Guillaume Sasseville's report on Designmonat Graz

July 20, 2018

In January, Montréal designer Guillaume Sasseville from studio SSSVLL responded to a call for proposals from Graz, UNESCO City of Design, to take part in the programming of Designmonat, the city’s design month in May. His Mile light for Lambert&Fils was chosen for inclusion in the prestigious Selected 2018 exhibition.

Montréal’s Bureau du design is proud to have contributed funding to help send Sasseville to Graz and named him an ambassador of Montréal design. Below is an account of his observations about the event and this Austrian city.

The organizers of Designmonat were wonderful hosts. The communications, activities, and networking events were all excellent. At this year’s month of design in Graz, there were a number of installations that showcased the untapped potential of public spaces. Various design studios were asked to produce a collection of seating spaces. The results were creative in both the means and materials used. And the city promoted the value of design-based professions.

The trip with delegates from the UNESCO Creative Cities Network allowed me to better understand the role and value of this international platform for exchange. A success in one city can resonate in other partner cities.


The SELECTED exhibition, curated by Alexa Holzer and held in the portrait gallery of the Joanneumsviertel museum, lent a great deal of credibility to the design works on display. The juxtaposition of historical artworks with modern design works was a clear success – the level was very high. The exhibition presented works that could be classified as “Design art” or gallery pieces.

Schloss Hollenegg for Design

I got a chance to visit Schloss Hollenegg, a castle owned by the Liechtenstein family since 1821. Alice Stori Liechtenstein developed the project Schloss Hollenegg for Design to support both emerging and established designers by setting up a residency, which culminates in an outstanding group exhibition.

Benefits for SSSVLL

The interest of SSSVLL in taking part in and being present at Graz’s month of design was initially a commercial one. I was able to showcase the Mile light, and I met with a major Austrian cutlery manufacturer, out of which a new project was born.

Overall, it was a very positive experience. Our encounters there were worthwhile, and the appreciation of Montréal by the people of Graz was undeniable.

The platform of Graz’s month of design promotes the cultural aspect of design and showcases exploratory practices. Properly planned, this trip to Graz, expanded Austria-wide, would lead to face-to-face meetings that could be used as a marketing lever.

Interested in going on an international mission? The Bureau du design just launched a call for mission projects and is currently accepting proposals for missions to Detroit (United States), Kortrijk (Belgium), and Turin (Italy). You have till August 16 to submit your proposal!