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Prague International Design Festival


A Paper Kayak, Bio-Packaging and a Mobile Lake – Just Some of the Work on Show at the 2018 Designblok Diploma Selection Competition – But Who Will Be the Winners This Year?

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A Paper Kayak, Bio-Packaging and a Mobile Lake – Just Some of the Work on Show at the 2018 Designblok Diploma Selection Competition – But Who Will Be the Winners This Year?

Designblok – Prague’s annual design festival – has announced the finalists for this year’s Diploma Selection Competition. The competition is co-organised by Designblok and EUNIC Cluster Czech Republic for the fifth year running. The finalists include 15 product designers and 15 fashion designers from prestigious European colleges and universities. The winners will be awarded EUR 1,000 and given the opportunity to present their work at an individual Designblok installation next year. Six designers from the Czech Republic have been shortlisted. The winners will be announced during the Designblok festival, which runs from October 25th to October 29th, 2018.

This year, the Diploma Selection finalists come from 12 European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Germany and Norway. Last year’s winner Anna Banout – who won acclaim for her collection of Syrian-Martian objects – as well as Marlène Huissoud and Jorge Penadés, the 2014 and 2015 Diploma Selection winners, will display their work at the Manifesto exhibition running at Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace.

Luc Lévy, President of EUNIC Cluster Czech Republic and Director of the French Institute in Prague, says: “Designblok casts a spotlight on the Czech and international design scenes. The event gives art school graduates an opportunity to present their work to the international public and serves as a unique opportunity for professional growth. EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) – the network of European cultural institutes – together with the cultural affairs departments at embassies of associated countries support young talented designers, helping them boost their professional growth. We’re delighted to be giving a helping hand to these talented young designers.”

This year, curators Danica Kovářová, Adam Štěch, Jana Zielinski and Jiří Macek shortlisted finalists from over a hundred applicants representing 22 European universities. The finalists include: Roza Janusz (Poland), who explores growable bio-packaging; Lieke Li (Belgium), who integrates the theme of depression into her designs; and Zuzana Svátik (Slovakia), whose collection of vases explores the burdens of gender stereotypes. Representing the Czech contingent are Dominik Janoušek’s paper kayak design, Štěpán Kitzberger’s non-conventional cut-glass vases and Dana Vránková’s creation in the form of an interior lake. Respect for traditional craftsmanship, material innovations and recycling pervade many of the graduation projects, with fashion collections responding to themes of overproduction and labour in fast fashion.

Jiří Macek, Creative Director of Designblok, says: “We’re pleased to see that the quality of the submitted projects is increasing year-on-year and that competitors are committed to experimenting with materials, exploring sustainable resources and presenting creative concepts. The finalists will be assessed by leading curators and gallerists from Europe and the USA who attend Designblok every year and help many of the finalists launch successful careers – one of the goals of the Designblok Diploma Competition.”

The product design exhibition will run at the Openstudio, located in the left wing of the Industrial Palace in the grounds of Výstaviště, while the fashion finalists will present their work at the Garden Stage in the Central Hall on Saturday, October 27. Winners in both categories will be chosen by an international jury of experts made up of renowned Czech and international gallerists, curators, journalists and design theorists. This year, the jury is joined by several new members: designer Ineke Hans; curator Maria Cristina Didero; Hans Stefan Moritch, Programme Director of New Design University, St. Pölten (AT), and consultant Stephan Hamel.

2018 Diploma Selection Finalists

Product Design: Marie Cornil/École cantonale d'art de Lausanne ECAL (Switzerland), Diego Faivre/Design Academy Eindhoven, (Netherlands), Monika Fišerová/Czech Technical University, Prague (Czech Republic), Luke Fuller/University of Brighton, (UK), Dominik Janoušek/Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic), Matěj Janský/AAAD (Czech Republic), Roza Janusz/School of Form (Poland), Charlotte Kidger/Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London (UK), Sebastian Kitzberger/AAAD (Czech Republic), Lieke Li/LUCA School of Arts (Belgium), Johana Němečková/AAAD (Czech Republic), Philipp Schenk-Mischke/Royal College of Art (UK), Alexander Schul/Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Netherlands), Zuzana Svatik/Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava (Slovakia), Dana Vránková/Tomáš Baťa University, Zlín (Czech Republic)

Fashion Design: Weronika Draus/Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (Poland), Maxime Cordier/Helmo Mode Fashion School, (Belgium), Nienke Creemers/Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Netherlands), Silvia Fröhlich Zrebná/Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava (Slovakia), Michal Gruca/Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp (Belgium), Debbie Jellema/HKU University of Arts, Utrecht (Netherlands), Julia Koscienska/Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (Poland), Ramona Salo Myrseth/Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Norway), Patricia Narbon/University of Applied Arts, Vienna (Austria), Hüseyin Özer/Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design, Halle (Germany), Nina Pen/Artez Institute of the Arts (Netherlands), Polina Sotirova/National Academy of Art, Sofia (Bulgaria), Jasmijn Taken/Utrecht School of the Arts (Netherlands), Maria van Steenoven/Artez Institute of the Arts (Netherlands), Pia Walter/Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (Netherlands)

Competition Jury

Product Design: Juliet Kinchin, Design Curator, New York; Lina Kanafani, Curator, Gallerist, MINT shop, London; Rossana Orlandi, Gallerist, Spazio Rossana Orlandi, Milan; Tulga Beyerle, Director of the Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden – Pilnitz; Agnieszka Jacobson, School of Form, Poznań; François Leblanc, Gallerist, Gallery S. Bensimon, Paris; Gilles Massé, Wallpaper Store, Milan; Cok de Rooy, Curator, Gallerist, Frozen Fountain, Amsterdam; Adam Štěch, Curator and Design Theorist, Okolo (CZ); Hans Stefan Moritsch, Designer and Programme Director of New Design University (AT), Stephan Hamel – Design and Brand-Building Consultant (IT), Maria Critstina Didero, Curator and Writer (IT), Ineke Hans, Designer, Founder of Ineke Hans and London Salons (NL)

Fashion Design: Natasha Binar, Fashion Theorist (DE); Esther Sternkopf, Creative Director, ELLE PL, Warsaw; Noémie Schwaller, Editor-in-Chief, DASH Magazine (UK); Andrea Běhounková, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue (CZ); Danica Kovářová, Editor-in-Chief, Dolce Vita (CZ); Veronika Ruppert, Journalist, Editor, Modeschau, Radio Wave, (CZ); Jan Králíček, Journalist, Fashion Consultant, Vogue (CZ), Petr Matějček, Editor-in-Chief, ELLE (CZ)


16. 10. 2018

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