveting panel discussion hosted at Blu Dot’s new Portland outpost this Thursday, January 30. Moderated by GRAY’s deputy editor Rachel Gallaher, Design At Work explores the importance of design in our everyday lives, consumer-driven design, and the industry’s future with Blu Dot’s cofounders John Christakos and Maurice Blanks, Waechter Architecture lead architect and 2019 GRAY Awards winner Ben Waechter, and Osmose Design founder Andee Hess. (Thursday, January 30; 6 p.m.; free)

Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara The Met at Fifth Avenue, 1000 5th Ave., New York

This inaugural exhibition explores the visual arts contributions of the western Sahel, a region spanning areas of Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. More than 200 objects, including wood, stone, clay, and bronze sculptures, woven and dyed textiles, and manuscripts highlight the area’s legacy and give visibility to important developments such as the arrival of Islam and the rise and fall of various political dynasties. (January 30–May 10; times and prices vary)


The Design Datebook is GRAY’s weekly list of must-attend design and cultural events around the globe.


#design #events

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