On the occasion of the international festival Designblok, we were invited to present the project Take Away Sofia in Prague. The exhibition with 8 prototypes for new design of the Sofia souvenir is displayed in the beautiful gallery of the Czech centre until 19 November 2016. Afterwards it will return to Sofia where we are organising a series of lectures, discussions and workshops to accompany the exhibition in

This is the first stage of the project. We will put more efforts into turning the prototypes into a functioning brand, well distributed around museum shops and other locations, and gradually diversifying the range with other items and designers.

We are thankful to many people, organisations and institutions for supporting us along the way.

> all the participants:

Alexander Guerguinov/ Ham&Eggs

Viktoria Nesheva / A Forest Story

Guergana Stankova / Шевица

Dimitar Delchev

Fourplus (with the participation of: Borislavawillmadeit, Hristo Savov, Kaloyan Toshev, Tsvetislava Koleva)

Odd Matter

tochka & tochka

> Sevdalina Voynova (Association for Development of Sofia) – author of the name Take Away Sofia

> Sofia Municipality Program for Culture – 2016 – financial support

> MUZEYKO – content partner

> Czech Centre Sofia and more specifically to its director Katerina Churtajeva – communication with Prague and presentation there

> Czech Centre Praha – host of the exhibition

> Bulgaria Air – transportation

> Bulgarian Culture Institute in Prahue – host of the team and transportation

B2N – partner production

> Polish Institute in Sofia – content partner

> Goethe Institute –content partner

> LIGHT – media partner

> Under the Line – media partner

and also to:

> The participants of the Academy for Culture Management (Goethe Institute Sofia, April 2015 – April 2016) – for all the discussions and idea

> Vassil Iliev – graphic design, layout of the catalogue and the exhibition

> Missirkov/Bogdanov – photography catalogue


/Photo Anna Pleslova/


On the occasion of the ninth edition of the international festival One Architecture Week, we reviewed the work of the prolific and renowned architecture practice Atelier Bow-Wow for our column at Capital Light. One of the founders – Momoyo Kaijima – gives a minimal interview before coming to Plovdiv:


> Where did the name Bow-Wow come from?
We like a dog.

> What is architecture to you?
Life and culture.

> What are you seeking to invest in your work?
Life and culture in the society

> Most people do not consider architecture very deeply, or at all. How can the work of architects trigger the establishment of criteria in order to appreciate and understand better what we are looking at or the conditions of our living environment?
Reading of architecture and finding the meaning.

> In the context of the topic of the ninth edition of One Architecture Week () what are some of your observations and experience on activating the potential of the citizens?

> What is one plausible future scenario for the Plattenbau?
It is different meanings in the context.

> What are you curious about to see/learn when in Plovdiv?

> Who are some of your heroes and inspirations in architecture right now?
Machiya and Minka with life.

> Books you’d always recommend to an architect or architect-lover?
Commonalities by Atelier Bow-Wow!

> If you put any preconceptions out of your mind, what do you think will be your spontaneous thought on the value and purpose of the discipline, what will you be willing to do next (as a building, exhibition, publication, etc)?
Fisherman village and forest.



Our article on the story behind the new short animated movie by Vessela Dancheva and Ivan Bogdanov got picked up for a cover of the latest issue of Capital LIGHT. The13 minutes non-dialogue, picturesque narration revolves around the extreme limits of personal freedom and one’s place in a society, sometimes lead by an unsuitable leader ruining its very foundations. Our focus was more on the visual representation of the characters and the artistic director – the talented Rossitsa Raleva. We also touched upon the music, carried by the magic Bulgarian voices of ‘Eva Quartet’ and ‘Yulangelo Ensemble’. It’s a fantastic animated tale about seeking one’s true identity and freedom.

The movie is co-produced by the Croatian Bonobostudio and is already amassing awards at the festivals. Take a look at the trailer of Travelling Country – here.

The full version of the article can be read in our column for Capital LIGHT in print and on-line.


Maria is one of those people that easily get under your skin – with their creative charge, curiosity and interest in various publications. Although she is still quite young (26 years) and just recently graduated from the National Art Academy, she has chosen her career path of graphic design and illustration.

Her first book is already a fact – a pop-up book “Black bears for white days / White bears for rainy days.” On its pages black and white bears come to life with the help of twisted interpretations of 12 popular Bulgarian proverbs and three-dimensional pictures.

The experiment is based on the special printing techniques as well as the stylish but adventurous layout and the short narratives tickling your mind and imagination with humour. “Black and white paper into one. There is no front, nor back. Both covers are beginnings of the book. The meeting is in the center where the turning point is.”

The pop-up book is a work of art in a limited edition of 90 pieces, each made by hand by the author. Several days before the official premiere of the book and amidst feverish preparations for the presentation we catch up with Maria Nalbantova for an invigorating talk.

Tell us about your love for printed editions. What impressed you most and what was that you wanted to do?
Pop-up books and special printed editions are my way for dialogue with the world. Through them I manage to feel a little sharing and sincerity. Typical of pictorial books is the inevitable connection between text and picture. In the spatial books that I especially like, there is another level of understanding, because they combine text, image and space. I’m curious about the invention of  combinations how to tie the three things together and create understanding without repetition.




The full version of the article can be read in our column for Capital LIGHT in print and on-line.

ACTION! Towards a neighbourhood practice

One Architecture Week celebrates its ninth edition this October with a strongly built program and diverse formats, some of which will remain as a permanent intervention after the end of the event. The international festival dedicated to architecture and urban environment follows the practice from the previous two years, in which the main theme is focused on a certain place – Kapana (2014.) and the River (2015.).  The director of OAW Ljubo Georgiev decided in 2016 to concentrate the program in the third largest district in the country – Trakiya, Plovdiv. The Romanian studioBASAR is the curatorial team. The preliminary preparation of the event included site-specific research and non-formal conversations with the residents of the neighbourhood about their views and needs, extensive studies on historical facts related to “panelki” and the involvement of the local people in cultivation of their personal and public spaces as a shared responsibility and revealing the potential of architecture as an activator for a more comfortable, intelligent and beautiful way of living.

The program is targeted to support the motto ACTION! Towards a neighbourhood practice and is quite diverse and interesting; here we select a few suggestions not to miss while in Plovdiv and Trakiya neighbourhood:

— the exhibition LIVING SPACES;

<<30% of the population of Bulgaria lives in panelki. Constructed en masse, the concrete residences gained a reputation for monotony and lifelessness. The neighbourhood of Trakiya, designed in the 1970s, attempted to differentiate. The architects experimented based on their ideas of social living, stepping the blocks, and placing them in organic configurations  to create contrast and a sense of individuality. The inhabitants moved in eagerly, carrying with them their own ideas of living. The small apartment boxes were quickly filled, and the transformations seeped beyond their walls. The balconies pushed out and were glazed in, becoming kitchens, kids rooms and bedrooms, layering them with sun blocking fabrics, foils, lace, solar panels and parasols. The facades started reading like a patchwork, as the people living within expressed themselves. Around the blocks, neighbours planted gardens together and built structures for gathering with any materials they could find. Led by ideas of ownership, individuality and the changing needs of everyday life they created, and continue to create their own living spaces.>>

permanent interventions: one of the best side-effects of organising the event in Trakiya neighbourhood is the chance of approaching its people and engaging them into the creation of playgrounds or common places to gather and relax; the permanent structures were designed by several international studios after a brief based on numerous conversations with the locals and their needs;

— the book Almanac of Prefab Trakiya

— the interactive map 30 Locations in Trakiya

— for the first time in the festival’s history a documentary has been shot featuring a conversation between some of the architects who were working on the building of Trakiya – Do You Know the Architects?

forum: even though each one of the invited speakers has certainly an inspiring story to share, it is Momoyo Kaijima(Atelier Bow-Wow) and Jan Gehl who are the most prominent and well-known stars.

One Architecture Week has all the prerequisites to be a most formidable and meaningful event.