It's been going for a good few years now, so if you've not been yet we're going to want to hear some pretty good reasons why. Just kidding. (Or are we?) blickfang, which describes itself as a 'cross between a design department store and an arena for innovative design' is a fair that takes place at different times during the year in a number of different design-savvy cities: Stuttgart, Basel, Vienna and Zurich (and, new for 2012, Hamburg and Copenhagen).
blickfang Curators of the Year 2011/2012, Saskia and Stefan Diez
Depending on the location, up to 220 designers from the furniture, fashion and jewellery-design branches exhibit and sell their latest collections. But it's more than just a standard fair. They're also there to answer questions about their own work, discuss their ideas and experiences with you, as well as offer you advice. Nice, huh?
At blickfang, designers answer questions about their work and discuss their ideas and experiences, as well as offering visitors advice. Shown here, blickfang Vienna 2010
While most fairs are neutral spaces in which designers and manufacturers pitch up to show their finished products, blickfang gets actively involved in supporting the work of its exhibitors by partnering with the car people MINI to offer an annual summer design workshop, which this year took place in Vienna. The idea is to up the design ante of the work on show by focusing on the process of product development as much as the end result. This year's workshop was lead by Stefan and Saskia Diez, along with Marcus Fairs from Dezeen and Eva Steidl from Magazin.
'Vaiss.eau' pendant light by Hanna Krüger
Speaking of Stefan and Saskia Diez, they've been named blickfang Curators of the Year 2011/2012. The highly regarded, Munich-based design couple will give shape to the blickfang shows over the next 12 months. 'We're looking forward to collaborating and exchanging with the designers,' say Stefan and Saskia. 'We're just as interested as what goes on back stage at blickfang and are excited about being able, as designers, to help form the strategy and concept of a show like this.'
blickfang supports the work of its exhibitors by partnering with MINI to offer an annual summer design workshop
Architonic, as official online-media partner, is excited, too. All the more so, as blickfang becomes even more international in complexion. November 2012 sees the addition of the show's fifth location – Copenhagen. Tapping into Scandinavia's highly innovative and quality-driven design scene, all the signs are good for a cool new Nordic face for blickfang.
'poki' drawer furniture by halloessen, aka Holm Giessler, Jennifer Heimann and Kai Eckoldt
But back to 2011 and next stop Vienna. Around 140 designers – drawn from the fields of furniture, fashion, jewellery, lighting and accessories – are going to be exhibiting their innovative new designs over 3,500 square metres at the Austrian capital's MAK from 14 to 16 October. Be there or have those excuses ready...
Vienna / 14 to 16 October 2011
Zurich / 25 to 27 November 2011
Stuttgart / 9 to 11 March 2012
Basel / 23 to 25 March 2012