Those working in the field of art or design know exactly how difficult it is to get and maintain a good position on the market. Founding one’s own brand or joining forces with others under a studio is always a massive undertaking, and the initial enthusiasm is many times thrown back by the harshness of reality: uncertain strategy, hard to reach audience and too many tasks at the same time. Luckily, there are more and more theorists and managers in the design and art scene with the aim of helping these designers.
There are success stories in this field, too, yet the biggest lesson of the past years is still that the parties don’t meet each other effectively, they don’t know each other, the artists and designers often don’t get information about helping initiatives or they don’t know where they could reach experts other than those known from the university and mentor programs. After lengthy discourse, this problem is what gave life to MA•DE: a platform (currently only available in the form of a Facebook group) that offers a virtual meeting place for the two sides.
The founder of the platform is Bianka Geiger, who herself works as a design manager and a theorist in addition to being an editor at HYPEANDHYPER.
“It already occurred to me back when I was still a student at MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design) that we, theorists, are very much needed because a lot of talented designers head out on their own paths but find it difficult to find a partner. It happened many times that it only turned out in the course of an informal conversation what the participants did for a living, which then resulted in a collaboration—I wanted to give a more organized framework to this and to make it work as an open forum.
However, Bianka does not get all the credit—Kitti Mayer (another member of HYPEANDHYPER’s editorial staff) was among the first to form a bridge between theory and practice and also meant a great inspiration in MA•DE’s launch.
“Behind the majority of small Hungarian design brands there is a single person, the designer, who performs all tasks: they design collections, procure the necessary materials, keep in contact with subcontractors and manage the brand’s social media platforms, too. After some time, they realize that they need someone to help them with all this. Until now, there wasn’t an exact group where they could find potential partners. In the course of my conversations with Bianka it came up several times that we should create a platform for this purpose.”
It was perhaps designer Apol Temesi who summarized the essence of the initiative the best:
“The flavor of the apple is not in the apple, neither in the mouth: it is in the meeting of the two. By coordinating the players of the design scene in Hungary, the MA•DE initiative makes an old desire come true: the opportunity of meeting. Let’s get to know each other!”
Graphic design: Eszter Tankó