30 days for 91 events, workshops and exhibitions – Design Month Graz 2021 is here!
From May 8 to June 6, 2021 everything centres on redesigning our future when the wide range of professionals who make up the design scene in the Austrian UNESCO City of Design spotlight the theme of “BETTER FUTURE”.
In the same way that design works with general conditions, so too does the Design Month Graz 2021 engage with the challenges facing us. After all, it is the creative industry in particular that shows us how innovative solutions can be used to convey content.
To this end, in addition to various expansive online events, a range of smallscale education formats has also been developed for the Design Month Graz. Even if fewer international guests will be able to contribute to the overall atmosphere this year, the Design Month nevertheless succeeds in creating an excellent mix.
Thirty days, ninety-one events, workshops and exhibitions with seventy-seven program partners: the Design Month Graz offers a richly varied program in 2021. The Design Month sets up its “headquarters” in the heart of the city and the “Fantastic Plastic” exhibition taking place in Herrengasse, with designers showcasing their products at thirty “Design in the City” shops around the city centre, inviting visitors to discover design.
Design in all of its facets
From May 8 to June 6, against the background of numerous changes in everyday life and based around the theme “BETTER FUTURE”, the Design Month Graz looks into the question as to the solutions and possibilities that design can offer for a better future and how designers can contribute to making a better world. What we need are real-world answers.
The emphasis is not on the number of events taking place but rather on actual contributions and design solutions for our future. In the spirit of a circular economy and recycling, the “FANTASTIC PLASTIC” exhibition draws attention to these aspects, showcasing products made from recycled plastic from twenty-seven European labels.
The design forum Steiermark is staging “SUREAL. SUSTAINABLE RESPONSIVE ART LAB”, an exhibition demonstrating the impressive design process and the extraordinary design concept devised by the SelfSightSeeing Company for the interior of the new Merkur Campus in Graz. The poster exhibition “THE 4TH BLOCK” in the underground car park in Andreas-Hofer-Platz presents seventy posters from the collection of the triennial of the same name. The International ECO-poster Triennial has set out to tackle current problems in the social and ecological context.
The symposium “REDESIGN THE FUTURE” also sets its sights on the future, with the Design Month joining forces with FH JOANNEUM and the Green Tech Cluster to stage this online event. On May 10 and 11, the symposium turned Graz into a hothouse for new ideas – with local input and international experts coming together to ponder the possibilities and measures for designing a better future.
You will find the editorial for the Better Future program by Stuart Walker, an internationally renowned design researcher, “Design after a pandemic”, on pages 4–5 of the DMG Magazine and online.
Creative industry as strength
“Styria not only counts among the most innovative regions in Europe but it is also known far beyond its borders for its creative industry and outstanding design. This year again, the Design Month highlights these strengths when visitors will be able to engage with a wide range of approaches to design. I am particularly pleased that the program will also feature events outside of Graz focusing on the importance of design”, says Minister of Economy, Tourism, Regions, Science & Research Barbara Eibinger-Miedl.
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Active international networking
“Within the network of the UNESCO Cities of Design, Graz enjoys a good reputation as a provider of unconventional ideas and an excellent networker. Design exhibitions from Moscow and Kiev, among others, are once again bringing numerous international contributions to Graz. The best indication that the Design Month 2021 has lost none of its aspirations even in these current circumstances is that it showcases design in all of its facets. Visitors will be inspired not only by Styrian protagonists but also by interaction between the creative cities”, emphasises Mayor Siegfried Nagl.
30 days of design presentation
The DESIGN IN THE CITY format invites visitors to discover and buy design in thirty select shops. 30 WAYS TO A BETTER FUTURE is a specially developed “micro-education format”: based on thirty select program events on the theme of “Better Future”, thirty (analogue and digital) micro-guided tours to projects, exhibition contributions, discussions and meetings with designers set out to find answers and solutions for a better future. The number of participants is limited in accordance with the Covid-19 rules currently in force.
With the aim of increasing quality of life, four PARKLETS are added to urban public space for the duration of the Design Month. These parking space-sized prototypes are intended to encourage increased amenity in the city. In collaboration with the UNESCO City of Design coordination office, Holzcluster Steiermark and the City of Graz, Creative Industries Styria invited eight architectural firms to present their ideas and concepts, with four projects selected by a panel of judges.
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