Design Wit­hout Bor­ders (DWB), one of the region’s most sig­ni­fi­cant inde­pen­dent all-arts exhi­bi­ti­ons and event series, sho­wca­ses works of desig­ners, fur­ni­tu­re, tex­ti­le and jewel­le­ry desig­ners and artists wor­king in other visu­al fields. Each year ca. 150 desig­ners from more than 10 coun­tries get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pre­sent the­ir work to the audien­ce in this 16-year-old pro­ject. The exhi­bi­ti­on is aug­men­ted by a rich selec­ti­on of sis­ter-arts events.

In Octo­ber 2020 the exhi­bi­ti­on was ope­ned in Buda­pest. In 2021 it would have also gone to Bra­ti­sla­va and Vien­na; howe­ver, the­se got can­cel­led due to the pan­de­mic. Ins­te­ad, an inno­va­ti­ve all-arts DWB vlog, pre­mie­ring on 7 May,  pre­sen­ted the works of the 154 artists from 14 coun­tries in short 30–35 second videos. At the same time the­re was an onli­ne mee­ting in the FUGA BUDAPEST CENTER OF ARCHITECTURE, along­si­de Szil­via Szigeti’s tex­ti­le col­lec­ti­on “Futu­ris­tic”, Rita Góbi’s dan­ce etu­de and a con­tem­po­ra­ry clas­si­cal music con­cert by Róza Rad­nó­ti. 

The name ‘Design Wit­hout Bor­ders’ refers both to the inter­na­ti­onal natu­re of the exhi­bi­ti­on, the Euro­pe­an sen­se of belo­n­ging and the inte­ro­pe­ra­bi­li­ty of the vari­ous art dis­cip­li­nes. The cura­tors’ express will is to demon­stra­te the many ave­nu­es of inter­pre­ting design. By bro­ade­ning the con­cept, they emp­ha­si­se cre­a­ti­ve app­ro­ach and inno­va­ti­on that are foun­ded upon cons­tant ins­pi­ra­ti­on, dia­lo­gue bet­we­en dif­fe­rent social, pro­fes­si­onal and gene­ra­ti­on groups, the clas­hing of the­ir diver­gent opi­ni­ons, and sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly arran­ging and trans­mit­ting infor­ma­ti­on. Design-based thin­king also ser­ves as the star­ting point for inno­va­ti­on, edu­ca­ti­on, stra­te­gy-making and even prob­lem-sol­ving.

The works, pro­jects, objects and rela­ted events the exhi­bi­ti­on sho­wca­ses emp­ha­si­se the impor­tan­ce of pro­duc­ti­ve inte­rac­ti­on bet­we­en the vari­ous art dis­cip­li­nes – the visu­al arts, design, as well as the visu­al and per­for­ming arts. The selec­ti­on high­lights not only the artists, but also the role of social res­pon­si­bi­li­ty, civil socie­ty and cre­a­tors in socie­ty, as well as the impor­tan­ce of networ­king.

The exhi­bi­ti­on fea­tu­res design objects in the nar­ro­wer sen­se (one-off, small-batch and serial­ly pro­du­ced fur­ni­tu­re, home acces­so­ries, car­pets and soft fur­nis­hings) as well as pro­to­ty­pes, con­tem­po­ra­ry jewel­le­ry, pro­jects (and films about pro­jects) that inter­pret gen­re boun­da­ries fre­e­ly, ide­as that are eco-con­sci­ous, ser­ve sus­tai­nab­le deve­lop­ment or high­light the role of civil socie­ty in sha­ping socie­ty as a who­le, and works that pre­sent the cul­tu­ral and cre­a­ti­ve con­nec­ti­ons wit­hin gas­tro­no­my.


DWB is aug­men­ted with two smal­ler pro­jects.

Texhi­bi­ti­on is a joint pro­ject for Hun­ga­rian and inter­na­ti­onal tex­ti­le desig­ners cre­a­ted 6 years ago by tex­ti­le desig­ner Szil­via Szi­ge­ti, in which more than 100 cre­a­tors have par­ti­ci­pa­ted.

With pro­duc­ti­on capa­ci­ties relo­ca­ting to the Far East due to che­ap labour and the unac­cep­tab­le natu­re of child labour, Szi­ge­ti was urged to call atten­ti­on to the tex­ti­le indus­try, a once lea­ding branch in Euro­pe, and the cre­a­ti­ve possi­bi­li­ties that lie in it.

The con­tem­po­ra­ry jewel­le­ry sec­ti­on high­lights the clo­se con­nec­ti­on bet­we­en visu­al arts and design and the simi­la­ri­ty in design atti­tu­de. In 2020 con­tem­po­ra­ry jewel­le­ry desig­ners had cen­tre sta­ge for the third time. They were selec­ted by reno­wned cura­tors, inc­lu­ding Cor­ne­lie Hol­zach, direc­tor of the Pforz­he­im Jewel­le­ry Muse­um; Eli­sa­beth Hei­ne, guest cura­tor of the Pforz­he­im Jewel­le­ry Muse­um; Aus­trian jewel­le­ry artist Susan­ne Ham­mer; arts wri­ter and col­lec­tor Kata­lin Spen­gler; and the orga­ni­sers of DWB. The selection’s aim is to show guests the genre’s most prog­res­si­ve novel­ties as ful­ly as possib­le.

Each year wit­hin the jewel­le­ry exhi­bi­ti­on, besi­des notab­le jewel­le­ry artists’ cre­a­ti­ons from vari­ous coun­tries, a sig­ni­fi­cant scho­ol is intro­du­ced. E.g. in 2018: Stu­dio S+M+L_XL – Metal and Jewel of the AFAD Bra­ti­sla­va; in 2019: the LSFDA; in 2020: the Kuns­tMo­de­De­sign Herb­sts­tras­se, Wien Eve­ning Col­le­ge Jewel­le­ry Design.

DWB is also a desig­ner network that aims at cre­a­ting dia­lo­gue oppor­tu­ni­ties bet­we­en the dif­fe­rent gene­ra­ti­ons. As a part of this guests have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to acqu­aint them­sel­ves with the works of stu­dents from vari­ous arts and design scho­ols and uni­ver­si­ties. The 2020 exhi­bi­ti­on fea­tu­red the works of the artists of the 2019 “Gra­du­ati­on Show” of Design Aca­de­my Eind­ho­ven; as well as the works of the stu­dents of five facul­ties of AFAD Bra­ti­sla­va, two facul­ties of the Aca­de­my of Fine Arts of War­saw, two facul­ties of the LSFDA, and the MOME Design Ins­ti­tu­te.


DWB Award

To ack­no­wled­ge the exhi­bi­tors’ pro­fes­si­onal per­for­man­ce the orga­ni­sers foun­ded a design award in 2016 to sup­port young artists. The accolade’s aim is to high­light the poten­tial in design, as well as the impor­tan­ce of spon­sors­hip and social res­pon­si­bi­li­ty, and also to pro­vi­de an oppor­tu­ni­ty for inter­na­ti­onal recog­ni­ti­on.


About the foun­der-cura­tors

Tex­ti­le desig­ner Szil­via Szi­ge­ti and inte­ri­or desig­ner Tamás Rad­nó­ti of Buda­pest both gra­du­ated from the Moho­ly-Nagy Uni­ver­si­ty of Art and Design. Both of them were fel­lo­ws of the Aka­de­mie Sch­loss Soli­tu­de Stutt­gart in 1990–91, and Szil­via Szi­ge­ti was a mem­ber of the Aka­de­mie Sch­loss Soli­tu­de board of trus­te­es bet­we­en 2011 and 2019.

They ope­ned the­ir own design stu­dio Even­tu­ell Gal­le­ry in Buda­pest in 1994, whe­re – besi­des the foun­ders’ works – desig­ners, visu­al artists and per­for­ming artists are sho­wca­sed in about 8–10 all-arts events a year.

The­ir most sig­ni­fi­cant all-arts pro­ject is the now 16-year old DWB inter­na­ti­onal design exhi­bi­ti­on.

Sin­ce 1994 they have been invol­ved in the orga­ni­sa­ti­on and mana­ge­ment of more than 200 sig­ni­fi­cant design and all-arts exhi­bi­ti­ons and event series; they have wor­ked with near­ly 4000 desig­ners.


ONLINE mate­rials of this pro­ject can be found on the links below:



Design Wit­hout Bor­ders // @designwithoutbordersbudapest //  //  Sup­por­ted by Inter­na­ti­onal Viseg­rad Fund