BDW CONFERENCE FREEDOM2 / FIRE / AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR

Visibly excited because of the previous conference day full of new ideas and momentous presentations, and still under impressions of energetic evenings in the capital’s restaurants and bars, BDW’s guests spent the second day of the conference mainly at the National Library. Even those speakers who have completed their sessions day before, wished to attend lectures delivered by their colleagues, joining the sold-out crowd. Between lectures they rested on Jörg Boner’s brand-new Bahir sofa and Zanotta’s legendary Sacco bean-bags from the sixties, distributed throughout the library area. The visitors spent the breaks at the Atrium Cafe, where they enjoyed sitting on pieces of furniture designed by Serbian designers presented at the SIEPA exhibition. While waiting for the lectures, they were able to tweet via tweet wall, kindly borrowed to us by our media partner Real Time Group.

On the second day of the BDW conference, named FIRE DAY in honor of the predominantly hot tempered line up such as Greece, Italy, Croatia, Australia and Brazil, visitors saw new perspectives of the Freedom2 topic. BDW’s general patron, Samsung, also the partner of the second conference day, introduced its latest phone Galaxy S III, with their marketing director Saša Marjanović’s short expose about the phone’s design and the amazing new features. The acclaimed authors in the fields of design, architecture, advertising and other creative industries presented themselves during the eight hours of lectures divided into three sections. BDW’s guest of honor was the legendary Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, to whose honor a gala reception was held later in one of the most beautiful hotels in Belgrade – Square Nine, which he designed the interior of. The conference was officially opened by another important friend of BDW’s, Her Excellency the Ambassador of Australia to Serbia, Mrs. Helena Studdert, who again, as numerous times in the past at press conferences and public appearances in Serbia, outlined the importance of creative industries for a country’s successful development based on specific examples from Australia, and wished Serbia well in nurturing and developing its unique Belgrade Design Week.

Running in the morning through the city (down what the germans call a fussgangerzone) and being amazed by all the grand empty old buildings that reminded me of my Berlin beginnings. Grafitti on buildings. Lovely broken walls with acne'd facades from decades of reverse engineering. Discovering that all the ships on the river were party boats and open till the morning. Sweating so much in one of the clubs, my phone got messed up. Losing phone in said club. Visiting belgrade police station to report a then stolen phone to a twenty-something cop with a doctor's lab coat, listening to Rammstein (loudly) while hacking out my report on a pre-electric typewriter that looked (and sounded) as if it was from some era before typewriters were invented.   Thinking of Naked Lunch. Thinking of Die-Hard. Listening to architects talk about porous facades. Thinking of old smart bombs. Imagining the flash and crunch of several floors of reinforced concrete collapsing in on themselves. Wondering why I'm the only interactive guy here. Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade? Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade?!

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