The fourth edition of the design week in Skopje, Skopje Design Week 2014, opened on 23 September in Kuršumli An. During the six days the city was living under the motto fourth shift. Six days during which the festival was trying to satisfy the senses of design through exhibitions of artists and design studios, presentations of designers, stores and producers from several areas of design in the Expo, innovative presentations, workshops, discussions, enriched with all this gastronomy, fashion and music. One of the organizers’ major goal was to unite the design scene with Macedonian companies and entrepreneurs offering the opportunity to encourage more networking and business cooperation.
Aleksandar Velinovski, CEO of Skopje Design Week, and Martha Naumovska-Grnarova, program director of the festival, revealed that this year program would be rich and varied, and event would bring more new aspects. One of those on the agenda was establishing a Balkan design network initiated by the Macedonian organization Public Room, the Croatian Association of Designers from Zagreb and the most established design platform in the region called Mixer from Belgrade. Balkan design network as early as next year will perform jointly anywhere in the world, and some of the founders will be on the jury for the competition on the product label for the grape honey Tikvesh whose winner will be announced during the SDW. It was also revealed that at this edition of the festival six new Macedonian designer brands would be presented on stage for the first time.
Another news for this year edition was that France was the country in focus, and the French Ambassador to Macedonia, Lawrence Oer, said that they had been working on the idea of the festival for almost a year to present French design and those ten design studios that were going to arrive in Skopje. All this will allow a different view of young French art and French spirit in many areas from gastronomy to fashion, and not only the production of furniture and design objects.
During the design week an active gastro laboratory organized in collaboration with the restaurant Barbakan also opened where visitors were able to visit a pop-up outlet (the second in collaboration with SDW), which was organized by the well known Macedonian label and design store Drop and Ludus or Dragan Hristor and Jana Acevski, exposed fashion and jewelry by various designers like: Jovana Filipovic, Ilina Popovska, Tapestry, knit jewelry Biljana Magyar and many others.Besides Macedonian creative designs within the pop-up outlet with their own ideas, other designers from the region also represented their country in Skopje. Since this edition, Skopje Design Week has been in partnership with Body Mind and Spirit festival that performed several workshops for children and sports like kaporera and kendo.
The nights were dedicated to music and DJs and groups from Macedonia and Serbia. The event was a mix of exhibition space and trade because it interwove both creativity and commerce.