The festival Design District Zagreb, whose first edition was held this year in the Martićeva zone, won the Grand Prize of the Croatian Designers Society (HDD). The official declaration of the winner was announced at the opening of the biennial Exhibition of Croatian Design 1516 at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb.
In addition to what is the biggest, longest lasting, and most important festival of design production in Croatia, the exhibition rewards the best projects realized in the last two years in the fields of domestic design.
The Grand Prix of the Croatian Designers Society is awarded to a project or initiative that, with its quality, innovation, complexity or clear and strong message of broad social recognition, marked the Croatian design scene and its wider context in the past two years. The nominees for the Grand Prize of the HDD 2016 were the author collective of Design District Zagreb, design collective Numen / ForUse for its installation Tape, Net and Tube, and Sandro Dujmenović and Marko Hrastovec for the typography of the Louvre; Louvre Serif and Louvre Sans.
The explination given by the selection committee: Zagreb’s festival Design District Zagreb was held for the first time this year from the 16th to 19th of June, focusing on the promotion of the local creative scene in Zagreb’s neighbourhood that stretches along Martićeva Street. The Festival has managed to generate a remarkable amount of positive energy and enthusiasm within the intertwined network of participants (content creators), visitors, residents, business owners, city institutions, as well as sponsors who were involved in the event through specific design projects. Design District Zagreb engaged around one hundred designers, architects and activists who collaborated in the Festival with the implementation of their own projects – those that promote local design and architectural heritage and projects aimed to design an experiment or the creation of new urban facilities. However, the project is more than just a sum of its extremely heterogeneous components – in the period of just a few days, Design District Zagreb showed that, from the viewpoint of design, it is clearly possible to tactically facilitate and highlight the vitality of a small urban area, inspiring and connecting with everyone from cultural, design and commercial actors who live and work there, to the local community, hidden places and stories that make up its daily life.
This year’s Selection Committee consisted of: Iva Babaja, Andrej Filetin, Marko Golub, Silva Kalčić, George Korac, Mladen Orešić and Koraljka Vlajo, who were joined by French typography designer Jean François Porchez and German product-designer duo Osko + Deichmann (Blasius Osko and Oliver Deichmann).
The biennial exhibition of Croatian design traditionally gives insight into the quality of recent design production, with an emphasis on the role of design in society. This year’s 9th edition presented 213 works – 169 professional and 44 student.
The exhibition will be open until October 16th at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb.