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Photo of Designblok Cosmos sign

Designblok celebrates 25th anniversary with exhibitions, talks and workshops

Promotion: Prague International Design Festival Designblok 2023 welcomed over 40,000 visitors across its five-day programme of exhibitions, fashion shows, talks and workshops.

The event took place from 4 to 8 October 2023 and explored global design and fashion across three key venues in Prague, Czech Republic, including the Trade Fair Palace of the National Gallery Prague, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Prague Castle.

Photo of exhibition at Designblok
Designblok welcomed more than 40,000 visitors and over 220 designers and brands

More than 220 designers, studios, brands and schools took part in this year's festival, which followed the theme Journey addressing the festival's history, personal stories of the exhibitors, creative processes and product lifecycles.

The festival's main exhibition called Designblok Cosmos – supported by the PPF Foundation – celebrated Czech craft and design by showcasing a range of objects made from glass, a traditional material used by the nation, according to Designblok.

Incorporating craft, technology and experimentation, the exhibition explored ideas of "reflection, infinity and luminosity".

Photo of people at the Designblok Cosmos exhibition
Designblok Cosmos is a travelling exhibition representing the tradition, craft, technology and future of Czech glass design

"For twenty-five years, Designblok has been dedicated to the development of the Czech design scene, collaborating with renowned designers, supporting young authors, connecting creators and industry, spreading awareness among the general public and representing Czech design abroad," said the festival. "All of this is reflected in the mobile gallery hiding ten original glass works by ten leading Czech designers."

The exhibition included a customised semi-trailer truck, which, after parking in the desired location, unfolded into an exhibition area of 65 square kilometres. The interior was covered with mirrors, while the exterior was wrapped in a silver reflective shell.

In light of the festival's Journey theme, Designblok Cosmos will make a number of international stops, including at Milan design week in 2024.

Also exhibited at Prague Castle was the travelling Made by Fire exhibition curated by Designblok and Moravian Gallery in Brno, which explored art and design and its "position within the context of pervasive social change". It presented the work of 40 designers and spotlighted the production process behind each of their works.

Photo of Designblok Cosmos sign
Designblok Cosmos will be showcased at Milan design week 2024

Other exhibitors included Dutch designer Ineke Hans – the festival's guest of honour, the president of the Designblok Awards Jury and winner of the AGC Glass Europe Sustainable Design Award – who showcased the "deposit" chair made from recycled plastic.

The festival also included the annual Designblok Diploma Selection Competition, which is in its ninth year. This year the competition awarded 164 graduates from 52 prestigious European universities.

Photo of fashion show at Designblok
The fashion shows in the Trade Fair Palace of National Gallery Prague featured collections by 15 finalists of the Designblok Diploma Selection

The festival also held a student exhibition named Designblok Talent Cards, which presented designs by Ivo Jedlička, an edible collection by Nikola Chromečková and textiles by Karla Kislingerová.

Kislingerová's designs were nominated for the 2023 Designblok Awards, under Best Home Accessories, with other categories including best furniture, manufacturer and lighting.

Another award-winning project was Cake Houses developed by designers Matyáš Švejdík, Pavel Špringl and Šimon Marek, which is a modular home concept, which allows clients to design bespoke homes via an online configurator.

Photo of Designblok Awards jury and winners
The Designblok Awards jury and winners gathered at Designblok Awards Ceremony Dinner held at Prague Castle, the official residence of the Czech President

This year's award's jury included founder of Space Caviar and creative director of The Design Academy Eindhoven, Joseph Grima; designer and strategist, Birgitta Homburger; co-CEO of Dezeen Benedict Hobson; and designer Simone Post.

Alongside his role as an awards judge, Hobson also gave a talk exploring what design media brands like Dezeen are seeking at design weeks and provided tips for designers and brands to help increase the chances of gaining international press coverage.

Photo of Benedict Hobson talking
Hobson also gave a talk exploring what design media brands like Dezeen are seeking at design weeks

Every year, Designblok welcomes thousands of designers, architects, curators, journalists, buyers and design enthusiasts, and "serves as the melting pot for creative industries in Central Europe".

To find out more about Designblok, visit the website.

Designblok took place from 4 to 8 October 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Partnership content
This article was written by Dezeen for Designblok as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.