Design Month Graz
This year we had again the pleasure to be invited to the opening of Design Monat Graz (Design Month Graz), which takes place every year in the UNESCO City of Design Graz. It celebrates design and emphasizes its importance in the city, the region, in everyday life, and its relevance in making a change and an impact in the worlds and enviroments current state. It provides a space for innovative projects—be it experimental or commercial—and thus heightens the perception of the meaning of design. In 2023 the topic of Design Monat was REVOLUTION, asking in what way design could influence revolutionary processes and what designers would have to do with that—challenging activistic and revolutionary energy.
The opening weekend started with 8 Revolution speeches. You could wander around the city and listen to the 8 different speeches while discovering new places. After that, the Design Monat was officially opened with a ceremonial speech among others by Eberhard Schrempf, Managing director of Creative Industries Styria, who are the initiators and organizers of Design Monat Graz.
Continuing the opening weekend, Saturday started with the Designer’s Breakfast, where you could exchange ideas with other guests and designers from Styria and all over the world—all while enjoying excellent food and coffee. The breakfast was followed by guided tours through the city, where partner stores and designers were visited, presenting their work and ideas as part of Design Monat. Later in the day, a Revolution Symposium took place in the beautiful Joanneumsviertel Auditorium, with intensive exchanges in breakout sessions on the following topics: “How to revolutionize through Circular Economy?” with Harald Gründl, “How to revolutionize the built environment?” with Daniel Fuhrhop, “What does Food Revolution need?” with Christina Hedin, and “How does revolution in Design and Craft succeed?” with Thomas Feichtner. The eventful and intensive day continued with two exhibition openings in the Designforum in Graz about “Wood Craft Design” and “Circular Economy,” showcasing product design with focus on sustainability, reusability, and circular design. The evening was then rounded off with great conversations, drinks, food, and speeches in the beautiful location Murinsel Graz.
The Sunday of the opening weekend continued in the tradition of last year with the visit of the stunning Schloss Hollenegg, where we were welcomed by curator and lady of the castle Alice Stori-Liechtenstein who introduced us to the current exhibition “Ashes & Sand.” The Sunday tour continued in the Austrian countryside in Trahütten with the visit of Casa Tondolo, hosted by the artist duo itshe+io who—in the middle of Styria—created a safe, queer, and welcoming creative space in their beautiful home. The day was rounded off with the traditional wine-tasting at Weinhof Krenn49, amazing Austrian food, and the traditional singing-round in the end of the day where each represented nation had the honor or challenge to perform a song.
The opening weekend was like last year a great inspiration and joy. The creative energy flowing through the city during these days and the whole month is intoxicating. The pursuit of new ideas and design that is more sustainable, clever, and relevant to today’s world is contagious. Big thanks again to Creative Industries Styria for the invitation to this great weekend and opportunity! You can still visit Design Monat Graz until June 4th—do not miss this opportunity if you are in the area!
Images: © Creative Industries Styra GmbH,GEOPHO, Miriam Raneburger,Harald Wawrzyniak, and Slanted Publishers.