06 September 2006
Ljubljana (Slovenia) - On 5 October 2006 the 20th Biennial of Industrial Design (BIO 20) will open at the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana, marking the event's forty-fourth year.
Ljubljana (Slovenia) - On 5 October 2006 the 20th Biennial of Industrial Design (BIO 20) will open at the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana, marking the event's forty-fourth year. Awards will be granted for the best design achievements. The international exhibition will be open to the public from 6 October to 5 November 2006, in the approximately 800 m2 of exhibition space at Fuzine Castle, the home of the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana. The official opening will take place at 8.00 p.m. on 5 October 2006. The exhibition will be opened by the Minister of the Economy, Mr Andrej Vizjak, and the speakers will be Janez Skrabec, chairman of the BIO 20 organising committee, and Danica Simsic, mayor of the City of Ljubljana.

Participation at BIO 20
BIO 20 will include 350 exhibits from 17 different countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA and Slovenia. The exhibits will be presented in three groups: A - products (232 exhibits), B - information systems (28 exhibits), C - corporate identity and design projects (90 exhibits). The majority of entries are from Slovenia and other European countries, with the USA the only non-European country to have submitted work. This year saw an increase in the number of exhibitor countries compared to the last Biennial, when only 13 countries were represented.

The majority of countries participate in the Biennial by means of a selection made by national industrial design institutions. This ensures that the entries are current and of a high level of quality. The selection of work from Slovenia was made in June by a selection committee consisting of Edi Berk, Davorin Horvat, Ranko Novak, Almira Sadar, Janez Smerdelj and Fedja Vukic. Despite more selective criteria being applied, Slovenia will be represented by 111 exhibits.

On 5 October 2006 the BIO 20 independent international jury Judit Varhelyi (ICSID, Hungary), Julia Chiu (Japan), Jacques Lange (Icograda, South Africa), Massimo Pitis (BEDA, Italy) and Francisco Carrera (Spain) will announce the winners and present the awards: the BIO Gold Medal, the ICSID Design Excellence Award in the industrial products group, the Icograda Excellence Award in the corporate identities group, the BEDA European Design Award, the RTV Slovenija Award for the best student work at BIO 20 (awarded this year for the second time) and a new prize, the Design For All Award, given by EIDD - Design for All Europe, for a design promoting human diversity, social inclusion and equality.

BIO20 Programme
The main exhibition will be accompanied by several other exhibitions, workshops, lectures and other events connected to the sphere of design, all of which take place under the joint organisation and expert selection of the BIO Secretariat.

An interesting addition to the main exhibition this year will be the Vale-Novak shop, offering book (architecture, art, design, lifestyle), a range of design products from the Concept Store and a range of exhibits from BIO 20 and previous biennials. This means that at this year's BIO it will also be possible to leaf through books at the Vale-Novak shop and even buy the item that has taken your fancy while wandering through the exhibition.

This year the United Kingdom will be presenting its own exhibition, entitled My World. The exhibition, organised in conjunction with the British Council, presents the work of seven young British designers and focuses on the importance and position of crafts and design at the start of the twenty-first century. The exhibition will run from 3 October to 30 November at the City Museum of Ljubljana.

Since the aim of the BIO is not simply to be a comparative exhibition of good design but also to promote Slovene design in general, the BIO Secretariat has invited a number of representatives of prestigious foreign media to Ljubljana and prepared a short study programme to provide them with an insight into Slovene design. A first step in this direction is the organisation of the roundtable Design at a Crossroads: The Destiny of Design in Slovenia, which will take place at 16:00 on 28 September 2006 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. Participants will include Minister of the Economy Andrej Vizjak, economists, designers and some of the most prominent members of the business community, who have recognised in design the potential to raise their businesses above the average.

In cooperation with the Information and Documentation Centre for Design at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, a two-day Regional Meeting of Design Organisations from Southern, Central and Eastern Europe will take place from 5 to 7 October 2006. Participants will include international guests, members of ICSID, BEDA, Icograda, EIDD and others. Once again participants from promotional and specialised institutions in this part of Europe will learn about current events and projects in individual countries, and exchange opinions and compare experiences. The discussion topics - "design for all" and "design centres" - with presentations of different methods and an interdisciplinary conception of the two thematic areas, will also be open to the public. The meeting will be an opportunity to forge the contacts necessary for the subsequent search for partners in joint European projects.

Of the exhibitions taking place as part of BIO, it is worth mentioning the Friedrich Kiesler, Designer exhibition, from 4 to 20 October 2006 at the Orion Intertrade showroom in Ljubljana, and the exhibition of miniature chairs from the Vitra Design Museum, from 24 October to 10 November 2006 at the Kresija Gallery.

At a time when new initiatives for the founding of a design centre are appearing, and designers are joining ever smaller associations, the lecture Strength in Unity by Peter Kersten, the international representative of the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO) and its former president, is sure to be of interest. With his wealth of experience he helps in the founding and development of design associations in countries where the work of designers is not yet fully organised. The lecture will take place on 10 October 2006 at 13:00 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.

At 18:00 on 23 October 2006 Dr Harri Kalha will give a lecture at Cankarjev Dom entitled Designing Finnishness in the 1940s and 1950s: Gender and the Nature of Femininity in Post-War Modern Design. The talk will focus on Modern Finnish Design and particularly the role of Finnish women designers in the period of international breakthrough from the1940s to the 1960s.

The curators and educators from the Architecture Museum of Ljubljana have made sure that we will not merely be observing creativity from a distance and, in cooperation with various mentors, have prepared the following creative workshops: Introduction to Typography and Textile Painting and Quiltmaking. The workshops will take place at Fu ine Castle on 12 and 26 October 2006 respectively.

For further information please contact:

Architecture Museum of Ljubljana / BIO Secretariat
Pot na Fu ine 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana
T: + 386 (0)1 540 03 48
F: + 386 (0)1 540 03 44

BIO 20 is an Icograda endorsed event.