Is it just me or is Designblok, Prague’s annual design festival, just getting better every year? After years of abandoned industrial locations, it’s just Designblok’s venue choices alone that would make your visit worthwile this year. The latest trends of contemporary design fantastically contrast with the rennaissance gem of Old Town square’s Dům u Minuty, once a home to Kafka; a baroque building with killer views just off the Charles Bridge, but most of all the one and only Grandhotel Evropa, an art nouveau hotel only briefly opened to the public before its forthcoming general reconstruction.

Whether you’re in the market for new designer furniture, early Christmas shopping or just up for a proper design binge, Designblok with it’s over 200 exhibiting designers and producers showcasing their work surely won’t disappoint. There’s hours and hours to spend at the fashion shows, interactive installations, antiques auctions, pop-up shops and curated exhibitions!

This year, I absolutely fell in love with the divine handpainted wallpapers by De Gournay (Silkwood), handmade chocolate with bee pollen, frankincense and honey (i know!) by Rozbíjím se and the minimalistic industrial lighting by Plechač/ Wielgus. A lot of designers offer attractive discounts during the festival days but especially the limited editions sell fast so make sure to book right away.

Here are my top tips on what not to miss this year.

1. Plechač/ Wielgus for Heineken: Heineken City Experience

I actually wanted to stay in this genius, genius installation forever. Grab a mirror at the entrance and explore the energy of major cities as hidden in their particular sounds. The darkened room lets you fully dive into the experience of this urban symphony as you join others in breaking green laser beams that each produce a unique city sound, accompanied by a visually stunning set of reflections. An absolute ode to hi-tech and design!
Superstudio Hra, Mikulandská 5, Praha 1 (metro B: Národní třída)


2. The Workshop by Jiroušková/ Míková

There is plenty science behind the fact that manual work is a relaxation from intellectual work, just as intellectual work is from manual. This incredibly cute workshop by Veronika Jiroušková and Lenka Míková in the Hra Superstudio provides a lovely rewind after the overwhelming amounts of Designblok’s intellectual stimuli (and shopping decisions!) by inviting you to an arts and crafts class where clearly it’s not about the destination. Pointless knitting and unpicking or nail hitting, anyone? And yes, I had to fight off three kids to get a go. (No casualties.)

Superstudio Hra, Mikulandská 5, Praha 1 (metro B: Národní třída)


3. Zorya jewellery workshop

Zorya‘s beautifully feminine jewellery has been my favourite for years and I was surprised to learn the designers didn’t come up with a new collection for this year’s festival. Instead, they built a creative little space where visitors dive into the sand-filled, fairytale treasure boxes and create their very own jewellery pieces under the designers’ supervision out of their lucky finds.
Breathtaking interiors, too!
Art House Colloredo, Karlova 2, Praha 1 (metro A: Staroměstská)


4. Kontejnerun

A strictly-come-hipstering place to 4.6m sprint race or just hang around in a sweet mobile gym to show off your retro gym wear.
Point Fakulty Designu a umění Ladislava Sutnara, Na Příkopě/ Havířská, Praha 1 (metro A: Můstek)


5. Café U Lípy by Ambiente

Located in the backyard of a former primary school, this pop-up café designed by country’s national treasure Maxim Velčovský serves popular meals from school canteens. Back in the day, we used to have a little Christmas when after weeks of overcooked brussel sprouts, sole-hard meats and a lot of frankly unidentifiable compositions, the canteen gods heard our prayers and decided to include pancakes or ducat cakes on the menu. Trust the skilled Ambiente chefs on their slightly jazzed-up version of the latter, served with poppy seeds, custard sauce and rum mousse. Eat now or forever hold your peas. Or something.

Superstudio Hra, Mikulandská 5, Praha 1 (metro B: Národní třída)

Linger no more then, put that neon lipstick on, get yourself a free scooter from the Yedoo pop-up rental shop and enjoy!