February's art and design shows that you mustn't miss

Take a day off in the name of creativity and go check out one of these brilliant exhibitions happening throughout February.

If you're lacking motivation or in need of a little inspiration, a well presented exhibition can go a long way to relighting your creative spark. But with so many going on, where do you start? To help you out, we've found a number of events, happening this month, that we think are well worth taking a look at.

01. BLAB 17

Organised by designer Matt Booth, creative meet-up BLAB returns to Manchester again this month. And, once again, there's a fantastic, varied line-up, featuring our first female BLAB speaker, creative director and founder of Soapbox & Sons, Jenny Theolin.

The one night event also welcomes illustrator, art director and designer Sam Gilbey. So, if you want to join the already 150+ creatives attending, grab your ticket here.

02. Typeforce 5

The annual show of emerging typographic talent is back this month in Chicago. Now in its fifth year, the exhibition will showcase 25 typographic and letter-based designers and artists, each of whom will occupy a 10' x 10' of wallspace at the Co‑Prosperity Sphere, a experimental cultural center located in Bridgeport.

Organised and curated by Chicago studio Firebelly Design and non-profit arts and culture organisation Public Media Institute, Typeforce 5 offers creatives everywhere a brilliant opportunity to forget a busy working week in an inspiring celebration of typographic and lettering excellence.

03. Momentum

Being created by multi-disciplinary art and design studio United Visual Artists (UVA), a cool, immersive installation combining light, sound and movement opens at the Barbican this month.

The Curve, the Barbican's free exhibition space, is due to be turned into a spatial instrument, featuring a sequence of pendulum-like elements throughout the 90metre long gallery to create an evolving composition of light and sound.

04. Marcel Wanders: pinned up at the Stedelijk

This exhibition is the largest-ever survey of one of the Netherlands’ most distinguished designers
  • Location: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
  • Showing: 1 Feb - 15 Jun, 2014
  • Admission: Free (members), ¢20 (general)

Dubbed the 'Lady Gaga of the design world' by the New York Times, Marcel Wanders is a Dutch designer who became internationally known in 1996 for his iconic Knotted Chair design. A prolific product and interior designer, he has over 1700 projects to his name, which include clients such as Swarovski, Puma and Alessi to name a few.

From today, a collection of works from his 25-year career is being showcased at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The exhibition presents designs ranging from the late 1980s to the present. More than 400 objects will be on display and will encompass furniture, wallpaper, packaging, images of interiors, design sketches, prototypes and more.

05. The House of Mouse and Pandas

This month, Bristol's first dedicated Graffiti and Street Art Gallery Weapon of Choice invites artist Mick Hockney back for his second solo show, The House of Mouse and Pandas.

Described on the Weapon of Choice website, Hockney's personal work 'uses images and ideas to highlight an array of social issues, from politics to the environment, leavened with a healthy dose of gallows humour'.

06. Picture Hooks

The Picture Hooks exhibition features the work of ten talented illustrators of books for children. Set up to encourage emerging Scottish illustrators, Picture Hooks provides an opportunity for development under the guidance of established professional illustrators.

The exhibition space is filled with a collection of books and chairs for quiet reading time. This year's exhibition includes the work of talented book illustrators Lesley Barnes, Stuart Simpson and Laura Clark.

07. Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module

  • Location: New Museum, New York
  • Showing: 22 Jan - 13 Apr, 2014
  • Admission: Free (members), $16 (general)

And now for something a little different. Eastern European artist collective Tranzit has morphed the fifth floor of the New Museum in NYC into the simulated interior of a spaceship for its 'Report on the Construction of a Spaceship Module' presentation.

Inspired by the fictional spacecraft in the iconic Czech sci-fi film Ikarie XB-1 (1963), the installation features artwork, including video, sculpture, print, and installation, by Tranzit's various members.

Note: This exhibition contains videos with explicit sexual content.

08. In the Making

  • Location: Design Museum, London
  • Showing: 22 Jan - 04 May, 2014
  • Admission: Free

British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are the creative duo behind the In the Making, an exhibition at the Design Museum in London which showcases 24 objects mid-manufacture. A surprising array of items feature, including cricket bats, shoes, marbles, coins and Olympic torches, each of which are exhibited in an incomplete state to highlight the beauty of the production process.

"We have curated an exhibition that will provide a platform to capture and reveal a frozen moment in the manufacturing process and unveils an everyday object in its unfinished state," Osgerby comments. "Often the object is as beautiful, if not more so, than the finished product. There is also the chance people will come in and say 'What a load of old crap'."

09. A Queer Aesthetic

To conincide with Sydney's annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which begins this month, the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre presents A Queer Aesthetic, an exhibition of paintings by Guy James Whitworth.

The Pine Street team comment on the website: "This show examines the most exciting of drives; sexuality. As part of this year’s LGBTQI’s Mardi Gras Arts Festival the poster boy for Sydney’s queer arts scene is not resting on his reputation for his new exhibition, using the show as a platform to challenge ideas on gender roles and sexual stereotypes."

Have we missed any brilliant exhibitions happening this month? Do you have an exhibition you'd like us to mention in March? Let us know in the comments box below!