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The Top Happenings in the Design World, March 11-17, 2020

Rovaniemi hosts the 12th annual Arctic Design Week, Nam June Paik's most comprehensive retrospective, and Studio 54 nightclub is revisited in a new exhibition.

Nam June Paik, 'TV Garden', 1974-1977 (2002). Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf © Estate of Nam June Paik

Rovaniemi, Finland (Various Locations)

Attracting thousands of participants and more than 100 exhibitors, Arctic Design Week underscores the North’s status as a hotbed of design innovation and international progress. Themed ReCreate, the event aims to demonstrate that design is a force that can drive change, sustainability, and responsible creativity. Hosted in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland, in northern Finland, the 12th annual ADW brings together business experts and members of the creative industry to promote Arctic design and its role in saving the global ecosystem. (March 16-22, 2020; times and prices vary)

Stedelijk Museum, Museumplein 10, 1071, DJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Famed for pioneering video art and predicting the power of mass media, South Korean–born artist Nam June Paik’s most comprehensive retrospective is mounted this March. Created in collaboration with Tate Modern and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Future Is Now showcases Paik’s multidisciplinary and film work across his 40-year career, together constituting the largest and most ambitious study of the artist’s oeuvre to date. As an homage to Paik’s belief in the importance of interactive art, the exhibit invites visitors by including a number of works with which viewers can interact. (March 14-August 23, 2020; times and prices vary)

Design Museum Ghent, Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000, Ghent, Belgium

A journey through seven vibrant hues that 15th-century artist Jan van Eyck and his Northern Renaissance contemporaries obsessively explored and utilized in their work, Kleureyck. Van Eyck’s Colours in Design highlights both the master’s use of color and its influence upon his contemporaries and later generations of artists working not only on canvas but in product design, crafts, textiles, graphic design, and more, demonstrating Van Eyck’s long-lasting impact on aesthetic creation. (March 13-July 9, 2020; times and prices vary)

Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, New York

Studio 54, the legendary New York nightclub where the likes of David Bowie, Andy Warhol, and Mick Jagger once hung out and racially and sexually diverse crowds danced joyously during an era of political unrest, is getting its museum tribute. Studio 54: Night Magic highlights photography, fashion, film, and drawings from the iconic venue, showcasing its evolution from a 1920s opera house to its disco-era heyday. (March 13-July 5, 2020; times and prices vary)

Melbourne, Australia (Various Locations)

Centered around the query “How can design shape life?”, Melbourne’s 11-day design festival aims to solve today’s most pressing issues through design innovation. With engaging talks including keynote speaker architect Francis Kéré, tours, workshops, product launches, and exhibitions, Melbourne Design Week calls on the Australian design community to cultivate healthy urban environments, bring cultures together, solve pressing ethical issues such as waste, and create a better world for the next generation. (March 12-22, 2020; times and prices vary)


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


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