Food was the main topic of this year’s Designblok, an exhibition founded in 1999 as an international showcase of the latest news from international and domestic design. The rich presentation of brands in the right wing of Prague’s Industry Palace was just as exciting as last year. There were wonderful details at every step that gave us a sense of constant amazement. The left wing presented young talents making fashion accessories which were often quite magical.
Anyone who thought the central part of the palace could serve as an interesting link between the industry and young designers and schools had to abandon this idea immediately. The garish children’s zone provided a severe cultural shock that couldn’t be overcome even with the help of a café designed by some of the brightest names in the industry. Collector design, traditionally located in the premises of the sculpture museum, would benefit from a less cluttered space where the individual pieces could shine.
Despite expectations, outdoor installations were much weaker than last year, but on the other hand, Saturday’s cold weather wasn’t very favourable to any outdoor experiences anyway. Sunday surprised with a strong wind that even managed to knock off a part of the Palace’s roof, concluding the show early but, in our opinion, in a rather fitting manner. The unique opportunity to see beautiful modern pieces of art clashed with the old and heavily worn venue; the enormous interest is marred by the fact that you get no receipt with your ticket unless you insist and by the campy design of the children’s area which completely undermines the whole event. Let’s hope all this is done out of nostalgia rather than a desire to make money no matter how.
For next years, it would perhaps be better to be more open towards the manufacturers whose stands are a huge benefit for this event, and to find a more representative and modern venue for the often breathtaking pieces on display.
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