Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in Boston.

November 2018
Robert Kiihne
Director of Exhibits
USS Constitution Museum

Welcome to November Bostonians! It may be cold or it might be quite nice out, but either way there is still plenty to do this month. Here are some annual favorites and unique opportunities.


Lighting technologies are changing fast, and artists can explore what is possible at ILLUMINUS, an outdoor art festival that focuses on light, performance and fun. ILLUMINUS 2018 will take place in Downtown Crossing on November 2 & 3, 2018, 6pm - 11pm. Past years work has been inspirational! November is the perfect time to play with light as the sun sets early but the temperature has yet to plunge.


Often art is used as just a reflection of the horrors of war and not an inspiration toward peace. Here is a wonderful example of the later. 3300 handmade poppies will be installed in Carlisle center (and across the globe) for the Carlisle Poppy Display. It is worth a special trip to consider how we should respond to war both historically and today. World War I was very much a war caused and continued by a complete failure of imagination. If you are reading this, then it is likely you are a design professional.  You are not off the hook. Your work can inspire imagination, and just maybe help the social creativity necessary to find an alternative to destruction.


There are always great lectures around town, and if you are like me you only attend half the number you should. Jan Boelen has done some fascinating work centered on design and art. In “design as Learning,” Jan promises to explore why, “Learning and unlearning should become part of an on-going educational practice.”

Have a great time and get your holiday shopping done early this year!  Waltham Open Studios will be November 3rd and 4th while Brickbottom Open Studios will be November 17th and 18th. I usually plan on a three plus hours exploration each of these complexes.

In the world of wooden sailboats there is one designer who is so revered that many of his creations from more than 50 years ago remain on the water today. The newly completed exhibition at the MIT Museum: Lighter, Stronger, Faster: The Herreshoff Legacy is a must see for all - especially designers. The exhibition uses models, interactives and MIT’s repository of Herreshoff plans to tell of innovation and creativity. One interactive offers users the opportunity to explore in detail the full catalog of Herreshoff plans.

Past Editors