Things to do in September: the best design events happening this month

As well as design festivals from London to Vienna, our picks this month include a book from Stefan Sagmeister and a day of 5th birthday celebrations at V&A Dundee.

Kyiv Design Week at Zurich Design Week, 31 August – 19 September

Kyiv Design Week will debut this year both in its home city and as part of Zurich Design Week.

For three weeks in Zurich Ukrainian design and its cultural heritage will be shared with a European audience through  exhibitions, installations, talks and performances. In Kyiv, there will be more in-person events with the local design community, with openings, workshops and firechats.

Highlights in Zurich include the short documentary Kyiv’s Design Chronicles by Projector Institute, the Ukrainian Creative and Tech Online Institute; and the collection installation The Roots of the Future by UFEG (the Ukrainian Fashion Education Group).

A VR-journey by Save Kyiv Modernism and Apichi will take visitors through the Kyiv’s brutalist architectural monuments, while a new variable Fixel Font that draws on Ukrainian cultural heritage and brings together the country’s contemporary type designers will be revealed by Ukrainian software company MacPaw.

Kyiv and Zurich Design Week’s are on until 19 September. For more information visit the Zurich Design Week website.

Book: Stefan Sagmeister: Now is Better

Image: Phaidon

Stefan Sagmeister has created a book that “looks at the state of the world today”, although rather than focusing on the problems of the present, he looks to show, through artful data visualisations, that life now is better than in centuries past.

The statistics brought to life through Sagmeister’s designs mark range from the percentage of countries in which women have the right to vote from 1900-2000; to the worldwide poverty rate 1920 -2020, all rendered in a variety of colour and media. Data is transformed into colourful shapes, whether inlaid into 19th century paintings, embroidered on canvases, in lenticular prints and or hand-painted on water glasses.

Accompanying the artworks is a foreword from psychologist Steven Pinker, an essay by graphic designer and historian Steven Heller and a conversation between Sagmeister and Serpentine Galleries artistic director and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist.

The 264-page book has been designed as a softcover with flaps, contained within a die-cut slipcase and accompanied by a lenticular print designed by Sagmeister.

Stefan Sagmeister: Now is Better, will be published by Phaidon on 28 September and can be pre-ordered now.

Vienna Design Week, September 22 – 1 October

Vienna Design Week will take place from September 22 – 1 October, featuring around 200 events and expecting as many as 40,000 visitors.

Highlights include the exhibition Design for Use, which tells the design stories of everyday objects from packaging to bicycles and furniture; Debut, which showcases the work of the next generation of designers; and Stadtarbeit, which focuses on design tools for social issues – with all its projects taking place in public space and open to all.

On Friday 22 September, this year’s Urban Food Symposium will be themed the City as Resource. Networking events, workshops, talks and projects will tackle design challenges around subjects such as urban farming and working with kitchen waste.

A VDW23 app has been developed by Studio Weholo to allow visitors to “put together their own routes and navigate playfully” through VDW’s events.

Vienna Design Week 2023 will be on from 22 September to 1 October, and its talks programme will be available on the VDW YouTube channel and Spotify. For more information, visit the website.

Exhibitions: V&A Dundee 5th anniversary

Tour of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room, V&A Dundee

To mark five years since the V&A Dundee opened in 2018, the museum will hold a day of free exhibitions, entertainment and family activities on 16 September.

There will be free entry on the day to major exhibition Tartan, featuring among its more than 300 objects, the oldest piece of tartan found in Scotland, the Glen Affric tartan.

A permanent new exhibition space on the ground floor of the museum invites visitors into all the architecture, design, engineering and construction works that went into shaping a design museum for Scotland.

Curator-led tours will cover Charles Rennie Mckintosh’s Oak Room and give rare access to the upper floor of the 1907-designed tearoom, one of Mackintosh’s most important interiors.

Live music and performances will take place throughout the building and drop-in family activities include a make your own birthday hat workshop, hosted by V&A Dundee’s Young People’s Collective.

The celebrations will take place from 10:00-22:00 on 5 September, at V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee, DD1 4EZ. More information can be found here.

London Design Festival, 16-24 September

Aura by Pablo Valbuena

While there are design weeks and festivals happening across the world this month, closer to where Design Week is based is London Design Festival, taking place from 16 – 24 September.

Spanning the whole of the city, there are 13 design districts this year, with the festival hub at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in South Kensington.

Within the huge array of events and commissions are two design fairs: London Design Fair, in the Shoreditch Design Triangle, and Material Matters in the Bankside Design District.

The Global Design Forum at the V&A will be the centre for LDF’s thought leadership programme, featuring keynotes from Yinka Ilori, Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun, Yuri Suzuki and Jonathan Ford of Pearlfisher.

We will be publishing detailed coverage of LDF’s events throughout the next couple of weeks, but for more information visit the LDF website.

Singapore Design Week, 21 September – 1 October

Singapore Design Week returns for 2023 under the theme Better by Design, borrowing the motto from the DesignCouncil Singapore as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

During the first two days, Emerge @ Find will showcase 50 emerging designers from across Southeast Asia, commissioned to create works for this year’s exhibition. Under the theme Craft + Industry: Man + Machine, the designs on show will demonstrate new interpretations of ancient craft as well as materials and processes reliant on the latest technical innovation.

On Monday 25 September, the Design Futures Forum will focus on sustainability, emerging tech and care, and will include as speakers such as Dr Ming Tan of the Tech for Good Institute, Rama Gheerawo of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, and NVIDIA Generative AI expert, Dr Deb Goswami.

For more information about Singapore Design Week 2023, visit the website.

Banner image: Vienna Design Week

Start the discussionStart the discussion
  • Post a comment

Latest articles