Contemporary Hungarian design, what is it? - that was the question roaming around my mind when I headed down to Budapest a little while ago. In order to gain a greater understanding and overview of what's cooking over in Hungary, I met up with Judit Osvárt, the woman responsible for Budapest Design Week, at Nomuri, a newly opened design cafe in the heart of the city.
First, a very brief history of Budapest Design Week: Once upon a time, in the early 2000s, the Hungarian Property Office felt that it was time for them to introduce the public to the world of design so as to create a greater understanding of what design is, seeing that it can be rather hard to wrap your head around unless you know what it's all about. They were also very keen on helping Hungarian designers understand their rights in the legal system and teach them more about patents and other mysterious formulas.
The first year, you could attend a mere 28 events, but over the years, Budapest Design Week grew and grew in size, peaking on their ten-year anniversary with a total of 350 events including fashion shows, design exhibitions and festivities for days.
In the design sphere, we often hear about countries such as England, Italy, China, The Netherlands and Denmark when it comes to what is hot and up and coming on the design scene. Hungary is not on this list, but things are changing. For the 11th year in a row, they are arranging Budapest Design Week, an event that this year around starts off with the opening of a major exhibition on October and continues with events in various forms until October 10.
Spread though out town you will be able to go to open showrooms, workshops, design tours, presentations and the mandatory parties arranged by Budapest Design Week itself as well as up-and-coming designers and established brands. It's going to be a busy week, with over 220 events scheduled to take place, spanning the fields of product design, industrial design, photography, architecture, interior design, fashion and accessory design.
During the last few years, the organizers of the festival have invited a specific country to be Guest of Honor. So far Finland, Poland and Italy have been represented with talks, presentation and exhibitions showcasing classic and modern design from the guest country. This year around the focus is on The Netherlands.
No matter if you are heading down to design week or just feel like visiting the city to take in its incredible beauty, you should make sure to download the Budapest Design Map, an app where you will be able to find everything from addresses to museums to vintage stores.
A few designers to keep an eye on:
Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop