BELGRADE DESIGN WEEK 2012 PRESS OVERVIEW BY DESIGNBOOM

Designboom recently traveled to serbia for the 2012 ‘Belgrade Design Week’, curated and founded by Jovan Jelovac. It is the only multidisciplinary educational festival in the country which brings together key representatives from the creative industry. The annual event was jammed pack with exhibitions, panel discussions and nightly celebrations which all lead up to a three-day conference entitled ‘Freedom Squared’, which focused on scenarios for the future and establishing a framework for a ‘free’ society.

The beginning of the event was marked with a premiere block party at Superkvart which opened the ‘100% Future Serbia Project’. The exhibition featured 150 young Serbian designers featured in over 115 store front windows all over the city. Visitors were also able to visit an international series of public displays which included: Common Sense and Sensibility from Croatia, Megaphon from Italy, Creative Space Serbia in collaboration with Siepa, Samsung experience from Korea, Silent Revolutions from Slovenia, Sacco by Zanotta from Italy, Jörg Boner’s Goodnight Moon from Switzerland, a showcase of BDW superstars by Vladimir Miladinovic and fashion photographs by Milena Rakocevic from Serbia.

Days before the week long function started, professionals and students had the chance to attend ‘BDW DIZAJNLABS’, a workshop where panel members Eszter Bircsák from Kitchen Budapest, product designers Thomas Feichtner and Matti Klenell, and Australian entrepreneur Jenni Carbins of Matilda got up close and personal with creatives from the industry. The intimate groups allowed for an open exchange of ideas and discussions with the international team who kindly dedicated their time to deliver these educational sessions.

The entire affair seemed more like a celebration of Serbian design which took place at the National Library of Serbia to coincide with the 180 year anniversary of
this important cultural institution. The structure acted as the core of the event which hosted fashion shows and cocktail parties, in addition to the main conference. The sophisticated atmosphere of the daily presentations, in true Belgrade style, were contrasted during the evenings with outings to traditional restaurants, live music and late nights on the town.

French designer Mathieu Lehanner was awarded the ‘Belgrade Grand Prix for Design 2012’. The laureate received the honor from previous winner Patrik Schumacher, partner at Zaha Hadid Architects, whose presentation on ‘parametric semiology’ closed the conference. Other speakers included Croatian practice Studio 3LHD, Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld and Dean Lah of Slovenia-based firm Enota. The international panel showcased how their local projects are influencing the communication of structures on the global stage, and how complex environments can be crafted to facilitate new programs within an organic space.

Patrick Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects presented the firms extensive international portfolio of on-going and finished projects as well as his thesis of ‘Parametric Semiology. ‘Volume 2, a new agenda for architecture, the autopoiesis of architecture’ is the final book in this two part series which explains the theory of behind the practice, written by Schumacher himself.

Mathieu Lehanneur presented a series of his projects which showcased his diverse portfolio of products, exhibitions and interiors. His ‘once upon a dream’ for French champagne company Veuve Cliquot, is a sleeping chamber with the ability to calm the mind and ease the senses into a restful slumber. the ‘Choir of Saint-Hilaire church’ in Melle, France, is a renovation to the inner chapel which layers the flooring with marble to simulate the natural curves of the earth in this space of worship. ‘Tomorrow is another day’ was developed for intended for use within the palliative care unit of the Diaconesses / Croix-Saint-Simon hospital. the device projects a clear image of the weather that is to come the following day, offering them the opportunity to be ‘a day ahead of real time itself’.

Isay Weinfeld is one of the most recognized contemporary Brazilian architects and his presence at the conference added to the international repertoire of professionals. His presentation consisted of images, music clips and scenes from movies which has influenced him to create his signature designs. ‘Las piedras fasano’ is his most recent undertaking which is a hospitality complex in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
It combines private homes, hotel bungalows, a spa, equestrian center, golf and polo fields.

The Croatian practice Studio 3LHD presented several of their large-scale projects which has gained them the attention of the european and international community. The ‘Lone hotel’ located in Rovinj, Croatia, the five-start hotel is situated in a forested park in one of the most picturesque towns on the adriatic. The building is a complete custom design, from its interior rooms, to the furnishings and to the graphic identity and branding. The deep terraces mimic the shape of a boat deck allowing visitors a panoramic view of the site.

Slovenia-based architecture firm Enota presented their work over the past ten years. The diverse portfolio ranges from housing developments, to community spaces, from recreational facilities to commercial accommodations. Highlights include the ‘Jurčkova housing’ located in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which is a residential building with 47 dwelling units with colored, concrete balconies. The ‘Podčetrtek sports hall’ in Podčetrtek, Slovenia, which is the only local indoor venue in the small town, where the municipal facility features a scooped-out, faceted approach finished in a bold shade of red. The ‘Wellness Orhidelia’, in Podčetrtek, Slovenia, was designed to incorporate the building as much as possible into its surroundings. The center is consecutively designed rather like a landscape arrangement then a structure. Folded elevations appear like supporting walls dividing different levels of environment’s surfaces.

belgrade design week 2012: 100% future serbia

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