A place where
global design meets local context

At Eastern Design Conference, we explore this relationship.
Join us on 6 – 7 October 2023 in Košice, Slovakia!


Mikina Dimunova


Mikina Dimunova, a screenager influenced by the communist era, whose artistic and design endeavors seamlessly bridge the realms of analog and digital. Drawing inspiration from the French and Swiss visual schools, she boasts over two decades of experience in her field. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to crafting innovative solutions for various brands, aiming to add value and elevate the quality of their offerings, such as Neva Oslo and Nehera. She has also left her mark on prestigious projects, including the identity redesign of the Tatra Banka Foundation Award, the campaign for the Slovak National Theater Ballet, and the visual concept for the Andrej Bagar Theater season, among many others. Mikina also actively collaborates with acceleration teams, guiding ambitious startups both domestically and internationally through their creative processes.

Mikina comes to Eastern to talk about the significance of self-branding in developing bold identities and the importance.

Studio Najbrt


Zuzana Lednická and Aleš Najbrt co-direct Studio Najbrt, dedicated to crafting identities, books, posters, exhibitions, websites, and apps for both Czech and international clientele. Their extensive portfolio showcases enduring partnerships with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Kunsthalle Prague, the Czech Philharmonic, renowned photographer Josef Koudelka, as well as the cities of Prague and Ostrava, among many others. These collaborations characterize the pursuits not only of Zuzana and Aleš, but also of their fellow studio members. "When thinking of Studio Najbrt, a sense of enjoyment is the very first impression that springs to mind," remarked design critic Rick Poynor back in 2007, and nobody has objected to that ever since.

Zuzana and Aleš come to Eastern to talk about how their work over the past 30 years defines visual culture and perception of design (not only) in the Czech Republic.

Ola Niepsuj


Ola Niepsuj is an internationally acclaimed illustrator, graphic designer, and art director. Her work has appeared in magazines such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harper's Bazaar, in books and publications of prestigious global publishing houses, and in the media campaigns of global commercial brands. As a freelance designer, Ola has worked for many commercial clients and brands such as Nike, Converse, HBO, KFC, Saks Fifth Avenue, Showmax, Adidas, Ikea, Apple, Melissa, Skanska, Disney, Braun, Levi's, Stripe, Panasonic and Rimowa. Niepsuj is also a prize-winning poster designer and internationally recognized creator of visual identities and infographics for both print and digital projects.

Ola comes to Eastern to share her experiences of bridging the gap between global commercial brands and traditional design techniques.

Čitelná Praha


Legible Prague: Inclusive wayfinding in Czech capital project has emerged as the winner of an international competition for creating a unified information system that facilitates orientation within the Czech metropolis. Wayfinding, also known as the information and navigation system that enables people to navigate public spaces, must be accessible to all. The majority of us navigate through familiar cityscapes without encountering any challenges, often without relying on a formal wayfinding system.However, from time to time, everyone needs to get to a place which we don't know that well. In our terminology we say that the context of use changed. Have you ever thought about how your needs change, if you (temporarily or permanently) stand in front of a new life situation, that more or less limits your movement ability or perhaps navigation within a space?  For example, when you break a leg and use crutches, push a trolley with a crying baby or your eyesight worsen because of a cataract?

Dominika comes to Eastern to talk about how the inclusive redesign of the city's information and navigation system holds the potential to significantly enhance the lives of its residents.

Radek Sidun


Radek Sidun devotes himself primarily to fonts and typography. He studied at Prague's UMPRUM Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design, where he later worked as a pedagogue at the Atelier of Typewriting and Typography. He still lectures there on contemporary typography and its recent history. His graduation thesis dealt with the issue of diacritics in world languages. As a result, he is a sought-after consultant to font designers and type foundries all over the world. Together with Tomáš Brousil, he founded Briefcase Type Foundry, which distributes fonts created by Czech authors.He has received several awards for his various projects, such as a Gold Medal at the European Design Awards 2013, lately the Certificate of Typographic Excellence 2014 by the Type Directors Club for BC News which he designed and edited. He is a member of the editorial team of the award-winning book TYPO9010 (2015), co-author of the book Jaroslav Benda 1882-1970: Typographic Design and Typeface (2019) and author of the publication Manual of Diacritics: Case studies of newly designed accents for contemporary typefaces (2021).

Radek comes to Eastern to talk about how much sadder the world would be without diacritics.

Ada Sokół


Ada Sokół is a 3D artist and designer. Her works allow the viewers to glance into her extraordinary imagination and offer a glimpse into her perspective of the beauty surrounding us. Subtlety, femininity, magic - those keywords are the most accurate way to describe her aesthetic. Her renders' themes and main inspirations are creatures and phenomena from the surrounding environment - water bears, sea dragons, orchids, or fungi. As an independent entity, Ada quickly made her way to embody a solid self-made 3D brand. Her unique style developed during collaborations with Nike, Apple, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Rimowa, or Gentle Monster on global campaigns, videos, and multimedia installations. Recently, she has made her appearance at exhibitions such as Miami Art Basel and Dubai Expo, and debuted as an academic lecturer at swiss ECAL. Overall her works have been exhibited worldwide, from Beijing, New York, Los Angeles to London or Paris.

Ada comes to Eastern to guide us through her virtual worlds, in which ecology also plays a key role.

Braňo Béreš


Braňo Béreš, originally from Trebišov, is the co-founder and creative director of the established Tokyo agency Yoroshiku Fantastic K.K. From the alchemy of genius loci (Prague) through the Asian beacon of rebellious freedom (Taipei), to the systematic machinery of the neon metropolis (Tokyo), Braňo looks beyond the glitz and focuses not only on design and aesthetics but on their origins.With a blend of curiosity and years of experience, he is no longer interested in just following trends, but in discerning what drives them. In his office in Tokyo's Yoyogi, he creates and finds ways in which brands such as Bentley, Porsche, Fiat, Grammarly, and others communicate with the world.

Braňosan comes to Eastern to talk about what it's like to speak a visual language in a context historically, culturally, and socially different from the European one.

Maria Todorova


Maria Todorova is the founder and creative director of the independent digital creative agency NEXT-DC, which, since 2010, has been accepting challenges from global brands such as Renault, Heineken, Miro, Twitter, Canon, and others. Maria is also the founder and creative director of inspiring projects, such as the SHAPESHIFT festival, which explores constant changes and the relationship between humanity, creativity, and innovation, or the Quotes magazine, which tells the professional and personal stories of those whose work and life quietly move the world forward.Twenty-five years of experience have brought Maria many awards, among other accolades. Notable honors include a nomination for the "Woman of the Year" award in 2011 for her contribution to contemporary Bulgarian culture as the curator of Sofia Design Week 2011 and a nomination for the "Top 100 Most Influential Women in Bulgaria 2012" award.

Maria comes to Eastern to talk about how, thanks to specifics of Bulgarian design, she succeeds in pushing the boundaries of what we know as advertising.

Jan Vlachynský


Jan Vlachynský is the founder of the Brno gastronomic group, People from the Bar, which runs now-legendary establishments such as the Bar that does not exist, Super Panda Circus, 4pokoje, and the experience hotel Anybody. He is a trained psychologist, whose achievements include membership in Forbes 30 under 30 and the Czech Goodwill award in the Innovation category. His own curiosity in pushing boundaries and increasing mental performance led him to the original idea of creating the first Czech "brainhack drink," called Osmička. In 2020, he published his first book on leadership with the provocative title translated as "Bosses are assholes."

Honza comes to Eastern to discuss how he unleashed a wave of renaissance within the Brno gastronomic scene.

Petra Garajová


Petra Garajová is a Slovak designer who explores the boundaries of material innovation, digital production, and textiles. Her interest stems from biology and waste materials, which intersect various artistic disciplines. The goal of Petra's work is to connect creativity with technical knowledge, using fashion as a tool to bridge the gap between nature, soft materials, and the human body. She currently works at Fab Lab Barcelona as a local Fabricademy instructor and researcher.Petra is a graduate of Master's studies in art and architecture at the University of Arts and Crafts in Prague, followed by her graduation from Fabricademy–Textile and Technology Academy at Fab Lab Barcelona IAAC. During her studies, she was part of the European project Shemakes.eu as an ambassador between Fab Lab Barcelona and TextileLab Iceland for the Lab to Lab–Rethinking Wool project. Her final project at Fabricademy was awarded the Young Scientist Award in 2022 at the Fiber Global Congress in Dornbirn for the most innovative use of biological fibers.

Petra comes to Eastern to discuss the new direction of the textile industry and how sheep's wool can be printed using a 3D printer.



Ukrainian studio VikaVita is led by two graphic designers, typographers, calligraphers, and illustrators whose work is primarily defined by their expertise in lettering. Sisters Victoria and Vitalina specialize in various areas of graphic design, including calligraphy, lettering, mural painting, and the creation of identities and logos. Since 2013, they have been teaching at the Kyiv Academy of Decorative and Applied Art and Design named Michael Boychuk. Their impressive portfolio includes collaborations with renowned global brands such as The Economist (London), Nike, Louis Vuitton, Dior (Kyiv, Vienna), Tiffany & Co., McDonald’s, and many others.Their works have been featured in books about writing and calligraphy, such as “Hand to Type” (Berlin, Germany), “The Design of Words” (Milan, Italy), “The complete guide to hand lettering” (USA), as well as Novum magazine (Munich, Germany). Victoria and Vitalina regularly participate in international conferences, including Typographics, ATypI, Typomania, Wroclaw Type Forum, and TEDxKyiv 2018, as well as international exhibitions in Turkey, Poland, and Ukraine.

The VikaVita duo comes to Eastern to discuss the use of traditional Ukrainian calligraphy in contemporary lettering.

More speakers to be announced soon!



košice, slovakia

​​Tabačka Kulturfabrik is a unique center and open area for art, creativity and cooperation in Košice, Slovakia. Grounds of the former tobacco factory on Gorkého Street offers 2500 m2 of contemporary art, concerts, theaters, performances, movies, education, cooperation and also trendy bistro and other services.


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After a forced break, third edition of Eastern Design Conference on 4 – 5 November 2022 featured talks by Veronika Rút, STRV, Michal Slovák, Peter Olah, Banda Agency, Studio Otwarte, Tomáš Libertíny, Džumelec, Oficina, Kickie Chudikova, Patryk Hardziej, Vladimir 518 and Przemek Dębowski.

Second edition of Eastern Design Conference on 8 – 9 November 2019 featured talks by Banda Agency, Martin Pecina, Martina Pauková, Matúš Bence, Olga Drenda, Jan Meisner, Peter Biľak, Džumelec, Samuel Čarnoky, Mr. Žltý, Mario Šestak, Anna Marešová, Malai Biomaterials and SNASK with Matej Špánik.

First ever edition of Eastern Design Conference on 26 – 27 October 2018 featured talks by Liv Siddal, Martin Bajaník +  YEME, CZECHDESIGN, David Gauquelin, Studio Marvil + TON, Studio Feixen, Erik Sikora, Jan Franciszek Cieślak, Petra Dočekalová, Peter Hajdin + LUNTER and Lars Harmsen / Slanted.