At the beginning of the new year, we throw backwards glances and reflections while considering a hopeful step into 2017.
2016 has been our second year as Studio Komplekt and we were enormously lucky to partner with role-model designers, companies, institutions and organisations in order to achieve an important progress in what we do. Overall we had quite a diverse and interesting menu of projects:
In March we had the pleasure to arrange in a pop-up exhibition GILTIG by IKEA in Gallery 2.0 and lead the discussion on the presentation of the collection. At the end of August we were invited to host the launch of the new IKEA catalogue in Sofia.
Spring was busy and culminated in several activities in June, starting with Absolut Creative Space – the first of its kind festival in Sofia on creativity and sustainability hosted by Absolut Bulgaria. Our task was content creation and coming up with a variety of formats like lectures by international and local creatives (among whom one of the founders of the famous It’s Nice That creative platform), demonstrations, special projects, workshops, exhibitions, discussions and various presentations. You can read more about it here.
The international festival on design and visual culture One Design Week contacted us to arrange Bulgarian design on the vitrines of 13 Plovdiv shops on the central street – Additions – new Bulgarian design on a shop window. We also had the honour to continue for a second consecutive year the exhibition Diploma project. This time we put a focus on the extremely talented illustrator Maria Nalbantova and her Black Bears for White Days, White Bears for Black Days pop-up picture book.
It has been an utmost pleasure to select some of our favourite book titles on design for a great project called Design Bookery, initiated by Next-DC and thoughtfully supported by Lidl Bulgaria. It was presented in Plovdiv and Sofia during the summer months.
After a short break during which we both managed to road-trip in Italy and walk on the fantastic Floating Piers by Christo and get architectural insights by the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice, we got back on intense work schedule and collaborated with the international summer program for creative thinking and design processes Know-How / Show-How, supporting them for their PR and moderating the Podium RE-Connect / Object in Context with participants like Linda van Deursen (Graphic design studio Mevis & van Deursen, Amsterdam), Dr. Clémentine Deliss and Jurgen Bey (Studio Makkink & Bey, NL).
In Cabinets of Wisdom we had to think of a concept in which Finnish artists ( Antti Kalevi | Eero Lampinen | Iina Vuorivirta | Kirsi Enkovaara | Marjukka Takala | Saana ja Olli) interpret Bulgarian proverbs. The resulting works varied in form and character but were united by the exposition design — six contemporary cabinets of curiosity constructed by Bulgarian stage artist Eva Ventova. The exhibition was open for ten consecutive days and was a total blast, accompanied by cocktails and music, of course.
Take Away Sofia is a self-initiated project, supported by the Sofia Municipality Culture Program 2016, which saw the realisation of eight prototypes for new souvenirs for Sofia. We invited current designers working in various fields of the profession like fashion, textile, illustration, graphic design, jewellery, ceramics, etc. in order to present their views on the contemporary image of the Bulgarian capital in the ubiquitously spread form of the souvenir. The project took the form of an exhibition, which was shown at Prague’s DesignBlok and in Sofia where it was accompanied by lectures, showcases and workshops. Take Away Sofia has the ambition to evolve into a fully-functioning brand. Rolling our sleeves and making it happen in 2017.
On our journalistic side, we saw three of our articles on the covers of LIGHT. And continued (even though not so regularly as we wished) to fill in our magazine section.
Thank you for hanging out with us. We will continue to contribute modestly but productively to developing and supporting a more meaningful and working design scene here. Among our most aspiring projects for 2017 is the launch of an on-line dynamic platform for presenting Bulgarian designers and architects called MELBA, once again supported by the Sofia Municipality. Another major stepping stone for our work in 2017 is the opening of GENERATOR – a new model space for collaborations where transformation happens through design. We are realising it with our partners from Creative Mornings Sofia – Creative Shower. Stay tuned. Exciting times are ahead.
Wishing you great adventures and good deeds in the new year.