September is always a busy month for the design world. If we had to choose, though, we would plan a trip to Paris, London, Montreal, Helsinki, or Chicago, each of which will host a major event that should be on the calendar of every design aficionado. You could do a double-header and attend Paris Design Week followed by the London Design Fair, which take place back-to-back. Montreal’s Salon du Design offers a North American alternative. Chicago—already known for its skyscrapers—will be an architecture lover’s playground thanks to the Chicago Architecture Biennial. And little Helsinki is emerging from the shadows of its Nordic neighbors to become one of the region’s most talked-about design destinations, which you can experience during Helsinki Design Week. The hardest part is choosing where not to go.
September is a buzzing month in the City of Light. Paris Fashion Week (September 23–October 1) will follow Paris Design Week (September 6–15). The main event, of course, is Maison & Objet. This year, the fair’s theme will be designing for the workplace revolution, with a 1,000-square-meter zone dedicated to office and work-related design ideas. Headed to Paris for the fair? Check into the sleek new Sinner Paris designed by Tristan Auer or splurge on one of the city’s most exceptional suites.
The London Design Fair, which draws 29,000 visitors annually, returns this fall as one of the signature events at the London Design Festival. This year’s edition will feature 550 exhibitors from 40 countries, including Peru, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates. Plus, the renowned Saatchi Gallery will host “I-MADE,” an exhibition focused solely on Italian design curated by Giulio Cappellini, who spoke to AD PRO about the project. If you plan on attending the festival, which takes place from September 14–22, be sure to book your hotel as soon as possible. Consider reserving one of the Milestone Hotel’s newly renovated suites, like the Art Deco–inspired Ruhlmann Suite, or splurge on one of these other opulent hotel suites.
Around 20,000 visitors are expected to descend on Montreal for the 31st edition of the Salon du Design de Montreal, which takes place September 12–14. Some 300 exhibitors will display their latest and greatest products in eight themed spaces. If you’re headed north for the festivities, book a room at the Hotel William Gray in the heart of Old Montreal and be sure to enjoy the nice weather while you can.
September is a big month for Chicago as well. On September 19, the Chicago Architecture Biennial will return for its third edition, with free public exhibitions, full-scale installations, and other programming. Expo Chicago—the city’s most important art fair—will take place concurrently at Navy Pier. Architecture fans should plan to visit the Chicago Architecture Center at its new home in a Mies van der Rohe building overlooking the Chicago River. The CAC is offering discounted joint passes to the Architecture Biennial and Expo Chicago with the option to add one of its acclaimed walking tours. If you go, make time to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and Unity Temple, which were just designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Though it still lies in the shadows of Copenhagen and Stockholm, the Finnish capital has quietly emerged as a leader in Nordic design. Want to see what all the fuss is about? Why not plan a trip to experience Helsinki Design Week, which kicks off on September 5 and lasts until the 15th? This year’s Helsinki Design Awards will honor Finnish design with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendly solutions to climate change. Hotel St. George—a member of Design Hotels—is the place to stay during your trip.
Previously published on Architectural Digest.