Of all the novel technological developments of the past century or so, or more specifically those novel developments in context of mobility, arguably, none have approached the human species’ imagination, spoken to the human species’ fantasies nor so tantalisingly promised that limitless future we all innately know is possible, to quite the degree of the airship; arguably a form of transport that today, all those decades after reaching its zenith as a commercial enterprise, still has an appeal, a fascination, beyond that of the rocket, the plane or even the train.

And a development facilitated to a large degree by aluminium, a, then, still relatively novel material.

A still relatively novel material whose advantages were quickly understood and readily exploited; but whose problems and consequences were, in the golden age of the airship, unknown. Unknowable at that period. But which today are very well documented. And tangible.

With the exhibition Into the Deep. Mines of the Future the Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, employ the aluminium of the earliest airships as a conduit for discussions on future society’s raw materials, and for all for a discussion on the sources and extraction of those materials…….

Into the Deep. Mines of the Future, Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen

In the northern Hemisphere May is a month of ritual; rituals primarily associated with the awakening of nature, the approaching of summer with the associated hope of a successful and bountiful harvest. And rituals which include, amongst many others, maypoles in various contexts, bonfires for various reasons and a myriad dances, including the traditional English children’s dance/game Nuts in May, with its repetition of the line “Here we come gathering nuts in May”… which obviously raises the pertinent question, which nuts can, could, should one gather in England in May? Or indeed anywhere in northern Europe in May? Are they not all a bit underdeveloped in May? Is gathering nuts in late summer, early autumn not a more worthwhile experience? As squirrels do.

So, children and adults alike, don’t waste your time looking for edible nuts in May and invest your time instead in visiting an architecture and/or design exhibition and thereby gathering fresh perspectives and insights in May.

Our five recommendations for new shows opening in May 2023 can be found in Hamburg, Rotterdam, Helsinki, Friedrichshafen and, once again, Rotterdam…….

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for May 2023

According to popular (hi)story the tradition of the Christmas tree originated in the lands of the contemporary Germany. And with O Tannenbaum it was in the lands of the contemporary Germany that that most popular ode to the Christmas tree was first sung.

But it’s not by way of celebration of Germanic contributions to the Christmas season that all five of our new exhibition recommendations for December 2022 are in Germany, Austria or Germanophone Switzerland.

It’s just the way the dice fell. Just where the five most interesting sounding new architecture and design exhibition openings in December 2022 were to be found. As were what would have been at 6, 7 and 8 on our list. Had it continued that far.

And while we’d much rather, would much prefer, that they were more geographically, globally, strewn; thematically they are disparate, and all very much international, universal, in their subject matter and relevance. Plus, and lest we forget, an exhibition opening should never be understood as a reason to visit a particular museum, although please, please, do; but as an invitation to busy oneself with the subject and themes therein, an invitation to begin a journey.

Thus view what follows not as five exhibition recommendations in Germanophone Europe, but as five extra candles for your 2022 Christmas tree, five extra candles lighting your way forward into 2023 and beyond…….

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for December 2022