Summer Break!!!

As in August 2022!!

And once again, not us, we’re here, we’re busy, we’re keen, we’re chomping at the bit; but the international architecture and design museum community have very clearly decided amongst themselves not to open new exhibitions in August. Whereby, yes, August always was a slow month for new openings but that in August 2022 and August 2023 we should find but one new showcase is a signal of something more than a coincidence.

And, as with August 2022, one exhibition is clearly not a list.

Thus in place of a list of new exhibitions, we offer here two geographically arranged lists of those architecture and design exhibitions on show in August 2023 and which you can, should, must, visit.

Whereby, and as ever, the list is in no way exhaustive, we have without question missed interesting and informative showcases, so please check local press for what is happening wherever you happen to be…….

5 New Architecture Design Exhibitions for August 2023

For the first time in its long and illustrious history Leipzig’s Grassimesse will award a dedicated design prize at its 2023 edition.

More specifically, will award the €2,500 smow-Designpreis.

The call for entries is now open, and you are all cordially invited closed…….

grassimesse smow-designpreis

Following smow Turin’s thoroughly unexpected, if in no way undeserved, victory in the 2021 smow Song Contest, it’s off to Piemonte for the 2022 edition.

A 2022 smow Song Contest being held very much in context of events 20 years previous…….

smow song contest 2022 smowblog

After a long, challenging, year the smow Song Contest finds itself exactly where it was: Rotterdam.

Not just the location, but the stage, the decoration, the costumes, even the bier en frieten exactly as they were twelve months ago.

The decisive, defining, difference between the 2020 smow Song Contest and the 2021 smow Song Contest being the new understandings, the new perceptions, the new perspectives, the new vitality, the new passions, the new desires, the new old new, articulated by the contest’s motto: Open Up!

smow song contest 2021

In a year in which the familiar glow of many a beloved cultural event is missing, one beacon continues to shine.

As a virtual, and in many regards virtual, event the smow Song Contest is one that can be staged regardless of prevailing physical social distancing regulations and physical travel restrictions.

And while virtual closeness and virtual travel can never, and must never be allowed to, replace the physical, the 2020 smow Song Contest does allow us all an opportunity to cross great distances, to come together, to stay safe, to stay responsible, but for all to stay dancing…..

smow song contest 2020

How many stories can a city tell? There are the public, collective, communal stories told by its buildings, by its peoples, by its industries, by the development of its cultural institutions and through the actions of famous/infamous citizens; but there are also the myriad private, individual stories, the scurrilous, the appalling, the romantic, the comic, the tragic, the improbable, and of course the secret, whispered, ones.

At the risk of sounding like a city marketing platform, a city is the sum of its stories. And is thereby always in flux.

For Waidblicke #3 smow Cologne invited selected professional and student architects, photographers and designers to reflect on Cologne’s Stadtgeschichte(n) – City (Hi)stories

The Cologne City Wall as imagined by Corporate Architecture students from Cologne Institute of Architectural Design (CIAD), as seen at Waidblicke #3: Stadtgeschichte(n), smow Köln

The only FAQ not answered by the smow FAQs is the one that begins, “What is smow……..?”

And as smow grows and grows so too does the F with which the Q is A’d.

The answer in one sense is very simple, smow trade in furniture, lighting and home/office accessories through a series of showrooms and online shops. But that only partly explains “smow”. Doesn’t explain the how, who, why and wherefore. Nor the richness. Explaining the true smow is in many respects best achieved by exploring another trading institution whose superficial simplicity hides its true depth of character ….. The Hanseatic League.

Then as now the way to the top was difficult, but a challenge the succesful traders didn't shy away from.....

It’s not quite radio smow. Not yet. But we hope it is another way to enjoy, and understand, the smow blog…….

6 D 030 Z by Charles Ray Eames for Evans for Zenith Radio, as seen at Radio Days. Tube Radios, Design Classics, Internet Radio, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne

Ever since supermarkets started filling their shelves with Christmas foodstuffs in September, view-on-demand has allowed us to watch “It’s a

Passagen Cologne 2015 Zu Tisch bei smow Köln ASCO Tische

Following on from the success of smow Cologne‘s Passagen Design Week début in 2014 with the USM Haller exhibition Facetten,

Stadt-Land-schafft smow Cologne Waidblicke 2014 Looker by dreiform

As already noted, until Friday October 31st smow Cologne are presenting the exhibition Stadt-Land-schafft. Making use of smow Cologne’s generous

“What was the best moment of your life?” ask Cologne based Pell Architekten in the introduction to their contribution to smow

smow blog autumn tour 2014

We’ve spent a lot of 2014 travelling backwards on trains, racing towards the future with our eyes fixed firmly on

smow australia

For many, the darkest, furthest removed edge of the (smow) universe is (smow) Chemnitz. (smow) however reaches further. Much further.

A summer silly season with 360 degree product images and handmade bottle openers explaining the difference between craft and design

It is in the very nature of year ends that they tend to cause one to reflect. And so in

smow 360 degree Artemide Tolomeo Tavolo Micro

Although we rarely have reason to blow our own trumpets, we do regularly have cause to sound our colleagues veritable

vitra eames elephant

On Tuesday April 30th 2013 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands steps down as head as the House of Orange. And

A garden is for relaxing in on a summers evening. For growing vegetables. For having a cheeky cigarette when you’re

It’s not easy being German. It really isn’t. Fortunately, it can be highly entertaining; as Philipp Kohlhöfer more than eloquently

In the wake of our “warehouse” post we have received numerous emails along a similar vein: “It’s OK for yous

We’re not going to pretend we’re fans of Carnival. Truth be told, for us Carnival and Oktoberfest belong to a

As traditional as roasted chestnuts and corked sherry, gift recommendations are what make Christmas for us. This year, however, we


The fifth Leipzig Designers Open is well … Open. For the next three days over 150 international exhibitors will be

Our new flash has arrived …. and that just in the nick of time. (As the name tends to imply