YOUNG BALKAN DESIGNERS 2021: LIFE HACKS
Young Balkan Designers theme for 2022 – “Life Hacks for Health & Wellbeing” called for design projects, objects, concepts, services, scenarios and inventions which create a “shortcut” between sustainable living and wellbeing, provoking conversation on alternative and “outside of the box” approach to designing and re-imagining healthier everyday worlds.
The call challenged young designers to emerge positively from the pandemic and use those enlightenments to twist and band the current “state of the art” in design practice to make space for unconventional, witty interventions and “fixes” which contribute to life-promoting environments and use nature-based solutions to address physical health, but also enhance the experiences of human-nature interactions, good relationships, social connections, solidarity and sharing, inclusion, belonging and multitude of other positive emotions through engagement of all senses, addressing neglected needs, or introducing quite surprising and unexpected functionalities, etc. It encouraged young creators to surpass limitations and dependency on massive, industrial production and lead the way towards self-sustenance and easily personalized solutions, increase of inclusion and equality by creating a choice & flexibility for different needs and supporting members of families, teams, communities and social networks to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles and come together to help each other.
The selected projects don’t necessarily have the ambition to “leave a mark” but, instead attempted to minimize their carbon footprint and embody thoughts on circularity of the materials used, implementation of local skills and resources, involvement of local actors in problem-solving and production, and creation of a positive environmental, economic, cultural and social impact.
Criteria appreciated by the Jury: socially engaging and innovative features of the project that enhance the quality of everyday life; innovativeness in addressing needs of different social groups; effectiveness in addressing user’s personal health and wellbeing; potentials for circularity of product or its elements; ergonomics; rational production and transportation costs; innovative use of materials available locally; implementation of local knowledge and techniques; environmentally friendly production process, innovative use of recycled materials; relevancy in relation to local / global environmental and social issues; significant social impact on local community.
Over 100 designers throughout the Balkans entered the call, while the final selection of 13 projects showcases the designs from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Turkey.