Here are the five destinations for art and design:
Cape Town, South Africa
The Design Indaba festival has taken over Cape Town every year since it launched in 1995 to champion design and creativity in South Africa. While the festival attracts big names and emerging talent from a variety of creative fields, the graphic design speakers are usually especially exciting, ranging from big agency names to lesser-known artists. Cape Town is also home to a lot of interesting galleries, including the Zeitz MOCAA art museum that opened in 2017 and shows twenty-first century art from Africa and its diaspora, adding to the city’s reputation as a design and art hotspot.
Insider tip: Book a room at the Silo Hotel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick and built in the grain elevator portion of the grain silo complex above the Zeitz MOCAA, for sweet art dreams.
Design Indaba February 27 - March 1, 2019.
In the last few decades the oil rich country of Qatar has been transforming its capital city into an international cultural hub. With the backing of her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, celebrated architects from around the world have helped shape the city’s urban landscape. Impressive artistic institutions such as the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) designed by the Japanese architect I.M. Pei, OMA’s recently opened National Library and ELEMENTAL’s forthcoming transformation of the former flour mills have cemented Doha’s place on the cultural map. Ahead of the city being one of the hosts of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Doha will be celebrating the opening of Jean Nouvel’s phenomenal National Museum of Qatar in 2019. Inspired by the desert rose, a formation of sand crystals that mimic fanned petals, the 40,000 square metre museum incorporates the historic palace and will celebrate the history of Qatar through commissioned artworks by Qatari and international artists, precious artefacts and interactive displays.
Insider tip: Take a stroll through the MIA Park to Richard Serra’s ‘7’ sculpture for the scenic view over the water of the West Bay.
National Museum of Qatar - March 28, 2019
One of the best times to visit Venice is during the Biennale di Venezia Arte that takes place every two years between May to November. The watery city is transformed by the international art festival making it the perfect time to get lost down an alley or take a wrong turn over one of the 400 bridges as you’re sure to stumble across some mind-blowing art. From the national pavilions in the picturesque Giardini to the renovated sprawling Arsenale, the Biennale also gives you unprecedented access to Venetian palazzos and churches normally closed to the public. Just remember your wellington boots as flooding occurs particularly in St Mark’s Square.
Insider tip: Don’t forget to pack your bikini to enjoy the beaches on the Lido.
La Biennale di Venezia 58th International Art Exhibition ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’ May 11 – November 24, 2019
France’s sixth largest city isn’t just picturesque, with its Atlantic coast location and beautiful countryside surroundings, it’s also home to the innovative annual art festival Le Voyage à Nantes. Each year new artworks are commissioned for the city and some remain even after the festival finishes, which means there’s always plenty to discover here – from street art and revamped shop signs to sculptures, installations and mechanical animals. Add its young population, walkable city centre and vibrant restaurant scene into the equation, and you’ll understand why Nantes is fast becoming an exciting destination for the visual arts.
Insider tip: Take a ride inside the gigantic mechanical elephant on Île de Nantes as it walks around the island and sprays water over the bystanders.
Le Voyage à Nantes July – August 2019
Istanbulis a mixture of historic wonderment and contemporary creativity. The city where East and West meet is home to a host of striking imperial and religious architecture that meld awe-inspiring Byzantine and Islamic design. With a skyline often pierced by minarets from the 3,000 plus mosques, the Istanbul of old can be experienced by visiting the exquisite Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. While the contemporary art scene is thriving at various locations including Turkey’s first museum of contemporary art Istanbul Modern, the former 15th century foundry Tophane-i Amire, the idyllic setting of Sakıp Sabancı Museum and contemporary art gallery Dirimart. A great time to visit is in September during the Istanbul Biennial which has been running since 1987. The 2019’s edition will be curated by Nicolas Bourriaud and will feature local as well as international artists responding to pertinent themes.
Insider tip: To get an unrivalled view of Istanbul, walk to the top of the fairytale Galata Tower.
16th Istanbul Biennial September 14 – November 10, 2019.