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Designers smuggle freshness into market

THOUSANDS come to shop at Bratislava's market on Miletičova street every day. They buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and rummage through the piles of cheap clothes and decorations imported from China. Many of these bargain hunters have never entered a quality design shop or gallery.

Items like this are meant to rivet regular shoppers' attention to new designs.
photo: Courtesy of Fresh Design on Market/Made in Slovakia

THOUSANDS come to shop at Bratislava's market on Miletičova street every day. They buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and rummage through the piles of cheap clothes and decorations imported from China. Many of these bargain hunters have never entered a quality design shop or gallery.

However, three young Slovak curators decided to give market-goers a taste of quality. Between October 8 and 15 Miletičova customers will find fresh ideas from young designers among the market's regular fare.

"We want to provoke, anger, and surprise," says art historian Viera Kleinová, who worked on the project with another art historian, Ľubica Hustá, and designer Sylvia Jokelová.

Twenty percent off... go for it!
photo: Courtesy of Fresh Design on Market/Made in Slovakia

Fresh Design on Market/Made in Slovakia, as the project is called, reacts to the domination of the Made in China label in Slovak markets. The innovative design wares the trio have "smuggled'' into the market are aimed to whet the ordinary consumer's appetite, a change from the banal products piled high and sold cheap.

The three curators selected products from more than 20 designers. They will place them in stalls selling fresh vegetables and cheap clothes. To make it less obvious that their products are special, the designers matched the prices and types of product to what is normally on sale at the market.

There are panties with a strikingly sexual touch. Photograph frames are cut from regular bathroom sponge and erected on a pair of clothes' pegs. Traditional Slovak honey-cakes bear images from famous designers. Many designers will sell their products directly, to see shoppers reactions for themselves.

By selling objects for no more than Sk300 (€9) the curators show that quality design products do not have to be expensive and out-of-reach of ordinary people. On the other hand, the innovative products are designed to compete with Made in China goods.

Kleinová explains that the project may also interest non-regular Miletičova customers. The designer wares, which were specially made for the project, illustrate the wide range of contemporary Slovak design, so visitors are welcome to just look, though they can also buy.


What:Fresh Design on Market or Made in Slovakia.
Where:Miletičova town market, Bratislava.
When:October 8 to 15.


By Zuzana Habšudová

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