Held in 2004 for the first time, the series of events Budapest Design Week was launched by the Hungarian Design Council to contribute to raising awareness about the economic and social role of design, to increasing the trust in design, and to fostering communication among the players of the field.
Budapest Design Week seeks to present design as an innovative set of tools and an approach that combines functional, user and social demands in a harmonic way, and represents an indispensable tool in the creation of products and services alike. The primary goal of the festival is to direct the attention of economic decision-makers and domestic enterprises to the opportunities offered by design, and to demonstrate the ways design, when integrated in business processes and corporate cultures, can generate a new quality and added value that boost competitiveness and give companies edge over other market actors both on the domestic and international scene.
Accordingly, the series of programmes includes events organised for the general audience (exhibitions, workshop visits), events targeting the trade (roundtable discussions, presentations, conferences, award galas, webinars, etc.), as well as elements that expressly help economic decision-makers in their work (investor meetings, presentation of case studies, lectures, workshops).
The Budapest Design Week festival is held annually at the end of September or the beginning of October, adjusted to the international event calendar. It contains a number of permanent programme items organised by the festival staff; accordingly, a central topic is set each year, a country is presented a guest of honour, and each year the organisers offer a number of Hungarian design studios an opportunity to introduce themselves in the Open Studios programme. Also linked to the series of events, the Hungarian Design Award and the Design Management Award are conferred in multiple categories, coupled with a public exhibition every time. Institutions of secondary and tertiary education in the creative industry are offered an opportunity to present themselves at the school fair “Where next?”.
Openness towards and growing interest in design initiatives are clearly demonstrated by the fact that Budapest Design Week has managed to form partnership with a number of other cities and towns outside Budapest in the past few years, as a result of which the audience can enjoy locally organised design programmes during the series of events not only in Budapest but also in Debrecen, Eger, Győr, Pécs, Sopron, Szentendre and Veszprém.
With regard to the fact that the series of programmes primarily aims to improve the competitiveness of Hungarian design businesses, to promote their introduction and to increase the popularity of their activities, the organisers offer various professional partners(museums, institutions, schools, shops, design studios, galleries etc.) opportunities to introduce themselves, on top of presenting the festival’s own programmes. The call for participation published in June each year generates continued and enhanced attention, owing to which the organisers have the opportunity to offer 100-120 external partners to present themselves at the festival.
In the process of organisation, the Budapest Design Week staff strives for variety also in terms of genres, Accordingly, the most diverse forms of design are represented at the festival, from industrial design to fashion, from internal architecture to graphic design, from service design to UX/UI design, thus involving in the series of programmes almost all important actors within the Hungarian design ecosystem.
BUDAPEST DESIGN WEEK 2020
The series of events in 2020 will take place between 1 and 11 October in a hybrid form adjusted to the state of the pandemic, which means that most programmes will be moved online.
The central topic of Budapest Design Week this year is the circular economy, which is intended to be brought into focus under the slogan “Join the circle!”. The topic is featured in numerous short films made by the participants, open days and workshops held by small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as online exhibitions and other events, which concentrate primarily on the models that aptly illustrate what a broad range of tools design has to contribute to shaping a more sustainable future.
This year, too, the series of events consists of two main types of programmes: programmes developed by the festival and programmes organised by external partners that join the Budapest Design Week festival.
Similarly to previous years, the Hungarian Design Award and the Design Management Award are set to be conferred during Budapest Design Week. Moreover, the programme Open Studios will also be held in the unconventional form of an online series, which will allow a peak in the workshops of Hungarian designers and design studios. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a good many Hungarian designers and companies to work out unique solutions, which they present at the festival as a series of videos. Also, short films will present businesses and initiatives where circularity plays a strategic role, while the topic is explored in detail at a unique interactive online exhibition staged by the organisers. The publication Start Up Guide issued by the Hungarian Design Council, which offers practical business development advice adjusted to the current economic and legal environment primarily for micro and small enterprises in the creative industry, and which is available in full for free, will be presented online in the form of a webinar at Budapest Design Week.
Public figures, as well as prominent persons in design will talk about their favourite objects on Budapest Design Week’s website, where plenty of news is available from the world of design. At the school fair of the creative industry “Where next?”, a dozen institutions of secondary and tertiary education will open their virtual doors to the audience.
Responding to the call for applications published in June, roughly a hundred external partners, design enterprises, cultural institutions and other partners have been offered a possibility to introduce themselves – in an online or offline form, as selected by them. Besides the numerous online exhibitions and collection shows, workshops, presentations and webinars, multiple offline programmes will also be held – from traditional exhibitions to handcrafting programmes, which await the audience in compliance with the currently effective public health regulations.
It is the second year that the Hungarian Fashion and Design Agency (HFDA) has been a major partner in the festival, organising roundtable discussions and podcasts planned to be held at two venues besides Budapest, in Győr and Veszprém, as well as launching a physical and digital platform under the name 360 Design Budapest. The purpose of the initiative is to establish both online and offline contact between representatives of design and the potential target audience, which bears even more significance in the current changed economic situation.
For further information, please contact our staff.