For some, March means spring break; for die-hard aesthetes, it means a slate of can’t-miss industry happenings around the world. New Yorkers and visitors alike have the Armory Show, Asia Week, and AD’s own Design Show to look forward to. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, Singapore will throw an annual citywide celebration of design. If you’re traveling to that part of the world, you might want to start in Singapore and then hop over to Melbourne, which will host a design week of its own. In Europe, it would be easy to attend TEFAF in Maastricht and take a train to Brussels for Collectible Design and the Affordable Art Fair. Whether you’re making an annual pilgrimage to New York, want to scope out the hottest design in southeast Asia and Australia, or are heading to Europe in search of antiques, now is the time to plan your trip.
New York City
March is a big month for New York. The famed Armory Show is celebrating its 25th anniversary with 59 new exhibitors and a total of 194 galleries hailing from 33 countries. While it draws visitors to Piers 92 and 94, SCOPE will run concurrently at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea with a focus on groundbreaking contemporary work. Next up will be Asia Week, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary from March 13–23 with auctions, exhibits by dealers, and special shows at the Met, the Rubin Museum of Art, Asia Society, and other cultural institutions. Finally, from March 21–24, AD’s own Architectural Digest Design Show will take over Piers 92 and 94 with displays by 400 brands, demonstrations, seminars, and special appearances.
If you’re in town, you might want to check out Hudson Yards, the massive new neighborhood on the West Side with Thomas Heatherwick’s the Vessel, the Shed arts center Diller Scofidio + Renfro, lead architect, and Rockwell Group, collaborating architect, José Andrés’s Mercado Little Spain, and much more. It would be convenient to stay at the new Moxy Chelsea designed by Yabu Pushelberg and the Rockwell Group or the Aliz Hotel, which just debuted Manhattan’s highest rooftop bar, Dear Irving on Hudson.
The sixth edition of Singapore Design Week will take place March 4–17, with key events like the International Furniture Fair and Singapore Urban Design Festival expected to draw architects, designers, and makers to the city-state. Raffles Singapore—currently under renovation by Alexandra Champalimaud—won’t be reopened yet, but there are plenty of other fantastic hotels. We recommend the Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, a new member of Leading Hotels of the World that opened last fall with a must-try restaurant by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Alvin Leung.
Self-described as “Australia’s leading annual international design event,” Melbourne Design Week will take place March 14–24. This year’s theme, “Design Experiments,” encourages participants to imagine how design can shape the future. If you go, stay at QT Melbourne, an industrial-chic boutique hotel in a former cinema with five fun dining and drinking venues, including one of the city’s largest rooftop bars. Australian summer will be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in a bit of beach time at the popular St. Kilda Beach.
The Belgian capital will come alive March 14–17 as Collectible Design and the Affordable Art Fair draw visitors to the city for an array of contemporary art and design events. Plus, you could easily start here and then head to Maastricht (see more below), which is about an hour and a half away by train. Check into the Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo, a bastion of style around the corner from the Grand Place, and be sure to spend some time in the antiques shops of Les Sablons.
Maastricht, the Netherlands
This small Dutch city becomes a hive of activity every year for TEFAF, one of the world’s most important fairs for art, antiques, and design. The fair will take place March 16–24 at the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Center. Book a room at Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, a member of Design Hotels inside a Gothic church that’s been outfitted with furniture by Le Corbusier, Philippe Starck, and other modern and contemporary designers. You’ll want to stop by Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen, a bookstore set inside a Gothic church that’s considered one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores.
From Architectural Digest