Young Balkan Designers (YBD) is a regional talent platform founded in 2011 with the aim to identify, promote and develop creative potential of the Balkan region in the field of design. The initiative also aims at unifying the regional design scene, bringing it closer to the international audience, strengthening its potential by providing additional education and practice, while at the same time contributing to the restoration of multi-cultural cooperation in the Balkan region.
Young Balkan Designers theme for 2022 – “Life Hacks for Health & Wellbeing” calls for design projects, objects, concepts, services, scenarios and inventions which create a “shortcut” between sustainable living and wellbeing, provoking conversation on alternative and “outside of the box” approach to designing and re-imagining healthier everyday worlds: at home, at school or work, in public, in our intimate and community spaces, urban and rural environments, in our physical and digital realms.
We challenge young designers to emerge positively from the pandemic and use those enlightenments to twist and band the current “state of the art” in design practice to make space for unconventional, witty interventions and “fixes” which contribute to life-promoting environments and use nature-based solutions to address physical health, but also enhance the experiences of human-nature interactions, good relationships, social connections, solidarity and sharing, inclusion, belonging and multitude of other positive emotions through engagement of all senses, addressing neglected needs, or introducing quite surprising and unexpected functionalities, etc.
We encourage young creators to surpass limitations and dependency on massive, industrial production and lead the way towards self-sustenance and easily personalized solutions, increase of inclusion and equality by creating a choice & flexibility for different needs and supporting members of families, teams, communities and social networks to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles and come together to help each other.
The proposed projects should not necessarily have the ambition to “leave a mark” but, instead attempt to minimize their carbon footprint and embody thoughts on circularity of the materials used, implementation of local skills and resources, involvement of local actors in problem-solving and production, creating a positive environmental, economic, cultural and social impact.
The International Jury will select the Young Balkan Designers 2022 Competition winners for:
- Participation at the Salone Satellite talent exhibition of the most prominent global design event – Milan International Furniture Fair 2022, 5-10 April, 2022
- Participation in the Design exhibition and Conference-Workshop program of one of the largest regional festivals of creativity and social innovation – Mikser Festival 2022, Belgrade, October, 2022
*During International Furniture Fair in Milan and Mikser Festival in Belgrade a series of meet-ups between the competition finalist and representatives of selected regional furniture and product manufacturers will be organized to explore potentials for collaboration on development of a concrete design product or a service for a specific company, which would be a subject to a separate agreement between the company and the designer.