AFAD at Bratislava Design Week 2023

This week, the exhibition of Slovak and foreign design Bratislava Design Week begins, which will take place in two places in Bratislava. Within the exhibition as part of the curatorial selection, as well as the selection of works from the open call, include projects from the AFAD - from our studios, from students, and doctoral students.

This year's theme COURAGE:

feeling. This year we defined it as COURAGE. Our society lives in very tense times that try to corner us. The crisis moved into our society in various forms, economic, social, relational, value, professional, environmental, etc. The basic premise of the existence of communities, which is peace, is still threatened. Still, this is no time to lament. It is COURAGE that becomes important. To step in a new direction, to look at problems from another side, the courage to disagree, the courage to stand up for the weaker, the courage to move forward, the courage to show who I am, the courage to experiment. All this is just as important for the company as it is for the designer's work and position.


  • OD Prior, Kamenné námestie, Bratislava

  • Bratislava City Gallery, Mirbach Palace, Františkánske námestie, Bratislava


  • 6. – 10. 12. 2023

More information about the program and all exhibited projects

Studio of Experimental Design


Startup3 Experimental Design

The situation surrounding the concept of start-up is currently relatively unclear. In the case of many projects, invention is mistaken for attractiveness and the social benefit is minimized in favor of economic profit. It is a challenge for the designer to redefine his essence in the sense of searching for new approaches and innovative solutions, but also in the intentions of the current discussion about the role of the designer in society and the responsible approach to the solutions he brings.

The current presentation at Bratislava Design Week 2023 is a summary of a three-year project whose ambition was to design and practically verify an innovative teaching structure that respects the focus of the Experimental Design Studio and at the same time creates space for the systematic development of an individual creative program and the authentic expression of its students.

It enables the transformation of a studio theme into a real project, which has the prerequisites to become a start-up with high-quality content, and at the same time, with its time span smoothly spread over the entire length of the study, it gives sufficient space for serious research, accomplished outputs and systematic building of one's own design program - brand.

Organisation team:

  • Studio management – Sylvia Jokelová, Marián Laššák
  • Doctoral students – Petra Rybánska, Diana Paulová


The presentation is part of the research and educational project KEGA - stARTup, a new concept of teaching author's design with regard to the applicability of graduates in practice no. 008VŠVU-4/2021.


Industrial design studio

Management of the studio: Ferdinand Chrenka, Eva Veselá


  • Samo Hartiník, Aneta Mintálová, Sofia Rondošová, Beata Juritková, Vira Fesenko, Viktória Feherová, Nina Neuhausová, Pavol Mazúr, Tomáš Ružinský, Zuzana Kasanová

3D printed metal cutlery and table Nophone, 2023

The Industrial Design studio at VŠVU in Bratislava has a long tradition of cooperation with practice. Most semester topics are created in direct contact with the real environment, with top domestic and foreign companies and institutions.

Thanks to this, students become familiar with the latest production procedures, consult proposals with specialists in the field and thus learn to work within the established limits of technology. A successful example is precisely the project of cooperation with Berndorf Sandrik and cutlery produced by 3D printing of metal.

BERNDORF SANDRIK - Cooperation with a renowned company engaged in the production of cutlery since 1843. A joint project of students and teachers of the industrial design studio of VŠVU. After 1990, with the entry of Slovakia to competitive world markets, many Slovak companies did not survive during the period of privatization. The installation of a dining table with cutlery is the comeback of the important Slovak company SANDRIK, the project presents several bold solutions.


Zuzana Kováčiková

Decor options, 2023

Kováčiková Possibilities of Decoration

In her work, the author decided to create objects in which decor plays an essential role, becoming a supporting element and at the same time an instrument of form. Based on the experience she has gained so far during her studies, she uses metal as a secondary material alongside glass.

He creates the decor even before the creation of the semi-finished products themselves, which gives them the opportunity to define their future shape in advance. At the same time, metal can offer a new perspective on decoration. In addition to the embossed decor, the glass is forced out through the perforated parts of the metal, adding another dimension to the creation of the decor.


Barbora Peuch, Zuzana Šebeková


Peuch Šebeková ASAP

The crisis of the current setting of production and consumption in the textile and clothing sector is currently manifested in the form of the necessity to create sustainable design. The same goal is reflected in the EU strategy in the field of sustainable and circular textiles*, whose goals are to ensure the long life and recyclability of products by 2030, the elimination of the use of hazardous substances and consideration of the production conditions of products (social rights and the environment).

In the ASAP (AS SUSTAINABLE AS POSSIBLE) project, a pair of female designers set themselves the goal of using the author's innovative printing technique using local natural sources of dyes (obtained from sources called: food waste and garden waste) and, by choosing high-quality certified materials, offer the consumer the opportunity to benefit longer from high-quality textile products.

Patterns for printing are designed with the idea of variability, changeability and addition in the form of recoloring by the user - since natural dyes and tannins naturally react to the contamination of children's clothing by fruits and other foods. In a playful way, you can mask stains or other traces of use and color your favorite piece with berries, herbs, or tree leaves.

The project thus opens up space for the courage to experiment and redesign, to abandon customary procedures at any stage of creation or use of clothing. By supporting an emotional bond, the product's moral lifespan increases, and at the same time, the user becomes a co-creator of its future forms. The use of local seasonal sources of dyes, as well as the choice of a specific printing technique, is in line with the goal of creating a circular textile ecosystem.


Mário Coufal



The memorial is a collection of objects dealing with memories and their deformation and subsequent reconstruction. In the collection, I try to capture the methods by which memories become a subjective image of emotions using several design and artistic procedures. These are the reduction of the characteristic elements of the object, thus the loss of its identity, the generalization of its silhouette so that it only vaguely resembles something that apparently has the same use and a kind of obscuration of its fragments, the censorship of its characteristic features, which results in the reduction of personality. The Memorial collection describes and illustrates my perception of the distortion of memories and the accompanying feelings of melancholy while accepting that every memory we have is marked by an endless cycle of change. Mixed media, combinations of materials, size 8m2.


Juraj Olejár


Juraj olejár SOFTSHELL

The softshell work deals with research and practical application of foamed aluminum, a material developed by the Slovak Academy of Sciences for design practice. It consists of initial tests and the development of possible author's techniques for joining the material with the help of its foaming, followed by the specific application of these procedures into forms of interior or additional design. With their use, a series of chairs and various types of jewelry, brooches and rings were created. In order to preserve the designer's autonomy and in an effort to gain the deepest possible understanding of the material and work with it, I avoid any external technologies and processes in the project. All objects were created using a hand torch or other hand tools. Tests and exams, as well as the resulting objects, are equal parts of it. Experimentation with new techniques and materials and their application is for me one of the most important and interesting tasks of a designer. The courage to explore new possibilities, as well as the visual of the work, is connected to your theme this year, so I would like to submit the work to the Open Call.


Petra Rybánska



REFLECTORIAN's are a loose continuation of the "I am not object" project. This time I project the theme of objectification into objects similar to beings that reflect for us with the message to "reflectify" us. In juxtaposition with the objectification of a person, I perceive precisely human abilities such as observation, experience and perception - reflection. In the project, among other things, I also deal with the question of whether reflection can be one of the functions in design. I use the term not only metaphorically, but also literally. We will see their true form only when we dare to break the usual rules in the exhibition spaces and start taking pictures with them with flash and touching them. Through mutual interaction, functions are gradually exchanged. The reflective layer gradually rubs off, scrapes off and sticks to our hands and clothes. We begin to literally reflect and the reflectors become objects again.


Petra Vicianová



The #SCHWERTMANNIT project is part of doctoral research, the first phase of which is material-technological experimentation in the field of textile dyeing and printing using mineral pigments rich in iron oxides, which are obtained from various rocks. The motivation for choosing these raw materials is primarily their locality. The pigments are mixed with a thickener rich in vegetable proteins, obtained from soy and other legumes, which ensures the transfer and fixation of the pigments on the textile and at the same time helps to create more saturated shades. An important goal of the research is to use mainly by-products or waste obtained from other production processes - for example from the production of soy milk - or to find another source of protein that would be returned to circulation in this way. The #SCHWERTMANNIT project is a reflection of the recently established cooperation with the Institute of Geotechnics of the Slovak Republic, which, among other things, deals with the research of acidic mine waters in the area of the Slovak Rudohoria between Smolnícká Huta and Smolník. These acidic mine waters represent a huge environmental burden, mainly due to the high concentration of heavy metals. In the locality around Smolník, these mine discharge waters flow directly into the Smolnický stream, which is characterized by its ocher color. At the outlet from the Pech mine, a sedimentation pool is built, which serves to remove part of the iron from the water, the main mineral at the outlet is Schwertmannite. This mineral was tested as a possible raw material for textile printing and dyeing in combination with protein thickener. The initial experiments yield promising results and, despite the many unknowns in the entire process, open the way to the possible use of the mineral obtained in this way. For BDW2023, textile meters (150 x 200 cm, 2-3 pieces) printed exclusively with pigment supplied by the Institute of Geotechnics will be produced and presented, supplemented by smaller sample books and experiments representing the entire process. In this project, aesthetics is exceeded by the courage to step into the unknown and at the same time the courage to actively participate in solving a specific problem. *Due to the workload of the Institute of Geotechnics, it was not possible to complete the measurements before the deadline for submission of this application.


Jaroslava Poliaková

flow, 2023

Poliaková flow

The flow collection was created as a materialization of calm flow and the permission to not have control over everything. In this sense, it is a certain type of liberation, when the author can allow herself to take down her imaginary shield and dare to try something new or make mistakes. This is also about freeing the material from cuts and thus working with unshaped yardage.

These ideas were the central motif in the creation of the collection, which she transformed through hand sewing and created structure into the material. Thanks to this, it got a new, different shape and volume. This technique in its original form – zápkované – creates a regular and characteristic pattern, which it accidentally disturbed, or she connected the marked points irregularly and thus the resulting structure arose organically, without knowing how the material would look before completion.

In the case of some models, their final form was also created, i.e. first by creating the material and then intuitively placing it on the mannequin. On other models, it is also possible to observe exposed or uncleaned edges and uncut threads, they can evoke a feeling of incompleteness, which is more of a metaphor and a personal departure from the comfort zone.


Ľuboš Kotlár


The work of Ľuboš Kotlár, created in collaboration with Daniela Danielis, responds to the canonical text of Jindřich Chalupecký from 1940, The World We Live in. Chalupecký got quite ahead of his time by reflecting on the actually lived and experienced life on the one hand, and automation of not only production, but also human behavior on the other. Danielis and Kotlár decided to review this text from the perspective of current debates about the potentials and (ethical) pitfalls of artificial intelligence and its position in art and culture. In the last, most often cited section of Chalupecký's text, the author writes that if modern art is to find its justification, it must discover and create reality instead of mechanically replacing old subjects with new ones. Kotlár and Danielis had the entire paragraph transformed into accessible language by AI in two phases. The result was a reduction to a single sentence - 'The artist makes things happen'. This inscription became part of the tapestry, which, however, instead of returning to handcraft, was printed on a 3D printer. The work raises questions regarding the limits of the creative use of the latest technologies (or, conversely, the technological mastery of the creative process) and experimentally explores the theme of autonomy versus automation of art. Dimensions of the work are approx. 150x150cm.


Peter Marjak

Peripheries of design (diploma thesis in the Experimental Design Studio)

Peter Marjak Periphery of Design

In my diploma thesis, I decided to capitalize on my long-term interest in subcultures and their expressions, especially punk and graffiti. I am fascinated by abandoned places and objects that stand outside the center of interest, with authentic character and stories of their own. Using the author's gluing technology with a specially designed tool, I connect and reinterpret found objects in the form of improvised objects directly "on the spot" and try to point out their specific poetics, inspiring for contemporary design. Various objects of dimensions from 50cm to 200cm with a maximum width of 60cm x 60cm


Natália Golianová

Nana (diploma thesis in the Experimental Design Studio)

Natália Golianová Nana

This is a diploma thesis, which is a continuation of the NANA project, which focuses on the designer's cooperation with disabled people. In the current part of the project, I focused on my brother, whom I know well, I know what fascinates him, what he has an emotional connection to, what skills he possesses. The NANA project itself was created precisely because of him. As an equal couple, we created a collection of furniture elements together. The supporting element is colored rubber ropes and thin rubber bands, which the brother likes to weave into various compositions and find non-traditional functional solutions. My task was to create constructions where he could apply his unique vision of the world through colors and structures and let us into his inner experience of the joy of creation. This method of cooperation gives disabled people the opportunity to integrate into society, gain self-expression and recognition. It is a different way of joint creation, enriching and inspiring for all involved. the furniture collection includes: 2 pcs screen (80x180cm, 120x130 cm) 2 pcs stools - up to 50 cm high + table up to 60 cm high and 50 cm wide, 1 lamp - up to 140 cm high and approx. 110 cm wide They are all wooden structures made of round prisms, filled with elastics or rubber rope.