Celebrating Tradition and Modernity: Brussels Design September 2023

From tradition to modernity, Brussels Design September celebrates the power of design to inspire, challenge, and transform our world. Art Nouveau takes a central place this year as we explore its enduring legacy and influence on contemporary design.

In the heart of Europe, the Belgian capital of Brussels has long been a melting pot of culture, innovation, and artistic expression. This September, the city once again becomes the epicenter of the design world as it hosts Brussels Design September 2023. This annual event, known for pushing the boundaries of design, promises to be a celebration of tradition and modernity, showcasing the evolution of design over the years.

Art Nouveau: The Heart of Brussels Design September 2023

In 1893, the world witnessed the birth of a revolutionary architectural and design movement when Victor Horta unveiled the Tassel Hotel in Brussels. This iconic structure, characterized by its modern façade and opulent interiors adorned with stained glass, mosaics, and wrought iron, marked the inception of Art Nouveau. Now, 130 years later, Brussels proudly asserts itself as the capital of this international artistic movement.

As part of this year’s celebration, MAD Brussels is organizing a major exhibition dedicated to the work of Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. Hayon’s designs embody the essence of Art Nouveau, and this exhibition, presented in collaboration with Design September, offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the diversity of his work. It showcases his craftsmanship, innovation in the industrial sector, and the vibrant, colorful aspects of his artistic approach.

Arts & Craft Tour: Reviving Tradition

The Arts & Craft movement, an integral part of Art Nouveau, emphasizes artisanal manufacturing methods and designs inspired by nature. In the 2020s, Brussels experienced a revival of interest in Arts & Craft, reflecting a society that values sustainability and local craftsmanship. Contemporary designers have been collaborating with artisans, preserving traditional knowledge while adapting it to modern needs. Together, they create objects that blend beauty, functionality, and durability.

This local manufacturing trend aligns with the global movement toward sustainable production methods and long-term quality work. FabLabs, which have multiplied in Brussels over the past decade, have played a crucial role in fostering this trend. Visitors to Design September can explore these innovative spaces, offering a glimpse into the world of modern design and creation.

Glass-Transparency-Light: Exploring the Potential of Glass

In Art Nouveau, glass played a pivotal role in creating decorative and architectural elements, exploiting its transparency and luminosity. Today, contemporary designers continue to be captivated by the possibilities of glass. In the 2023 edition of Design September, designers are invited to explore the theme of Glass-Transparency-Light, offering their personal interpretations of this versatile material.

Sustainable Mobility: A Design Perspective

Addressing the pressing issues of urban mobility, including traffic, pollution, and energy consumption, Design September 2023 will host a conference on September 20th at Flagey. This event, hosted by Studio Hier, promises an engaging exploration of the intersection between design, mobility, and sustainability. Innovative and sustainable solutions for urban mobility will take center stage, demonstrating the role design can play in shaping a more eco-conscious future.

Commerce Design Awards: Celebrating Creativity

For a decade now, Design September has celebrated ingenious, creative, and innovative commercial spaces in Brussels. This year, the event continues to highlight the best of Brussels’ commercial design, showcasing the city’s innovative retail landscapes.

“For The Now” Contemporary Design Market: Embracing Diversity

Belgium is renowned for its creativity, while Brussels is celebrated for its cosmopolitanism and diversity. The “For The Now” Contemporary Design Market, taking place on September 23rd and 24th, will reflect this diversity by presenting contemporary design in all its forms. Different cultural contexts, styles, colors, and visual languages will be on display, celebrating the richness of contemporary design in Belgium. Two pairs of designers will present their collaborative work at the opening night of Design September on September 12th, emphasizing the collaborative spirit of the event.

Brussels Vintage Market: Sustainable Shopping

For those with an eco-conscious mindset, the Brussels Vintage Market on September 23rd and 24th offers a treasure trove of sustainable, second-hand design pieces. Vintage shopping not only adds a unique touch to your interior but also aligns with ethical consumption. The market brings together dealers from all over Europe and has become a must-visit for lovers of eco-responsible design and fashion.

A Glimpse into Belgian Design History

In September, visitors will have the opportunity to explore an exhibition featuring the work of Belgian designer and architect Christophe Gevers. This exhibition, in collaboration with the Brussels Design Museum, offers a unique insight into the creative journey of a prominent figure in Belgian design history.

Brussels Design September 2023 promises to be a transformative experience, bridging the gap between tradition and modernity while celebrating the innovative power of design. From the elegance of Art Nouveau to the sustainability of Arts & Craft and the cutting-edge possibilities of glass, this event showcases the evolution of design and its enduring impact on our world.


Brussels Design September
12 > 30.09.2023

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