From Hella Jongerius to Verner Panton, brush up on your designer ABCs with our eclectic guide the best design exhibitions this season.

You can call it a lifestyle D-Day of sorts. Just flip through any living arts magazine for evidence of design's stoic embankment upon our stylistic shores. From avant-garde fashion designers building likeminded furniture to architects scaling down their typography for the home, the D word has clearly become the creative—and collectible—rallying cry of the 21st century. It is no surprise then that design is gaining space within the halls of art. This summer/winter season is filled with a wide range of exhibitions devoted to 20th and 21st century design icons. So if you dinner banter lacks a little bit of design depth, make sure that these worldwide design shows are on your cultural agenda this fall.

Jean Prouvé
Galerie 54
54 rue Mazarine
75006 Paris
September 14 through November 12, 2005
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Jean Prouvé
Three Nomadic Structures
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood
August 14 through November 27, 2005

Son of the painter Victor Prouvé, French designer Jean Prouvé is known as the master of metal. Experimenting at length with his fetishistic material, he succeeding at infusing minimalism and elegance into stark and imposing structures. Two exhibitions celebrate his indelible contribution to 20th century design this season: At the MoCA LA, with the first American presentation of his work, and in Paris at Galerie 54, with a set of Prouvé masterpieces that have been preserved in a private collection since their creation.

Shiro Kuramata
Galerie Azzedine Alaia
18 rue de la Verriere
75004 Paris
September 2 through October 2, 2005.

The sculptor of sinewy silhouettes pays special tribute to the poetic, ethereal creations of the late great Japanese interior and furniture designer, Shiro Kuramata at his Paris gallery. Considered one of the most refined and influential modern Japanese designers, this exhibition will present 30 of Kuramata's major furniture designs as well as a rare collection of his drawings.

Verner Panton – The Collected Works
An Exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum
On view at the Axa Gallery
AXA Gallery
787 7th Avenue
New York City, 10019
June 2 through October 1, 2005
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In cooperation with the Vitra Design Museum, the AXA gallery presents an illuminating show devoted to the great inventor of swish, eye-popping designs, including his uber-stylish boldly patterned fabrics, futuristic furniture, colorful lights and trademark molded plastic chairs.

Gaetano Pesce – Il rumore del tempo
Vitra Design Museum
Charles-Eames-Strasse 1
D-79576 Weil am Rheim
June 11 2005 through January 8, 2006
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The politicized, eclectic oeuvre of the Italian architect-artist-designer is distinctive for its tactile and emotive qualities. His experimentations with new materials and inventive use of color infuse each project with a kaleidoscope of the senses. This show thematically explores his impressive 40-year career.

Hella Jongerius-
Montée de Noailles
Hyères Centre
July 10 2005 through September 18, 2005
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With commissions held in leading international museums and distributors clamoring for her artisan, decorative designs, Hella Jongerius is one of the most important female designers working today. So if your vacation in the south of France in prolonged through mid-September, seize the chance to view this retrospective of her designs at the beautiful Villa Noailles.

Hella Jongerius, the Book, published by Phaidon
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Eileen Gray
Design Museum
Shad Thames
September 17, 2005 through January 8, 2006
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This is a landmark retrospective of one of the most influential and well-loved early 20th century architects and designers. Though recognized today for having shaped both the modern movement and Art Deco styles, Irish-born Eileen Gray's male counterparts eclipsed her deserved notoriety throughout most of her career. This show celebrates her timeless achievements and signature style.