Designblok exhibition opens in Prague

Designblok, Prague International Design Festival opened today Prague. The festival, now in its ninetheenth year, boasts that it is the largest showcase of fashion and design in Central Europe. The event is mainly based in the historic Výstaviště Praha exhibition grounds, and will feature the works of 304 designers, this year guided by the overarching theme of food. I spoke with Bára Švehlová, PR manager for the event, and began by asking her to explain the theme of this year’s Designblok:

Designblok 2017, photo: Ekaterina StashevskayaDesignblok 2017, photo: Ekaterina Stashevskaya “The main topic for this year is food. And this is reflected throughout the venue. Designblok consists of four main venues, the first of which is in the central hall of the industrial palace in Výstaviště. This contains giant cakes and a very creative scene courtesy of Czech designers Maxim Velčovský and Veronika Jiroušková. The place is designed for visitors to relax a little and enjoy the Designblok spaces over a coffee. Then there are the installations of the exhibitors, such as the Super Studio in the right wing of the building, filled with exhibitions by brands and companies. This wing offers novelties in furniture, lighting, home accessories and so on…

“Then there is a left wing of the building which is the Open Studio, focused more on young designers and open studios, as well as schools and universities in the fields of product design and fashion.”

Designblok 2017, photo: Ekaterina StashevskayaDesignblok 2017, photo: Ekaterina Stashevskaya In terms of the specific designs that can be seen, it is mainly abstract art, or is it more functional items like tables and chairs?

“In the Super Studio, you can see more practical designs, via objects such as furniture, lighting and so on. And in the Open Studio, the younger designers have a more experimental approach, presenting their works in fashion, accessories, jewellery and so on. We also have a venue for projects which are on the brim of both art and design called Art House, and this is located in the Lapidárium outside the industrial palace and that contains more artistic installations, and also the exhibits of our foreign guest artists for this year such as Patrick Rampelotto and Martin Vrolijk from the Netherlands.”

Designblok 2017, photo: Ekaterina StashevskayaDesignblok 2017, photo: Ekaterina Stashevskaya Can you tell me a little bit about the competition taking place between the designers at this year’s Designblok?

“Yes, it is called Diploma Selection, and is now in its fourth year. It is about students from across Europe competing in the fields of product design and fashion. And there is an international jury comprised of gallery and curator experts coming to Prague to evaluate these diploma theses and to select a winner.”

Designblok runs until October 30