Young Balkan Designers (YBD) is a regional talent platform founded by The Mikser Association. YBD at SaloneSatellite this year challenged designers to come up with witty design hacks post-pandemic for life-promoting environments and restoration of human-nature interactions and social connections.
The judges are relevant figures in contemporary design and art, including Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen.com, Denis Leo Hegić, founder of Berlin’s creative studio Supermarket Lab and curator of virtual Museum of Now, alumni of the Young Balkan Designers platform who are now accomplished young creators like Ana Kraš, Vasso Asfi, Loukas Angelou and Jovana Zhang.
Here are 13 of the selected designs:
Subversion by Tijana Kostić (Serbia) is a collection of transformable furniture pieces. It exploits the properties of 'quick-grip' industrial clamps that enables quick and simple transformation of pieces. And Tijana was inspired by her environment where broken things get fixed instead of easily replaced.
Form Follows Culture by Nada Elkharashi (Turkey) is designed to promote a better way of drinking water. Drinking slowly in small sips or quickly in big gulps has different effects on water absorption in our body.
Zaokret by Marija Kojić (Serbia) is aimed to encourage the proper development of children through play. 12 children can play around, under or inside the system. It can also be a workspace for kids or an exhibition panel for drawings and objects.
Vozicheck by Matko Plovanić of Balkon Design Studio (Croatia) is a trolley that can be transformed into a table. It is useful for open-air activities like a bazaar and it reduces usage of motor delivery. The robust skeleton ensures durability, while the wooden parts are easily replaced with new ones in case of damage.
Poličnik by Tadej Urh (Slovenia) is an open wooden shelves that needs no drilling to stand firmly. It’s robust yet easy to move around without leaving marks behind.
Unluckies by Maja Repotočnik (Slovenia) are educational soft toys in the shape of endangered animals: Kiwi Okarito bird, North Atlantic right whale and Sumatran Rhino, with hidden environmental message in their tummy, which is a plastic cap.
+1 by Milan Kajganić (Serbia) is a stackable stool with a message of sharing and connecting. When you stack two of them, it’s a chair. When friends come over, you unstack and share them, and they become stools for everybody.
Elena by Eva Garibaldi (Slovenia) is a raw metal candle holder. It may appear very simple but it was designed with consideration of the carbon footprint and circular economy, crafted using metal piping leftover pieces from production processes that otherwise go to waste.
The Last Jar of Honey by Katarina Trpčić (Croatia) is designed to raise awareness of the beekeeping crisis, mass honey production and climate change. The set of utensils represents the utensils ritually used to consume honey.
Val by Andraž Rudi Vrhovšek of ADDiD PLUS (Slovenia) is a modular partition for open-plan spaces made of recycled materials. It’s aimed to reduce noise which will increase productivity and reduce health issues.
Avid by Ena Begičević Čeliković (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is a set of mirror, console table and a stool for the hallway. Integrated in wood, there are broken watches in each piece.
Biocarpet by Arpad Pulai (Serbia) is an experimental textile surface designed with the help of woolen fibers realized by felting technique. The topics of recycling, biodiversity and the use of natural materials are underlined within the process of making this product.
Meenghe by Djurdja Garcevic (Serbia) is street furniture made from recycled tires. It is a solution to excessive car tire waste, where tires are recycled and turned into various furniture like stools, planters, litter bins, etc. The most important thing about this type of recycling is that harmful by-products are not produced. And Meenghe was chosen to be one of the winners of SaloneSatellite 2022.