Belgrade Design Week Festival 2007

Why is BDW in Belgrade again and why is the conference exactly named change²?

There are two reasons: 1) above all, due to the outstanding success of the last year’s festival and the conference brand2 organized at the Sava Centre, and 2) because it is extremely important that, in the region with 50 million people, from Milan to Istanbul, and in its central point, Belgrade, design and creativity account for the change of the world: new communications, the new democracy, new thoughts – as well as the new life and new possibilities, especially for “small nations” and “new states”. If the world wishes South Eastern Europe to be successful – it must come to Belgrade to show us what is good and attainable in the near future. If we want to join the world – we must visit the change², to learn, write down, dream … and make use of these experiences.

Changes that shape the new world can be in the best way noticed in creative disciplines, which long for them by default, but now those changes become the key drivers of the overall modern economy. BDW is thereby an ideal “store window” of global production CHANGES, in which the whole region traditionally meets once a year, and in the course of that week, just as in the time of ancient Olympics, one attends, on neutral ground, an intense course on how to enter modern global tendencies and how to succeed on the increasingly competitive local and global market . In addition, the last year’s guests, now ambassadors of BDW, such as Peter Saville, Jan Rijkenberg, Eugenio Perazza, KasselsKramer, Landor, Miles Newlyn, Dejan Sudjic, Metadesign, Ben Evans and others, have actually set us an extremely high standards: to convene on one place, in Belgrade, lecturers that have never and nowhere been gathered together before. We managed it last year; it seems that we are going to be even better this year. Unbelievable!

Welcome to square changes.

The chairman of the festival

Jovan Jelovac

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Running in the morning through the city (down what the germans call a fussgangerzone) and being amazed by all the grand empty old buildings that reminded me of my Berlin beginnings. Grafitti on buildings. Lovely broken walls with acne'd facades from decades of reverse engineering. Discovering that all the ships on the river were party boats and open till the morning. Sweating so much in one of the clubs, my phone got messed up. Losing phone in said club. Visiting belgrade police station to report a then stolen phone to a twenty-something cop with a doctor's lab coat, listening to Rammstein (loudly) while hacking out my report on a pre-electric typewriter that looked (and sounded) as if it was from some era before typewriters were invented.   Thinking of Naked Lunch. Thinking of Die-Hard. Listening to architects talk about porous facades. Thinking of old smart bombs. Imagining the flash and crunch of several floors of reinforced concrete collapsing in on themselves. Wondering why I'm the only interactive guy here. Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade? Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade?!

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