Wednesday 18 May 2022

Zlin Design Week 2022

The Best in Design – Best of ´22 exhibition opening

After two hybrid years, affected by Covid-19, Zlin Design Week returned in full force. From May 6th until May 13th, the extensive program of exhibitions, workshops, fashion shows and conferences took place at various locations. I was able to attend the program for the first three days and that was enough to leave the city with a positive impression.

Zlin is mostly known as an industrial town. The development of the modern city is closely connected to the Bata Shoes company and its social scheme, developed after the World War I.

Perhaps not the first thing one would think when entering the town, a large part of the town is urbanistically and architecturally valuable and is protected by law as an urban monument zone.

The Headquarters of the Bata Shoe Company until World War II was in Zlin, Czechoslovakia. This is the town where Tomas Bata set up his business in 1894, by the 1920’s he had built not only a vast factory complex but also housing for the workers. The architecture of Zlin is of the Modernist Style and was designed by some of the top Architects of the day, Karfik and Gahura being two of them. The General design layout was then used for other Bata Communities around the world.

Although perhaps an unknown destination for many foreign design enthusiasts, the city of Zlin with its industrial past, manufacturing industry and strong educational network has the perfect ingredients to function as a platform for design thinking and showcasing. The program is not only extensive in its set up but especially the multi-layered attention to quality and content.
In addition, the program has a strong focus on inclusive design, which is not so far-fetched at all; Bata's socialist ideal and caring for workers provides a foundation for this narrative.

"Miriam van der Lubbe, Creative Director of Dutch Design Week, recently said that designers are now influencing our future more than ever and can change the world for the better. This is a huge opportunity and a responsibility, and that is why we want to be a platform where such opportunities can be openly discussed. And to support those who can contribute to such a change, "comments its director, Jitka Smolíková.

Led and designed by a mainly young and enthusiastic team, Zlin Design Week breathes potential; which hopefully will permeate the city's policies. Because let's face it, it's not a city to put on your bucket list. But the very well organized design week is worth a visit.

photo Vojtěch Plhák

What was on the program?
I have been invited to participate in the jury panel for Best in Design, a design competition consisting of a number of categories. I was invited to take part in the jury panel together with Sára Matysová and Jarmila Voborníková and select a top 10 and a top 3 out of all fashion design entries.

On Saturday afternoon, The Best in Design – Best of ´22 exhibition was opened. The exhibition presented the award-winning designers of the 13th edition of the international Best in Design competition. Best in Design is an international contest for young designers. There are not only financial rewards from 200 € up to 1 500 € in the game, but it’s also a great opportunity to get feedback, network and show your talent.

The contest contains three categories Product & Industrial Design, Fashion Design and Communication Design. And there is also an award for the Best in Design’s main price too, which went to Communication Design winner Karla Gondeková and Karolína Matusková for the project Product & Industrial Design was won by Michał Stalmach.

Fashion Design category was won by talented designer Milan Florián Flíček, MA Graduate from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK). He stood out with his outstanding project F*UCKING STOP BURNING CLOTHES.

photo Vojtěch Plhák
“The collection calls for a change and raises awareness the issue of burning clothes. Why are we even talking about sustainability, when clothes, fabrics - even those that were "sustainably made" are burnt in millions of tons? I took deadstock fabrics and invented a technique called "Fire-Piping" that creates shapes on clothes that resemble fire. With this technique, I am offering a thought-through solution to prevent burning of clothes with upcycling, and thus end overproduction. ‘People must fight against the evil they feel equal to at that moment" (Palach, 1969). The collection is activistic and provocative, as it is inspired by the style called Soviet Brutalism, and uses colors that invite for a further debate.” - Flíček

In the fashion category the second place was appointed to Václav Černý and third place to Kristýna Šenkýřová Lovasová.

The official Opening of the festival took place at the Zlín City Theater on Saturday May 7. As every year, this year’s Design Week connected with other artistic disciplines and offered a broad cultural experience. For this year, the opening was celebrated with a concert by the Police Symphony Orchestra, a young orchestra that has already sold out the Prague Lucerne. During this show, the results of the international Best in Design competition were announced. Next to the orchestra there was a dance performance by the All Style Unit.

photo Sára Mašková
photo Sára Mašková 
photo Sára Mašková

 Before this, on Friday May 6th, the program kicked off with the 100 years of design in Zlín exhibition. The 100 Years of Zlín Design project reflects on the phenomenon of Zlín industrial design, which had its origins. Two exhibitions will present the imaginary family silver that has influenced the education of young designers today, the activities of professional designers and studios, and the production of companies that cooperate with them.

photo Vojtěch Plhák
photo Vojtěch Plhák

On Sunday evening May 8th, Zlin Design Week presented a live fashion show for the first time.
The show featured collections by Lukáš Krnáč who studied at the Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Michaela Hriňová (Aimoffcl), Tamara Koperová, Studio 3 a collective of three designers, Miyogiji, promising brand Famale Official by Petra Famlerová, Šárka Zejdová, Alexandra Kondačová and Zuzana Ľos-Božiková who is currently a 4th year BA student at the Fashion Design Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. Singer Giudi supported this year ZDW with her live performance, which added a nice element to the packed fashion show.

Take a look at the full show report, all images byVojtěch Plhák.

Lastly, On Sunday morning I was invited to provide a workshop, which despite a small attendance turned out to be an inspiring conversation. 

photo Daniela Jeklová

photo Daniela Jeklová

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...