Designblok 2023 celebrates its 25th anniversary as the largest design and fashion festival in Central Europe, showcasing the growth of arts and artisanship through the retrospective theme “Journey” October 4–8.
Aligning with Prague’s embracement of outlandish monuments, such as Frank Gehry’s Dancing House or David Černý’s drain pipes adorned by statues of glowing embryos, this year’s theme, “Journey,” captures the growing appreciation for sentimental touches on mundane objects.
Artists of diverse backgrounds and expertise will portray their works through individual and collaborative exhibitions, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation.
“I remember the festival’s modest beginnings on a ship in Libeň, gradually growing into the premises of palaces, architectural landmarks, monasteries, and where next? This year it will be our museum where we will also continue to move forward with a vision for progressive designs,” says the Director of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Helena Koenigsmarková, in hosting the events.
The festival will take place at three main venues spread across the city.
The Trade Fair Palace National Gallery in Holešovice will present the collaboration between traditional craftsmen and renowned franchises like Vogue CS and Forbes, intertwining the philosophy of preservation with a modern taste for aestheticism.
Moving towards Old Town, the Museum of Decorative Arts houses the REX Project by Dutch designer Ineke Hans, who pursues sustainable arts by converting deposited chairs into interior decorations worthy of their world tour at galleries across Europe.
The essence of Designblok 2023 is the Cosmos exhibition, subtitled The Intergalactic Beauty of Czech Design, at the Ball Game Hall at Prague Castle. The glass installations from ten different glass artists across Bohemia will be on display, varying in individual manifestos but united under the cosmic pilgrimage for fragile eternity. This display commemorates one of the oldest craft trades in Czechia and encapsulates the spirit of the festival.
Students can purchase a festival pass for 250 CZK, which grants them access to all the events at the three venues. Alongside the main showcases, visitors can attend independent exhibitions scattered throughout Prague without charge, ranging from fashion shows and partnership installations to school expositions and discussion panels.