Belgrade Design Week 2008

The third Belgrade Design Week was held in Belgrade from May 8 to 10, 2008 in the premises of the former Yugoslavia hotel, the icon of our modernistic architecture. The globally sensational creative industry conference, named "Modern Squared", showed vision of modern living of crème de la crème in the world of branding, advertising, design, architecture, publishing, new media and business. The conference programme, divided into three thematic parts (Modern Classics, Modern Luxury and Blade Runners) featured different aspects of branding process, the phenomenon of high-end design and modern architecture, the role of design in creating mass media and the media influence in creating the culture of design in a society, challenges and latest trends on the ever more competitive global market…

Since we live in the time of hyper-modernism, one has to find the ways to transfer the original Modernism onto contemporary society. The question whether the old rules still apply was answered by many world-renowned artists in the field of design and architecture, for whom the “contemporary” is the synonym for everyday, and the question “what is actually modern” is the key question. 

Authors who started their careers without previous formal education got the most of the attention. One of them was French Erwan Bouroullec, who “defended” himself with a number of fantastic “installations” of industrial design, equally functional and artistic. Together with his brother Ronan, Erwan experiments at the level of sound and lights, creating transparent, simple and in all situations and spaces applicable objects. The works by these two brothers find their place equally in museums and in stores.

A “Boomastic” lecture was delivered by Brigit Lohmann, the chief editor of website which made a true revolution in the field of professional communication between readers and designers. The website is at the same time the gallery of international character, in which the global creative class can present their work.

Konstantin Grcic was the guest-host at this event and it is almost impossible to imagine a conference without his lectures. How many years of life can be devoted to one chair was something we heard about this year, by going through the whole work process, from the initial research phase all the way to the finished product. Grcic was 2009 winner of the “BDW – Design award Banka Intesa master card” award.

One of the possibly most useful lectures applicable instantly in the practice here was the lecture delivered by Michel de Boer, the principal of Dumbar studio from Holland, famous for creation of the visual identity of the cities and even of the whole state Holland. Based on a number of examples, we could see the approach to the question and the ways of coming to the solution, starting from choosing and adjusting typographic letter all the way to interior designs.

The projects that were not carried out were also presented. Some of them are the ideas for the new Dutch Euro coins in the shape of different smiles, as well as the light animated architectonic installations at different locations in the world. 

One of the unannounced and thus the lectures that came as a surprise was the one delivered by Mirko Ilic. Through a quick slides overview, he introduced to us his collector affinities towards legs details on movie posters and on certain books covers. 

The fact that design is a communicational discipline has been known to us since long time ago. But that the architecture can be such as well is something we were told by Daniel Libeskind, certainly one of the greatest names of contemporary architecture. 

Along with the main conference programme, Belgrade Design Week hosted the supporting programmes on over 50 locations in the city. Numerous exhibitions, workshops, openings and presentations were dedicated to those who wished to stay in touch with the contemporary concepts and trends in design, fashion and arts.