Some big events dominate the calendar this month. Those with art in their sights will already be heading to Art Basel (18-21 June) with its attendant shows Volta, Liste, Scope and Design Miami/Basel while if you stay in the UK there’s the London Festival of Architecture, celebrating all that is fascinating, experimental and beautiful about architecture throughout the month, plus three major art and antiques fairs. Great excitement will also surround the opening of Hertzog & de Meuron’s Tate Modern Extension, and opening slightly before, its extension for the Vitra Museum. And did we mention the major events DMY Berlin and Berlin Biennale? More info and links below.

Architecture and building

Always fascinating, sometimes eye-opening and frequently awe-inspiring, the London Festival of Architecture takes over the month of June. This citywide celebration of architectural experimentation, thinking and practice will this year respond to the theme of Community, by exploring the central role that architecture plays in developing and questioning the definition of community. Thematic strands include housing estate regeneration, creative workplaces, new and green communities, engagement and how London stacks up against other cities. Look out, as always, for walks, talks, events and installations in Trafalgar Square, – that’s not forgetting the 69 partner events, 82 related projects and 62 open studios.
Associated events include the Royal Academy’s 248th Summer Exhibition (from 13 June), with the Architecture room curated by Ian Ritchie and Louisa Hutton. Also the Serpentine Pavilion, which is expanding, with four Summer Houses joining the Pavilion. As always, each architect chosen by the Serpentine has yet to build a permanent building in England. The pavilion itself, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, has an ‘unzipped’ wall that gives a beehive effect, while the summer house designers, Asif Khan, Yona Friendman, Barkow Leibinger and Kunle Adeyemi are inspired by the nearby Queen Caroline’s Temple, a classical style summer house, built in 1734.

The 15th Venice Architecture Biennale (to 27 November) continues apace – do check out the multiplicity of national pavilions (and a further plethora of talks) on offer, all responding to the theme chosen by Alejandro Aravena, Reporting From The Front. Look out for Turkey’s nod to Venice’s and Istanbul’s boatyards, and the Norman Foster Foundation’s prototype droneport.

The much-anticipated Tate Modern Extension will open its doors on 17 June. A project of national significance, thousands of column inches have been spent on its design, cost, aim and so on, but the test will be what visitors think. The aim of the extension is to create more spaces for displaying the collection, performance and installation art and learning, allowing visitors to engage more deeply with art, as well as creating more social spaces for visitors to unwind and relax in the gallery. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it’s a striking combination of the raw and refined. Its brick facade matches the existing structure, while also radically new – a perforated brick lattice with windows and the terrace appearing as cuts in the surface. It looms over the original Tate, its height responding to the iconic chimney of Giles Gilbert Scott’s power station.

That’s not their only project this month: The Vitra Schaudepot, will open on the Vitra Campus as part of the Design Museum on 3 June. The centrepiece of the Schaudepot (which also includes a café and shop) is a permanent exhibition of more than 400 key pieces of modern furniture design from 1800 to the present. This is the first time the internally renowned museum has had a permanent exhibition space, though the Frank Gehry-designed original space will continue to host large temporary exhibitions.

A new expo is opening at Somerset House in London this month: ArDe Architectural and Design Fair. It unites the disciplines of Architecture, Landscape, Design, Public art, Property development and Technology. It offers a sneak peek into how we’ll be living in the future – from the changes to our cities’ skylines, to the ways in which we can simultaneously compress and maximise our living space. We look forward to finding out more.

Finally in architectural events, the Europe-touring architect@work, offering internal and external design solutions for industry and consumer, lands at Lyon (2-3 June).

In terms of trade fairs, Intersolar Europe (21-24 June) in Munich is the world’s largest solar technology trade fair and focuses on photovoltaic and solar thermal solutions. CEB Stuttgart in Germany (29-30 June) focuses on renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings. In Almaty, Kazakhstan – one of architecture’s less likely hot spots – Architecture & Design, Furniture Interior and Timber Woodworking (8-11 June) focus on the architecture of residential and public buildings plus landscape architecture, interior design and equipment & materials for timber.

Arts and antiques

The 8th Whitstable Biennale takes place 4-12 June, taking advantage of the extensive artistic community around this town on the Kent coast. It has developed an international reputation for showcasing the most exciting up-and-coming artists and filmmakers, and engaging audiences in a rich programme that takes in all of the town, from the idiosyncratic halls and huts to galleries and bars via alleyways and oyster beds, the working harbour and of course the steep shingle shoreline.

And in Germany, it’s the 9th Berlin Biennale (from 4 June). This major biennale in one of the world’s coolest cities is, at time of writing, being mischievously incommunicative about what to expect – “A pop album by artists may or may not replace the press release. Performance art may or may not be the future of advanced interior design…” but we do know the multi-platform, New York-based collective DIS are curating.

It’s the Media Art Fair section of Contemporary Art Ruhr, Germany (3-5 June) held in the World Heritage Site Zolverein XII. Taking place within the futuristic SANAA building (designed Pritzker Prize-winning Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishiziwa), discover cutting-edge video and media art, installations, multimedia projects and photography.

This leads us directly onto the biggest event in the global art calendar – Art Basel (16-19 June).  Now in its 46th year, the vast event in Switzerland (which has spawned shows in Miami and Hong Kong) still functions as the art world’s premier platform for modern and contemporary art. It’s a vast and sometimes dizzying event with 300 leading galleries from the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa showing the work of more than 4,000 artists, ranging from the great masters of modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars. They represent every artistic medium: paintings, sculpture, installations, videos, multiples, prints, photography, and performance. Each day offers a full program of events, including symposiums, films, and artist talks. Look out for Art Basel Cities, a new initiative helping cities develop and celebrate their unique cultural landscape, Parkours, site-specific sculptures, interventions, and performances in the city’s neighborhoods, Statements, exciting new solo projects by emerging artists, who are eligible to receive the prestigious Baloise Art Prize and Unlimited, for projects that transcend the classical art-show stand. The city buzzes with exhibitions, events and associated shows. Look out for VOLTA (13-18 June) which focuses on young unknown talent, SCOPE (14-19 June) also features emerging artists and features ‘extraordinary happenings’. Liste, in its 20th year (14-19 June) is the longest established of the ‘upstart’ fairs and was started by young gallerists pushing against the established brands. Last but by no means least Design Miami/ Basel (16-21 June) does for design what Art Basel does for, well, art – more in the design section below.

Other art fairs include LOOP in Barcelona, dedicated to video art in all its forms and features exhibitions, specific projects and screenings, and with a large programme of talks (2-4 June). Untitled Artists Fair in London (3-5 June) is the UK’s largest artist-to-consumer selling fair. The ever-popular Affordable Art Fair returns to London for its Hampstead stint (16-19 June), offering contemporary works in all media from £100-£5,000. Lastly, Artvilnius’16 in Lithuania (9-12 June) is an international contemporary art fair featuring 65 contemporary and modern art galleries, museums, art foundations and individual artist projects from around Europe and with Poland as its guest country. This up and coming player on the international scene also features large-scale installations and sculptures.

There are also some top antiques fairs. The BAAF Brussels Ancient Art Fair (8-12 June) focuses on extraordinary archaeological pieces offered by 12 top dealers from around the world.

With a gala and charity events and a lecture series, Art Antiques London (24-30 June) offers high end works ranging from clocks and books to fine art and furniture. It’s followed by the Olympia International Art and Antiques Fair in London (27 June-3 July), still one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe, featuring 160 international dealers offering beautiful objects from antiquity to the present day, with a price bracket that ranges from £100s to millions. It also has an excellent lecture series.

Masterpiece London (30 June -6 July) exploded onto the scene six years ago, offering museum-quality pieces and promising a cross-over between art, antiques, design and jewellery.

Brocantes include the Newark International Antiques & Collectors Fair (2-3 June) is the largest event of its kind in Europe, as much brocante as antiques fair and featuring 2,500 stalls. Its smaller sister is in Newbury on 29-30 June. Also a brocante – but with an unusual profit structure (money goes towards international solidarity via the Mouvement Emmaus) is Le Salon Emmaus (5 June) in Paris featuring a wide range of items from furniture to bicycles via books, vinyl and toys.

Interiors and design

Short but spectacular, DMY Berlin (2-5 June), the international design festival not only takes over the hangers of Berlin’s former Tempelhof airport with the latest products by European designers, designer studios open across the city. Add a spectacular event and talks programme and you have one of June’s top events, followed swiftly by the Berlin Biennale (see in arts).

Then pop over the border to Switzerland in time for Design Miami/Basel (14-19 June). Design Miami’s Swiss branch offers the same global forum as its US counterpart, creating arguably the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. It’s more than just a market;ace however: the world’s top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of 20th and 21st century furniture, lighting and objets d’art. Each show balances exclusive commercial opportunities with progressive cultural programming.

In Plovdiv, Bulgaria it’s all about One Design Week (10-19 June), an international festival for design and visual culture featuring prominent speakers from all over the world, as well as an extensive programme of events aimed at a broader audience. It strives to serve as a platform to stimulate and support the development of design in Bulgaria and across the Balkans.

What Design Can Do in Amsterdam, Netherlands (30 June-1 July) is a hugely exciting event if you’re into applied design. This event is an international platform about the power of design as a catalyst of change and renewal and a way of addressing the societal questions of our time. The two-day conference will include workshops and brainstorms to generate ideas that will result in a book.

Across the pond New Designers, Part 1 in London (29 June-2 July, Part 2 is 6-9 July) gives a venue to 3,000 graduates from Britain’s leading design courses, presenting an unmissable opportunity to buy new products, be inspired and discover new design talent to commission or recruit. Fashion, textiles, metalwork and jewellery are presented in the first part of the showcase.

There are a number of big interiors shows. Design District 2016 in Zaandam, Netherlands (1-3 June), is the country’s leading event for interior design, from furnishings to lighting via floors and bathrooms. 1-2 June is for trade, 3 June for the general public. LOFT 2016, Karlsruhe, Germany (3-5 June) features furniture, home accessories, fashion and jewellery. DecoRus Expo in Moscow (8-9 June) is Russia’s only high-end interiors show, offering wallpapers and wall-coverings, fabrics, accessories, lighting, furniture, design services to a trade audience.
The Ideal Home Show – entirely consumer-facing – visits Manchester (2-5 June) with seven dedicated show areas ranging from Interiors, to Home Improvements, via Gardens, Gadgets, homeware and of course shopping.
Last but not least the SuperyachtDESIGN Week returns to Design Centre, Chelsea Harbor, London (28-30 June) with a diverse mix of workshops, debates, trend talks and meet ups all designed to look into the future of superyacht design – find out more here.


The eponymous exhibition Pierre Paulin at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (to 22 August) looks at more than the furniture of the man who exemplified 1960s design with his Mushroom and Tulip chairs among others: it also covers a career that included furniture and interior design commissions for two French presidents and the Louvre and encompassed designs ranging from floor lamps and logos to steam irons and a postage stamp.

London’s Punk season continues with Being Punk at the Museum of London (from 3 June) displaying clothes, photographs and ephemera plus meeting places crucial in a time before social media but also creating the bedroom of a teenage Punk before end the night getting changed in a club surrounded by the visual noise of band flyers and graffiti. As its very last event at Shad Thames, the Design Museum will present Punk Fest (25-26 June), two days of creative disruption celebrating of one of London’s most distinctive design movements, with fanzine-making workshops, music, spoken word and other events shaping a fitting last weekend for museum.

The V&A’s Engineering Season, started in May, celebrating the ‘unsung heroes’ of design that create and shape the built world and launching with for a fabulous installation in the museum’s courtyard: inspired by nature and fabricated by robots, the Elytra Filament Pavilion explores the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making. From 15 June Mind Over Matter examines the global impact of contemporary British engineers. From 18 June Engineering the World presents a major retrospective of the engineering legend Ove Arup examining his concept of total design and featuring unseen archival materials for projects such as the Sydney Opera House alongside recent prototypes and digital animations by Arup. Both are supported by a packed events programme exploring some of the most advanced engineering taking place in the world today.