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Montréal will be the guest of honour at Design Month in Graz, which takes place from April 30 to May 31 in the Austrian city. Like Montréal, Graz holds the title UNESCO City of Design.
The springtime event, which was attended by more than 75,000 people in 2013, showcases the talent of the best creators in Graz and elsewhere in the world through some 50 activities touching on every design discipline. Since its designation as a UNESCO City of Design in 2011, Graz has invited one of the network’s creative cities to join the celebration each year. Following Buenos Aires in 2012, Nagoya in 2013 and Saint-Étienne in 2014, it is now Montréal’s turn to go meet Graz.
“With this partnership, we hope to build new bridges between our two cities and give festival-goers the chance to see the richness and diversity of Montréal design,” said Eberhard Schrempf, Director of Creative Industries Styria, the promoting organization responsible for developing creative industries in the Styria region, of which Graz is the capital.
Manon Gauthier, member of the Ville de Montréal Executive Committee responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design, Space for Life and the Status of Women, said: “We are thrilled to join the Design Month celebrations and to provide our designers with this exceptional showcase and with an opportunity to develop new markets for their products.”
The presence of the city and its designers at the 7th Design Month in Graz was orchestrated by the Ville de Montréal's Bureau du design.
The Ich war dort – Montréal meets Graz exhibit: Montréal creativity in all its facets
The Ich war dort – Montréal meets Graz exhibit, presented at the Design Halle, the festival’s hub, will be the heart of Montréal’s presence in Graz. On a path through six exciting zones, the public will be invited to partake in surprising, immersive Montréal experiences and to enjoy the full splendour of some 40 Québécois designers’ talents.
“The exhibit, built around gift objects that showcase Montréal’s creativity, is festive, imaginative and fun,” said Anne Thomas and Pierre Laramée, the show’s co-curators. For the exhibit’s presentation design, the pair collaborated closely with Georges Labrecque, project manager at the Centre de design de l’UQAM.
Visitors will be able to experience the rigour of Montréal winters by wandering through a Tempo shelter with projected snowstorms; view textile objects, posters and souvenir cards displayed on laundry lines that echo the spirit of Montréal alleyways; pedal a Bixi bike to power a variable-speed projection of Guillaume Blanchet’s short film The Man Who Lived on His Bike; devour, with their eyes, gourmet products set out on a large picnic table; enjoy the simple pleasures of objects displayed by their creators in suitcase-boxes, each expressing a personal vision of Montréal; and have original experiences in places that are emblematic of the city through three-dimensional shadow plays created by Mere Phantoms, a Montréal artists’ collective specialized in interactive installations based on shadow-play techniques.
The 40 designers whose products will appear in the exhibit have each been featured in one of the three editions of the CODE SOUVENIR MONTRÉAL catalogue, an initiative of the Ville de Montréal’s Bureau du design that seeks to showcase Montréal design and promote the purchase of made-in-Montréal gift items.
Five Montréal design firms fly to Graz
Six of the 40 designers whose products feature in the Ich war dort – Montréal meets Graz exhibit will fly to Graz on April 29 to take part in Design Month and develop new markets for their products. They are Jonathan Dorthe, (Atelier-D), Arto Dokouzian and Diane Parenteau (Couple d’idées), Lysanne Latulippe (String Theory), Louis-Philippe Pratte (À Hauteur d’homme) and Guillaume Sasseville (Studio SSSVLL).
“I’m very much looking forward to attending this design event, which to me is one of the most exciting in the world,” said Louis-Philippe Pratte, designer and creator of the wood products brand À Hauteur d’homme. “It’s a unique opportunity to display my work, establish new ties with Austrian designers who are doing amazing work with wood, and drum up interest in the future export of my products.”
Guillaume Sasseville at Selected
Industrial designer Guillaume Sasseville will be part of the prestigious interior design exhibition Selected, presented as part of Design Month. Every year, the show attracts thousands of visitors who come to see the creations of both seasoned and up-and-coming European designers. Mr. Sasseville will present his project Common Glass, which earned him the 2011 Phyllis Lambert Design Montréal Grant. The eight-ounce crystal glass, inspired by Montréal’s industrial production of drinking glasses at the turn of the 20th century, was designed in Graz, drawing on the ancestral knowledge of Austrian glassworkers.
Designers represented in Graz
À Hauteur d’homme – Alice in Montréal – Anita – Aquaovo – Atelier Non-Useless – Atelier-D – Avenue Coloniale – Ceramik B. – Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois – Cantin Traditions (Cindy Cantin) – Couple d’idées – Des enfantillages – Dînette Nationale – Galliot Design Général – SSSVLL – Harricana par Mariouche – iLikeMaps – Jules mon poisson bulle – La Firme – Les Archivistes – Les Charlatans – Montréalité – Monumentalove (Jane Heller) – Panoplie – Paperole – Paprika (Sophie Lachapelle) – Pascale Girardin – PMO Design – Publicité Sauvage – Raplapla – String Theory – Tat Chao – TOMA – W. Maxwell.
About Graz Design Month
Design Month (Designmonat Graz), which welcomes more than 75,000 people each year to Graz, Austria, promotes all design disciplines, signal-boosting the creative vitality of creators in Styria and elsewhere in the world. Every spring, for a month, festival-goers are invited to some 50 activities touching on all areas of design, from architecture to product and furniture design and from music to fashion. The event is organized by Creative Industries Styria, whose mission is to promote the development and consolidation of Styria’s creative economy.
About CODE SOUVENIR MONTRÉAL
CODE SOUVENIR MONTRÉAL is an initiative of the Ville de Montréal’s Bureau du design, produced in partnership with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec, pursuant to the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal. Its goal is to promote Montréal creativity to public- and private-sector institutional buyers through annual publication of a catalogue of gift items selected following a call for proposals to Montréal designer-producers and publishers.
About the Bureau du design
The mission of the Ville de Montréal's Bureau du design is to develop the market for, and promote the talents of, Montréal-based designers and architects by advocating processes that call for public commissions, such as design and architecture competitions. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network, of which Montréal is a member as a City of Design, comprises 69 cities in 32 countries and enables creative practitioners in member cities to share experiences, best practices and knowledge on an international scale.
Photos available on request