Festival Center Hornig Areal
Welcome to the epicenter of Design Month Graz 2024
Foto: Stefan Leitner

Good design, all well and good. But is that enough for a world that presents itself as a chaos of crises, changes and uncertainties? Apparently not. “What now?”, asks Design Month Graz 2024, and quite rightly so. And is looking for solutions, visions and methods that offer a way out. The epicenter of the event is the former Hornig Areal in the Smart City, a unique location where creative forces are bundled.

Our world is changing. Lab-grown meat, innovative mobility solutions, waste as a raw material, flexible construction, automation and artificial intelligence – so many buzzwords of change are hitting us every day. So it’s high time to break new ground, be bold and recognize the potential that design and the creative industries have to offer. “Potential kills dystopia!” is the motto of the hour. One thing is clear: not one single discipline alone will “save the world”. It needs the creative power of many – it needs ideas and implementation in many areas.

The former Hornig Areal in the Smart City acts as a marketplace and hub for ideas during Design Month Graz 2024, and it is here that people are busy developing, discussing, experimenting, cooking, eating, talking, celebrating, chilling… in short: living, and living intensively! Consequently, numerous program items of Design Month Graz also focus on this special place, for example with the exhibitions “What now?!” or the exhibition of the Croatian designer Boris Bućan (1947-2023). The special architecture of the area also makes it possible to set up presentation boxes – small spaces with interesting content, including a label presentation by Swisspearl, Soundcomb and many more. In addition, the International Design Week of the FH Joanneum (Institute for Design and Communication) will take place, with students from 15 nations, making the area a hotspot for young creatives. And the Hornig Areal offers space to experiment and let off steam with printing workshops, including a street roller (!) as a “printing route”, murals, gastronomy, bar, café…

At the epicenter of smart change
Graz Smart City is one of the flagship projects in terms of urban design and sustainable living. Behind the train station, near the old water tower, is the former Hornig company site. The coffee manufacturer moved to Kalsdorf in 2021. New apartments for the Smart City will soon be built on the site. ÖWG Wohnbau made the site available for Design Month Graz 2024. This provided the opportunity to use this unusual vacant site as headquarters. With its aesthetics of the past and its simultaneous purpose as a location for ultra-modern, smart living, the building is paradigmatic of the transformation from old to new, of a bold new beginning and of new thinking and new paths. The area will host the exhibition and numerous events of Design Month Graz and become an exciting backdrop in which ideas can develop freely.