During the third weekend in May 2014 I travelled to my hometown Bratislava to attend the biggest Slovakian design event of the year – By Design Conference organised by my beloved Milk studio and talented guys from Back-space. Why I call it the biggest design event? Well, it was the-first-of-its-kind conference organised in Slovakia and right from the beginning it had high ambitions – renowned designers from all over the world (okay, mostly Europe) were invited, led by “a designer celebrity” Stefan Sagmeister. The conference itself was aimed not only at local designers and marketers but more at foreign specialists.


So How Was The By Design Conference?

All in all, the conference turned out great. I was impressed by organisation, all kinds of tiny details that added to the experience but mostly by speakers themselves. Nowadays it seems to me that it’s getting harder and harder to find great inspiration in that sea of information and sources we have out there. And when I find it, I try to regard it cautiously and carry in myself as long as I can. This conference I will carry in me for a long time probably and I’m already curious about the next year.

My hand with a By Design Conference bracelet

This is how I felt about the whole weekend after we returned home. The three bracelets mean I had busy evenings during the whole stay in Bratislava!

If you’d like to find some general information about the event and particular speakers, everything is on the website or their Facebook page (including photos). In this post I’d like to share some of my personal views and favourite bits that made me happy.


Most favourite moments:


  • First bite of Giraffe cupcake (had two in total – pistachio and chocolate and both were heavenly)


  • First minutes after the conference ended and all thoughts and impressions suddenly “settled” with a great “Everything is fine, everything can be done and everything can be great at any time we want” feeling.


  • Snask show – inspirational talk combined with live music performance (including crazy costumes)


  • “Wow, Slovakian people can really do super cool stuff” feeling after Stefan Klein’s video presentation about his Aeromobil (which is basically a flying car as you can guess from the name).


  • Every laugh and every “How come I never thought of it?” moment I had during the whole conference.


My most favourite speakers:


1. Stefan Sagmeister

This is kinda surprise to me because firstly I thought this guy might be a bit overrated. But he’s not – for me, he was the best ending a conference could have and I’m really happy I had a chance to listen to him there. His talk was to the conference what final movements and rest positions are to the whole workout in yoga practice – something that will help you seal everything you have just seen and experienced inside you for the best results.


2. Snask

Because they were super fun and inspirational at the same time (and I fell in love with the drummer for a short time, uhm).


3. Jacek Utko & Fantasy Interactive

I can’t decide who to put on the third place so I’ll put there both. From Utko I had a feeling that this is one of the wisest people in his industry and really knows his stuff. Also, I could spend there a whole afternoon listening to him and noting down all the great magazines he used in his presentation as inspiration (please someone upload them on Slideshire!)


Irene & Anton from Fantasy Interactive were a great example that you can easy, friendly and professional at the same time and that even the best ones make mistakes and that they too try to learn a lot constantly.

Looking at other speakers I can’t say anything negative about any of them although they are not included in the top 3. Each one was inspirational in their own way and I learnt something new during every talk of the day. Each one can be rightly called the best of the best for what they achieved and we can learn a lot from all of them, regardless of your profession, as long as you want to be better and do your best.


Little pieces of joy


  • Although I don’t drink coffee anymore, I appreciate that Goriffee was chosen to be served as I heard a lot of positive reviews for their coffee from Rwanda.


  • Also, I finally got to try the famous Jablcno cider – sweet & refreshing!


  • Curaprox goodies were a nice surprise. They can’t be bought easily here in the UK and I love their toothbrushes!


  • Afterparty was held in my favourite club – KC Dunaj – which is my regular go-to when I’m in Bratislava and it was great to have another reason why I need to go there! 🙂


  • Super awesome crazy poster designed by Snask for all By Design Conference attendees – can’t wait to find the most appropriate place for it! (living room would be great)

Poster designed by Snask studio for By Design Conference attendees.

Awesome poster designed by Snask for By Design Conference attendees. What do you think, where should I place it? 😀


By the way, if you’re a Slovak speaker, my article on startitup.sk could be also of your interest.