The theme for the 20th edition of the Designblok international design festival being held in Prague is “Celebration”. The visuals for this year’s event depict two cyclists in a symbolic representation of hard work, enthusiasm and the simple joy of riding together. In addition to the exhibitions at the Industrial Palace and Lapidarium at Výstaviště in Holešovice, the entire Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace will be brimful of design gems. Designblok – the biggest festival of design and fashion in Central Europe – runs from October 25th to October 29th, 2018.
At Výstaviště Praha Holešovice, visitors will get the chance to witness the future of design, with presentations by Czech and international participants. “Celebration” symbolises both the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia – an event that resonates throughout the cultural landscape – and the 20-year-long history of Designblok. Jana Zielinski, Director of Designblok, explains: “As Designblok celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Czech Republic also celebrates the 100th anniversary of its independence. That’s why “celebration” is the perfect theme for this year’s festival. For the last 20 years, we’ve been promoting design, launching Czech designers onto the international stage, and encouraging collaboration between designers and industry. This year, the focus is on celebrating contemporary Czech design in all its variety and quality. But we believe this is only the beginning. Designblok is here to showcase the promising future of our country.”
Over the years, Designblok has evolved from a small event for experts and fans into the biggest design festival in Central Europe. Zielinski adds: “We had just 14 participants in the first year. The most frequent question asked by visitors and journalists back then was, ‘What does design exactly mean?’ And even though we were often told this type of event wouldn’t work in the Czech Republic, we always had huge faith in the outstanding quality of Czech design. Today, design is part of the middle-class lifestyle and Designblok is now the biggest design festival in Central Europe.” For the first couple of years, Designblok events were held in individual showrooms and galleries. But then owners agreed to open buildings or premises that would be otherwise closed to public, such as the Grand Hotel Evropa in Wenceslas Square, Žižkov freight-railway station, the Karlín-based ČKD building, DOX creative space, Corso in Karlín, Kafka House in Old Town Square, Botel Neptun, Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, Clam-Gallas Palace, and even one primary school. So while Designblok’s first years were seen by only a few in-the-know, the last several editions have attracted over 50,000 visitors.
Over the years, Designblok has hosted world-renowned designers, including Patricia Urquiola, Jasper Morrison, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Matali Crasset, Studio Job, Maarten van Severen, Tjep Studio, Ineke Hans, Marcel Wanders, Formafantasma, Arihiro Miyake, Richard Hutten and many other big names from around the world.
14. 8. 2018