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Budapest Design Week: Slow Design

Research has taken a priority over sightseeing in Budapest, but we have made time to take in some of Budapest’s Design Week

Can you believe how giant these sculptures (outside of the Design Terminal) are?

Slow Design Exhibit:

The theme for this year’s Design Week is “Slow Design”.  An exhibit of “Slow Design” kicked off festivities, with some designers and artists recycling and revamping many everyday goods, from t-shirts to empty birth control packages and plastic water bottles, to create artistic and usable items.  Other designers focused on created sustainable design that doesn’t wreak havoc on the environment during the design and manufacturing process.

You can spot the birth-control-packages-turned-lights in the top left of the photo below:

25 Vases: Georg Schnitzer & Peter Umgeher (PET bottles covered in paint)

A+Z Design (vessel once used for lard storage re-purposed as a stool)

Maria Westerberg (t-shirts woven like Finnish rag rugs to make a colourful chair)

Fiskars Village – Imported from Finland:

Just upstairs from the Slow Design Exhibit is a gorgeous sampling of artwork from members of Fiskars village, a community of artists in a small Finnish village (read more here).  These are the kinds of pieces I think really embody “Slow Design”: pieces that stand the test of time, and don’t become disposable, because of their aesthetic and also the quality of materials used.  The collection spanned many years, but I think any of the pieces would have been at home in a contemporary space. 

Howard Smith c. 1987

Howard Smith

Camilla Moberg: ISIS green glass, Blown by Kari Alakoski, Photo: Winfrid Zakowski

Onoma Pop Up Shop:

A sampling of wares are for sale in the Onoma Pop Up Shop, a temporary miniature of the original shop in Fiskar’s Village.

Hungarian Fashion Pieces by Lack

Even everyday buildings, like the Bank Centre, is also exhibiting Hungarian design.  This exhibit, Hungarian Fashion Pieces by Lack, was weird at first (the bankers watched us looking at the designs), but ultimately it was interesting to see high fashion contrasted with every day life.  Plus, it was really nice that there were no crowds!


Open Studio Tour

Design Week also offered the opportunity to check out some studio spaces of Budapest designers.  We didn’t visit many, but we did stop by the home/exhibit space/workshop of a local leather artisan, Anna Olah, whose home captivated me even more than the bags.  Of course, it was a white-white-white space with pops of colour.  The twist?  A row of colourful doors:

I snapped this during the open studio tour – love, love, love the colourful doors!

Photo from

Photo from

Photo from

And there’s more!  Later this week: art fairs, craft markets, a jewellery exhibit and some goodies we took home.



  1. erica | wicked bride
    October 8, 2012 / 1:37 pm

    What an amazing opportunity to see art displayed in incredibly unique ways – so cool. And I LOVE those colored doors – what a brilliant little way to add color.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 8, 2012 / 2:34 pm

      I've been pretty impressed with Design Week so far. It is a HUGE event with bits and pieces all over the city and for the whole month. It is pretty consumer-heavy (LOTS of shopping opportunities) but some museums and art galleries have gotten in on the action, helping to make it more fabulous. I can't wait to share some more. And show ya what I bought (nothing major . . . )

  2. rusty duck
    October 8, 2012 / 5:18 pm

    It's interesting to see how Hungary showcases design. Bold and contemporary. Good for them! Can't wait to see what you bought..

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 8, 2012 / 6:09 pm

      I was surprised to see such enthusiasm for design here, given the really tough economy. Speaking of which, so far I've bought little wee inexpensive things. But a few treasures, none the less!

  3. Dana@Mid2Mod
    October 8, 2012 / 5:36 pm

    Great show! I especially love the tee shirt chair for some reason. I wish I had two for my grandsons.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 8, 2012 / 6:08 pm

      We weren't allowed the sit on them, but they looked comfy. Really comfy.

  4. How2home
    October 9, 2012 / 2:06 pm

    Wow! These are fabulous designs and photos! It's so interesting to see a design show from Hungary! You must've had a blast! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving in Hungary!

  5. Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
    October 9, 2012 / 4:48 pm

    Glad you found it interesting! What is making it so fun is that there are little bits here and there so the whole month feels special. It's quite the event. Our Thanksgiving was un-Thanksgiving-y but we did Skype a little with folks back at home. Hope yours was lovely!

  6. Shannon
    October 9, 2012 / 10:24 pm

    That colourful chair makes me happy!Imagine those giant dogs at night?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 10, 2012 / 9:02 pm

      The chair would look SO good in your basement, with your fabulous new rugs. Sorry – they won't fit in my suitcase 🙁

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