Impressed by #TDZG

We received an invitation by the organisers to attend the 4th edition of Zagreb Design Week #tdzg, so in May, we presented our work to the local Croatian and international public at #Expo and #Market. The central Expo, which featured Austrian designers, was held at the stunning Laube building.

What used to be a riding arena is today’s contemporary Lauba, a venue with a rather specific concept‒it’s a house for people and art. It’s a place where different, new ideas are born, which sets it apart from the classic frame of an art gallery or museum. Lauba is a medium through which contemporary Croatian art is presented to the international art scene.

We saw an intriguing art show by Katerina Kamprani called The Uncomfortable. She’d transformed everyday objects in a way that literally makes the audience uncomfortable. The exhibit is also available online as a conceptual picture series. The SIT & SEE exhibit took us through a selection of innovative seating and lighting product design solutions from Austria.

This year’s and actually the first ever theme of #tdzg What is the problem? asks this poignant question to accentuate the fact design is about problem-solving. While design is often reduced to fashion, style, and a marketing tool, it is actually much more than that. The best designers in the world today do not only present a solution to a problem, but at the same time transform the system that creates the problems in the first place.

Exhibitions by art students were featured in the Design Park. We found the exhibit by students of Faculty of Textile technology dubbed Rhapsody in Yellow-Blue with Few Pixels the most remarkable. They covered an entire living room (furniture, walls, TV set, dishes) in the same printed fabric, which ends the fight against loss of individuality and comments on uniformity of space and intimacy. The work is a critique of today’s society, flooded with social networks and a false representation of social inclusion, leading to loss of identity.

The Expo exhibit that featured our work also presented a selection of original, innovative and quality products from various design fields. Also part of Design Park was the Market, which was a whole different story, one in which we got to meet and talk to buyers, which gave us a chance to see their reactions to our jewellery up close. We can conclude that we received a warm welcome that is now beginning to open new business opportunities for us in this market. We were equally pleased by new acquaintances we made with other designers from Croatia as well as from Slovenia. It’s great when a bunch of like-minded and yet different people meet. This kind of fellowship, exchange of opinions, advice and the like is invaluable.

We were treated to quite a lot of good electronic music in the evenings, which made for an excellent conclusion of each day. Friday night was lit up by Kruder, otherwise part of Kruder & Dorfmeister collective from Vienna. The local Nipplepeople performed on Saturday. They are an electropop duo that put their music first, which is why they aren’t seen directly when performing. An interesting concept, to which the two of us can relate pretty easily.

A big credit is due to the whole #tdzg organising team for creating such a great programme and taking care of us the whole week and making sure everything went according to plan, so we were able to work and play, as they say, and have loads of fun. Well done, guys. ‘Till next year!

Photos: FB Tjedan dizajna & archive SUÌ


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