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Design Ecosystem in Brno

Gianmarco Caprio

Writer and editor at Phase with a fondness for photography, typography, design and travel.

Design in Czechia's Second Largest City
Czechia's second-largest city, despite its modest size, has plenty to offer when it comes to creative minds. Brno has a long tradition as a design city, having hosted a plethora of events dedicated to it.
Let's find out why the capital city of Moravia developed this connection to the creative field and how it cemented its status as a design city in the heart of Europe.
A Design City in the Heart of Europe
Brno is located in the south of Czechia – AKA the Czech Republic – not far from both Austria and Slovakia, smack in the middle of the European continent. Its position has definitely contributed in making the city a important location along the strategically-important road that connects Vienna with both Berlin and Warsaw.
A defining year for the city of Brno was 1963: it was this year that the Brno International Biennial of Graphic Design was established, an event that is still happening nowadays and that over the years has earned the reputation as one of the most important events dedicated to graphic design worldwide. Not a small feat for a city like Brno.
Brno's State of Design
Today, Brno is just as fond of its design heritage as it was back in the 60's, when the Design Biennale had its first edition. The upcoming event, which is already scheduled to happen in 2022, will be curated by Rick Poynor, an acclaimed British design writer and creator of the Eye Magazine.
Over the years, other events have cemented Brno's reputation as a design city in the heart of Europe, of which the most recent is the Brno Design Days festival.
This latest addition to the design-focused events happening in the Moravian capital, which launched in 2017, is set to become a new can't-miss for professionals and aficionados alike. This is what the organisers themselves wrote about the festival:
Brno, design and four days of loaded program. Designers from all over the Czech Republic and abroad will meet for the fourth time at Brno Design Days, share ideas and know-how and they will introduce design to the general public as a driving force for innovation and several positive changes. Because design is a daily part of our lives.
— Brno Design Days Team
The 2020 edition of the event is set to take place next month, from the 17th until the 20th of September, so if you happen to be Brno, in Czechia or in neighbouring countries you might want to consider going there (if the situation relating to the pandemic will allow it, that is).
Getting a Design Education in Brno
Despite Brno being an established city of design importance, currently it is still not possible to study graphic design – or related design-fields – in Brno. In fact, as of right now one can only study urban design (part of an architecture study curriculum) at Brno's University of Technology.
For that, you'd need to head to the country's capital We already talked about the design ecosystem in Prague in one of our previous issues, so head over to that article if you want to discover where to study design in Czechia.
Working Remotely (During COVID-19)
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing despite vaccination being well underway in most of the developed world, life is still restricted to varying degrees. Depending on when you'll find yourself in the country, you may or may not find cafés as well as co-working spaces open.
Regardless, here's our top suggestions for places to work from in Brno, Czechia: Kavárna Pole, Tati Café Bar and SKØG Urban Hub are the best laptop-friendly cafés in town, while COWO Brno, Impact Hub and Creative Hub KUMST are our go-to co-working spots.

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