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Why September is all about design in Brussels
Brussels Design September, a month long celebration of everything design, is back and jam-packed with events.
Over the past few years, Brussels has definitely established itself as a city of design. The Brussels design industry has won its spurs and as furniture and interior product design flourished, the industry has become an important economic sector in the city, with more than 25,000 people employed directly and indirectly.
Much has been done to support the growing industry. For instance, MAD Brussels (Mode and Design Brussels) was established four years ago to facilitate the development of design businesses through business plan development, help with finding financing, helping with job searches, connecting the students from the five design schools in Brussels with the industry, helping the industry to grow both in quality and quantity. This prominence has spread into the fabric of the city, influencing the look of urban furniture, public installations and lighting.
And that is why Brussels has become a design shopping delight. Every autumn, all this creative activity is celebrated during Brussels Design September (BDS), a month-long cornucopia of more than 100 design events. Whether you are a local or a visitor, you can be sure that you will have many opportunities to meet and have discussions with other event-goers, be they professionals or just design lovers, at the many lectures, exhibitions and events.
The events will take place in shops, pop-up stores, galleries, open houses and cultural spaces which will be exhibiting and/or selling the latest trends in Belgian and international design. Multi-disciplinary in spirit, the event will showcase all the different movements, influences and trades that make up today’s design so that everyone doing creative work in Brussels can show what they do. Download the informative map on the Design September website to know where to go.
The Contemporary Design Market
New this year, the Contemporary Design Market will feature limited-edition products. Exhibitions by world-renowned designers in iconic Brussels locations such as the Horta Museum, Bozar, ADAM (Brussels Design Museum), and for the first time, in the Children’s Museum.
The Brussels Design Market
In its 27th edition, the Brussels Design Market is the largest vintage market in Europe and will be part of a vintage itinerary across the city which includes the Sablon Design Market.
The arts and crafts itinerary
Each year, BDS showcases a particular medium through exhibitions, conferences and an itinerary. This year the focus is on ceramics, with visits to 10 workshops and studios specialising in ceramics. In addition there will be a group exhibition at AREA 42. Ceramics was chosen because of the many very talented local artists, the economic vibrancy of the sector and the excellent education provided in the region.
The Commerce Design Awards itinerary
These awards celebrate collaborations between businesses and design professionals in a competition that involves redoing store design.
Highlighting BDS’s lecture series is the guest honor Paola Navone, an internationally recognised designer, architect and art director. She started her career as part of the famous “antidesign group” Alchimia in Milan and is known for her refusal of conventions and her visionary style.
Brussels by Designers
This is a guidebook unlike any other. Now in its second edition, the book features four designers are asked to give us their favourite places to eat, drink, visit, shop and sleep in Brussels. Once a place is mentioned it cannot reappear in later editions - so each guide is all new. Each edition complements the previous ones and together they create a whole. The places selected run the gamut in size, neighbourhood, and price - and go from out-of-the-ordinary to avant-garde to classic. Brussels by Designers is available at the Brussels tourist offices and in many bookstores.