Best exhibitions at Romanian Design Week 2020

by Romanita Oprea

One might say why I didn’t just jump and write about Romanian Design Week this year, like I used to do in the past. The explication is quite clear and easy: 2020 was for all of us a year of surprises and change and adaptation. A year in which we had to jump fast and be very flexible and knew when to take opportunities, but as well when to say no. There was a time, not long ago, when we didn’t know if we would have the chance to experience any exhibitions or concerts or events this year.

Fortunately though, we are here in the position of saying that some of the events we love the most are still offline, their organizers fighting to give us the best, during the current circumstances. Not to say or understand that I don’t like and appreciate the online events. But, for some reason, I still consider myself old school, loving to see in person and touch and experience with all my senses, everything that surrounds me, especially art. Therefore, the fact that Romanian Design Week was offline this year as well gave me the feeling that Romanians actually can do it all, if they put their minds to it.

Having in mind the idea of enjoying it all, I arrive at Romanian Design’s Week Main Exhibition since the first evening and a wondered around with a friend, comparing editions and feelings and opinions. It was probably for the first time that one of the events attracted me the most and made me decide to come back and see it again. And that was IQos World, another display of creativity from this brand. It is called “A new perspective” and I understood from the beginning why. And, most of all, it fit my thoughts about how 2020 happened for us and how it made me be even more introspective and ask myself more and more questions.

As I stepped on the darkened corridor, I was very excited to see and understand how the brand is perceiving in this context the innovation, the design and the sustainable choices for the future. And that because, as I was told, IQOS World wanted to represent the vibrant dialogue between the present and the past, by using the design and the technology to start a conversation about new perspectives. The power of our own choices, the ones that define whom we really are. Once I entered the room, I loved the way everything was so well put, how the lights and the materials used, the steps, the mirrors, gave me so many opportunities of new angles for my photos, of new ways of looking at me and my friend, of new shapes and forms that were being created under my eyes. It was a space where I could have spent a lot more time if I wouldn’t thought about the people waiting in the que to get their turn. It was a sensorial journey that took me closer to myself and made me hope in a better future for the design world in Romania and hope in events coming back to their real power and manifestation.

The second place and event that I was interested in, the way it happens every year, is the fashion design sector where some of the products presented really captured my attention again and made me wish I had the courage to wear at least one of them one time. The Possible Realities exhibition wanted to investigate the “new normal”, but also some possible scenarios for the future, the adapting of the designers to the current situation, in a series of beautiful architecture, urbanism, object design, graphic design and fashion pieces. The works talked about change, the fine line between functional and conceptual design and raised the discussion about the growing role of creativity today and its importance in the public space and our everyday lives.

I was also impressed by Antifragile, a series of initiatives and projects that contributed to making the situation better in the pandemic, a project signed by the Zeppelin Design team. It was an anchor in the reality, one that made us remember the true context we are in and the fact that we can all make a small change for a better life for us and the people around us. That today, probably more than ever, it’s really important to care and be responsible. A new Brave Girl is in each one of us, we just have to find it.