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Bratislava Design Week 2017

The Bratislava Design Week is an International Festival of Contemporary Design. It started a few years ago, in 2009, as the Designweek. There you can find the best of the Slovak design scene: designers, independent brands, students, experimental design, fashion, products and even some designers from abroad.

For only 3 euros of entrance fee, you will be able to get an overview of the potential that the country has to offer. With multiple venues and activities, is the most important event related to design in Bratislava.

In general, the organization is nice and the events interesting, but I think there is some room for improvement: the opening hours (from 10 to 19h) coincide with usual working hours, so if you are not a student or a freelancer, it gets difficult to attend to the events. Thankfully, it is open on Saturday and Sunday as well, so the visitors can, at least, have a look at the exhibition. And that is what I did.

Program of the Bratislava Design Week 2017
Photo: Program of the Bratislava Design Week 2017

This year I was only able to go to one of the main venues, Laurinská 14, where I could see the “Open Call Area”. Laurinska 14 is a building under construction, that gives to the whole exhibition a peculiar atmosphere. Designers have to deal with the fact that their designs will be displayed among unfinished floors and walls, sometimes with a lot of dust, and some of them are able to take advantage of it.

One of the most suggestive and flashy elements that are shown there is fashion. Among the exhibitors, I will highlight three that were outstanding: Maja Božovič (Luxury Problems), Terézia Feňovčíková and my favourite: Eva Gacho and her amazing pieces of jewellery.

Fashion design by Maja Božovič, Terézia Feňovčíková and Eva Gacho.
Fashion design: Maja Božovič, Terézia Feňovčíková and Eva Gacho.

Among all the designers and projects I could see, I would like to highlight SELF-2017, which took the form of a “Temporary Library” where you could find books that inspired local and foreign professionals in graphic design.

There circular table with books (most of them full of notes from the owners, probably the most interesting thing about the whole idea) where you could sit, enjoy reading, get inspired and find out where others find inspiration. Next to each book, there was a small explanation of why the designer chose this specific book.

Photo of the temporary library created by Self Festival
SELF 2017: What inspired others may inspire you as well.

And of course, you can find also product design and works from students that, with all the freedom and creativity that Design School and University allows, are able to show new ideas and material applications to the visitors.

To put it in a nutshell, if you like design, Bratislava Design Week is an appointment you don’t want to miss.

Photo of the Open Call Area with designs by VŠVU in Bratislava, Ikea, Stash, and Martin Rohal 
Open Call Area: Department of Design at VŠVU in Bratislava, Ikea, Stash, and Martin Rohal