BDW DIZAJNPARK EXHIBITIONS – Part I

TALK OF THE TOWN

BDW DizajnPark exhibitions, powered by Gorenje, part of Belgrade Design Week 2014, were the talk of the town last month, when a myriad of visitors from Belgrade, and around the world occupied the old Staklopan factory from October7th to 12th, to see the displays by some of the world’s and Serbian greatest designers.
Take a look at some of the highlights!

“Out of the Box”, by Design Museum Holon, IL

The massive exhibition “Out of the Box” – Design made in Israel, by the Design Museum Holon, describes through common objects, the way in which Israeli designers cope with the passion to create in the face of the necessity to exist. Survival, as is commonly stated, is the mother of all inventions. It seems that in the fields of design, the artists are required to do even more. They are required to think out of the box, to develop a unique point of view, a fresh and unexpected way to observe problems, as well as construct solutions. Brought to us with kind support by the Embassy of Israel in Belgrade, this exhibition showed Belgrade Design Week visitors how those artists operate, what drives them, and how we may learn from them about the thinking processes and innovations that are the hallmark of design in Israel. Maybe that is why the audience voted for this exhibition as the best one.

 

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„Comfort #8“, by Lang/Baumann, CH

Swiss artists Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann, better known under the common name L/B presented to Belgrade’s audience their „Comfort #8“ work, thanks to support from the Swiss Arts Council ProHelvetia. The artistic couple Lang / Baumann, who have been collaborating since the 1990s, has developed a complex work method which includes a wide range of media – from wall paintings to installations, sculptures, photography and video, with several projects in the field of architecture, using a variety of materials – wood, metal, paint, carpet and inflatable structures. Their pieces are round and square, concave and convex, both light and dark, elegantly bare andradiant with warmth, simple and complex.Some of them are site-specific, some are modular and can be adapted to different situations. Maybe that is why BDW’s curator, Jovan Jelovac, voted for this exhibition as the best one.

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“Still and Sparkling”, by Nendo for Lasvit, JP/CZ

The Japanese design studio Nendo’s “Still and Sparkling” exhibition is composed of five concepts: press lamps, inhale lamps, inner blow and overflow tables, the x-ray vase and growing vases, created as a result of extensive research and experimental design approach. It was presented to the Belgrade audience thanks to kind support by the owners, Lasvit and the Japan Foundation. The designer Oki Sato mixed lightness and minimalism to form each work. The resulting collection rejects traditional glassblowing techniques, embracing instead the irregularities typically considered defects within the craft, an expression of Nendo’s personal investigation into the material and its production representing new and unusual methods in hand-blown glass. “Still and sparkling” is the fruit of collaboration with Lasvit’s glassblowers, and represents the best possible outcome of their trial and error approach: designs not overly controlled by the hands of the designers, which is why they are especially beautiful. Maybe that is why BDW’s CEO, Vesna Jelovac, voted for this exhibition as the best one.

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“Freedom to Reshape”, by Laufen, CH

Laufen‘s exhibition “Freedom to Reshape” at the Belgrade Design Week 2014 presented the Swiss company as it is – groundbreaking and pushing the boundaries of its proprietary SaphirKeramik technology, that has revolutionized the world of bathroom design. It is a perfect combination of resistance, lightness and elegance. Working together with Konstantin Grčić and Toan Nguyen, LAUFEN showed SaphirKeramik’s formal possibilities through the realization of a set of washbasins that exhibit the brand’s aim to go beyond the limits of the material. Konstantin Grčić’s washbasins employ combinations of rectangular and circular elements that range in dimension, rendered unique through the subtle game of material subtraction offered by the SaphirKeramik technology, with geometrical rhythms that adorn their surfaces making them modern and different. Toan Nguyen’s ‘classic’washbasin takes on a more traditional aesthetic, while still being far from ordinary. He designed his thin and delicate forms with beautiful proportions; rendering it almost two-dimensional from some angles. Maybe that is why BDW’s communication boss, Milica Novkovic, voted for this exhibition as the best one, and now strongly wishes to work for Marc Viardot of Laufen.

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“Strala is Presence”, by Tom Strala, CH

Thanks to Swiss Arts Council ProHelvetia, the exhibition of Tom Strala, titled “Strala is Presence”, was also presented at Staklopan. Independent from ephemeral trends and narrowing norms, Tom Strala realizes unique collections. Today, the studio Strala is recognized as a pioneer in examining the present values and developing new ones. His objects d’art are known and appreciated both as sophisticated and timeless pieces of art, as well as objects of function. His approach to work and life is sometimes more spiritual than technical, which shows in his designs and in the installation of dancing shadows and lights around his furniture, which truly impressed BDW visitors. Maybe that is why BDW’s PR, Desanka Belancic, voted for this exhibition as the best one, and now strongly wishes to bring Strala studio to Belgrade.

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“People”, by Branko Starčević, RS

Branko Starčević, a Belgrade based photographer, showcased at Staklopan his exhibition “People”. He produces portrait and advertising photography, and his work is both contemporary and nostalgic – an example of well thought out documentarist approach bringing out the film patina of a bygone era. At the end of the exhibition, Branko was so kind to shoot the official portrait of BDW 2014 – the entore crew with only a few absent members… Thank you Branko!

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The participant’s list is impressive! Belgrade Design Week is the best professional event I ever participated in. But to me it also has emotional significance. I am in Belgrade again, twenty years later. I was not sure what to expect but I encountered a fantastic atmosphere and amazing people. I have a feeling I have old friends here.

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