Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan pretty much takes the crown where design and furniture trade fairs are concerned. Whether it's your favourite or the most groundbreaking is of course open to much discussion, however, it is undeniably one of the biggest events on the annual design calendar in so far as global pull and breadth of output. That said, it is not without it's rivals.
So what else is out there to get those creative, inspirational juices pumping? Were does a wandering design hungry creative go to whet one's insatiable appetite? Europe! (...of course!)
Sure there is always New York for the ICFF in May and we know that the baby of the bunch: Design Miami, has been turning heads for the past five years, new showcase: The Ki highlighting smart living through sustainable design in San Francisco is even garnering plenty of attention with the likes of Kenneth Cobonpue in attendance, but really, if you want the best-of-the-best in one room at one time, if you want aesthetic, sensory (and walking) overload... Europe's fairs are the fairest of them all.
Salone Mobilé Milan is by and large the first European fair off the starter line in April, but in late September the Spaniards throw the gates open on Hábitat Valencia. True-to-form: their unique, and quintessentially Spanish, avant-garde approach to design which differentiates them from greater Europe, is on show for all to absorb and be swept up in.
Hábitat 2010 welcomes it's guests from September 28 and now boasts over 800 exhibitors, 60,000 visitors from more than 100 countries and 125,000 square metres of space given over to exhibits.
In essence, Feria Hábitat Valencia seeks to create trends and generate innnovation.
Cant argue with that!
Not to be outdone, just last week the Parisians made the most of their receding Summer and turned on the charm as only the French can. France's Maison et Objet 2010 drew a huge, well dressed, turn out and most notably celebrated the works of Jaime Hayón in "Moving Ideas" an exhibition of Jaime... by Jaime.
Across The Channel (not to be mistaken for Chanel), the Brits are shrugging off the stuffy image to stage what they propose to be nothing less than: 100% Design London. A highlight on the program is the 100% Futures exhibit showcasing the UK’s emerging design across interiors, architecture and furniture.
Last but not least... and perhaps fittingly: The Sleep Event in the UK in November is:
the only event in Europe that focuses entirely on the design, architecture and development of hotels, encompassing a design-led exhibition, high-level conference and awards ceremony.
Make sure you check out the shortlist for their European Hotel Design Awards which naturally includes the breathtaking Mandarin Hotel, Barcelona with interiors by the seemingly omnipresent Patricia Urquiola.
Exhausting and exhilirating all at once, the sleek lacquered surface of the European Design Calendar isn't even part way scratched in this brief post. To try and cover the length and breadth of it in person all in one year would still leave a design addict wrung out and overstimulated... that's not to say we wouldn't be up for the challenge!