The 22nd edition of Prague’s major design festival will take place from 7-11 October. This year’s Designerie, the conceptual heart of Designblok, and the Passion exhibition was designed by acclaimed designer Jan Plecháč. Special epidemiologic measures will be introduced, and the festival also presents changes in organisation and measures taken to assure a safe environment for both the visitors and exhibitors. For the first time, the venue will be divided into sectors and tickets will have limited time validity. Some sectors of the festival will be accessible free of charge.
Jan Plecháč’s has been a fixture of the Czech design scene for a number of years. Together with Henry Wielgus he collaborated with top Czech and international brands and also has a large personal portfolio. Plecháč designed the look of this year’s Designerie, previously rendered by designers Lucie Koldová, Maxim Velčovský and Jan Rosický. Designerie will be located in the cloister of Gabriel Loci, in a space that was previously a garden. “We bring verdure again to where used to be a cloister garden, be it for a few days only. We create a pop-up Garden of Eden and in contrast to the paradisal experience it’s made of 222 pieces of ladder, a common object, yet not earthbound, that will offer visitors an incredible perspective. And perspective is indeed what our society needs so much. The motto of this year’s Designblok is “Don’t produce, don’t throw. Borrow, play and return,” says designer Jan Plecháč about his intention.
Ladders from Designerie with original stamp by their author will be auctioned at the venue and proceeds will go to the Centrum Paraple, a charity project helping wheelchair-bound people.
Jan Plecháč is also the author of the main exhibition that reflects this year’s central theme: passion. Plecháč’s passion for motorcycles will be the core of the Passion exhibition: over the course of five days of Designblok twelve master craftsmen, supervised by DK Garage Boss, will turn the ČZ 175 motorcycle into a unique designer jewel as designed by Plecháč.
For the first time, Designblok will take place in the breath-taking historical space of Gabriel Loci located in the centre of Prague. This year’s edition will place emphasis on Czech producers and designers: “This year, we’ve all faced an unprecedented situation. Czech designers and fashion designers now go through a difficult test, and despite the fact that many have adapted to the situation in a thoughtful and creative way, they still need our support. Therefore, I am pleased that this year’s edition of the Designblok festival focusses on Czech designers, helping them to turn their ideas into reality,” says Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of Prague.
Safety measures at Designblok
To provide maximum safety to the public and the exhibitors, Designblok adopted a number of changes in the organisation of the visit. The Gabriel Loci space is divided into several equal-sized sectors with separate entrances and exits; some are accessible with a ticket only, while others are for free. The number of persons present at one time in a sector will be limited. Exhibitors are evenly distributed between paid sectors A and B, so visitors will find producers, designers, fashion and jewellery in both. Art House in Musaion, dedicated to art design, and outdoor exhibitions will be open to all visitors for free, as well as Hospodářské noviny Stage supported by CzechTrade and Reflex Stage that will offer side programme consisting of lectures and discussions.
“This year’s 22nd edition of the Designblok festival will be exceptional in several ways: first, it will take place in the unique space of the former St. Gabriel Monastery in Holečkova st., now called Gabriel Loci. The historical site, inaccessible to the public under normal circumstances, and contemporary design will guarantee visitors a one-of-a-kind experience. Second, this year’s Designblok is unique due to the ongoing corona crisis: in collaboration with the Prague Hygienic Station safety measures were designed so as to minimise the risk of contagion. We recommend to reserve about five hours of your time for Designblok: two hours for sector A, 30 minutes for the outdoor sector, and another two hours for sector B. Visitors can then walk down to the Musaion in the Kinsky Summer Palace and see the exposition in Art House. Visitors are welcome to come to lectures and discussions organised in collaboration with Reflex Magazine, Hospodářské noviny daily and the Czech Trade agency and free-of-charge. Tickets will be available at goout.net, in presale and at the venue. Sector A and B will be accessible with a valid ticket and will offer an even portion of main events. Tickets to each sector will be available at the friendly price of 150 CZK; concessionary tickets will be available to pupils, students and seniors. Besides Gabriel Loci and Musaion, events will also take place in a number of showrooms and studios in Prague. We believe that despite time restrictions imposed on visitors this year, Designblok is still absolutely worth the visit. Designers and producers need our support and they’ve created some amazing things that deserve our attention," , says Designblok director Jana Zielinski.
For the first time in the history of the festival, the validity of the ticket will be restricted to two hours per sector. This time should be sufficient to comfortably tour the sector and includes stops for shopping at the designers. Organisational measures will come hand in hand with hygienic equipment, such as disinfection stands. Visitors will be asked to wear face masks at all times in the festival premises. Shared spaces will be disinfected after each time slot.
Designblok couldn’t take place without the valuable support of our partners, especially Erste Premier, our general partner. Tomáš Petr, director of Erste Private Banking and Erste Premier commented on the collaboration: “We believe that each path is easier to walk when you have someone who supports you. The long-term partnership of our brand and design is also reflected in our new and unique Erste Premier visual materials designed for us by amazing illustrator Eliška Podzimková. Similarly to designers exhibiting their products, our clients put lots of passion into building their own values and deserve to be the ones cared for.”
22. 9. 2020