Zsennye Workshop 2019


Challenges of the human-made environment



szeptember 19. – szeptember 23.


Anthropocene: The Challenges of Man-made Environment


These days you can hear a great deal about unusual heat waves, droughts, extreme weather events and temperature records in the media. Because of the changing climate, a food crisis emerges at certain places, while new opportunities open at other places. Global economy uses up the resources of planet earth at an alarming rate, meanwhile exploiting the defenselessness of certain groups and communities.

A part of these phenomena can surely be connected to human activity; that is, our society struggles with many problems that was caused by ourselves. By definition, Anthropocene is the age when humanity struggles with challenges made by themselves. How can human society become sustainable in this environment? Where does the responsibility of the individual and organizations begin, and how far does it go? What is the ethical behavior in a situation where global processes obviously make humanity face great challenges? What is a designer's role and responsibility in this context?

These are the questions to which we are seeking answers during our Zsennye Workshop 2019 -- sometimes approaching challenges in a holistic way, sometimes assessing on a specific level the means with which sustainability can be fostered on the level of civilization.


Do you have any questions?

Do you like the topic?


Workshop in the castle

What happens in Zsennye?


Section Work

During section work, the participants will have the opportunity to experimentally try and utilize their new knowledge in practice. The section work will be moderated by credited designers.


The design can fulfill its interdisciplinar, field-independent, supporting role if the professional representatives have a holistic view of the environment surrounding them and the object of their activity. We have assembled the presentations of Zsennye Workshop in a way to have presenters, who can tone our knowledge, coming from as many fields as possible -- going around this year's topic of ours.


In the breaks of the presentations and following the presentation blocks, we invite the participants to free discussions. Here you can have a real discussion and the knowledge transfer between various professions and the fields of design becomes possible.


Want to be a part of it?





Interpretation of Raw Materials from an Ecological Point of View

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Apol Temes
Textile Designer


Rachel Carson's book, Silent spring, published in 1962, launched a new type of ecological point of view. Since then, several strategies have been born for the protection of the environment and the removal of pollution on the level of both individuals and communities. From the creator's side, the raw material can act as a number one medium, which has a message either directly or indirectly. We can regard industrial leftovers as waste, meaning a burden, or as a raw material offering opportunities. If we use its original good characteristics and supplement it with further ones while we are re-defining it, we can find their new, relevant areas of use. This way, we can look at materials which were earlier present as a burden as raw materials again. In the „Nyersanyag?” ("Raw material?") section of Zsennye Workshop, the focus is on design based on new raw materials, where you can learn about international trends and try them out in practice how versatile a not fully used raw material can be.


Cycles in Society and Economy

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Richard Nagy
Industrial Designer


The notion of sustainability is often presented with a distorted meaning during the market-driven designer practice. For instance, a festival is regarded "sustainable" if it can be organized every year -- that is, if it is economically sustainable. This does not necessarily mean a sustainable operation from an environmental and social point of view. We do not convert our natural resources into numbers during our economic calculations -- more simply: the value of a tree or a bird nesting somewhere in the area of a festival is not represented in the sustainability calculations. This section deals with the question how a balance can be made between social and economic sustainability. What is the responsibility of the individuals? How can the conscious attitude of the individuals be increased? What is the designers' responsibility in this? We will seek answers to these questions.


Action or Reaction? Planning the Future

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András B. Szilágyi
Design historian


The entire common talk of our age is determined by the theory of social engineering, the relation to it and the plans about changing society. According to the theory of social engineering, having spread in the 20th century, it is possible to plan entire societies to become nicer, more comfortable and technologically more advanced, for which extensive social systems are needed. A hundred years ago, these dreams led to the art of avant-garde first, and then the isms of politics. Utopias such as fascism dreaming about "a nicer and better world" as brotherhood, socialism longing for equality and capitalism propagating total freedom.

Our current world is living in the time of the third industrial revolution. The tensions that foretell newer utopias and dystopias eliminating the injustices of our world are already present. Which is the right way: to speed up the processes and plan new societies or react to the happenings and save humanity from utopia in the life boat of design? How should a designer act during such a crisis? Should they be rebels or resistance fighters?


What can we do?

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András Soma Gross
Industrial designer


"Before asking »What can we do?«, we must ask another question: »How do we have to think?«" - Joseph Beuys, 1978 

How can we convert our knowledge of sustainability and rotary view into reality?

The section presents the opportunities and challenges underlying rotary economy, while questioning the basis of our current way of thinking. Moreover, through good practices, it assesses how you can start out on a small scale and have an effect in connection with sustainability in our narrower or wider environment.


Are you interested?

Do you have questions?



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József Zalavári

Designer, University Associate Professor
AMI Sopron

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Máté Kriza

Körforgásos Gazdaságért Alapítvány Advisory Board Chairperson

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Gabriella Veszprémi

Fashion designer, accessory designer


Getting excited?

Do you have questions?