“Making Ideas Visible” was the motto for this year’s Designmonat Graz. Alongside established programme partners such as the University of Applied Sciences, assembly designfestival and designforum Steiermark, there were several new partners in 2015, including AVL, Fesch’Markt, Wohlmuth Vineyard and Martin Auer bakery. This year’s partner city from the UNESCO Cities of Design network was the Canadian metropolis Montréal. The city’s designers introduced their city to the visitors with the “Ich war dort – Montréal meets Graz” exhibition. 16 students from the University of Applied Sciences also presented their personal experiences of the design city Montréal in the exhibition “Was kann des sein”, shown in the designHalle at Lazarettgürtel. (Visitor numbers Designhalle)
B2B in the UNESCO City of Design Network
Numerous representatives from the partner cities of Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Montréal came to the Designmonat Graz opening. There were 6 designers from Montréal and a design label from Buenos Aires who all had the opportunity to connect with the local economy during B2B talks. The Design in the City format gave the designers the opportunity to present their products in local shops.
Collaborations and follow-up projects
Designmonat Graz put the relationship between the Styrian creative community and the economy into the spotlight. The prototype of the “Basic Instinct” table lamps by Markus and Benjamin Pernthaler, which the international company will later put into series production, was presented at Zumtobel Lighting. The long established company Schediwy presented products created by Graz letterpress studio, “The Infinitive Factory”, and Kokomari and SUN/SET/STAR provided a platform for designers such as Johanna Hauk and Ida Kreutzer (HIJK), Thomas Nussmüller (Made to Last) and new designer Oscar Pillinger (FYNN) to present their work.
“The Designmonat made the creative and innovative work of Styrian companies visible and tangible for thousands of people. Over the last few years, the Styrian creative economy, made up of almost 4000 companies, has developed into an important economic factor with great potential for growth,” says Christian Buchmann, Minister for Economy, Europe and Culture. “For the seventh time, the Designmonat Graz has highlighted just why Graz was designated a UNESCO City of Design. Networking with partner cities, such as with Montréal this year, provides mutual inspiration and reveals that our city has long been a top location for creativity and design,” says City Councillor for Finance Gerhard Rüsch.
SELECTED 2015 and the first designSUPERMARKET
Contemporary international product and interior design was the focus of SELECTED 2015 in the designHalle. 950 items created by 66 different designers from 22 nations were presented and were the focus of critical discussion. The designSUPERMARKET took place for the first time on the final weekend, giving visitors the opportunity to purchase many of the pieces presented at the exhibitions “SELECTED 2015” and “Ich war dort – Montréal meets Graz”.
“(UN)ECHT – Original vs. Fake” in the new designforum Steiermark
Designmonat Graz not only focussed on the visualisation of ideas but also on the stealing of ideas. The new designforum Steiermark location on Andreas Hofer Platz was opened with the plagiarism exhibition “(UN)ECHT – Original vs. Fake” and “Ceramic Re:Visions”. These exhibitions will remain open until the 20th of June 2015.
For the first time, a programme focus was created for the Designmonat, dedicated to the topic of design in public space. “Sound light opera house Graz” lit up the façade of the opera with surprising visuals and, in the context of iGraz, Tummelplatz became the site of a public game of TicTacToe. City safaris provided the opportunity to discover the city district of Gries on foot and the Graz guides’ Segways made it possible to travel between different stations of Design in the City in comfort. There was a search for concrete public space ideas, which were to be used for two pilot projects in the city of Graz. The Creative Industries Styria and Graz City Administration initiated a call for ideas for “pilot project Tegetthoffbrücke”, with the aim of redesigning the Tegetthoffbrücke bridge. 43 students participated in a workshop organised by Graz University of Technology, where they focussed on upgrading the “un-place” of Rösselmühlpark. The best submissions for “pilot project Tegetthoffbrücke” will be exhibited in designforum Steiermark until the 10th of June 2015.
Design in the City
34 shops spread across the city of Graz put together a multifaceted programme focussing on the topic of design, with events ranging from 3D printing in Kunsthaus Graz and fashion design at Secret Room and Kastner & Öhler, to AVL industrial design, jewellery design at Schullin, percussion performance on furniture at Mario Palli and upcycling lamps by milli lux. Gregor Eichinger’s reinterpretation of Roland Rainer’s “lilith” chair was exhibited exclusively at MuR Modernes & Raritäten, after coming straight from the Milan Furniture Fair.
Events outside of Graz
During Designmonat Graz, ideas were made visible even outside of the federal state capital. In Frohnleiten, the interactive design exhibition “Life for Design – Upcycle for Life” gave waste a second chance. In Weiz, creative companies and agriculturalists met at Weizcamp to discuss shared challenges and goals. Further to the south, in Kirchberg an der Raab, the focus was on the topic of “China: Copy or Create”, with Prödl carpenters workshop organising a discussion evening, which provided an opportunity to talk about the opportunities and risks offered by the Chinese market.
FESCH’MARKT and assembly
Two different fashion and design festivals delighted 16,000 enthusiastic visitors. At assembly there were around 60 international design labels and at Fesch’Markt there were more than 100 exhibitors, who all brought contemporary international product and fashion trends to Graz.
More than 620 media reports
Designmonat Graz 2015 was written about in more than 620 media reports and postings published by national and international media (including social media).