8. 8. 2022
The 24th Annual Designblok, the largest design expo in Central Europe, will take place from 5 to 9 October 2022. The main exhibition spaces will be the Gabriel Loci complex in Smíchov and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The festival's visuals, which traditionally feature the work of photographer Salim Issa and graphic designer Martina Černá, capture the passionate interaction between nature, humanity, and organic structures created by the studio MY DVĚ. Its creators, designers Monika Matějková and Veronika Watzková, will also guide the transformation of the central festival space known as Designérie.
The central theme of this year's Designblok is FOREST. This theme reflects not only the use of natural materials and traditional craft techniques, but also acute environmental issues. “The forest is the source of life. Plants allow us to breathe, while greenery is the most natural enhancer to our everyday environment. The forest is also a source of materials, a temple of rest, a paradise for mushroom hunters, a source of inspiration for artists and makers, a haunted and magical fairytale setting. The smell of the forest, of damp earth, leaves, needles, and wildflowers, is a reason to keep going,” says festival director Jana Zielinski.
The central installation of the festival – Designerie – is created every year in the spirit of the theme. Its design this year was undertaken by designers Monika Matějková and Veronika Watzková from the studio MY DVĚ, who decided to transform it into an abstract landscape structure reflecting the diversity of nature and its coexistence with humankind. Fragments of this upcoming Designerie play a starring role in this year's conference visuals alongside authentic forest elements and human characters. Moments of symbiosis were captured by photographer Salim Issa under the creative direction of Jiří Macek and the resulting graphic design was produced by Martina Černá of Imagery Studio.
“We decided to take the wild segments of organic shapes and structures directly into the forest so that they could take on a life of their own. Human figures began to appear and disappear around them just like wild animals. Their movements were followed by gusts of the wind like the wind in the treetops and thereby played a passionate game that evoked the close relationship between man and nature. Although we talk more and more about the importance of conservation, environment, and the changes needed in the human approach to the surrounding landscape, we often get the impression that this topic does not concern us personally. We agree that we love the forest, but do we see ourselves as part of it? Do we realize that as individuals we are an integral part of the entire ecosystem? In the visuals of this year's festival, we certainly do. And I believe the same passion, energy, and desire to explore ways to move the world for the better will be ever-present at the 24th Annual Designblok,” says Jiří Macek, Creative Director of Designblok.
The festival will once again take place this autumn in two main exhibition halls. Gabriel Loci will focus primarily on presenting new products from international brands, manufacturers, designers, and design studios. This former convent will also host the current year of the international exhibition Diploma Selection, the thematically oriented central space Designerie, and a discussion stage for the ancillary program and lectures by designers, festival partners, and international guests.
The Museum of Decorative Arts will offer a concept-driven exhibition with their own theme of RAINFOREST. Two floors of the museum will be dedicated exclusively to artists and companies with Czech roots. It will also include the second edition of the Family Silver exhibition, which will present Czech family manufacturers. This year the Art House exhibition of collectible design is also moving to the Museum of Decorative Arts. One of the museum's floors will then be dedicated to 24 Czech designers whose work places an emphasis on combining quality craftsmanship with contemporary design, building on rich Czech traditions in both directions. In addition to Gabriel Loci and the Museum of Decorative Arts, the program of Designblok traditionally involves a number of galleries, showrooms, and pop-up shops throughout Prague. The festival will also feature a rich ancillary program and the participation of international guests.