Prague International Design Festival


Rockaway Capital has become a strategic investor for Designblok festival

22. 5. 2024

Rockaway Capital, the investment group headed by Jakub Havrlant and the current partner of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and Colours of Ostrava, has joined forces with another successful brand –they are becoming a strategic investor for Designblok, one of the most eminent international festivals of design and fashion aimed at the general public. The group’s entrance onto the scene aims to support Czech design in the world, bring some of the biggest figures in the field of design to the Czech Republic and connect the spheres of art and business.

Over the last quarter century, Designblok has won the position of the most important international showcase of Czech and European design. The objective of owners Jana Zielinski and Jiří Macek is to build an event on par with world design conventions and in this way familiarize the wider public with the current trends in the sphere of design, fashion and architecture. Thanks to the entry of Rockaway Capital into the Profil Media company, who are the driving force behind the brand Křehký and the Czech Grand Design Awards, Designblok can move forward in its mission to support high-quality Czech design and bring international elite designers to the Czech Republic.

The Rockaway group has years of experience with the Czech cultural environment. In early 2021, the group partnered with Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, later establishing the KVIFF Group which has since supported all the cultural activities surrounding the festival; and in summer 2022, the group announced its support of the Colours of Ostrava festival. It helped both events with management and the implementation of digital solutions. In the case of KVIFF, the group helped develop the KVIFF.TV platform as well as providing assets to the Aerofilms distribution company; and together with Colours of Ostrava, they have been bringing to Czechia stars like Lenny Kravitz or Sam Smith, as well as supporting ambitious projects like Meltingpot.

“In over ten years of its existence, Rockaway group has proven that it is confident and sure in the field of digital technologies and that we bring to the table our rich experience with e-commerce, e-travel, venture capital, fintech and blockchain. We continue to develop our know-how and have expanded also thanks to our entry into the art sphere. Designblok is a confident and stable brand, and I am very glad that we have joined forces. Through future joint projects, we want to push the company even further – to show the strength of Czech design in the world and draw top-notch international names to Czechia. The connection of the spheres of art and business is also very important to us,” says Rockaway investment partner Jan Jírovec.

And Rockaway can use its technological and business expertise also in the case of Designblok. The festival’s management team, which has remained the same, expects that the festival’s entry into the group will ensure stability and make its position on the international cultural scene all the more impactful. One example is the special travelling exhibition Designblok Cosmos which was launched in 2023 as part of Designblok festival and later travelled to the Milan Design Week; or the Made by Fire project which explores the historical and contemporary situation of Czech glass and porcelain.

“Over a year ago, me and Jan Jírovec started discussing the entry of Rockaway Capital into our projects, meaning Designblok festival, the Czech Grand Design Awards and the Křehký brand. We were drawn to the idea of collaborating with an investor because we were looking for a way to develop our activities, strategically connect our projects and share know-how. After 25 years of operations, Designblok has developed a strong position on the domestic and international scenes, and it is time to dynamically grow further. I am also pleased that we have become members of the Rockaway Arts along with KVIFF and Colours of Ostrava. These are highly popular festivals which show that Czechia can organize important cultural events, and we are helping our society and economy in this way,” adds Jana Zielinski, co-owner of Profil Media and director of Designblok festival.

 In October 2023, the Prague International Design Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary. Over the years, it has helped hundreds of exhibitors and designers present their works in attractive spaces often otherwise inaccessible to the public. This year’s Designblok will have the overarching theme of Youth and will take place 2–6 October. It will again welcome the visitors to some exceptional locations – the newly refurbished Prague City Museum, the modern Bastion Florenc project and, after the immense success of last year, it will also return to Prague Castle and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The exhibitions will traditionally be organized as the Superstudio, which showcases the newest works by Czech and international producers developed in collaboration with the best designers, and the Openstudio, which provides space for prototypes and mini-series which have not received input from a commercial producer. The festival will also traditionally feature a rich accompanying program in the form of lectures, discussions, workshops, fashion shows and other events providing opportunity for networking and mutual inspiration.

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