YOUNG BALKAN DESIGNERS: Here and Now
Hybrid Solutions for Contemporary Living, Work, Exchange, and Play
Belgrade-based cultural Association Mikser (Serbia) powered by the NUNC furniture manufacturer from Slavonia (Croatia) is launching a special edition of the Young Balkan Designers Competition, creating a unique opportunity for the next generation of Balkan designers to join Nunc on its mission to reinterpret the region’s rich tradition and culture into innovative and recognizable contemporary design products.
Nunc (meaning: now) debuted on the international design scene in 2019 at the furniture fair in Cologne Germany, and it has been growing and conquering international markets ever since. Nunc’s witty and refreshing approach to the design of everyday objects comes from collaboration with emerging designers from the entire region, many of whom have debuted on the regional and international scene via the Young Balkan Designers platform.
The Jury will select the most inspiring works to be exhibited at the YBD for NUNC Exhibition during Belgrade International Furniture Fair, where NUNC product development team will choose the projects to be further developed into real NUNC products and exhibited at the famous International Milan Furniture Fair.
We challenge young designers to explore new furniture and space functions for in-between and overlapping areas of everyday worlds: home, work, school, public spaces, fun, intimate, and communal zones, urban and rural environments, and static and moving experiences. Submitted projects should be able to offer multiple functions and experiences to their users, support diverse living scenarios, and hybrid and nomadic work models, enable easy creation of “third spaces”, transform any place into a playroom or informal education set-up, and much more. We encourage young designers to concoct new or revisit their existing design ideas, by looking into cross-over, hybrid functions of furniture pieces, modular systems, or other utility objects, from the perspectives of diverse users (grown-ups, children, different genders, elderly, people with disabilities, etc.), various time scenarios (by night, by day, seasonal, etc.), alternating environments and social contexts (outdoor, indoor, private, public), etc.
The Jury will appreciate the innovative features of the project that enhance the quality of everyday life; ability to address the needs of diverse users; multifunctionality; potential for circularity of product or its elements; ergonomics; rational production and transportation costs; innovative use of materials available locally; implementation of local knowledge and techniques; environmentally friendly production process, innovative use of recycled materials; relevancy in relation to local/global environmental and social challenges.
The international jury panel consists of Marva Griffin, curator of Salone Satellite at Milan International Furniture Fair, industrial designer Henriette Waal, professor at Eindhoven Design Academy and Director of Experimental Research of Atelier Luma in Arles; product designer Nikola Radeljkovic, of Numen/For Use collective based in Croatia; Jelena Matic, product designer and professor at Faculty of Forestry, University of Belgrade and Maja Lalic, architects and founder of Belgrade’s Mikser Association.
Competition text is available at https://ybd.mikser.rs/
Applicants can submit their projects online until 27 September 2023 at 23.59 at https://ybd.mikser.rs/form/.
The winners will be announced on October 2nd at www.ybd.mikser.rs.