Organised since 2003 by Zavod Big (a.k.a. BIG SEE), the Month of Design is a collaboration between successful companies and their design strategies, designers and developers with a business vision, and brand experts, who know how to capture market imagination. This internationally acclaimed festival of product design, interior architecture and fashion is held in Ljubljana every autumn from October till November.
Dedicated to a specific topic of global relevance each year, the Month of Design offers a platform for creative discourse on design, an indoor and outdoor exhibition space for outstanding images, and a colourful range of events creating an inspiring atmosphere of the city. The best achievements in the region are honoured by the BigSEE Awards followed by the National Design Awards, which focus on Slovenia.
Every year, the festival brings together various partners who organize different events on a diverse palette of various places such as expos, galleries, museums, shops and salons, exhibition places, studios, open markets, pop-up locations and warehouses, thus establishing a creative image and vibrations of a dynamic city.
Focusing on a variety of topics from year to year, including “Sustaining Design Excellence” (2009), “Experience” (2008) and “Mediterranean Identities” (2007), the Month of Design has formed a frame of a fixed annual programme alongside a variety of accompanying presentations, fashion shows, exhibitions and installations.
Within the event, Zavod Big hosts its annual design conference with eminent guests – internationally active and engaged practitioners – from designers and architects to managers and consultants to planners and strategists; talks are typically shared on their YouTube channel.
In 2019, the Month of Design attracted creators from 19 Southeast European countries by means of its increasingly popular regional awards. The central event was supported by the international BigSEE exhibition displaying awarded projects from all four categories in the national pavilions of the SEE countries. Highlights of the event include the Design Expo, which brings together exhibitors from a wide, interdisciplinary array of design spheres and activities, including companies and institutions, faculties and students; the Big Architecture Festival, with its autumn focus on interiors; and the latest additions: days devoted to Wood Icons and Creative Tourism.
Throughout the entire month, several events and exhibitions took place in the city of Ljubljana under the moniker Design in the City. These events offer an opportunity to showcase design work either through presentations or exhibitions at chosen locations in the city centre. It aims to inhabit public space with products and events, to promote quality design and, thus, to contribute to the creative appearance of the city.
The BigSEE Awards are presented to creators from 19 countries in the SEE region in the categories: Architecture, Interior Design, Product Design, Fashion Design, Tourism Design and Wood Design. The BigSEE Visionary Award commemorates the careers and bodies of work of the biggest creative names in the region.
Besides these awards, the National Design Awards are still presented for outstanding achievements in Slovenian design in four categories: Design of the Year, Interior of the Year, Timeless Design and Perspectives.
The Month of Design’s official publication, the BigSEE Report, provides key information on domestic and international trends in product, interior and fashion design as represented by the winners of the BigSEE Awards. It features award winners, innovative designers, architects, fashion designers, and Slovene and foreign brands presented at the design conference. It includes a “creative barometer” of the countries involved in the SEE region and aims to measure creativity.
A database of designers and companies involved in creative industries is also available online.