Prague International Design Festival


Designblok will select the best diplomas by the arriving European designers.

8. 10. 2019

A sound toy, learning via augmented reality, or carpets made of algae. Designblok will select the best diplomas by the arriving European designers. 

The international competition Diploma Selection will introduce 30 diplomas by students from leading European universities. The finalists in the categories Product Design and Fashion Design were selected from 150 nominees, and include eight students from Czech institutions. The prestigious contest is held for the sixth time and Designblok organizes it in cooperation with the EUNIC Cluster Czech Republic. The winners will receive the financial award of 1,000 EURO and the possibility of their separate presentation at the next year’s festival. An international jury of curators and gallery owners will select the best projects in the course of Designblok’s duration, i.e. between 17 and 21 October 2019. 

This year, the curators were selecting the finalists out of 154 registered students from 46 prestigious European universities. Those who made it to the finale come from eight European countries – Hungary, Germany, France, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic. The diplomas, which the students will submit to the international jury, pursue a wide range of subjects, from a grown material of algae and furniture of pressed hemp fiber to exploring the emotional value of things, memories recast into ceramic objects, ponderings over ways of improving education, and innovative toys. The finalists across the product and fashion sections echo the topical issues of sustainability, seeking ways out of the omnipresent overproduction and wasting our resources. 

“This year, the EUNIC Cluster Prague – a network of cultural institutes and cultural attachés from the embassies of EU countries – again cooperates with Designblok in organizing the 6th Diploma Selection. We are happy to encourage young artists to present and promote their works. We are utmost eager to see the results of the Diploma Selection contest, to be announced on 19 October 2019.” Maciej Ruczak, President of the EUNIC Cluster Czech Republic, and Director of the Polish Institute in Prague 

The representatives of the Czech Republic in the field of product design will be Matěj Coufal with the project entitled Meter, which even explores the classical tool on the theoretical level, Tannia Klimenko with her collection of sculptural objects, Zdeněk Růžička, who created a special sound toy, Vítek Škop with his work touching upon innovative teaching physics via augmented reality, Adam Štok with his collection made on hydraulic press, and Sebastian Vlasák with his figural objects, Brouk (Beetle). From among fashion designers, the potential winners are two students from the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Barbora Procházková with her Sapience project and Michaela Čapková, who fuses fashion and various social issues. 

“This year’s diplomas resonate with the subject of ecology or, respectively, with inventing alternative materials which have the potential of replacing plastic or wood in the future. Some works also deal with innovations within the existing system of education and with developing children’s personality. These issues have become vital in the contemporary design in general, proving that designers today are determined to help improve the current condition of our planet.” Jana Zielinski, Designblok director

The Product Design exhibition will occupy the space of Openstudio, situated in the left wing of the Industrial Palace of the Holešovice Exhibition Grounds, while the fashion finalists will introduce their works at Garden Stage in the central hall on Saturday, 19 October. The bodies selecting winners in the two categories will be international juries of significant Czech and foreign gallery owners, curators, journalists and design theoreticians. The jury newcomers will be Nora Feldbaum, CEO of the Swiss brand Vitra, Giulio Cappellini, the art director of the Cappellini brand, and Gerti Draxler, the design specialist from Dorotheum, Vienna. The Czech representative who agreed to become a new jury member will be Aneta Šaferová, Editor-in-Chief of the Proč Ne?! magazine. 

Along with the finalists, Diploma Selection will also present the winners of the 2018 competition, Ramona Salo Myrseth, who was awarded for her Lapland-inspired collection I Am Not the Grass in Your Boots, and Alexander Schul, who defended his victory with a project aimed at the conservation of resources. 


2019 Diploma Selection finalists

Product DesignMatěj Coufal, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (CZ), Gabriella Farkas, Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design (HU), Melanie Glöckler, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle (G), Philipp Hainke, Berlin University of the Arts (G), Tannia Klimenko, University of West Bohemia, Pilsen (CZ), Zhyldyz Kozhoiarova, School of Form in Poznań (P), Erwan Péron, École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, Paris (FR), Luis Royal, Ar.Co Centro de arte, Lisbon (PRT), Zdeněk Růžička, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (CZ), Tosca Schift, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem (NL), Yvon Smeets, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem (NL), Vítek Škop, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (CZ), Adam Štok, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem (CZ), Zuzanna Wrocławska, Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Wrocław (PL)

Fashion Design:Michaela Čapková, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (CZ), Nina Dekker, Royal Academy of Art in Hague (NL), Leila El Alaoui, Utrecht School of the Arts (NL), Pietro Fadda, Istituto Marangoni in Milan (IT), Liu Hong Quan, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem (NL), Joline Kwakkenbos, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem (NL), Britt Liberg, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem (NL), Nikki Noij and Dafne Noij, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem (NL), Weronika Pietrzak, Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź (PL), Barbora Procházková, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (CZ), Otilia Vieru, Royal Academy of Art in Hague (NL), Alex Werth & Hannes Muehleiss, Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences (G), Dylan Westerweel, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem (NL), Daria Wierzbicka, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (PL), Armia Yousefi, University of the Arts Utrecht (NL) 


2019 Diploma Selection jury

Product Design: Juliet Kinchin, design curator, MoMA, New York (US), Lina Kanafani, curator, gallery owner, MINT shop, London (GB), Rossana Orlandi, gallery owner, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Milan (IT), Tulga Beyerle, director, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (D), Agnieszka Jacobson, art director, School of Form, Poznań (PL), François Leblanc, gallery owner, Gallery S. Bensimon, Paris (F), Gilles Massé, Wallpaper Store, Milan (IT), Adam Štěch, curator, design theoretician, Okolo (CZ), Nora Fehlbaum, CEO, Vitra (CH), Giulio Cappellini, art director, Cappellini (IT), Gerti Draxler, design specialist, Dorotheum (A), Stephan Hamel, design consultant (IT)

Fashion DesignNoémie Schwaller, fashion editor (UK), Andrea Běhounková, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue CS (CZ), Danica Kovářová, curator (CZ), Veronika Ruppert, journalist, editor, Modeschau, Radio Wave (CZ), Jan Králíček, journalist, fashion consultant, Vogue CS (CZ), Petr Matějček, fashion editor (CZ), Aneta Šaferová, Editor-in-Chief, Proč ne?! (CZ)


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