Take Away Plovdiv
New Design for the Bulgarian Souvenir

"Take Away Plovdiv" is a project which invites Bulgarian contemporary artists to come up with new designs of souvenirs based on Plovdiv motifs.

The role of souvenir

A souvenir is emotion, part of the connection between people and the places they visit. "Take Away Plovdiv" is seeking meaningful, intriguing alternatives to mass-produced low-quality souvenirs. It's about making easy associations to Plovdiv by paying special attention to aesthetics, symbols and message. It's also about designs that are fresh and stir the imagination.
The project focuses on changing the perception of Bulgarian souvenirs. It seeks to expand the idea of souvenir by creating a new design objects conceived by professional designers, artists and architects.

The participants

The invited artists are given full freedom. In realising their ideas for a Plovdiv-inspired souvenir, they use various techniques, materials and approaches:

  • ARTELIE (fashion, textile). Textile-based works. This is a Bulgarian brand led by Elena Vladimirova, a German-educated fashion designer. Ms Vladimirova's ideas include high-quality shawls, skirts, dresses, outdoor garments, and accessories, all designed in limited series.
  • Neva Balnikova (accessory, jewellery). Ms Balnikova will be focusing on jewellery-adorned unisex accessories. With her works, prominent with their radiance and uniqueness, Neva achieves exquisite and bold interpretations using a variety of materials, among them a bike saddle, keychain, bangle, bracelet and ring.
  • Teodor Georgiev (illustration). Mr Georgiev is the youngest participant. He is currently studying visual narration at the Aalto University in Finland, but his Plovdiv roots make the distance to Bulgaria very short indeed: He knows his way around the city and has an inner sense of where his future souvenir will be most at home.
  • Misirkov/Bogdanov (objet d'art). The Misirkov/Bogdanov duo is one of the most recognizable names in Bulgarian photography and reportage. The artists' bright images record invaluable emotions in memorable frames. The two will be working on an objet d'art for an emblematic Plovdiv symbol.
  • Penka Stancheva (play in architecture). Ms Stancheva is another Plovdiv-born participant, whose work is often featured on the covers of interior design magazines. She is the holder of a host of awards for her eclectic and apt approaches to treating space. Penka will delve into play in architecture by embodying Plovdiv streets, buildings or natural elements.
  • tochka & tochka – Rada Dicheva (ceramic object). Ms Dicheva got the assignment to interpret a ceramic object from tochka & tochka, an art design studio-slash-brand. Rada's work displays minimalistic shapes, clear outlines, lucid concepts and precise workmanship.
  • The illustrator Rozalina Burkova and the designer Nikoleta Nosovska are amongst the selected authors.

The visual identity of "Take Away Plovdiv" has been placed into the hands of UNIT, a graphic design and visual communications studio.

The project at Facebook HERE. Presentation of the prototypes for new souvenirs on 1 March 2019, at artnewscafe, 17:30 – the Facebook event HERE.

Neva Balnikova‘s key chain is inspired by the Renaissance houses in the old Plovdiv neighbourhood. At the same time it reminds us of the pin locator in the digital maps that shows one’s whereabouts. “It is amazing how the houses are perched on these rocks on the hills, as if pinned there. From an abstract point of view, the souvenir can be visually and conceptually associated with а pickax”, Neva explains.

At first glance the simple and clean porcelain cup by tochka & tochka art design studio actually hides a 360 degree view of Plovdiv’s distinctive and most memorable urban landmarks. The strip of stylized drawing marks buildings and places floating on the Maritsa River, the latter symbolically indicating the level at which tea or coffee is usually poured.

Penka Stancheva, in collaboration with the illustrator Rozalina Burkova, chooses for her project the most popular souvenir format – the magnet. The depicted image focuses on Plovdiv as the city on the hills with the renaissance houses from the Old Town, the Romаn theatre and the Thracian ruins of the first settlement, the Alyosha monument, the Sahat Hill with the Clock Tower and the radio and TV tower next to the central pedestrian street, the Youth Hill and the disappeared Markovo Hill.

ALYOSHA LOLLIPOP – Missirkov / Bogdanov recreate the most popular symbol of Plovdiv’s recent history – the Alyosha Monument – in a playful object. The heroic past meets the consumerism of today’s society, the history is melting in the mouth in a colourful and direct consummation. The sugar carbohydrates deliver a fast doze of energy, but for a short time; on the next day there is no memory of the souvenir. The lollipops are available in various colours and tastes.

Kaldaram or “cobblestone” in English is both a large textile bag and a pillow case. The joint project of Artelie and Nikoleta Nosovska offers an abstract look at the peculiar flagging of the Old Town and its original architecture. The souvenir is an ideal travel solution.

The young illustrator and designer Teodor Georgiev undertook a research on stories for four of the streets in Kapana Creative District in Plovdiv in order to realize a range of illustrations replicated on postcards, notebooks, pins and chocolate bars.

From April 2019 the souvenirs will be available at various locations (find out all of them at the website www.takeaway-souvenir.com): 

Coffee&Gallery Cu29
24 Hristo Dukmendjiev Str.

Old Plovdiv Guest House
3 Chetvarti Yanuari Str.

Wunderbaer – Hills Beer Bar & Shop
2 Bethoven Str.

Tourist Information Center ‘’Roman Stadium Square’’
1 Rayko Daskalov Str.

Tourist Center Old City ‘’Visit Plovdiv’’
1 Doctor Stoyan Chomakov Str.

38 Otets Paisiy Str.

12 Beethoven Str.

24 Ivan Denkoglu Str., Sofia

Prototypes will be available at SKLAD in the Tobacco City at 16 Ekzarh Yosif Str. 

"Take Away Plovdiv" is a project of Studio Komplekt (Adriana Andreeva and Boiana Gjaurova).

Find details about the events at - studiokomplekt.com and  www.facebook.com/events.

Take Away Plovdiv: Prototypes' Presentation

Where artnewscafé
Programme Relax

"Take Away Plovdiv" is Starting

The official launch of the "Take Away Plovdiv" project – a new design for city souvenirs – will happen on February 22, at 5 pm, at the Generator – Center for Design and Innovation in Sofia.



General partners

EU Japan Fest

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