(CNN)2016 was a year to remember, or forget, depending on which side of history you're on. Politics and news aside, the cultural world in and of itself was alight with exhibitions, runway shows and creative innovations that will be talked about in years to come. Here's a look back at some of our most loved stories.
2016's most visually inspiring moments
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Technology and art collided at DMM.Planets Art, one of Japan's largest art exhibitions to-date. Tokyo-based artist collective teamLab created interactive installations in a 3,000-square-meter exhibition space full of LED lights.
This interactive exhibit changes structure, color and movement according to each visitor's movement.
The Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) in Lima, Peru, won the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) inaugural International Prize. This prestigious international architecture award is given to the "most significant and inspirational building of the year," according to the RIBA.
The world's largest art fair, Art Basel, descended on Hong Kong for its fourth year -- and its growing influence was felt throughout the neon city in March. A number of gallery openings, exhibition debuts, late-night parties, and satellite events were all timed to mark the occasion.
Each year the design industry descends on Miami Beach, Florida, for Design Miami -- an incubator for ideas, installations and conversations that help shape the world as we know it.
At this year's fair, CNN Style invited a number of visionary talents from the fields of design, fashion, art and architecture to let their imaginations run wild with Google's Tilt Brush -- an app that allows users to paint the impossible. Watch here.
The exhibition "Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of technology," held at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, explored the interplay between fashion and technology and showcased works by designers such as Iris van Herpen, leading the charge.
When Kendall Jenner opened Fendi's Autumn-Winter 2016-2017 haute couture show, gliding across a glass runway as the sun set on one of Rome's most historic landmarks, the audience of VIP editors and guests -- including Kate Hudson and Bella Thorne -- knew instantly that Karl Lagerfeld was making fashion history.
The British Fashion Council hosted the 2016 Fashion Awards at London's Royal Albert Hall. Produced in partnership with Swarovski, the ceremony gathered the industry's best and brightest including Kate Moss, Winnie Harlow, Gucci's Alessandro Michele, Jared Leto, and Marilyn Manson. Gigi Hadid won this year's award for International Model.
Chinese contemporary artist Zeng Fanzhi made headlines in 2013 when his work, "The Last Supper" (2001), sold at a Sotheby's auction for $23.3 million. His largest retrospective exhibition of his works to date, titled "Zeng Fanzhi: Parcours" was held at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing. The exhibition comprised nearly 60 works, showcasing three decades of Zeng's remarkable career.
Deep inside the Royal Botanical Gardens in London, a 40-ton steel sculpture was planted in a peaceful wildflower meadow. The structure, called "The Hive," is an ode to the plight of honeybees, created by artist Wolfgang Buttress. Lights and sounds inside the sculpture were controlled by the vibrations of a real beehive.
Even if you don't know the name KAWS, you've probably seen his toy-like sculptures or actual toys that resemble Mickey Mouse dolls with self-esteem issues, which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.
Born Brian Donnelly, New York-based former graffiti artist KAWS has worked with renowned personalities including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. This year, KAWS and his army of cartoon giants invaded the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
China's design scene has witnessed an ascendency in recent years, and 2016's edition of Beijing Design Week (BJDW) celebrated the country's growing product design and craft industry, as well as changing attitudes toward products "Made in China."
Sophia Neophitou, editor-in-chief of 10 Magazine, shared some of her favorite moments from Paris Fashion Week with CNN Style. From Anthony Vaccarello's debut Yves Saint Laurent collection to a sneak peak with Victoria's Secret angel Alessandra Ambrosio backstage at Balmain, Paris Fashion Week is full of endless surprises.
"Vogue 100: A Century of Style," a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, showcased the remarkable range of photography that has been at the forefront of British Vogue since it was founded in 1916. The exhibition included rare photographs of The Beatles, Jude Law, and a controversial Kate Moss underwear shoot.
ART X Lagos is not your traditional contemporary art fair in any shape or form. The audience is invited to observe the artists performing their crafts and are even encouraged to add their own mark by scribbling on a gigantic coloring wall. The idea behind ART X Lagos is to try bridge the gap that exists in Nigeria and West Africa between contemporary art and popular culture.
In 2008, artist Shepard Fairey's "Hope" -- the now iconic blue red poster depicting then-presidential candidate Barack Obama -- went viral, becoming the defining image of his campaign. Two election cycles later, Fairey's take on Donald Trump is a stark contrast to "Hope." CNN met with Fairey in Hong Kong, where the artist created three murals in the city and opened "Visual Disobedience," an exhibition of 300 of his works.
The inaugural edition of the London Design Biennale kicked off at Somerset House, showcasing newly commissioned works and installations by leading designers, architects, artists, thinkers and institutions. Under the theme of "Utopia by Design," 37 nations from six continents presented their visions.
"It's stimulating for me to try to do things here because it's not so expected," Vhils, 29, says of the flashy, fast-paced commercial hub of Hong Kong.
Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer and CEO of Burberry, leads the "see now, buy now" revolution in a stunning show set within an old bookshop in Soho, London. The show was live-streamed on the Burberry website, Facebook and YouTube. Burberry also launched on Facebook Messenger, offering live customer service facilities for eager buyers.
For those in the classic car universe there are few words more evocative than "Pebble Beach." From vintage race cars to the hordes of supercars that take over the golfing community every August, Pebble Beach celebrates automotive elegance.
"Art fairs are necessarily not for artists," says British artist Idris Khan, whose work combines painting, photography and sculpture. "What it does is it opens art to the masses a lot more. Not everyone goes to museums, not everyone can go and buy in galleries, so I think it opens up people's minds in a much more global way." CNN Style joined Khan at the eighth edition of Abu Dhabi Art.