Wednesday 09 January 2013

The UK/Croatia Extra/ordinary Design Workshops is an exhibition in partnership with the Croatian Ministry of Culture. It marks the first event of Welcome Croatia, a festival led by the British-Croatian Society in cooperation with the Croatian Ministry of culture to mark Croatia’s accession to the EU.

The exhibition is the result of Extra/ordinary Design Workshops, a partnership developed by the British Council Croatia between the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art, the Croatian Designers Association and the School of Design, University of Zagreb. It will run from 7th – 27th January 2013 at the British Council, Spring Gardens.

The Extra/ordinary Design project has used UK expertise in design to create an inclusive process working with organisations run by, employing or educating socially marginalised groups. All of the workshops have shared the same aim: to use mainstream design and collaborative ways of working to strategically transform the situation of these organisations and to redress their creative capacity in challenging economic times.

Workshops led by Julia Cassim, senior designer from the Royal College of Art took place in Croatia in 2011 and 2012 with design teams working with local organisations such as ZVONO, a creative centre for young people with learning difficulties. The work produced went onto win the Grand Prix a D (Design) Day in May 2011; before receiving the international jury prize at the biennale Exhibition of Croatian Design in September 2012 and an award from the Network for Development and Creativity in November of that year.

The Welcome Croatia festival will celebrate the vibrant cultural life of Croatia through a series of events and exhibitions which will run from February until 1st July, the date when Croatia officially ascends to the EU.

The UK/Croatia Extra/ordinary Design Workshops exhibition will give UK audiences the opportunity to see the UK-Croatia partnership at work: building trust between people, institutions and our two countries and helping young people develop skills in tough economic conditions.

Notes to Editor

For more press information and images please contact Mary Doherty, Arts Assistant Press Officer, British Council - 0207 389 3144

Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design is the Royal College of Art’s largest and longest running centre for design research. Endowed by the Helen Hamlyn Trust, it is dedicated to helping improve quality of life. Its multidisciplinary team undertakes practical research, projects with industry and other partners and knowledge transfer to the design community at all levels. Its Challenge Workshops Programme brings together professional designers at all stages of their career with disabled people and other marginalised groups in a co-design and production process based on equality and mutual benefit.


Croatian Designers Association (Hrvatsko dizajnersko društvo – HDD)

Founded in 1983, the Croatian Designers Association (HDD/CDA) is an NGO/NPO whose main goals are the protection and promotion of the professional interests of the design community, the raising of public awareness of the importance of design and the creation of a social and economic context that leads to improvements in design practice. In 1999, the CDA launched the first of a series of ongoing biennial “Exhibitions of Croatian Design” in ever-larger venues and since 2010 has also organised an annual D-Day regional design festival at the former industrial complex in Zagreb. D-Day has become a serious networking platform for young designers, design schools, entrepreneurs, NGOs and other design initiatives from across the Balkan region. In 2009 the CDA opened its own gallery in Zagreb. This offers a regular exhibition programme with lectures and public discussions exploring crucial themes from the Croatian design heritage.


Exhibition Curation:

Julia Cassim, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art

Mirna Reinprecht, Croatian Designers Association

Sanja Bencetić, School of Design, University of Zagreb        

Design: Gero Grundmann, Studio Bec


Exhibition details

Date: 7 – 27 January 2013, opening event on 10 January 2013

Venue: British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2BN

This exhibition is funded by the Croatian Ministry of Culture in partnership with British Council Croatia.

Organised by: British Council and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, supported by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art, Croatian Designers Association and the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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