Prague International Design Festival


The Future as Viewed by Experts. Designblok prepared two international conferences on the topic

25. 9. 2019

The Future as Viewed by Experts. Can Design Help Make Our Future Better? Designblok prepared two international conferences on the topic! 

The October Designblok is gradually unveiling its program for this year and its main guests. The festival, which will introduce the yet unprecedented number of 342 designers, fashion designers, producers and companies, also premieres two extensive conferences this year. They, naturally, focus on the main subject of this year’s event, Future, as reflected in most various aspects of human life. Designblok will run from 17 to 21 October 2019. 

How will we work in the future, how will we dress, what will be the materials employed in the production of things of our everyday use, and how will our planet look like? This and more will be the main subjects of the two conferences held on the main stage of Designblok. 

TheFuture Conferencewill host five opinion leaders from both the Czech lands and Europe. The distinguished Italian gallery owner, Rossana Orlandi, will discuss plastics and their use and misuse. One of the leading Czech climatologists, Pavel Zahradníček, will open the subject of the future of the Earth, which has long been resonating in the society-wide debate. Pavla Gomba, the director of the Czech UNICEF, will present her idea of the world as viewed by a humanitarian worker. The director of the prestigious Hamburg Museum of Applied Arts, Tulga Beyerle from Austria, will focus on the role of a museum in supporting designers with regard to their gradually transforming role, while the Czech publicist and the Vogue CS Editor-in-Chief, Andrea Běhounková, will talk about the future of the fashion industry. The Future Conference will be held on Sunday, 20 October 2019, from 11 a.m. at the Designblok Garden Stage. 

“The subject of the future is turning increasingly fundamental. This is why we this time decided to extend our program of lectures and workshops with two international conferences – and we are proud to have attracted stellar speakers. Our Garden Stage in the Industrial Palace will host big stars of contemporary design as well as experts from other fields. It is because we think that it is important to present design and its role in a wider context. We have always perceived Designblok as not only a festival of top world design, but also as a platform for discussion, linking up and solving topical issues. The role of designers has recently changed dramatically. Designers are turning into solvers of complex commissions involving social, ecological and economic aspects. I believe that design can significantly help making the world better,” Jana Zielinski, the Designblok director, explained. 

The Vitra Conference: Desk is Dead will offer the presentation given by the famed British designer, Jay Osgerby, who will be one of the main Designblok guests from abroad. He closely cooperated with his colleague from their joint studio, Edward Barber, to develop the groundbreaking SoftWork system for Vitra, and now comes to introduce it to Prague in person. The Vitra brand, which has long followed the subject of the future of human work and working environment, will provide the umbrella for the discussion panel entitled Desk is Dead. The participants who accepted our invitation will be Nora Fehlbaum, the CEO of the Swiss company, the director of its Czech branch, Jiří Zavadil, and the curator and theoretician, Adam Štěch, who will moderate the discussion. The Vitra Conference: Desk is Dead will be held on Friday, 18 October 2019, from 6.30 p.m. at the Designblok Garden Stage.

“Vitra has been pursuing the issue of human work on a long-term basis, thus also paying close attention to how our contemporary workspace looks like. We hire experts who explore what we need to optimize our performance and creativity and what makes us feel good at work, and we do so in small startups as well as large corporations. The Soft Work system resulted from a detailed research and we are happy that Jay Osgerby from Barber&Osgerby, which developed it, will come to introduce it in Prague in person. Is the desk indeed dead? How and where are we going to work in the future, then? We will discuss this during the conference with not only Jay Osgerby, but also with the Vitra CEO, Nora Fehlbaum,” Jiří Zavadil, the director of the Czech Vitra branch, added.

In addition to the two conferences, Designblok visitors can look forward an extensive accompanying program, which will take place at two separate platforms: Reflex Stage in the Designblok Openstudio, and this year’s first Hospodářské noviny Stage in the Designblok Superstudio. 

For booking your entrance tickets to Designblok, please visit, where you can also book your conference seats. Admission to the conferences is free with a valid Designblok ticket. 


Nora Fehlbaum, CEO, Vitra_copyright Vitra, photo Tom Ziora 2

Pavla Gomba.foto lenka hatasova

Rossana Orlandi, Photo Giovanni Gastel for Elle Decor

Tulga Beyerle foto Henning Rogge

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