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A country recognized for its Modernist design, Hungary is beginning to break the stereotype and forge a new discourse for itself in all aspects of design. Looking towards the future, but drawing inspiration from the past, Hungary is making a new name for itself in design. Culture Trip brings you, ten designers, to look out for.
With the likes of Marcel Breuer and Ernö Goldfinger, Hungary’s great Modernist designers, it could be argued that Hungarian designers today have a lot to live up to. Design in Hungary today is a melting pot of innovation, technique, discipline, and style, and is full of exciting prospects for the future of design. Ranging from high-end interior design to dazzling graphics and illustration, Hungary currently has a lot to offer. With a respect for materials, an interest in the past and an abundance of creativity, design in Hungary can appeal to a multitude of tastes.
An international furniture brand with many years of experience, Sixay is renowned for the unique style, excellent durability, and overall high quality of its pieces. Creating a wide range of beautiful furniture, each piece is handcrafted by highly skilled cabinet makers and craftspeople. The elegance and beauty of the furniture is derived from the careful selection of hardwoods used and the treatment of the wood thereafter. The furniture is then oiled and waxed to a high finish using only all-natural materials to create a warmth in each piece and allowing the natural beauty of the wood grain shine through. This high level of craftsmanship is visible in the SIXtematic collection, which comprises of a number of pieces. The variation in color visible in the drawers shows off the true character of the different woods used.
A ceramic artist and designer, Eszter Imre draws inspiration from a wide variety of influences, but especially the materials that she works with. Creating a dialogue between herself and the porcelain enables her to create pieces that are wholly unexpected. Every piece that she creates is imbued with a sense of history; the Table-wear collection demonstrates this beautifully. This range of porcelain jewelry is influenced by the classical Hungarian crockery that can be found in homes around the world and is instantly recognizable as such. Made at the Herend porcelain manufacturer, the pieces use the traditional shapes of the crockery such as a tea cup, the rim of a plate, or a handle. They were then adapted by hand from the original molds used. Beautifully crafted, this collection is not only wearable but also appeals to our sense of cultural heritage, something that is true of all Imre’s work.
The Empty Room Project was prepared for the Kinnarps’ competition by designers Zsófia Budai and Bence Kovácsik. The idea was formed from the need for a more practical design for furniture suitable for the study rooms at the Design Academy. It had become clear that for these multifunctional rooms, different types of furniture were needed that ranged from tables to lecture chairs. These were then manifested as the pieces of the ‘Empty Room’. Mobile, simple, yet still stylish, the furniture is capable of serving anything from a business to a school environment. Made in a modular manner, the furniture can be adapted easily; tables can be plugged together, legs can be shortened or lengthened depending on the age group, and all of it is easily stacked. A clever and yet simple idea, the Empty Room Project is applicable to all multipurpose education spaces.
An interior design company that offers a wide range of solutions for both residential and commercial interiors, Naya was first set up in 1993. As well as interiors, the company offers custom-made furniture designs that are constructed in its own workshop and assembly room. When designing commercial interiors, Naya has had great success creating café, office, and fashion interiors. Working very closely with the client ensures that the feel of the brand is clear throughout. However, the company’s own style is also evident in the interiors, which are effortlessly stylish. Naya’s home interiors echo this attention to detail, creating homes that are livable and elegant.
Graphic designer and illustrator Róth Anikó has been critically acclaimed in Hungary and the world over and has worked with some very high profile clients, including Christian Lacroix. This is hardly surprising given the caliber of work that comes from this talented designer, who works in a variety of media, including silkscreen painting. The scenes and pictures she creates are vividly colorful and take inspiration from traditional and often recognizable cityscapes such as London or Paris. There is something slightly other-worldly about Anikó’s illustrations, as well as harking back to poster illustrations of the Belle Époque. Her work, whilst completely unique, is applicable to fashion prints, accessory covers, book illustrations, or on their own as a work of art.
Suto is an interior design company that, as well as creating stylish interiors, does complete renovations, stripping buildings bare and starting from scratch. Working closely with its clients, Suto comes up with clever and stylish solutions to suit the personalities of its clients, meanwhile adding its own flare to the project. This design duo formed of Kato and Laszlo Suto first began in 2000 and partakes in both commercial and private design projects. With meticulous care, they create open planned spaces, cleverly broken into different areas by the placement of furniture to create zones. Ultra-sleek and modern, Suto interiors are wonderfully clean-lined, light, and fresh, appealing to a younger sensibility.
Founded in 1994, Artica is an internationally renowned interior design company, working primarily with the retail sector. Whether creating a fashion store, an office, a bar, or a restaurant, Artica aims to provide high-quality solutions to the client’s design needs, innovating new production techniques and methods of construction. Working on projects across Europe from Hungary to the United Kingdom to Russia, Artica brings a simple yet effective style to the interiors that it create. By focusing on the special needs of a local market, and combining it with the needs of the international retail market, Artica successfully assists in the expansion of retail networks without losing sight of its own unique style.
Kata Mónus is a young designer with a highly multidisciplinary approach to design, specializing in traditional textile techniques, which she then seamlessly applies to other areas of design. Often highly experimental, Mónus also creates jewelry, fashion, textiles and accessories from recycled materials. A member of the Koschy Art Design collective, she often collaborates on pieces with other designers, such as on the Cross-Ropes shelving unit. Awarded an honorable mention by the Green Furniture Award 2012, this unit was created in collaboration with Tamas Bozsik. Combining hard and soft elements, the materials used are all locally sourced. The frame itself is made from Ash wood and is held together by linen rope. The rope creates the tension that holds the structure together, and the mechanism at the bottom allows the shelves to be retightened over time.
The design duo behind A + Z Design was formed in 2009 by Attila F. Kovacs and Zsuzsa Megyesi who have backgrounds in interior and set design, and curation, respectively. After working together on a number of successful interior design projects, they decided to team up to create their own furniture and lighting collections. Amongst their designs are the Pillhead lamps, a collection of desk and floor lamps that have a powder-coated stainless steel frame and anodized aluminum shades. Available in bright, primary colors, the head of the lamp is flat and spherical, and somewhat anthropomorphic. Whilst this collection is somewhat sci-fi in appearance, other collections take inspiration from gypsy traditions and Scandinavian furniture. Hugely varied and always exciting, A + Z product design is one to watch for the future.
Blurring the boundaries between contemporary design, fine art and applied art, Flóra Vági creates breath-taking jewelry from unlikely materials. From paper and old books to a variety of tropical woods, these jewelry pieces are delicate, colorful, and exciting. Having studied in both Italy and England, Vági’s skill and imagination are evident in every single piece, and it is hardly surprising that her work is on display in some of the most prestigious contemporary jewelry galleries in both Europe and the United States. Inspired by nature, these pieces appeal to our senses with their intriguing structures, colors, and materials used. Not simply jewelry, these objects are intended to be meaningful to the owner. Whimsical and entirely different to other jewelry, Vági’s work is highly desirable.