Dezeen's 10 architecture and design exhibitions not to miss in 2018
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Bodys Isek Kingelez at MoMA
Photograph by Maurice Aeschimann, courtesy of CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection

10 architecture and design exhibitions not to miss in 2018

This year, exhibitions will explore architecture and design in a variety of ways. US reporter Eleanor Gibson's selection of the 10 best include the first showcase of Bodys Isek Kingelez's body of work and 60 dresses by the late Azzedine Alaïa – but none celebrating women have so far been announced.


Bodys Isek Kingelez at MoMA
Photograph by Maurice Aeschimann, courtesy of CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection

Bodys Isek Kingelez
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA
26 May – 21 October 2018

Fantastical model cities made of cardboard, paper, plastic and found objects are set to fill the galleries of New York's MoMA, as it stages the first retrospective exhibition of work by late Congolese sculptor Bodys Isek Kingelez.

The installation will track Kingelez's 25-year-long career, which began with individual buildings and then turned to the sprawling metropoles he based on African cities.


Values of Design at Design Society
Fragile Future by Studio Drift

Values of Design
V&A Gallery at Design Society, Shenzhen, China
2 December 2017 – 4 August 2019

London's Victoria and Albert museum recently opened its first international gallery in Shenzhen's new design museum, Design Society.

Architect Sam Jacob was enlisted to mark the occasion with a showcase of 250 objects from the V&A's collection. Pieces mark significant points in design history, ranging from a 17th-century astrolabe to a jumpsuit that Stella McCartney designed for H&M.


Photograph by William Matthews

Renzo Piano
Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
15 September 2018 — 20 January 2019

The Royal Academy worked closely with Italian architect Renzo Piano to create this showcase celebrating his career spanning 50 years.

Drawings, models and full-size experiments that have rarely been showed before will offer visitors glimpses into the design processes of his most-well known buildings – including The New York Times Building and The Shard.


Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier
Design Museum, London, UK
10 May – 7 October 2018

Following fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa's death in November last year, London's Design Museum will present 60 of his meticulously cut and figure-fitting dresses.

Although appearing timely, the exhibition had been in the works for a while and the Tunisian-born designer picked most of the pieces.


Photograph by Studio Tomás Saraceno

The Future Starts Here
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
12 May 2018 – undisclosed

As rapid advances in technology change how we live, the Victoria and Albert museum aims to eradicate uncertainty by imagining the future in 100 completed designs.

Examples include a crowd-funded pedestrian bridge, the world's first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city designed by Foster + Partners, and sculptural balloons for environmentally friendly travel.


Heavenly Bodies exhibit at Costume Institute

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
10 May – 8 October 2018

A perhaps unexpected link between religious art and contemporary couture will be explored in the Costume Institute's Spring 2018 exhibition at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The major fashion showcase will span two of the museum's Manhattan locations, with exhibition design by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.


Centro Innovacion UC Anacleto Angelini by Alejandro Aravena

The Architect's Studio: Alejandro Aravena
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
11 October 2018 – 17 February 2019

Alejandro Aravena's socially conscious architectural studio Elemental, based in Chile, is next up in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art's "trendsetting" architects series.

Expect to see designs for low-cost "incremental" housing, and the monumental UC Innovation Center – Anacleto Angelini, which is punctured by a small number of huge openings.


Photograph by Torkel Korling, courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project
National Building Museum, Washington, DC, USA
5 May 2018 – 3 March 2019

Washington DC's National Building Museum focuses on the three US cities that were built from the ground up in Tennessee, New Mexico and Washington state to provide bases for developing nuclear weapons during the second world war.

The trio, known as the Manhattan Project, served a strategic, military purpose. But today they demonstrate pioneering architecture, engineering, and planning, as well as modernist design principles.


Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – today at Vitra Design Museum
Photograph by Paolo Mussat Sartor

Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – today
Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany
17 March – 9 September 2018

With acclaimed architect Arata Isozaki designing New York's Palladio and Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA completing London's Ministry of Sound, it's about time the evolution of nightclub design was documented.

Vitra Design Museum will bring the party to the gallery with music, lighting and spatial installations.


Walking stick by Shiro Studio
Photograph by Andrea Morgante, courtesy of Shiro Studio

First Steps toward Art, Design and Disability (tentative title)
National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
22 February – 22 May 2017

Little information has so far been released about this Tokyo exhibition, but its tentative title First Steps toward Art, Design and Disability draws plenty of intrigue.

By exploring ways that design responds to disabilities, it will aptly follow a year that has seen the design industry grow a conscious.