Design without Borders
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.
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: