If the world was still in its normal status, we would now be writing about how amazing last week’s Forward Festival Vienna was, but since we are living the “new normal” right now, the festival had to be postponed to autumn. Thankfully, we found a way to keep up the festival spirit by teaming up with Dezeen to host the program for their Virtual Design Festival last Friday.

Who would have thought we’d take our motto DIGITAL EYES this far. Forward x Virtual Design Festival was a whole new experience for us – but we loved it and we hope you did too! If you missed it, no need to be sad, all of the talks are still online for you to watch. Scroll down to mix up your quarantine routine with inspiring talks from the Forward archives featuring SNASK, Paola Antonelli, Erik Spiekermann, Sarah Illenberger and Pascal Dulex from Freitag.


Enjoy the talks, stay safe and sane and we hope to welcome you again at one of our festivals in autumn!


Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli has been working for the MOMA for more than 32 years. In this time, she has come up with concepts for exhibitions that included more unusual types of design such as interactive design, video games and digital design. In her talk for Forward Festivals, Paola explains how such unfamiliar ideas challenged the audience of the museum and consequently managed to push its work forward.


Erik Spiekermann

After decades on the job, Erik Spiekermann has gathered quite some knowledge. In his talk for Forward Festivals, he shares some of it in his very own pointed way. He breaks it down into 7 propositions you might want to remember, such as his main motto: Don’t work with arseholes.


Freitag – Pascal Dulex

FREITAG is mostly known for its unique, recycled messenger bags made out of truck tarps. Pascal Dulex, Culture Coach & Creative Director of the company, shares their secret tools for the modern company. He dives deep into how FREITAG works and how they manage to remain agile while keeping their strong purpose and holistic design approach.


Sarah Illenberger

Throughout her career, Sarah Illenberger often had difficulties making people understand what she did. They found several definitions for her job: art director, set designer, stylist, craftsman, multi-disciplinary artist, visual storyteller. Sarah herself thinks of her work as a form of illustration using everyday materials instead of paint or paper. In her talk for Forward Festivals, she explains her process of communicating using images instead of words.



Creative agency and rock band at the same time – in their talk for Forward Festivals, Snask explain their exceptional concept and cover a setlist of ideas:

  • Brand yourself damnit
  • Don’t mix rock’n’roll with professional
  • Cost control
  • This is branding
  • Secret Design Strategy of Snask
  • Dream Project
  • Dare to be bold


About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival is a platform that will bring the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances. It is therefore a perfect fit for Forward Festivals, connecting the creative industries.

Dezeen will host a rolling program of online talks, lectures, movies, product launches and more. It will complement and support fairs and festivals around the world that have had to be postponed or canceled and it will provide a platform for design businesses, so they can, in turn, support their supply chains.