Reporting by Temenouzhka Zaharieva. Images by Mihail Novakov.
Sofia Design Week, the international design festival of Bulgaria, is organized by the cultural platform EDNO and takes place in Sofia every June since 2009. Its fourth edition entitled In Context will include over 100 events—exhibitions, workshops, lectures, screenings and parties.
This year, events kick off today, June 1st, but the preliminary program has already begun. The first exhibition opened on April 28 at the Sofia City Art Gallery—100 miniatures of classical chairs in scale 1: 6. from the collection of Vitra Design Museum (Germany). Since the history of design assigns the chair a central role, the exhibition of these coveted collector's items—with the help of photographs, original sketches and chronological tables—aims to tell the story of contemporary design.
Image courtesy of Ada Nikolova
On May 24th—the Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day—the exhibition Alfapretation Bulgaria opened. In 2007, the year Bulgaria joined the European Union, the Cyrillic alphabet became the third official alphabet in the EU. Alfapretation Bulgaria is a project that tries to interprete the Cyrillic alphabet as a unifying code of cultural symbols of identity. For the project all 30 letters were (quite subjectively) associated with 30 symbols of Bulgaria's daily life, values and mentality—like banitsa, roses, tobacco, no, Sofia, bread, etc. These letter/word combinations were distributed as an inspiration among fifteen Bulgarian designers and Alphapretation presents their interpretations.
But the most interesting is yet to come—there will be more than 50 exhibitions, many workshops and lectures. What we are looking forward to see this year:
Cherga>>fast forward - showcasing more than 30 products from 15 Bulgarian designers, members of Bulgarian Design Group CHERGA, because we know they always have fresh ideas and concepts
Transformation - this is the grand finale of the competition for artistic transformation of the Telephone Palace facade in Sofia, the central location for Sofia Design Week. The winner of the competition has a very interesting concept—to transform the facade of the Telephone Palace into a computer keyboard, turning each window into a key. Lighting different keys at night will allow the new face of the facade to create messages to the citizens. Visitors of the Transformation exhibition will be able to see all participating projects as they will be projected onto the building.
The Forum is one of the most interesting events during each festival. This year there will be 32 speakers from 15 counties and the list includes names like David Carlson, the Swedish design entrepreneur, facilitator, advisor and holistic thinker, publisher of The David Report an in-depth trend resource; Raw Edges, the London-based studio of Israeli designers Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay; Stefan Sagmeister, the famous graphic designer with two Grammys is currently working on a feature length documentary that explores happiness and is going to talk about design and happiness; Genevieve Gauckler, the internationally acclaimed artist, illustrator and art director from France and many more.
Sofia Design Week 2012 will welcome its international guests and Bulgarians returning from abroad at the airport - special information panels will present the highlights of the festival's program.
SOFIA DESIGN WEEK 2012
June 1 - 8, 2012