The Royal Academy first let fans of art and architecture glimpse the latest works from emerging and established figures back in 1769. This year, more than 1,200 items will go on display from a range of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, photography and film – and almost everything is for sale. Overseeing it all is British sculptor Richard Wilson, who is determined to give free rein to the leading artists on the hanging committee – so brace yourself forsurprises in every room. From 13th June to 21st August at the Royal Academy of Arts
The vision of engineers defines much of our lives – and those pioneering influences are the subject of a dedicated V&A season. The highlight is an exhibition exploring the work of Ove Arup, whose legacy is visible in many 20th-century landmarks, from the Sydney Opera House to the Centre George Pompidou in Paris. The V&A season also includes an experimental evolving garden pavilion that, via a robotic production process, will actually grow. From 18th June to 6th November at the Victoria & Albert Museum
With 2016 marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl, this exhibition celebrates the incomparable children’s storyteller in aptly mischievous style. In an outing that children in particular will relish, Dahl’s life and his impact are gloriously reinterpreted in interactive words, pictures and installations – from his childhood in Wales and time at boarding school to his wartime career in the RAF and beyond. The exhibition also features the stories behind his stories (including Dahl’s own sketches of Fantastic Mr Fox), a peach that’s giant enough for young limbs to have a serious clamber over, and a Concoction Kitchen fit for a magical chocolate factory. Until 3rd July at the Southbank Centre
Few novelists can lift the darkest subjects with sparkling wit as deftly as Lionel Shriver. Here, she imagines a US financial apocalypse in which the Mandibles’ hopes for a vast inheritance evaporate. The family faces fending for itself – not only the privations of life without olive oil, but life out on the streets…unless someone has a plan. Though set in 2029, this is a merciless satire of a foolhardy present.