Young Balkan Designers 2019 Circular design, YBD Serbia Architecture Competition

Young Balkan Designers 2019: Circular Design Contest

YBD19 Architectural Contest in Serbia – news

23 Feb 2019

This Serbian architecture contest is now closed.

11 Jan 2019

Young Balkan Designers 2019: Circular Design News

Architecture contest by Mikser organization from Belgrade, Serbia

Young Balkan Designers (YBD)



Young Balkan Designers (YBD) is a regional talent platform founded in 2011 with the aim to identify, promote and develop creative potential of the Balkan region in the field of product design.

The initiative also aims at unifying regional design scene, bringing it closer to the international market, strengthening its potential by providing additional education and practice, while at the same time contributes to the restoration of multi-cultural cooperation in the Balkan region.

Young Balkan Designers 2019: Circular Design

Young Balkan Designers 2019: Circular Design

“Young Balkan Designers” competition consists of two parts. In the first part we challenge young designers to get familiar with the basics of circular economy and explore possibilities of innovative design approach enhancing circularity of product, materials, services and concepts.

Wider selection of winners made in the first round of the selection process will be part of a talent exhibition at the Mikser Festival 2019, while the best projects selected at the Mikser Festival will tour major regional design festivals. Big news of the YBD 2019 edition is that we introduced the second, product-oriented phase of the project in collaboration with leading regional furniture and product manufacturers.

Representatives of selected companies will choose designers among the final winners of the YBD19 competition based on their performance in the first part of the competition, to collaborate with on development of new circular products whose prototypes will be developed in cooperation with the mentor companies and exhibited at Salone Satellite within International Furniture Fair in Milan in 2020.

Based on results of potential product’s presentation at one of the most important global fairs, companies will define the future development of potential products, with possibilities of serial production, which would be a subject to a separate agreement between the company and the designer.


Young Balkan Designers theme for 2019 – “Circular Design” calls for design projects − products, concepts, services and scenarios that can bring the Balkans to the forefront of a much needed paradigm shift in design, production and consumption. We challenge you to think about circularity of the production process and how it can address the changing needs of product and services users, implementation of local skills and resources, involvement of your immediate surroundings in problem-solving process and production, creating a positive impact,both on your local community and the rising global issues.

Today’s linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economy relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and is a model that is wasteful and polluting. A circular economy is a viable alternative, but to drive the transition towards a more regenerative economy, we need to think and design differently. At its core, a circular economy means that products no longer have a linear life cycle with a beginning, middle, and end, but are restorative and regenerative, they contribute less waste and can add value to their ecosystem. When materials stop being used, they go back into a useful cycle, hence the circular economy.

Design defines the types of resources used and the way they are combined in the production process and use, time and possibilities of recycling, efficiency of resource use, reuse, the potential lifecycle of the product, the possibility of repair and return of the product or service to the market. Designers play an essential role in choosing materials that are fit for the circular economy. Not all materials are suitable for use in circular products because they contain chemicals of concern that may be polluting or potentially hazardous for humans or the environment.

Making products, services or organisations more circular can begin with small changes. Understand an everyday product by exploring the system it is part of. Imagine how both could be redesigned to be in accordance with the circular economy and its three principles: design out waste and pollution; keep products and materials in use; regenerate natural systems. Look at the material flows and examine where they come from and where they go after use? Can you find opportunities to redesign this system?


Jan Boelen, Design Critic, Z33, Belgium &Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands
Ladeja Godina Kosir, Founder and Executive Director, Circular Change, Slovenia
Orhan Niksic, CEO, Zanat, Bosnia and Hercegovina
Vasso Asfi&Loukas Angelou, StudioLav, Greece / UK
Jelena Matic, Professor at the University of Belgrade Serbia
Nikola Radeljkovic, Product Designer, Numen / ForUse, Croatia
Maja Lalic, Founder, Mikser Association, Serbia
Konstantin Grčić, famous industrial designer KGID- Konstantin Grčić Industrial Design.


Design concepts; Products -furniture, lighting, interior elements, everyday objects, aid products, shelters, home accessories,fashion garments, stationary; etc. Urban services; Innovative design and production scenarios that offer economically and socially sustainablesolutions to local problems, both in urban and rural environments.Criteria appreciated by the Jury: potentials for circularity of product or its elements; socially engaging and innovative features of the project that enhance thequality of everydaylife; ergonomics; rational production and transportation costs; innovative use of materials available locally;implementation of local knowledge and techniques;environmentally friendly production process, innovative use of recycled materials; significant social impact on local community and global issues.


The competition is open to all persons born in 1985* and younger, from the following countries: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey.Applicants may be individuals or groups of creators.Each applicant may submit more than one entry.

* Age limit is the requirement of the Salone Satellite talent zone of Milan Furniture Fair dedicated to designers under 35. Authors applying to YBD now should be 35 or under in 2020, when the selected winners will be exhibiting at Salone Satellite.


The competition is open from 24 December, 2018 till 20 February, 2019

Applicants will be able to register and submit their projects by filling in a Young Balkan Designers form online at until 20th February 2019 at 23.59

The YBD competition consists of 2 parts:

Part 1
Open Call: “Young Balkan Designers: Circular Design”
The Jury will select the first round of works to be presented in the TalentExhibition at Mikser Festival 2019 in Belgrade, from 24-26 May. Based on exhibited prototypes at Mikser Festival, the Jury will select the final winners of the YBD19 competition whose prototypes will be included in YBD 2019touring exhibition at regional design festivals.

Awards – Part 1:
• Participation in the Talent Exhibition at Mikser Festival 2019 (30-40 projects)
• Touring exhibition at design festivals in the region (10-15 projects)
Part 2: Collaboration with manufacturers

During Mikser Festival 2019 a series of workshops and special meet-ups between the final competition winners and representatives of selected regional furniture and product manufacturers will be organized to detect the designers’ capacities to enter the second part of the competition – collaboration with companies on development of a concrete desing product or a service.

Successful prototypes developed through this collaboration will be exhibited at Salone Satellite within International Furniture Fair in Milan in 2020 at the companies’ expenses. Based on results of potential product’s presentation at one of the most important global fairs, companies will define the future development of potential products, with possibilities of serial production, which would be a subject to a separate agreement between the company and the designer.

Awards – Part 2:
• Entering cooperation with regional furniture and product manufacturers (3-5 designers)
• Participation at Milan Furniture Fair 2020, at Salone Satellite (3-5projects)

Winners Anouncements

On 4th March, 2019: Wider selection of participants of the Mikser Festival Talent Exhibition will be announced
On 26th May 2019: Final Winners of YBD19 Touring Exhibition will be announced
In June, 2019: Selected list of designers for collaboration with manufacturers will be announced
In December, 2019: Final list of developed projects to be exhibited at Salone Satellite at Milan Furniture Fair will be announced


If selected for the Talent exhibition at Mikser Festival 2019, submitted entries in the category of products must be executed as functional prototypes, while concepts and scenarios must be adequately presented through other media (installation, video, animation, story board, etc). By submitting this application, designers commit, if selected to participate in the exhibition, to produce their prototype and secure their transportation to Belgrade, Serbia by 23May 2018, at their own expense.

Upon the announcement of the Part1 Competition resultsin March, the Organizers will contact the laureates to provide them with the official invitation letter to accompany their prototypes during the transportation and the detailed information about the delivery / pick-up location. Authors of selected projects to tour to other design festivals in the region leave their prototypeswith the YBD organizational team.

After the touring exhibition, prototypes will be returned to Belgrade where designers can pick them up at their own expenses. Other participants of the Talent exhibition at the Mikser Festival will need to pick up their prototypes on 27 May.

For all participants of the Talent exhibition of the Mikser Festival affordable accommodation (hostel or host family) will be offered by the organizer for one representative per project, while transportation to and from Belgrade is on the designers’ own expense.

Upon the announcement of the Part 2 Competition results in June, 2019, the Organizers will contact the selected designers to connect them with the manufacturers and present the working plan for their collaboration.

The decisions of the jury are final. Any claims arising in relation to the authorship of the design or ofpossible plagiarism thereof, will be the responsibility of the designer. In the event of non-fulfillment ofany of the rules herein, or in the case of inconsistency of the prototypes with the project selected by the jury, the objects submitted will be excluded from the Competition and the accompanying events.

Mikser Association / Serbia /

HDD / Croatia /
Public Room/ Macedonia /
MAO / / Centre for Creativity / Slovenia /
Polis University / Albania /
Faculty of Forestry – University of Belgrade / Serbia /
Days of Architecture / Bosnia and Hercegovina /
Women’s Architectural Association / Serbia /

Media Partners:

Project is conducted under the umbrella of BALKAN DESIGN NETWORK – Innovative platform established with the aim of articulating and providing long-term strategic support for the development and promotion of the Balkan design on Eu¬ropean and International level.

The Project is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The views expressed in this call are those of Mikser organization and do not necessarily represent those of the UNDP.

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Young Balkan Designers 2019: Circular design images / information from Mikser Association

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

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