Designmonat Graz

Design Month Graz 2024

Opening Weekend

Author: Juliane Noest

For the third consecutive year, Slanted Publishers had the pleasure of attending Design Month Graz—this year themed What now?—and the opening weekend did, as always, not disappoint.

The venue of the opening ceremony, a defunct industrial space behind the main railway station, has been creatively repurposed into a dynamic hub of ideas and innovation, fitting perfectly with the festival’s theme of navigating a changing world.

From the moment we stepped into the former coffee production facility, the ambiance was buzzing with creativity. The raw, industrial backdrop provided a striking contrast to the vibrant installations. This interplay between the old and new, the transient and the enduring, set the mood for a month of exploration and inspiration in the whole city of Graz.

The main exhibition, aptly titled What now!?, is a highlight of the festival. It features 30 visionary solutions across various domains, including industry, mobility, food, housing, and architecture. Each project offered a unique perspective on sustainability and the future, inviting visitors to reflect on how we can reimagine our world. From innovative urban farming concepts to groundbreaking sustainable architecture, the diversity and creativity on display were truly impressive.

The rest of the opening weekend of Design Month Graz was filled with further inspiring events. One highlight was the opening of the exhibition by Croatian artist Boris Bućan, a renowned Croatian artist who is celebrated for his innovative and vibrant graphic designs and posters. On Saturday evening, there was the traditional reception at the impressive Murinsel Graz, a major landmark of the design city, featuring excellent drinks and delicious food. Sunday included the traditional excursion of the opening weekend, with a visit to Schloss Hollenegg, where the lady of the castle, Alice Stori Liechtenstein, personally welcomed us. We toured the current exhibition Woodland there. The day continued with a visit to the exhibition Schwarze Luft in Trahütten, intriguingly set on an old tennis court. Our next stop was Austria’s first queer hotel, Absteige zur bärtigen Therese, where hosts Itsche and Io warmly welcomed us. We enjoyed outstanding wine and delicious food. To conclude the day, each represented nation performed a song, in the old tradition of the opening weekend.

What sets Design Month Graz apart is its ability to not only showcase innovative ideas but also to contextualize them within broader societal and environmental challenges. The festival encourages visitors to think critically and creatively about the future, making it more than just a series of exhibitions, but a call to action.

The opening weekend was a testament to the festival’s success in bringing together a community of forward-thinkers and change-makers. It was inspiring to see so many people engaged and passionate about designing a better future. Design Month Graz 2024 has once again proven to be a beacon of innovation and creativity. The festival’s thoughtful curation and engaging programming make it a must-visit for anyone interested in the future of design and sustainability. We at Slanted Publishers are already looking forward to next year’s edition.

Images: © Slanted Publishers, Miriam Raneburger, GEOPHO

Designmonat Graz

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