The President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, launched Belgrade Design Week for the first time in the festival’s ten-year history. At a time of political tension, the president and organizers of Belgrade Design Week attempt to put public focus on designers and innovative businesses to promote a brighter future for the country’s culture with their exhibition at the old Staklopan factory.
Jovan Jelovac, founder of Belgrade Design Week (BDW), said he and co-organizers “strive to give the creative industries the place they deserve in the minds of people, as an important partner in times of crisis,” at the opening conference on Oct. 1.
Speakers from various countries, such as architects Massimiliano Fuksas, Hon. FAIA, and Michel Rojkind, will be featured at the Brand New World conference, a main event at BDW, from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11. The exhibition program includes BDW DizajnPark, BDW DizajnLabs professional workshops, and 100% Future Serbia, the latter of which promotes young designers whose work is displayed in shop windows across the city center of Dorcol.
Belgrade Design Week also tries to draw public attention to neglected architectural icons of Serbia through renovation, such as the Kluz Factory, Usce’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Jugoslavija hotel. In the tradition of the annual festival, BDW organizers will raise awareness of restoring the old Staklopan factory in Dorcol, which they did for the Museum of Contemporary Art last year.
“The essence of design is its omnipresence, it is intended for everyone, and in each individual can see, hear and understand what they find special, what best suits their character,” President Nikolic said at the opening. “Design speaks the universal language of signs and symbols and we hope that our signs and symbols will be seen in the future.”
Belgrade Design Week opened Oct. 7, and will run through Oct. 12.