Tomas Bata University in Zlín

design competition

Last year’s Best in Design winners will influence contestants future in this year’s jury

The international design competition Best in Design, held as a part of the Zlin Design Week festival, has unveiled most of this year’s jury. Alongside well-known professionals such as Branko Popovic, director of the Dutch Fashionclash Foundation, and the Büro Famos duo, this year’s jury will include last year’s winners of the competition categories. The Best in Design will also feature a networking program for the judges and finalists. Those interested can apply for the competition until February 4, 2024.

Meeting, sharing, supporting new talents and inspiring each other in different areas of design. That is the concept behind the Best in Design competition. That this is not a matter of unrealistic visions is indicated by the fact that this year, too, past winners were offered the opportunity to choose the absolute winner and finalists with world-class elites in their field. The competition is open to students, designers, and all emerging talents under 30. They can enter the competition in 4 categories: Product & Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Communication Design, and Service Design.

At the same time, to promote sharing and mutual inspiration among designers, the organizers are preparing a new program for the judges and finalists, created in response to last year’s feedback.

“From the responses of the judges and Best in Design finalists, we learned that they would appreciate more space for conversation and discussion among themselves. We hope to change this with the new networking program we are creating for them this year. It aims to create relationships and expand the network of contacts. It will also include various activities and support programs,” says Nikol Poštulková, the competition coordinator.

In the Product & Industrial Design category, Büro Famos, a partnership project between designers Hanna Litwin and Romin Heide, will sit on the jury. Ten years ago, the pair took the decision to combine their work and set up their design studio in Berlin, Germany. They have created products for renowned European brands such as Normann Copenhagen, TON, Bolia, MINI, LaCividina, and they have also taught at several design schools. Their designs were awarded, among others, with the Red Dot Award 2020 for LOGS – a hanger by TON.

Zuzanna Wójcik from Poland, who won the main title Best in Design 2023 with her work Touch the Textile, will complete the jury from among the past winners.

“The Best in Design competition offers young designers a golden opportunity to present their work and make themselves visible to the public. It is more than just a competition – it includes exhibitions at Zlin Design Week and beyond. As a contestant, I realized that my project was recognized but also truly understood, which was an immensely satisfying experience for me. Best in Design is organized by passionate people who strive to provide an extraordinary experience for both designers and audience and seek to improve and raise the event to a higher level every year,” says Zuzanna Wójcik, a young designer and absolute winner of 2023

The judges for the Fashion Design category will be Branko Popovic from the Netherlands and Marija Petraityte from Lithuania. Popovic is the director of the FASHIONCLASH Foundation and a developer of fashion design and performing arts projects. Petraityte dominated this category last year as a contestant with her Distance From a Point collection. She has exhibited her work in the Netherlands, Poland, China, the UK, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Lithuania.

This year’s Communication Design category jury will include Slovak Adrián Gubrica, a creative UI/UX designer and developer. Furthermore, the contestants are going to be judged by UPUPÆPOP (Eva Horská & Jakub Horský), who now work as expert teachers at the Department of Art Culture and Textile Design at the Faculty of Education, University of Hradec Králové. The third judge of this category will be Pavol Kyselica, creative director of the design studio Echt.

The jury will further include Matěj Malecha, the chief creator of the workshop activity Compass of Sustainable Business, which won 1st place in the Best in Design 2023 competition in the Service Design category. He will judge this category alongside social designer Janka Csernák, who has won several Hungarian Design Awards and the Jacques Rougerie Foundation for her projects.. 

To highlight the profound importance and power of the media, which plays an essential role in a designer’s life, the organizers also announce the winners of the extra category MEDIA AWARD, where the jury consists of prominent journalists and editors-in-chief of leading magazines. This year, the media category will include Lenka Šubrtová, editor-in-chief of Dolce Vita magazine, Eva Slunečková, editor-in-chief of ELLE Decoration magazine, and Veronika Pařízková, editor-in-chief of the online magazine Czechdesign.

The final results of the contest are to be announced on Saturday May 11, during the Zlin Design Week festival, organized under the auspices of the Faculty of Multimedia Communications of Tomáš Bat’a University. To enter the competition, visit the website.

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