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5 European Design Fairs and Architecture Exhibits To See

02/18/2015 03:43 pm ET | Updated Apr 19, 2015

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By Ann Binlot, February 17, 2015

1. All Design Istanbul, Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center, Istanbul
February 18-24

Istanbul is quickly becoming the design epicenter of Eurasia, and this event seeks to "create new perspectives" for designers from various sectors. Expect to see speakers like architect Daniel Libeskind, industrial designer Can Yalman, and architect Boris Micka at the conference, while architects, designers, creative directors and more will network at the Creative Industries and Emerging Technologies Fair.

2. "Mackintosh Architecture" Architecture Gallery, RIBA, London
February 18-May 23

The architecture world mourned when a fire burned part of what can arguably considered Charles Rennie Mackintosh's most important masterpiece, The Glasgow School of Art. While his career is celebrated today, Mackintosh hardly got the recognition he deserved during his lifetime, and several of his plans went unrealized. "Mackintosh Architecture" is the first comprehensive retrospective dedicated to the Scottish architect's oeuvre, and will display over 60 original drawings. The exhibition will also showcase several of his projects that never came to fruition, like artists' studios in Chelsea and country lodges.

3. "Architecture of Independence: African Modernism, Vitra Design Museum", Weil am Rhein, Germany
February 20-May 31

During the '60s several African nations gained independence and they sought to establish their national identities through futuristic buildings. Curated by architect and author Manuel Herz with several photographs by Iwan Baan, this exhibition is one of the first dedicated to this period, and will showcase over 50 buildings in Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Zambia, Ghana and Senegal, capturing the zeitgeist of the era.

4. PAD Paris, Tuileries, Paris
March 26-29

While this fair has long been the nexus of art and design, this edition will focus more on Primitive art. Exhibitors include Torri and Negropontes from France, and Finch & Co. and Portuondo from the United Kingdom. Watch out for an entrance that invites guests to ponder over the theme, "art to design life," designed by kinetic sculptor Laurent Debraux.

5. 54th Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan Fairgrounds
April 14-19

Over 350,000 visitors from 170 different countries are expected at the world's biggest design fair. "In Italy" will focus on architect Dario Curatolo, while SaloneSatellite will continue to showcase the work of emerging designers. Michele De Lucchi will showcase the future of design in Workplace 3.0, which will discuss how the design world is changing. Expect to see all the big names in design here.

--Ann Binlot is a New York-based writer and graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism. Having covered the spectrum of topics from foreign affairs and politics, to fashion and art, Binlot has contributed to several publications including TIME, Marie Claire, Newsweek and more.

5 European Design Fairs and Architecture Exhibits To See