Hi guys, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and the festival?
Behind the Forward Festival there's a small group of like-minded people, who passionately believe in the power of creativity, cross-linking and dope shit. Together we are Forward Creatives, a small agency in the heart of Vienna. We dream big, work hard, panic during the process, throw all ideas out of the window and make it happen in the end. But we never do it alone. Because one of the pillars of Forward is to collaborate with creatives as well as with corporations. Often seen as opposites that are impossible to reconcile, we perceive them as two sides of the same coin and building bridges between the two sides can create long-term value for all participants. Always with the goal of producing lasting moments along the way. This interdisciplinary approach and out of the box thinking is also reflected in our team. We consist of a philosopher, a painter, 2 project managers, an event manager, and a marketing wizard, who all put their heads together to develop unique solutions for our clients that have become synonymous with the name Forward.
We all believe that designers are powerful agents of change. They challenge existing structures and seek new answers while crossing the limits of their own discipline along the way. Design is the key to transforming not only products and business models but society as a whole. Part of our mission is to create structures and networks that enable budding and established designers to do their thing and make the world a bit more diverse and crazy. Forward Creatives take on an intermediary role to facilitate the dialogue between designers and companies.
That is the reason why we put ourselves under pressure to organize the Forward Festival every year and why we do events in general. Be it for “The origin of an idea”-installation for MINI, where we translated stages of the creative process into a physical experience, shedding a light on the creative journey, working together with Red Bull Music Academy on it’s Falco-inspired base camp in Vienna, or creating compelling content and long-lasting stories for the German retailer ok.-, we are satisfied if you found inspiration. From its very beginning it has been our goal to bring together the most exciting creatives from all around the world. We have always understood ourselves as a platform to stimulate the exchange between creatives and to create awareness for the whole industry behind them.
Where did it all start?
The home of Forward is Vienna, where the first festival took place five years ago. Munich was next on the agenda in 2016. The event moved to Alte Kongresshalle the next year, where attendees could listen to talks from designers Stefan Sagmeister and Niklaus Troxler, the Swedish branding studio and rockband SNASK, Berlin-based motion graphics studio Pfadfinderei and many more. In 2017 Zurich was added to the Forward map. NOERD, an industrial building turned creative space that is home to innovative companies such as FREITAG and aroma, presented the perfect event location for Forward before we moved to the new cultural hot spot in town. The KOSMOS in the center of the city is a living space that inspires the urban and artistic soul. Last year, we conquered the Millerntor Stadion in Hamburg, one of the most iconic football stadiums in Europe, for the first time. The home of the FC St. Pauli is not only a symbol for the eponymous, legendary district of Hamburg but also a safe-haven for the creative scene.
The Forward Festival for creativity, design, and communication is celebrating its fifth anniversary. For this occasion, the first creative festival that covers all of the DACH countries is going to be more exciting than ever – more speakers, more days and more happenings. Over the last couple of years, we’ve constantly worked on our lineup and new ideas, and have introduced a broad selection of side events including student talks, workshops, challenges, live performances, and happenings. At the heart of Forward lies the idea to create a festival, where people from different professional and personal backgrounds come together and learn from each other. This year, the Forward Festival for creativity, design, and communication celebrates half a decade of existence! Therefore, the festivals and its side events become even more diverse and more spectacular than the years before.
Speakers of the conferences – the centerpiece of the festival – include internationally acclaimed photographer Oliviero Toscani, marketing rockstar Erik Kessels, the godfather of grunge typography David Carson, the renowned advertising agency AKQA, Facebook’s art director Josh Higgins, US-photographer Roger Ballen, German designer Mirko Borsche, and many others.
Finally, would you please enlighten us about the dates and locations please:
Vienna: 04.-06.04.2019 >> Gartenbaukino, MAK (Academy of Applied Arts)
Hamburg: 04.-05.07.2019 >> Millerntor Stadion
Munich: 13.-14.06.2019 >> Alte Kongresshalle
Zurich: 15.06.2019 >> Kosmos
Excerpt from the Forward Festival's website announcing the speakers for the upcoming event.
For more information please go to www.forward-festival.com
*The Forward agency's motto "Vorwärts immer, rückwärts nimmer!" – Forward Ever, Backwards Never – is, I suppose, ironically quoting the late Erich Honecker who, as the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, led the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from 1971 until the weeks preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.