The 17th Designblok, Prague Design and Fashion Week with a focus on Central Europe, invited to its new venue, the Industrial Palace, Výstaviště Praha Holešovice from October 22nd to 27nd 2015, divided into three sections: the Designblok Superstudio represents the focal point of all the events, an arena for Czech and international producers to present their special installations. The Designblok Openstudio is a space devoted to presentations by designers, design studios, secondary schools and university studios while The Art House specialises in installations that straddle the border between design and the fine arts.
Next to a number of outdoor installations, I mainly came to see the diploma selection on the ŠKODA Design Runway, featuring local as well as international young designers, some of which I had already met in summer while in the jury panel of LICHTING Amsterdam. It was EUNIC Cluster CR – European Union National Institutes for Culture – in association with Designblok, who announced the second year of the competition for ‘Best European Diploma Works’ in the fields of product and fashion design. Participating countries included Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Spain.
The line-up proved a successful pre-selection with fashion designers Abbie Stirrup (NL), Ola Kowalska (PL), Kristýna Nováková (CZ) Karim Adduchi (NL), Michalina Szurgot (PL), Triin Amur (Est), Janina Volkmer (NL) Daniel Arosemena (NL), Carlota Barrera (E), Elvira Tomalevska (BG) and Nikki Duijst (NL). The last show was dedicated to Dzhus (UA), named star of the contemporary Ukrainian fashion scene.
Cinematographic experiences were offered on the last day, when ‘Children 494’ directed by Askold Kurov and Pavel Loparev, ‘North of The Sun’ by Jorn Nyseth Ranum and Inge Wegge and ‘Amazing Azerbaijan!’ by Liz Mermin were screened. The day ended with the very casual and fun ‘Design Lovers Party’ at the Fusion Hotel.
The international jury of editors from Czech and international media, galleries and cultural institutions announced the winners of the ‘Editors Award’ for the most successful presentation at Designblok. Designers competed in a total of ten categories:
Best new furniture winner: TON
Best collection of homewares objects winner: Křehký
Best collection of luminairs winner: BOMMA
Best jewellery collection winner: Nastassia Aleinikava Eyewear
Best new product winner: Mikov
Best prototype winner: Markéta Držmíšková a Petr Hák
Best installation of a manufacturer winner: TON
Best presentation of a designer or studio winner: DECHEM
Best school presentation winner: Scholastika
Award for exceptional achievement beyond categories winner: Art House