Competition - Young Balkan Designers 2016

Publish Date: Feb 24, 2016

Deadline: Apr 10, 2016


Young Balkan Designers slogan for 2016 - "NEW ANALOGUE" calls for design projects − products, concepts, services and scenarios that are bringing human touch back into design process and manufacturing, linking them directly to materials, crafts and techniques available in the Balkan culture. We look for ways in which Balkan as a society can activate the value of its own cultural assets and contribute to the global debate on dehumanization of design and production process caused by hyper-efficient models of capitalist industrial and digital production and limiting usability-based approaches to design that tend to neglect other aspects of human factor - people’s personalities, their emotional responses and ideals. We challenge you to think about humanization of the production process, implementation of local manual skills and crafts in contemporary design methodology, with the focus on involvement of your immediate local community in problem-solving process and production, instead of fictional relations offered to us through social networks. In your pursuit to find the right balance between advantages of state of the art technologies available today and the local expertise in manual work and real-life human exchange, envision your project as the Balkan’s contribution to economic and social sustainability of local communities worldwide, providing personal satisfaction in all phases of the process: creation, production and user experience.

Terms and Conditions


Young Balkan Designers (YBD) is a regional talent platform founded in 2011 with the aim to identify, promote and develop creative potential of the Balkan region in the field of product design. The initiative also aims at unifying regional design scene, bringing it closer to the international market, strengthening its potential by providing additional education and practice, while at the same time contributes to the restoration of multi-cultural cooperation in the Balkan region.


"Young Balkan Designers" competition consists of two Open Calls. In Open Call 1 we challenge young designers to experiment and research their immediate surrounding through the topic "New Analogue". Wider selection of projects will be part of a talent exhibition at the Mikser Festival 2016, while ten best projects will tour major regional design festivals. In order to make stronger connection between design research and production, we introduced the product-oriented phase of the project, which will implement the ideas explored in the first phase into 5 briefs for 5 local manufacturers, thus forming the product-oriented Open Call 2. After winners' public presentations of their New Analogue ideas at the Mikser Festival, the International Jury will select 5-10 candidates to participate in the Open Call 2, skipping the preselection, and jumping directly to the Open Call 2 finals.


Socially engaged design concepts; products - furniture, lighting, interior elements, everyday objects, aid products, shelters, home accessories, fashion garments, stationary; urban services; innovative design and production scenarios, etc. that offer economically and socially sustainable solutions to local problems, both in urban and rural environments.
Criteria appreciated by the Jury: socially engaging and innovative features of the project that enhance the quality of community life; ergonomics; rational production and transportation costs; use of materials available locally; implementation of local knowledge and techniques; environmentally friendly production process, innovative use of recycled materials; significant social impact on your immediate community.


  • Konstantin Grcic, KGID, Industrial Designer
  • Tomislav Knezović, CEO, Prostoria
  • Zoran Jedrejčić, Industrial Designer
  • Jelena Matić, Furniture Designer, Professor at the University of Belgrade;
  • Nikola Radeljković, Product Designer, Numen / ForUse


To be able to participate in the Young Balkan Designers Competition, JOIN OUR COMMUNITY and become a member of Balkan Design Network! Enjoy the benefits of regional design competitions, cooperation and festivals. Sign up to database of designers and design related institutions and organizations. Membership is free of charge.

The competition is open to all members of BDN network aged 35 years and younger, from the following countries: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey. Applicants may be individuals or groups of creators. Each applicant may submit more than one entry.


The competition is open from 10 February 2016 – 10th April 2016
Applicants will be able to register and submit their projects by filling in a Young Balkan Designers form online at until 10th April 2016 at 23.59


"Young Balkan Designers" competition consists of two Open Calls:

Open Call 1: "Young Balkan Designers: New Analogue"
Jury selects the best 40 works to be presented in Talent Project Exhibition, at Mikser Festival 2016 in Belgrade, from 8 to 12 June. Best-selected prototypes will be included in YBD 2016 touring exhibition at regional design festivals. During Mikser Festival 2016 interviews will be organized with the authors to detect their readiness for Open Call 2. Selected designers will skip the preselection in the Open Call 2.


  • Participation in the Talent Exhibition at Mikser Festival 2016 (40 projects)
  • Touring Exhibition at design festivals in the region. (10-15 projects)
  • Exclusive Invitation to participate in Open Call 2 (5-10 designers)

WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT: 19 April 2016 (Exhibition participants) / 12 June 2016 (Touring Exhibition and Competition by invitation in Open Call 2)

Open Call 2: "YBD@ IMM COLOGNE 2017" NOTE: The contest is custom tailored for business partners – 5 regional manufacturing companies and consists of 5 detailed project briefs, one for each company. Five selected designers from Open Call 1 choose for which company they are competing; their proposals bypass the first round of Jury's selection and go directly into finals. The jury consisting of 5 members − two from the business partner and three from the BDN organization choose the projects to be produced and finally presented at Pure Talents 2017 exhibition at International Furniture Fair IMM in Cologne 2017. Designers of the winning projects receive a prize of 3-day trip to Cologne with reasonable per diem. The BDN is responsible for organization of the competition, design, publication and PR of the project. The business partners take the responsibility of development of the product of the selected work, working closely with awarded designers.


  • Production of winning prototypes
  • Participation in Pure Talents exhibition at IMM Cologne 2017 (January 2017)
  • 3 day field trip to IMM Cologne Cologne (January 2017)



If selected for the Talent exhibition at Mikser Festival 2016, submitted entries in the category of products must be executed as functional prototypes, while concepts and scenarios must be adequately presented through other media (installation, video, animation, story board, etc). By submitting this application, designers commit, if selected to participate in the exhibition, to produce their prototype and secure their transportation to Belgrade, Serbia by 5 June 2016, at their own expense.

Upon the announcement of the Open Call 1 Competition results in April, the Organizers will contact the laureates to provide them with the official invitation letter to accompany their prototypes during the transportation and the detailed information about the delivery / pick-up location. Authors of 10 selected projects to tour to other design festivals in the region leave their prototypes with the BDN organizational team. The return of the selected prototypes is possible upon request and the return transportation costs need to be covered by the designer.

The decisions of the jury are final. Any claims arising in relation to the authorship of the design or of possible plagiarism thereof, will be the responsibility of the designer. In the event of non-fulfilment of any of the rules herein, or in the case of inconsistency of the prototypes with the project selected by the jury, the objects submitted will be excluded from the Competition and the accompanying events.


Innovative platform established with the aim of articulating and providing long-term strategic support for the development and promotion of the Balkan design on Eu¬ropean and International level.

Balkan Design Network

  • Members: HDD / Croatia /
  • MIKSER / Serbia /
  • PUBLIC ROOM / Macedonia /



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