BDW CONFERENCE FREEDOM2 / WIND DAY

The redesigned interior of the National Library of Serbia, located on the beautiful Vračar plateau, in the year when the library celebrates its 180 anniversary, was
a fantastic space for presenting the world’s leading design-thinkers and practicioneers, an ideal place for exchange and discussion between people in the wide scope of creative industries on the subject of freedom and future. BDW’s famous three-day international education conference titled FREEDOM SQUARED was traditionally held as the heart piece of the Design Week, from 07 to 09 June.

This year, the conference gathered arguably the best speakers ever in one place. The focus of the conference that invited 25 key speakers from 20 countries, was finding solutions, ideas, models, trends and future demands through European values and standards, with the aim of defining, understanding and establishing a society of FREEDOM in the entire SEE region.

In front of a packed Central Reading Hall of the National Library of serbia, the Austrian Ambassador HE Dr. Klemens Koja opened the first conference day titled WIND DAY, in honor of the conditions of cultures presenting such as Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway… Jovan Jelovac, founder and curator of BDW presented the speakers, and after each lecture, had a discussion with participants, asking them all about their opinion on freedom in the world today, particularly in their own professional experience.

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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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