CRITICAL DE?!GN: Designers Troublemakers

Exhibition about critical graphic design


MEDIUM Gallery, Hviezdoslavovo nám. 18, Bratislava

Vernisáž: 1.9.2022 o 18:00




Katarína Balážiková, Lenka Hámošová


Exhibiting authors:

Brave New Alps - Bianca Elzenbaumer (IT), Fabio Franz (IT) / Kate Crawford (AUS), Vladan Joler (SRB) / - Branka Čurčić (SRB), Zoran Pantelić (SRB) / Barbora Demovičová (SK) / Noel Douglas (VB) / Noortje van Eekelen (NL) / Futuress - Mio Kojima (CHE), Maya Ober (CHE), Nina Paim (CHE) / Miekke Gerritzen (NL) / Hackers & Designers (NL) / Lenka Hámošová (SK) / Anja Kaiser (DE) / Barbora Krejčová (SK) / Francisco Laranjo (UK) / Peter Liška (SK) / Branislav Matis (SK) / Boris Meluš (SK) / Open Design Studio - Katarína Balážiková (SK), Martin Mistrík (SK) / Ruben Pater (NL) / Lucia Repašská (CZ) / Ľubica Segečová (SK) / Samuel Szabó (SK) / Jan van Toorn (NL)



The international exhibition CRITICAL DE?!GN / Designers troublemakers talks about critical design as an advocate for change. The position of the designer is changing in today's media society, as well as the influence of design studies. Its field of action is much broader - the designer needn’t serve only the market, but also choose the content to communicate. The design we create is no longer just a tool, it is also a carrier of messages and itself becomes an important message and a reflection of the times in which we live.

Critical design can have various faces and names. Some theorists or practitioners call it socially engaged, while others call it reflective or speculative. However, it has the same goal - it wants to bring about changes in society, to highlight problems, to ask questions, to provoke debate, and to question the seemingly unquestionable. It needn’t be the solution to a problem - it can be the creator of it.


The exhibition and symposium explain critical approaches in design through a variety of methodological approaches by international and local designers, which are presented through selected practical examples. Often these are not established and strictly defined methods, but creative authorial approaches based on a sincere interest in one's surroundings, questioning the established ruts of the design profession, and taking a critical reflection on our society. Design thinking here is not subservient to the demands of industry, but - in conjunction with critical thinking - rather functions as a tool of knowledge that can bring a different way of looking at the world and the ways we design for it. Each author's approach is unique, but from the methodological perspective specific practices can be decoded and inspire other designers and critical thinkers to replicate them in a different context. For Slovak professional and lay audiences alike, this exhibition can provide a long-missing stimulus for reflection and an impetus for their own critical thinking.


The exhibition presents a selection of texts and key projects by national and international authors from the Critical Daily blogzine, illustrating various critical design methods. The installation of texts and visual documentation in the space foregrounds the project’s background and authors’ critical approach, rather than the project output’s final design. The viewer is thus compelled to read and not only perceive the aesthetic level of the exhibited works.

The website - which was created on the occasion of the exhibition and the Designers Troublemakers International Symposium - encourages interactive participation and offers a space for designers to participate in mapping these methodological approaches. The exhibition is aimed both at designers and a critically-minded audience which is interested in design as a discipline that shapes our contemporary world.




  • Open Design Studio


Project partners:

  • Critical Daily,
  • A4 - Priestor súčasnej kultúry,
  • Galéria Medium,
  • Open Design Network,
  • UROBOROS Festival


Financial support:

  • Fond na podporu umenia,
  • Nadácia mesta Bratislava,
  • Bratislavský samosprávny kraj