RAD DESIGN 2024: Bucharest Sets the Stage for Cultural Exchange

RAD DESIGN 2024 debuts as the first contemporary collectible design fair in Eastern Europe, introducing a new stage in the design world. Located in the vibrant city of Bucharest, the fair celebrates Romania’s rich cultural heritage while setting the stage for an international exchange of innovative design ideas. Director and curator, Adela Maria Marius, asserts the fair’s transformative agenda: “It’s time to radically reconsider the conventional roles we assign to the things surrounding us,” emphasizing the fair’s mission to challenge and expand the conventional boundaries of design. With the title for this year’s curatorial intent “WITH OR WITHOUT POETRY, WITH OR WITHOUT FUNCTION”, RAD DESIGN aims to engage visitors intellectually and emotionally, encouraging them to see everyday objects as conduits for deeper reflection and appreciation.

This event is poised to have a substantial impact on the design sector in Romania and beyond by serving as a catalyst for new ideas and collaborations. It seeks to elevate the perception of Romanian design on the global stage while providing a platform for international designers to share their work with a new audience.

As an integral part of the inaugural show, RAD DESIGN introduces a distinctive collaboration with ADORNO, featuring a curated collection of sculptural pieces and tableware ranging from elegant glassware to intricate metalwork. This collection highlights the creativity of international designers and makers, providing fresh insights into the functional and aesthetic dimensions of everyday objects.

Among the highlights is Prague-based artist Elis Monsport, who presents the ‘Forester Glasses.’ Inspired by the book “Lesák” and an explorative journey through the Pyrenees, these hand-blown glasses take their unique shape from a piece of cork wood discovered along the path, merging natural inspiration with artistic craftsmanship. Lucia Mondadori offers pieces meticulously handcrafted in stoneware, with designs that elegantly capture the essence of growing roots through delicate curves and forms. Additionally, Milena Kling introduces her mouth-blown ‘Flow Vases.‘ Glass volumes, each individually textured with woven copper creating a stunning interplay of material and light. Los Objectos Decorativos showcases plates crafted using advanced fusing and thermoforming techniques, bringing a modern twist to traditional glassmaking.

ADORNO x RAD DESIGN

Discover the Collection

The main exhibition at RAD DESIGN 2024 is a compelling showcase of international talent and innovative design thinking. Highlighting a selection of distinguished galleries and designers, the exhibition presents an array of works that push the boundaries of form and function while reflecting a diversity of cultural perspectives. Highlights include Atelier V&F, a Chinese studio founded by Chen Furong and Vera Zaishi Wang, presents the project ‘Revelation Of Gaia’ – dynamically coated in soft goat fleece, reminiscent of both a shifting glacier and a tranquil resting animal embodying their commitment to non-utilitarian beauty and emotional depth. BRUT Gallery (Romania): Features the thought-provoking works of Berlin-based Henry Baumann, whose designs often explore materiality and spatial dynamics. BOO, includes side tables and seating objects crafted from resin, where chance and external factors shape each unique piece. EPRETEXT Gallery (Romania): Showcases local talent Radu Abraham, whose pieces are a dialogue between Romanian heritage, upcycling, and modern design principles. Paul Coenen (Eindhoven, NL): Brings precision and sustainable techniques to the exhibition with his uniquely engineered objects crafted from sheet metal. His creations highlight metal’s flexibility, using its natural tension as a self-locking mechanism to assemble robust and seamless designs without welding, screws, or fasteners. Șerban Ionescu (Brussels, BE): The Renowned Romanian-born designer presents “HVACuum”, a sculpture that encapsulates his artistic vision. Inspired by his latest publication, “148 Oblique Drawings”, this piece explores the boundaries between functionality and abstract form. Yoon Shun (Antwerp, BE): Displays his unique approach to design that draws profound inspiration from traditional Korean painting, a craft steeped in symbolism and simplicity, seeking to uncover the hidden meanings and beauty within everyday objects.

This segment of RAD DESIGN highlights the creative synergy between international and Romanian designers, showcasing a range of materials and styles from minimalist to avant-garde. By doing so, it celebrates the individual talent and illustrates the power of design as a universal language that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries.

Beyond displaying remarkable designs, RAD DESIGN 2024 is deeply committed to education and cultural enrichment. The fair organizes a series of insightful talks and panel discussions that cater to both seasoned professionals and newcomers to the design world. Furthermore, these discussions aim to inspire attendees to think about how design affects their daily lives and the environment. They provide a forum for debating the future direction of design education and practice, emphasizing interdisciplinary approaches and the integration of new technologies. By fostering a well-informed community of designers, artists, and enthusiasts, RAD DESIGN contributes to the ongoing evolution of global design practices.

As a key highlight of RAD DESIGN 2024, their expansive and thoughtfully curated program of collateral events significantly enriches the overall experience of the fair. Educational initiatives led by experts will discuss the latest trends, technological advancements, and philosophical debates in design. With topics ranging from the sustainability of materials to the socio-economic impact of design, these events offer attendees an immersive exploration of design, art, and culture through various formats, including VIP tours, exclusive previews, and engaging discussions, all set within the dynamic cityscape of Bucharest.

VIP and Exclusive Previews: The fair kicks off on May 15th with a press preview, offering early access to the RAD DESIGN & SCULPTURE PARK, followed by a VIP opening that includes a guided tour by renowned local artists Cristina Vasilescu and Robert Bejenaru. This sets the stage for a series of exclusive events, including the ART COLLECT PRIVATE PREVIEW and a VIP preview of the RAD ART FAIR, designed to offer deeper insights into the showcased works and featured artists.

Educational Talks and Panel Discussions: RAD DESIGN goes beyond the display of design pieces by facilitating conversations that delve into the broader cultural, economic, and artistic implications of design. Highlights include a talk on “RAD DESIGN,” where Adela Maria Marius engages with Apartamento Magazine and artist Serban Ionescu, and a panel discussion on “ART PATRONAGE,” exploring the nuances of art funding and support. Other significant talks cover topics such as “CURATING CHANGE,” which invites curators and cultural institutions to discuss evolving dynamics in curatorial practices.

Interactive Tours and Social Gatherings: The fair also features the RAD CURATORIAL BUCHAREST TOUR, providing a unique opportunity to visit local galleries and artist studios, and connecting attendees directly with the local art scene. Social events like the WELCOME CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH and CLOSING COCKTAILS offer informal settings for networking, celebration, and reflection on the experiences offered by the fair.

Performances and Artistic Interventions: Adding a layer of dynamic cultural expression, performances such as “The School of Applause” by Nona Inescu integrate contemporary art forms into the fabric of the fair, providing attendees with unconventional and memorable experiences that challenge traditional perceptions of art and design.

Building on the inaugural 2023 edition of RAD ART, the vision for RAD DESIGN is to establish a recurring event that highlights the creativity and talent within Eastern Europe and attracts international participants who share a commitment to sustainable and radical design. The goal is to create a community that celebrates design aesthetically, and more importantly, champions it as a tool for social and environmental change.

RAD DESIGN 2024 is set to be a landmark event that redefines the landscape of design in Eastern Europe and beyond. With a strong focus on innovation, education, and sustainability, it promises to be an inspiring platform for designers, artists, and design enthusiasts from around the world. Being the first fair of its kind in Eastern Europe, it creates an important stage for culture to thrive in times of geopolitical uncertainty. With platforms like RAD DESIGN, we enrich intercultural exchange and foster a more inclusive and dynamic ecosystem. As Bucharest transforms into a hub of creative exchange, RAD DESIGN will undoubtedly leave a lasting imprint on the global design community, ushering in a new era of cultural and creative prosperity.

RAD Design is presented by UniCredit Bank and Kultho.

RAD DESIGN OFFICIAL OPENING DAYS: 16th May – 19th of May, 2024
LOCATION: The Atelier of CARO, Bucharest

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