A Design Lover’s Travel Guide to 2018
From explosive ideas to late-night revelry, experience the world’s great design destinations: art shows, museum openings, fashion events and new architectural wonders. See the world in style at exclusive events and openings, from now until December.
It feels like every year our calendars get more crowded with all the design festivals, art fairs, conferences and exhibits unfolding across the planet. This year is already off to a racing start, with the TED Conference in Vancouver and Milan’s Salone del Mobile both wrapping in April. Where are aesthetes, artists, visual communicators and big thinkers headed next? These are the essential design destinations for (the rest of) 2018, along with the extraordinary moments that you’ll only find at The Ritz-Carlton.
Spark Your Sense of Wanderlust in Berlin
With a theme that’s likely near and dear to guest of The Ritz-Carlton, “Wanderlust” explores the desire to travel with works from international artists including Paul Gauguin, Caspar David Friedrich, Auguste Renoir and Gustave Courbet. Whether you’re more transported by art or by travel, this world-class curation will carry you away. The exhibition runs May 10–Sept. 16 at Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin.
Don’t miss: Afternoon tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, hosted by India-trained tea sommeliers and featuring 68 aromas from the French brand Mariage Frères, to inspire your wanderlust without leaving the hotel.
“Wanderlust” runs May 10 – Sept. 16 at Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Visit smb.museum/en
Discover Cutting-Edge Home Design in New York City
NYCxDesign (May 11–23) showcases design in all disciplines, with fairs including the ICFF, Collective Design Fair, WantedDesign and a variety of satellite exhibits — like the influential Site Unseen OFFSITE — that are arguably even cooler. Last year saw ogle-worthy furnishings and installations from Philippe Malouin, India Mahdahvi and Rockwell Group — perfect for sprucing up your dining room, or just your Instagram feed.
Don’t miss: Rediscovering classic design that stands the test of time. After a busy day in the city, relax at the iconic bar inside The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, where the chic atmosphere provides a perfect place to kick up your feet.
NYCxDesign runs May 11 – 23 in New York. Visit nycxdesign.com.
Celebrate Beauty and Innovation in Barcelona
Where better to revel in the art of design than Barcelona? OFFF is a three-day festival May 24–26 that gathers top international designers to discuss visual creativity, from branding, advertising and user experience to illustration, animation and more. OFFF has expanded to major cities around the world, but the Barcelona event is an annual tradition now entering its 18th year.
Don’t miss: A hands-on flower workshop at Hotel Arts Barcelona, hosted by floral artist Donna Stain, whose custom arrangements are a lush complement to the hotel’s modern design and collection of Spanish and Catalan art.
OFFF Barcelona runs May 24 – 26 in Barcelona. Visit offf.barcelona.
Take a Deep Dive into the World of Color in Japan
If you’ve never been, Miho Museum — an hour’s drive from Kyoto — should sit atop your bucket list. Designed by I.M. Pei, the mystical space is entered by first walking through a long tunnel; the majority of the museum is carved within a rocky mountainside. After cherry blossom season, the next best time to go is this summer, when a new exhibition makes its colorful debut: “Red and Blue: Exploring the Wonderful World of Color,” which runs June 30–Aug. 26. The permanent collection of Asian and Western antiquities is equally spectacular.
Don’t miss: An art tour of The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, whose impressive collection of contemporary art is inspired by scenes from The Tale of Genji, often considered to be the world’s first novel.
“Red and Blue: Exploring the Wonderful World of Color” runs June 30 – Aug. 26 at the Miho Museum in Shigaraki, Japan. Visit miho.or.jp/en.
Explore a New Hotbed of American Art in Cleveland
Cleveland continues its ascent on the world art stage with an ambitious triennial featuring 70 local and international artists with site-specific commissions, performances, films and programs. The inaugural edition is “An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises,” which founder Fred Bidwell says will play out against the backdrop of the Rust Belt’s singular crossroads of racial, political, social and economic issues. The exhibition runs July 14–Sept. 30.
Don’t miss: The reimagined TURN Bar + Kitchen at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, which honors the city’s steel-working legacy and features locally sourced American fare, weekend live DJs and a dramatic onyx bar.
FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art runs July 14 – Sept. 30, 2018 in Cleveland. Visit frontart.org
Uncover Vienna’s Rich History through Photography
Pioneering Austrian photographer Moriz Nähr (1845-1945) is known for portraits of Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This exhibit chronicles the urban and social changes that rocked Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, when Nähr served as court photographer to Archduke Franz Ferdinand — providing an essential visual record of a complex era.
Don’t miss: The city’s 2018 art theme, “Beauty and the Abyss,” which focuses on artists Klimt, Schiele, Wagner and Moser. Choose from three cultural packages at The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna to take advantage of exclusive gallery opportunities.
“Moriz Nähr: Photography and Modernism” runs Aug. 24 – Oct. 29 at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Visit leopoldmuseum.org.
Discover Up-and-Comers in Dubai
Dubai Design Week is an ambitious festival that firmly cements the city as the creative capital of the Middle East. The event includes more than 60 separate activities and projects, including a massive design fair (Downtown Design, Nov. 13 – 16); talks, lectures and workshops; and a focus on incubating both young and regional talent.
Don’t miss: An indulgent Friday brunch, a favorite local tradition. At The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, choose from lavish experiences at 1920s-style Café Belge and the lush urban jungle of Flair No. 5.
Dubai Design Week runs November 12 – 17 in Dubai. Visit dubaidesignweek.ae.
Revel in Miami’s Acclaimed Art and Culture Scene
You already know about Art Basel’s artistic wonders — a thrilling mix of established artists, under-the-radar discoveries and star-studded parties — whether you visit the Swiss festival or the Hong Kong iteration. But for the perfect excuse to visit Miami in December (and for the stellar design event that occurs alongside), this is the best way to cap off the year.
Don’t miss: Escaping the Basel buzz with a spa treatment, yoga session or barre class at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami. The property also has a multimillion-dollar art collection, including a monumental installation from sculptor Guy Dill.
Art Basel Miami Beach runs December 6 – 9 in Miami. Visit artbasel.com/miami-beach.
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