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Best of CEE 2020

As a Central and Eastern European design and lifestyle magazine, HYPEANDHYPER’s goal is to collect and showcase the unique stories, characters, objects and landscapes that determine and shape this part of the world. Now our editors have picked out their favorite regional projects that have been published on HYPE over the year as a way of wrapping up 2020.


1.Stories from Eastern Europe | Natúr magazine

„The East deserves the hype”—something we like to say frequently, and we are always happy to see our statement proven right by new projects of the region, one better than the other. We are even happier when we see that others think so too and decide to promote local values from a personal motive. This is exactly what Rebeka Győrfi did when she created Natúr magazine, presenting the wine and gastronomy values of our region through the communities standing behind them. Unique, natural and honest—just like a natural wine.

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2. Floating memories | Marietta Varga’s latest series

Pastel colors, softly undulating water combined with a dreamy, slightly nostalgic visual world. In her latest series titled “Mellownoon”, the photographer manifests her memories related to Lake Balaton in the form of gently floating compositions.

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3. Forest chapel in Pannonhalma

It has no roof, no side walls, yet it’s still a chapel—the religious space located at Szent Imre Hill, Pannonhalma, designed by the students of MOME and their helpers within a week in the Illak Forest celebrated its second anniversary recently. However, it is not only its groundbreaking architectural solution and speedy construction that make this chapel worthy of mentioning.

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1.FAINA | Organic design furniture from Ukraine

Victoria Yakusha, the founder of the FAINA brand, plays a leading role in making the world become familiar with Ukrainian design. The designer combines eco-conscious use of materials and contemporary design with a traditional Ukrainian crafts technique and reaches back to ancient traditions for inspiration.

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2. Stylish and eco-friendly hideout deep in the forest | hideandseek

The mobile house of the Czech hideandseek brand fits perfectly into the line of special and stylish forms of accommodation. The fabulous and modern cabin does not only look good, but also checks out from an ecological point of view. It goes by the name Aranka.

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3. Frozen time | Adam Wilkoszarski

Empty waterfronts, abandoned RVs and drained off pools: Polish photographer Adam Wilkoszarski’s poetic and nostalgic pictures portray abandoned holiday resorts.

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1.Iconic design objects on Czech banknotes | UMPRUM

The students of Czech design school UMPRUM redesigned the looks of Czech banknotes and official documents, while Tuan Vuong Trong’s works will also be printed as commemorative banknotes.

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2. Typographic posters from Bulgaria | radktt

We came across Radoslav Panev’s characteristic prints infused with dark humor a few weeks ago. The Bulgarian graphic designer updates his Instagram feed with new prints every day and we already found our favorites amongst them.

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3. Stage | Dnipro, Ukraine

If we wanted to illustrate community architecture, the Stage project would be a perfect example: it is the product of the hard work of more than two hundred people, and has been catering to the needs of a community ever since it was built.

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1.House of Wine | The Czech Republic

Perhaps the coolest wine bar in Eastern Europe, House of Wine in Moravia was born out of a 19th century brewery and a warehouse building from the ‘70s.

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2. Understanding the city of the future | Meet Urbanum

What does a livable, inclusive or sustainable city mean? What relationships can be formed between the built environment and the residents of the city? To whom does the city belong, for whom is it built and what factors influence it? Balázs Csizik, Géza Kulcsár and Vo Son Nam explore questions like this and many others.

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Young cyclists who believe in sustainable and innovative cities: the Eastride Delivery courier service only uses eco-friendly delivery methods in the spirit of environmentalism, and they also play a dominant role in preserving Romanian bicycle culture. The “Eastriders“ hop on their bikes any time in spite of the urban environment built on mountains, defying rain, snow and cold weather.

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1.Beton.Hofi X Miki 357 – KÖZEL-KILÉT-EURÓPA

I met Miki at a quite good carnival party and I asked him right away what he was working on at the moment. He showed me the raw version of his new video created with Izabella Mazzag and Beton.Hofi, and what I said was okay, we have to run this. I must admit that I didn’t hear much about Beton.Hofi previously, but the song and the video are both very convincing. 

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2. Art deco and Zen simplicity | NOBU Warsaw

Since July this year, the high-end Japanese feeling can be experienced in the Polish capital, too: Poland’s first NOBU hotel opened, with quite notable design.

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3. Ksenia Wallenstein | Ceramics in memory of the quarantine

There are some who think that the Covid-19 pandemic will not leave a severe mark in the history of humanity (saying it’s practically nothing compared to the plague), but those currently experiencing it can feel more and more as if they are the part of a very significant historical era. More and more works of art are created that intend to commemorate the coronavirus for posterity—just like ceramist Ksenia Wallenstein ceramics pieces created based on this very experience that are only a prelude to a statue installation in progress.

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1.Slovakia’s built heritage | Čierne diery

Čierne diery promoting the built heritage of Slovakia grew out to be one of the most popular initiatives of the country in only a few years. Old industrial buildings, factories, mansions in the countryside and tunnels that we wouldn’t find on any maps even if we tried—they explore them and tell us about it. Today, they are followed by more than 40,000 people. And for a good reason.

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2. This Airbnb could be a set in Chernobyl

A couple in Vilnius had an idea and furnished their apartment in line with the design of the late Soviet era, inspired by HBO’s very successful Chernobyl series.

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3. Brutalist Far North | Zupagrafika’s latest book is out now

When hearing the name Siberia, the first thing coming to our minds are probably eternal frost, rigidness or perhaps fighting for survival. David Navarro and Martyna Sobecka, the founders of design studio Zupagrafika ventured to travel across perhaps the most extreme and less known area of the Earth and to show us what the Brutalist architecture of the Far North is like.

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