Design is global yet business stays local.

At Eastern Design Conference, we explore this relationship. Eastern showcases local projects with global impact from design and business viewpoints simultaneously. READ MORE...

Eastern will be taking place on 26–27th October 2018 in Košice.


Studio Marvil + TON / CZ

Studio Marvil belongs to the best in Czech design since its establishment in 1995. Their work brings them into contact with creatives from many fields, including architects, designers, illustrators, photographers, film-makers and authors. They have won series of prizes and they’re the first graphic design studio in the Czech Republic to receive a prestigious Red Dot Design Award which they won again this year.

TON (the abbreviation of - Továrna Ohýbaného Nábytku – bent furniture factory) is a Czech furniture company based in Bystrice pod Hostynem. They specialise in unique wood-bending technology which they use since 1861.

Studio Marvil and TON come to Eastern to talk about their cooperation that brings the iconic design product from the 19th century to the business spotlight of the 21st century.


Liv Siddall / UK

Liv Siddall is one half of Mare Street Market on Air and is also Features Editor of smart women’s magazine Riposte. Alongside this she is a writer, editor and interviewer predominantly focused on the world of music, arts and culture and the independent magazine scene. Formerly the Features Editor at It’s Nice That and the Founder and Editor of Rough Trade Magazine, her love for radio has punctuated her career so far seeing her host the weekly It’s Nice That podcast and oversee the launch of Rough Trade Radio.

Liv comes to Eastern to talk about how to make a monthly music magazine of legendary record store with as low a budget as possible.


Lars Harmsen, Slanted / DE

If not traveling, Lars Harmsen lives and works in Munich where he is partner and creative director at MELVILLE Brand Design. He launched the fontlabel Volcano-Type and is the founder of SLANTED PUBLISHERS blog and magazine. He also is professor of typography and design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Dortmund. Sometimes he prints posters in silkscreen workshops around the world. He loves to ride one of his 6 bicycles or to dive into the ocean.

Lars comes to Eastern to talk about diversity, differences, connections and humour he finds in various design and business ecosystems all around the World.


Erik Sikora / Sk

His dream as an artist is to develop a new format of post-lecture. The post-lectures concern defence of one’s own life. From the content perspective, it is a combination of teaching skills with the tendencies to save the world or eventually the tendency to make a bundle during saving the world. If Džumělec does not make a bundle with his own ideas, he upcycles his ideas in the songs that work as kind of fillers to slightly embarrassing breaks. A secret reason for his post-lectures in the public area is his aspiration to get more likes to grow the social media bubble.

Erik comes to Eastern to explain & perform the unorthodox approach to create visual & non-visual content that will instantly make your day.


Ali Ali / EG

Ali Ali is an acclaimed advertising director director from Cairo, Egypt and the Founder of Good People. In a remarkably short period, he became the region's most sought-after director, having recieved numerous international awards for his work. In addition to a Black Cube, a D&AD yellow pencil, and six Cannes Lions, Ali has picked up the TV Grand Prix five times at Dubai Lynx. With over ninety million YouTube views, his “Never Say No to Panda” was named one of the most watched tv spots of all time by the Guardian UK. Born in Egypt and raised all over the world, Ali's work shows an attentiveness to local realities as well as an international sensibility.

Ali comes to Eastern to talk about the local and international in him that allowed for his cult advertising campaigns to rock the advertising world while staying true and funny as hell.


Petra Dočekalová / CZ

Petra Dočekalová studied at the Type Design and Typography studio at Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Since 2013 she is a member of Suitcase & Briefcase Type Foundry team, working on all activities associated with foundries. She is focused on editorial work such as book Scripts for shop windows and Typo 9010, that won several awards all over the world. She is also a type designer, sign painter and lettering artist, working on new digital scripts.

She received TDC Award of excellence for her diploma project dealing with the Czechoslovak calligraphy and new hand lettering forms.

Petra comes to Eastern to talk about resurrecting the craft of sign painting that has disappeared over the years with the advance of printing technologies in the Czech Republic.


David Gauquelin / FR-HU

Co-founder and Design Lead at Booom., former Design Director at Prezi, ex frog designer, David has 10+ years design experience working with teams from early-stage startups to leading multinationals.

David comes to Eastern because he believes that there's more left to design than just UI, UX, and apps. He hopes to meet dreamers, tinkerers, and digital misfits willing to explore sideways paths towards a more humane use of technology.


CzechDesign / CZ

"Since 2003 we have grown into a respected organization with a great deal of experience – running our own gallery in Prague, organizing competitions for designers, helping companies to apply design to manufacturing processes and turning design theory into practice."

Veronika Pařízková a Radim Tuček come to Eastern to talk about their work in providing support and guidelines for public institutions in Czech Republic in order to communicate visually in an effective and modern way.


Studio Feixen / CH

Felix Pfäffli and Raphael Leutenegger are Studio Feixen, an independent design studio based in Lucerne, Switzerland that creates visual concepts.

Studio Feixen comes to Eastern to talk about ability to create work with global impact from a small town on outskirts of Switzerland.


Martin Bajaník + Potraviny YEME / SK

Founder of design studio PEKNE & DOBRE based in Bratislava, Slovakia. He co-founded successful concept café Shtoor, works with exceptional grocery store Yeme and is also the president of Association of Slovak Graphic Designers.

Peter Varmuža is a former COO of Tesco in Slovakia and a co-founder of the first conceptual grocery store in Slovakia Potraviny Yeme.

Martin and Peter come to Eastern to talk about one of the most successful, long-term and easthetically pleasing cooperations in Slovak business environment.


Studio Najbrt + MUNI / CZ

Studio Najbrt is a legendary Czech graphic design studio. The studio’s longtime collaborations with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Ambiente group, the City of Prague and many others have established its bold and playful approach, decorating its imaginary mantelpiece with awards and features in publications from all over the world.

Founder Aleš Najbrt and a representative of Masaryk University – MUNI come to Eastern to talk about their controversial yet succesful collaboration on redesigning the university's visual identity.


Jan Franciszek Cieślak / PL

Communication designer, graphic designer, policy designer, full-stack JS developer and urban activist. Co-founder of Miastodwa Association – a multidisciplinary collective focused on researching and designing better urban environments. Co-creator of Warsaw Types project. Coordinated the design of Warsaw’s Landscape Policy for signage, an editor of accompanying guide book. Creator and contributor of many websites, publications and projects related to better communication design in urban public spaces.

Jan comes to Eastern to talk about new and respectful ways of utilising our urban visual legacy. He will present how to build on the past to create wonderful new designs and how to start creating a system that brings order into the visual chaos of post-socialist public environment.


Oliver Klimpel / DE

Oliver works in a hybrid practice at the intersection of design, art and research. After many years in London, he’s now based in Berlin currently designing the new foyer interior of Austrian museum Kunsthaus Graz - including exhibition displays and shop facilities. His work for the exhibition “Creative Infidelities” at arc en réve – centre d’architecture Bordeaux, France, is now on show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig. He was Professor at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts from 2008 til 2015; other educational projects have been an important part of his practice, having been himself trained as a graphic designer at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts and the Royal College of Art London. In 2016 he was the moderator of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno.

Oliver comes to Eastern to guide you through the conference as a host and moderator.


Peter Hajdin + Lunter / SK

Co-founder of one of the best advertising agencies Komplot Advertising. Peter stands behind  the most succesful design shop in Slovakia–Kompot, campaign for the president of Slovak republic Andrej Kiska or socially initiated anti-fascist newspaper Naše Slovensko.

Ondrej Lunter is co-founder of project (which fact-checks statements of politicians), operations manager in Alfa Bio Family Company & head of LUNTER's campaign team.

Peter and Ondrej come to Eastern to talk about creating a successful political campaign in Banska Bystrica which lead to a big defeat for the currently-rising fascist party in Slovakia.


We are continuously seeking interesting themes and speakers. If you know anyone who would fit our global theme, please let us know.

We'll announce more speakers soon. 

Our prospect

Sylvain Julé
Simon Sinek
David Gauquelin
Rick Poynor
Ian Ó Maolchraoibhe
Francesco Franchi
Martin Pecina
Martin Bajaník
Sebastian Grąz
Robert Oleś
Bartek Bojarczuk
Peter Biľak
Jonas Downey
Travis Gertz
Bill Pardi
Christian Miller
Liv Siddall
Jan Bajtlik
Ola Niepsuj
Szende Brassai
Anna Kövecses
check Brad Frost
check Peter Hajdin
check Studio Feixen
check Adi Godrich
check Andy Sandoz
check Malika Favre
check Ralph Steadman
check Ashleigh Axios
check Annie Atkins
check Mimi Turner
check FormaOutro
Ali Ali
Mark van der Heijden
Poke London
Lo siento
Ricardo Cavolo
Design Studio
Marta Cerda
Margot Bowman
The Mill
Gordon Reid
Istvan Orosz
Julia Solans
Mr Bingo
Jordy van Nieuwendijk
Camile Walala
Howard Sullivan
Filip Blažek
Martin Jenča
Parallel practice
Traffic design
Aleš Nešetril
Jacek Utko
Aleš Najbrt
František Štorm
Jiří Karásek
Michal Pastier
Anna Kulachek
Jozef Kabaň


Tabačka Kulturfabrik

Day 1 – Friday

  • 8.00 – 9.30
    Registration & Breakfast
  • 9.30 – 9.50
    Introduction – Oliver Klimpel
  • 9.50 – 10.35
    Liv Siddall (UK)
  • 10.35 – 11.35
    Martin Bajaník + Yeme (SK)
  • 11.35 – 11.55
    Coffee break
  • 11.55 – 12.40
    Czechdesign (CZ)
  • 12.40 – 14.30
    Snack / Lunch break
  • 14.30 – 15.15
    David Gauquelin (FR/HUN)
  • 15.15 – 16.15
    Studio Marvil + TON 
  • 16.40 – 16.35
    Coffee break
  • 16.35 – 17.35
    Studio Feixen (CH)
  • 17.35 – 17.40
    Closing of the first day
  • 17:40 ~ 19:00
    Let's have a beer! with speakers of the day
    20.00 – 01.00
    Late night drinks at Kino Úsmev

Tabačka Kulturfabrik

Day 2 – Saturday

  • 8.30 – 10.00
  • 10.00 – 10.20
    Introduction – Oliver Klimpel
  • 10.20 – 11.05
    Erik Sikora (SK)
  • 11.05 – 11.50
    Jan Franciszek Cieślak (PL)
  • 11.50 – 14.00
    Lunch break
  • 14.00 – 14.45
    Petra Dočekalová (CZ)
    14.45 – 15.45
    Peter Hajdin + LUNTER (SK)
  • 15.45 – 16.05
    Coffee break
  • 16.05 – 17.05
    Lars Harmsen (DE)
  • 17.05 – 17.30
    Conference Closing
  • 17.30 – 19.00
    Let's have a beer! with speakers of the day
  • 21.00 – 03.00


Update about this section (mentors and tickets) will incoming till 1st june. Stay tuned, sign in for our Newsletter!


The decision to hold Eastern in Košice, Slovakia does not stem from the fact the 3 of us (founders and organisers) have been active in the city for many years. It is the potential of the city and the constant movement in it that made us think of it as a good spot in the time when Košice is becoming a more-exciting, less-regulated, more-eastern type of cultural metropolis full of thriving grass-roots initiatives. Roman calls it the Slovak Berlin.

What else you have to know about Košice?
Have you ever heard about Tokaj wine region?

How to get there

  • By airplane to Košice airport (IATA: KSC, ICAO: LZKZ)
  • By train or bus (from Bratislava, Budapest, Krakow, Prague)
  • By EasyTaxi from anywhere in the city +421907234263, only 3€, truly unforgettable eastern experience, you should learn basics in Slovak language if you want to have any emotional profit from the trip. For a full pleasure you should check the website as well.
  • Address
    Gorkého 2, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia

media & business partners

Hotel Yasmin

Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.


Opre Cider


Slovenské Centrum Designu


: Radio_FM

Goethe Institut

Košice Represent
Dva Dve

Tabačka Kulturfabrik


Eastern Design Conference brings together design and business. Definition of ‘East’ is best represented through the optics of geographical and market-related outskirts. Geographically it’s Central and Eastern Europe. With design being a world-wide phenomenon, the market-related outskirts are defined by our local eastern ways of doing business in a post-communist business environment. Eastern was founded to explore and define this relationship.


We strive to showcase the unusual yet effective design thinking native to the East.


By creating a place to exchange knowledge about eastern design and business environment and our experience.


Taking a closer look on the differences between the Eastern and the Western business environment in relation to design.


Eastern is a two day long design conference taking place in Košice, Slovakia on 26–27th October. It features forward thinking designers from the unexplored outskirts of Eastern Europe.