FIRST EVER CREATIVE FORUM SERBIA 2013

The very first Creative Forum Serbia took place on 05 June 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, powered by Samsung, as part of the eighth
Belgrade Design Week. This event gathered roughly 2000 members of the Serbian creative community, in order to create a brand new platform for people to network, meet, exchange ideas and discuss new business endeavors. The idea is to organize this new event platform several times a year at exclusive city
locations for a premiere audience selected among the best and most innovative businessmen, advertisers, architects, designers, photographers, fashion experts, filmmakers, IT experts, government and cultural workers. The entry was free of charge, with each visitor receiving a personal invitation from BDW and SAMSUNG, which was granted after a detailed process of identification, selection and personal calls made to almost 5000 distinguished members of the Serbian creative and business community and leading professional associations in the field of business, architecture, design, advertising, film, fashion, etc. In the near future, after the news about this amazing, first ever CFS is spread by word-of-mouth, the personal invitation to the next CFS will be the hottest ticket in town for every businessman, educated and creative person in Serbia and in the region.
The spectacular, first ever Creative Forum Serbia opened at exactly 19:00 h. Aside from the exclusive program and the extraordinary quality of the audience of professionals who gathered this way for the very first time in Serbia, the reason why this event was so innovative was is the location in which it was held. For the first time, after seven years of reconstruction, BDW was honored to be allowed to open the doors of the icon of Yugoslav modern architecture: the Museum of Contemporary Art at Ušće. As homage to the location, BDW co-produced on several floors of the Museum site-specific design exhibitions from over ten European countries, each created to fit a particular room of the museum, along with sound and augmented reality segments, under a single name: INNOVATION SQUARED. This was the ideal setting for the greeting cocktail, provided for the guests by Samsung. Right after the cocktail, CFS’ guests had immediately the opportunity to gain insight into the ideas of global creative leaders. The latest creative industries documentary produced in Serbia was premiered, titled: „Freedom Squared“, by Miodrag Ilić, a film about the creative processes of some of the greatest creative minds of the XXI century, who took part in the 2012 edition of the Belgrade Design Week.
At 20:20h sharp, based on global standards of the PechaKucha license, thirteen most influential Serbian creatives that marked the year 2012, carefully selected by BDW curators, presented their work with in form of the distinctive PechaKucha Night presentations. PKN is a format of individual presentations in 20 slides, each of which lasts 20 seconds. PechaKucha Night is held in 500 cities worldwide, and this was the first one organized by Belgrade Design Week. The people who got their 6.6 minutes of fame, were Vesna Pejović, an amazing designer and the person who first brought PKN to Serbia, an innovative designer of vertical gardens Rade Kosanović, Uglješa Vrcelj from the “Superdot” studio, with his one-of-a-kind educational and creative project Mooshema, Serbia’s representatives at the Venice Biennale last year – the young architecture studio„Mada“, Kosta Mijić from the architectural website “Superprostor“, one of the winners of the last
year’s competition 100% Future Serbia – Marko Runjić from the architecture studio “Rudesign”, Serbia’s most prominent fashion designer Dragana Ognjenović, the most relevant new media festival organized in Serbia – „Resonate“, presented by Galeb Nikačević, the sensational graphic designer Filip Bojović from the “A3 format” studio, the best new Serbian ice cream start-up “Moritz Eis”, Strawberry energy – a company that created an innovative solar charger for mobile devices, the avant-garde design studio “Modemekanik” and finally, another of the winners of the last year’s 100% Future Serbia competition, Igor Stupar.
During the two 45-minute sessions the audience was literally breath-taken, shouting out passionate comments and giving rounds of applause, witnessing why the selected creatives earned the title of the most outstanding individuals in Serbian creative industries last year. For many of these national creatives, the first „CFS powered by SAMSUNG“ was, in fact, their first grand stage appearance, time when they received their first applause coming from roughly 500 people, and for over 100 accredited journalists, more than 30 of which came from international creative media, CFS was also the first encounter with Serbian creative arena. During the breaks after this impressive presentation of national creative individuals, the main question was whether some of them deserve to participate in the main program of the international BDW conference which starts tomorrow, and whether the world mega stars participating in this program would match this explosion of Serbian intelligence, energy, vitality and innovation. Little did they know of what was to come in the next three days of BDW…
At the end of the first Creative Forum Serbia evening, powered by SAMSUNG, we witnessed a performance of the legendary eighties electro sound pioneer in Serbia, Dr. Spira, who brought his new material from London, to bring us back to the era of his iconic album “Diagnosis“, to confirm the existence of the album “Design for a Real World”, for which many experts claimed to be nothing but a myth – a Belgrade urban legend. It was most certainly the highlight of the evening: performing in front of a few hundreds of hardcore fans who waited with anticipation from 19h until nearly midnight, Dr. Spira came to BDW with brand new exclusive English material of some 30 minutes. And what material it was! Even though we announced his performance as BDW’s response to the recent KRAFTWERK performance at MOMA NY, Dr. Spira proved us wrong with his new stuff, which was more like „Joe Cocker meets Leonard Cohen“, but with his signature distinct, inimitable guitar riffs of two carefully selected electric beauties he brought with him from London.
After the concert, as a special treat for an evening of dedication to the first Creative Forum Serbia, as an icing on the cake of this exciting program, and most of all, as homage to the hosts of BDW 2013, the visitors gathered in the park outside the building of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the icon of Serbian architecture, to enjoy the 3D mapping of the building, created by the celebrated Serbian animation designer Goran Balaban. For the first time in its history the white marble facade of the legendary MOCA building was transformed into a whole new, intimate, and at the same time gigantic poetic experience, with carefully selected classical music, absolutely exhilarating, which got a huge round of applause by the crowds in the middle of the night at Ušće park. We saw Balaban’s own magic creations, followed by the Greek mythology monsters, digital visuals by the KramWeisshaar studio, and other graphic contents of the exhibitions inside the museum, rushing though the museum’s facade. All true fans of MOCA and BDW will cherish in their memory this last act of the first
Creative Forum Serbia, an unforgettable and poetic vision of authentic Serbian creativity. At the same time, we showed our true love of Belgrade to our guests from around the world, from Europe and from the region, as well as our support to perhaps Belgrade’s most important museum, which remained closed for the past seven years – which is impermissible. This unique finale was made possible thanks to the support Samsung, which donated a 20.000 ANSI Lumens projector to Belgraders, so that they can see their favorite museum in, literally, new light.

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Belgrade Design Week is fantastic! It is a conference with a great international reputation.   I have heard so many friends, professionals and peers who said it was one of the best conferences in the world, and something you must do! So, I had no doubts in saying yes when Jovan asked me to do it 6 months ago. Belgrade Design Week is different, it’s a bit crazy, and the special passion and the energy is what makes it really good!

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