Venice Design Biennial 2023: Previews for Design Events and Exhibits to Visit

The Venice Design Biennial is a major international event that celebrates the world of design and its impact on society. It’s held in Venice, Italy, and features exhibitions, installations, workshops, and talks by some of the most innovative and influential designers from around the globe.

The first edition of the Venice Design Biennial took place in 2016, and it’s planned to be a recurring event that will happen every two years. This year’s theme is “Auto-Exotic”, which explores design at the intersection of the East and West and brings to the forefront new ways in which culture is represented in the design world.

The event aims to create a platform for designers, architects, artists, and other creative professionals to showcase their work, exchange ideas, and engage with the wider public.

If you’re visiting the city of Venice for this incredible event, you certainly won’t be at a loss for things to do outside of the show. One of the most magical places in the world, Venice is a maze of canals and tiny winding streets that feature shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars around every corner.

When you’re not slurping a gelato or sipping an aperitivo in a sunny square, consider visiting some of the other cultural events the city plays host to. Some of the events are in the field of design and art, whereas others will provide the chance to immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere and traditions of the floating city.


The Venice Architecture Biennale

Date: May 20th 2023 until November 26th 2023

Perhaps the most significant event taking place at the same time as the Venice Design Biennial is the Venice Architecture Biennale which takes place every two years.

Since its inception in 1980, the exhibition has been hugely popular among the international architecture and design community and each iteration features a different theme. This year’s, it’s titled “The Laboratory of the Future” and is curated by Lesley Lokko.

Taking place at the historic Giardini and Arsenale venues in Venice, as well as at Forte Marghera, the event promises an extensive range of exhibitions, installations, performances, and events, showcasing the latest ideas, trends, and innovations in the field of architecture.

What makes this year’s exhibition particularly noteworthy is the strong focus on diversity and inclusivity. More than half of the 89 participants are from Africa or the African Diaspora, and the gender balance is 50/50. These statistics reflect a growing trend in the architecture world towards more diverse and collaborative practices.

The Venice Architecture Biennale isn’t merely an exhibition that highlights the latest developments in architecture. It is also a platform that promotes discussion and exchange of ideas among architects, designers, artists, academics, students, and enthusiasts from across the globe.

The Venice Architecture Biennale

Photos from Venice onward: Inge Morath at Palazzo Grimani

Date: 18th January 2023 until June 4th 2023

To mark 100 years since Inge Morath’s birth, the Palazzo Grimani Museum is showcasing over 200 photographs by the esteemed photographer, including previously unseen stunning shots of Venice, in its exhibition spaces.

Morath was the first female photographer to be welcomed into the Magnum Photos agency. The exhibition includes a range of subjects and themes, from portraits of artists and writers to snapshots of daily life and landscapes that celebrate her exceptional legacy, unique vision, and contribution to the world of photography.

Even if you’re not a photography fan, the stunning Palazzo Grimani is well worth a visit if you’re in town for the Venice Design Biennial.

Edmondo Bacci: Energy and Light at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Date: April 1st 2023 until September 18th 2023

This year the noteworthy Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice will host a major retrospective of the work of Venetian artist Edmondo Bacci, entitled “Energy and Light”.

Organised by Chiara Bertola, Curator and Manager of Contemporary Art Projects at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, the event will showcase around eighty works, many of which have never been displayed before, including paintings, unpublished drawings on loan from the Archivio Edmondo Bacci, as well as other pieces from private collections and international museums.

It will be the first and most extensive exhibition dedicated to the artist and will make a great afternoon trip if you’re in the city.

Peggy Guggenheim

Tutankhamun: Mysteries and Treasures at Palazzo Zaguri 

Date: Until October 31 2023

The Tutankhamun Exhibition is an impressive collection of over 1000 original artefacts, some of which have never been seen before by the public, that are being exhibited at Palazzo Zaguri in Venice.

The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the history of ancient Egypt, showcasing both well-known artefacts as well as lesser-known curiosities and anecdotes that characterise the period.

The exhibition also delves into the mysteries of this ancient civilization, revealing fascinating insights into the way of life, culture, and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. Even after all these years, the secrets and treasures of Tutankhamun continue to captivate and fascinate people from all over the world.

If you’re heading to the Venice Design Biennial, particularly if you’re travelling with kids, this is a great way to stay entertained and learn about an incredible time in history.


Venice Boat Show 2023 at Arsenale di Venezia

Date: May 31st 2023 to June 4th 2023

The Venice Boat Show is a major international boating event that showcases the best of modern shipbuilding in the historic Arsenale of Venice.

Once the symbol of the Venetian Republic’s military power, the Arsenale provides a stunning backdrop for this annual event. The event features not only yachts and maxi yachts, but also highlights environmental sustainability, educational and sporting activities related to the sea and the lagoon, and the area’s traditional shipbuilding craft.

Featuring themed meetings, presentations, exhibitions, art installations, guided tours, educational activities for children, water trials, competitions, and much more. If you’re interested in learning about Venice’s unique history and culture, be sure to spend a day exploring all this event has to offer.

Venice Boat Show 2023

Icônes at Punta della Dogana

April 2nd to November 26th, 2023

Punta della Dogana will play host to a thematic exhibition titled “Icônes” until the end of the year. If you’re planning to visit Venice for the Venice Design Biennial event and you’re a fan of the art world, be sure to pay it a visit.

Curated by Emma Lavigne, CEO of the Pinault Collection, and Bruno Racine, CEO and Director of Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana, the exhibition will primarily showcase iconic works from the Pinault Collection, inviting viewers to reflect on the theme of the icon and the status of the image in the contemporary world. The exhibition aims to explore the status of the image and its ability to embody a presence, evoke emotions, and transcend space through light and shadow.


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